Have you been experiencing difficulty breathing while sleeping? Or has anyone complained about you snoring during a good night’s sleep? These may be the primary symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) as it is medically termed. This is the first step when your doctor typically recommends that you begin using a CPAP machine.
So, what exactly is a CPAP machine and how does it help you overcome your breathing issues? Let’s take a quick tour of the subject
Sleep Apnea – An Introduction
Millions of Americans suffer from Sleep Apnea. The symptoms include snoring, choking sounds, and gasping while sleeping. The reason behind this the inability of oxygen to reach your lungs as the mouth and throat muscles block the airway. These blocking events are termed as Sleep Apneas or “events.” The experience leads to increased blood pressure and causes snoring.
Who is most prone to Sleep Apnea?
The condition is often undiagnosed and overlooked by many. Though it is thought to affect 4%-9% of middle-aged adults, many don’t seek treatment. The condition is also mostly seen in those above 65. Aging impacts the brain’s ability to keep the upper airway throat muscles open during sleep. This causes a strong chance of muscle collapse resulting in Sleep Apnea. In adults, the condition can be caused by smoking, excessive alcohol use, and use of sedatives.
Other Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
- Putting on weight
- People with thick necks can have narrow airways are potential victims of the condition
- Men are more prone to Sleep Apnea than women
- Tonsils in children can cause blockage of the airway
- The elderly tend to lose their throat muscle stiffness
- Smoking is one of the fastest ways to get Sleep Apnea as it narrows the airway towards lungs
Know more about Sleep Apnea, and how dangerous it can be!
CPAP/BiPAP Machine – An Introduction
CPAP is the acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. The device helps people suffering from Sleep Apnea breathe more easily during their sleep. It helps supply a constant air pressure through the throat and prevents the muscles along the airway from collapsing. This gives the user an unblocked supply of air and reduces snoring too!
The CPAP machine is composed of a mask that is supposed to be worn by the user with chin straps as support. The mask is connected to the CPAP device with a tube. The main device consists of a water tank (it acts as a humidifier) and a filter.
CPAP machines come in a lot of variants, some just have a small mask the covers your nose, also called N-CPAP or Nasal CPAP machine. It totally depends upon what your doctor suggests you to go for. It is quite a hurdle in the beginning, as the user is not accustomed to wearing the setup during his/her sleep. Check out how CPAP Machines can help improve your health and overall life!
BiPAP stands for Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure. BiPAP too works on the same mechanism of the CPAP by preventing throat muscle collapse and offering continuous airflow to the lungs. BiPAP differs from CPAP as it comes with dual pressure settings – one for inhalation and the other for exhalation, while the CPAP has a single setting for both the processes. This can be a pain point for a few users!
5 Common Problems of the CPAP Machines
Sleep Apnea often goes overlooked unless it crosses the intolerance level of uneasiness during sleep. This is when you are introduced to the world of CPAP machines and the small discomforts associated with them.
1. Inability to wear the mask and sleep
Normally, we sleep with no equipment attached to our face and this liberty goes out the window when your doctor prescribes you to wear a CPAP mask while sleeping. It becomes difficult to sleep with the gear and to get accustomed to the breathing process of the kit.
So here’s what you can do to overcome the problem –
- Get a titration done with the help of your doctor to understand the correct airflow pressure setting for your CPAP Machine.
- Choose the best-fitting mask that will slide on your face with ease.
- Try wearing the mask while doing routine work that helps you get accustomed to the gear
- Analyze your sleeping position and try the mask on while rehearsing the same position
- Sleep on your back, sides, and stomach until you get comfortable with the mask attached to your face. This also helps you to adjust to the pressure settings and get a good night’s sleep!
- Schedule routine follow-ups with your doctor for additional titrations. This helps you adjust to the variable pressure changes for an uncompromised sleep.
2. Incorrect Size of the CPAP BiPAP Machine Mask
Getting the best fit is not just important, but also necessary. Incorrect fits may lead to problems you may have never anticipated. Probably the first huddle you should be clearing going down the funnel of choosing a CPAP BiPAP Machine Mask is the size.
Here are some good reasons why you should be picking accurate-sized masks –
- An incorrect sized mask may lead to lead to difficulty in breathing
- There is a possibility of leakage if the mask is too large
- If the mask is too small, it may lead to annoying marks on your face
- Some CPAP/BiPAP masks cover the whole face and may lead the user to feel claustrophobic.
Getting The best fit helps overcome the most common problems and helps you get a sound sleep!
3. Full-Face Mask – Claustrophobia
For people who have the habit of being in their comfort zones during work or while taking rest, it becomes quite a task to handle full face masks covering most of their face and parallel doing their routine jobs. These masks give you a feeling of being caged in a narrow space, a term often referred to as claustrophobia. Such masks do have a tendency to block the vision and offer an uneasy feeling to the user.
Some good ways to get rid of the phenomena is –
- To opt for nasal CPAP machines. These grant you comfort that you have been seeking in full-face masks. NCPAP or Nasal-CPAP comes with chin straps that help keep your mouth closed.
