CPAP Machines – What they are, how they work, features and benefits
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are the leading devices used in the treatment of Sleep Apnea; a sleep disorder that is marked by the symptoms of extremely loud snoring, but more importantly, by frequent pauses in breathing, lasting several seconds or nearly a minute or more. Left undiagnosed and thus untreated, sufferers from this sleep disorder can suffer life-threatening complications, as well as being plagued by regular symptoms of chronic fatigue and impaired daily functioning.
CPAP machines act as a respiratory ventilator of sorts that blows a steady stream of air into the back of the throat, preventing it from collapsing, which is the cause of the cessation in breathing for Sleep Apnea sufferers. With this continuous flow of air comes the security that these individuals will keep regularly breathing throughout the night, allowing them to wake-up feeling rested. What’s even better about this form of treatment is that it’s both quiet while in operation and it quiets the snoring beast. This is a win-win for both the sufferer and their bedmate that suffers from their extremely loud snoring. Often times, the sufferer’s romantic partner will start to sleep in another location in order to get a good night’s sleep. With the CPAP machine, comes the opportunity for the displaced partner to once again share the same sleeping space as their loved one.
The CPAP unit contains a generator, which determines the airflow. A hose connects to the generator, which in turn, also connects to a mask that assists in navigating the airflow, keeping the passageway open and the user breathing regularly. Optional features on some models of CPAPs include a humidifier, which adds moisture to the air, thus eliminating potentially irritating dryness that can accompany compressed air. Other features include cloth-based mask liners that increase comfort by reducing skin irritation and possible contact dermatitis. A flexible chinstrap may be another option that patients gravitate towards to aid them in not breathing through their mouth if they choose a nasal-mask option. Some pricier models include a data-logging system that can record a patient’s use of the machine, as well as data that is recorded while the machine is actually in use. The patient and their medical provided can then use that data to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. Generally, CPAP machines use electricity to function, however, a limited amount of models are now entering the market that operate using the power of the wearer’s own breathe and did not need electricity in order to function.
reminiscent of Top Gun or masks that just cover the nose.Innovations in technologies have replaced once noisy and cumbersome machine elements, with devices that are efficient with more maneuverable components. CPAP wearers can now comfortably wear the device while snuggled up to their partner on their sides or can wear them when sleeping on their backs. Available in smaller units, CPAP machines are now easily portable making them easy to pack up and take on trips that have the individual sleeping away from home.
One of the biggest issues with the CPAP machine is patient non-compliance. Many patients fail to use them regularly, or simply don’t use them as prescribed. Available in a variety of price points, with insurance companies often covering all or a large portion of the machine, patients now have the opportunity to use a machine that is more practical when it comes to comfortable sleeping. Not to mention that the machine itself will ensure the wearer a restful, well-oxygenated night of sleep. Essentially, the CPAP is a lifesaver and is a beneficial anti-snoring device for those with Sleep Apnea, as it eradicates snoring and prevents pauses in breathing during slumber.