The cpap machine, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, is a sophisticated medical equipment used to treat sleep apnea. Since its discovery in June 1980 by Dr. Sullivan, the CPAP machine has provided immense help to patients suffering from sleep disorders and apnea. It keeps your airway open to receive oxygen while you sleep like a baby.
According to RT Magazine, sleep apnea (which is when someone either stops breathing or breathes halfway during sleep) affects over 936 million people worldwide as of May 2018. This number is staggeringly high. If you are one of those, you don’t need to worry much. Dr. Sullivan’s CPAP machine is here to save the day.
What is the mechanism of a CPAP device?
To make a cpap machine function, you first connect it to a power source. It then collects and purifies the air. The air is pressurized through a tube and introduced via your mask. The pressurized air keeps your upper respiratory muscles from coming too close to blocking your airway intermittently.
This keeps your lungs in perfect condition to inhale (breathe in) oxygen as regularly as they should and also exhale (breath out) carbon dioxide.
Are there several CPAP machine types?
CPAP is often used as a universal term to represent all types of CPAP devices. There are three cpap machine types. The major difference between them is their pressure settings. Among them are:
- CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machines provide a constant, steady flow of pressurized air during sleep. Another kind of CPAP machine is the travel CPAP machine. A portable CPAP machine allows you to easily travel with it while moving out of your immediate environment. This helps to overcome the drawbacks that were once associated with the other types.
- BiPAP or BPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) machines work by providing two kinds of air pressure. These two air pressures are for inhaling (breathing in) and exhaling (breathing out). Inhaling carries a higher pressure compared to exhaling.
- The APAP (auto-adjusting positive air pressure) machine is capable of automatically adjusting the air pressure in sync with your breathing.
How do CPAP, APAP, and BiPAP machines work?
The continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) system provides a steady supply of air pressure. In some cases, the patient becomes uncomfortable as the continuous supply of pressurized air may obstruct exhalation. Usually, your sleep doctor may have to reduce the air pressure. But if this doesn’t work, bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) becomes the next option.
A BiPAP machine helps to provide two different kinds of air pressure to overcome the drawbacks that come with using a CPAP. In order to ensure that you breathe in and out comfortably, a BiPAP machine is the right one to use.
In a situation where it’s necessary to gauge your airflow, the APAP machine works best. It works with your breathing to supply just the right air pressure required.
What benefits and drawbacks come with using a CPAP machine?
Using a CPAP machine could be a win-win experience. However, in very few minor situations, the following drawbacks have been reported. These challenges usually happen at the early stages of the user experience.
- Mouth dryness
- Bleeding nose
- Discomfort in the chest
- Congestion of the nose
- Runny nose
- Respiratory infections
- Irritation of the skin due to the mask or straps touching the skin
- Difficulties falling asleep
Is sleeping with a CPAP machine good for you?
When you use CPAP therapy regularly, it will help you reverse some serious health issues linked to apnea, such as stroke and heart disease. It will also help you improve the quality of your sleep and reduce your snoring habits.
Frequently asked questions
Question 1: I’m using PAP therapy, why do I still experience apnea?
Answer: The use of a PAP device is meant to reduce the frequency of episodes, not eliminate them. Four episodes per hour are usually considered to be normal; anything beyond that is cause for concern.
Question 2: How long may I use a CPAP machine?
Answer: You should use your CPAP device throughout the night. Ideally, you should use it for more than seven hours while asleep.
Question 3: Does CPAP therapy reduce weight?
Answer: From several experiences, people undergoing CPAP therapy tend to gain weight.
Question 4: Can I use any other water besides distilled water in my CPAP machine?
Answer: You may use tap or bottled water. But in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s better to use distilled water to avoid mineral buildup in the humidifier over the tub.
Question 5: Are CPAP pillows effective?
Answer: CPAP pillows provide excellent support. They are specially designed to offer comfort while still supporting the neck and spinal cord.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be life-threatening if you don’t handle it properly. But the good news is that you can treat it with a cpap machine. If you have any signs or know someone who has had breath pauses while they sleep, you should meet your healthcare provider today.