- It is also normal for first time CPAP users to get the “enclosed” feeling despite using the smallest CPAP gears. They can practice keeping the mask on during small stretches of time during the day and get familiar with it. The fear of compactness gets reduced by being friendly with the mask!
- Relaxation exercises may help the user get over the “fear” of wearing masks and overcome anxiety.
4. Getting a Good Nights Sleep with CPAP BiPAP Machine On
Sometimes, snoring seems like a lesser problem than the remedy itself! Many first-timers think the same way. It is normal for the thought to preoccupy the mind when you face the fact that your face is going to have equipment fitted on it while you are going to bed. This is a good enough reason to give jitters to the user. How to get good rest if something unfamiliar is going to rest on our faces?
Here are some master solutions that might come handy if you are a first-timer with CPAP or BiPAP Machines
- CPAP Masks are your friends, they are the reason you are going to get good airflow pressure when you sleep! Acceptance is the key. Once you accept the fact, you can enjoy a sound sleep for sure!
- Ensure you get the correct fit – this is important as the airflow pressure is directly related to the size of your face-mask. Bigger fits can give way to leakage and you will have an even more uncomfortable sleep!
- Don’t try to tie the straps very tight. They may give skin irritations and marks on your face when you wake up.
- Getting the right comfort with the mask can be achieved by having the proper accessories:
- a) CPAP Pillows – Carefully accommodates the CPAP hose and mask
- b) Mask Liners – Prevents leakage of airflow and helps maintain air pressure. Also reduces skin irritation
- c) Hose Covers – Reduces any condensation inside the CPAP hose
5. Important Medical Issues with CPAP BiPAP Machine Use
Often times, you can see complaints popping up from users. Some of them include:
a) CPAP making one’s mouth dry
b) Sore throat/infection
d) Sinus issues
Above are some general issues raised by users who use CPAP machines. Following these tips can help overcome these problems with ease.
- Dry Mouth indicates that the user is prone to sleep with his/her mouth open. The solution here is to increase the humidity level on the humidifier. Try using a heated hose to get the best results. Wearing a mask of correct size is also important as it prevents air leakage which is directly related to mouth dryness.
- Just like dry mouth, a sore throat is also caused by a lack of humidity during CPAP therapy. Using a humidifier adds moisture back into the air you are breathing while sleeping. The heated humidification process opens up nasal passages and adds the much-needed moisture. This reduces the chances of a sore throat.
- Headaches can be caused by numerous factors like the air pressure rate, or a user's medical history of sinus infections. It may also be caused by the faulty fitting face masks. Getting a doctor’s opinion is the best solution if you are experiencing a headache after using the CPAP machine.
- Sinus conditions are closely related to CPAP therapy and the direction of the therapy can have adverse effects on your sinuses. There is always a chance of getting more headaches if you try to experiment with the air pressure flow on your own. Getting a sleep study done is advisable for best results.
Top 3 CPAP Machines of 2019
# 1 Resmed AirSense 10 Elite w/ HumidAir – 37205
- Single pressure machine with built-in humidifier
- Provides constant and consistent pressure of airflow, does not change automatically
- Settings from 1-8 for customized humidification
- The machine automatically monitors the breathing pattern of the user and smooths the breathing cycle
- Colored LCD Display with easy to read menus
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# 2 Philips Respironics Dreamstation CPAP Pro Machine
- A fixed pressure CPAP machine that delivers a uniform set of pressure throughout the night
- Helps you adjust with the exact pressure setting your respiratory system demands, by its auto trial mode – A 30-day therapy
- The most advanced device from Philips Respironics – 18% smaller and 28% lighter than the previous SystemOne series
- Extremely simple to operate and maintain
- Colorful LCD display and light sensor helps adjust the display brightness depending on day and night
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# 3 DeVilbiss Healthcare IntelliPAP AutoAdjust CPAP System
- The IntelliPAP AutoAdjust unit can be operated in both conventional CPAP and AutoAdjust modes
- Analyzes the user’s breathing pattern and automatically adjusts pressure
- Adjustable apnea/hypopnea detection
- Adjustable upper and lower pressure limits
- Adjustable delay setting for up to four hours, ideal for comparing patient response to AutoAdjust and standard CPAP therapy
- Automatic detection of mask conditions and ultra-sensitive snoring detection
Buy the DeVilbiss Healthcare IntelliPAP AutoAdjust CPAP System at Lowest Price!
Sleep apnea can be a nightmare if not treated with care. Although it is just a medical condition and not a disease, it requires the necessary treatment to keep it at bay! Get to know about the risk factors for Sleep Apnea and why you should be going for a CPAP or BiPAP machine.
The best person to suggest that you use either a CPAP or a BiPAP machine is your doctor. Here at Health Medical Supplies, we offer CPAP and BiPAP machines at the lowest prices you will find. We also rent medical equipment to save you from burning a hole in your pockets.