If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor has probably recommended the use of a CPAP machine as part of your treatment plan to combat sleep apnea. Even if you have heard of the device, the concept may seem a little daunting at first. However, just like anything, understanding what a CPAP machine is how it works can help to relieve some anxiety you may be feeling. Comfort Sleep Solutions discusses what types of CPAP machines there are and who benefits from using them, as well as how to know if you need an Idaho Falls CPAP machine.
Comfort Sleep Solutions provides patients with CPAPs and CPAP supplies in Idaho Falls. If you would like to schedule a consultation or take a look at what sleep apnea machines we offer, please contact us today.
What is a CPAP Machine and How Does it Work?
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP machines were designed for people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). By increasing the air pressure that goes into your nose and throat while you sleep, CPAP machines can keep your airways from collapsing (which is what causes obstructive sleep apnea in the first place).
Most CPAP machines consist of three main components. These include:
- Mask – There are various types of masks for people who need to use CPAP machines, and these masks come in custom sizes and shapes that are designed to fit the individuals face correctly. The most common covers are full face masks, nasal mask, and nasal pillows. Sometimes it takes trying a few different masks before you find the one that is most comfortable for you.
- Motor – The motor of a CPAP machine draws in the air around it and sends the right amount of pressure through the hoses to your mask, ensuring that your airways are left open while you sleep. Many CPAP machines also have built-in water tanks that act as a humidifier.
- Hose – The hose is what joins the motor and the mask together to make sure you are getting the proper flow of air all night long. Tubes can vary in both diameter and length depending on which CPAP model you get.
What Other Types of Sleep Apnea Machines Are Available
CPAP machines are not for everyone. Some people who have sleep apnea prefer to use other types of sleep apnea machines like a BiPAP or APAP. Let’s take a more in-depth look at what makes these types of devices different than a CPAP machine.
BiPAP or BPAP stands for Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure. This machine offers two different settings for airway pressure. BiPAP machines are used for patients who may have a difficult time exhaling against the force of the air pressure that is used for air intake. This device is usually best suited for severe cases of sleep apnea.
APAP stands for Automatic Airway Pressure. An APAP machine has a pre-set pressure range that has been set by your physician. People who have varying sleep-breathing patterns throughout the night may benefit more from using an APA machine over an Idaho Falls CPAP machine. An APAP machine uses computer algorithms to determine how much air pressure you should be given throughout the night at any given moment. Patients who have had trouble with CPAP machines in the past may prefer the APAP machine because the air pressure feels more “natural.”
What Are The Benefits of Using CPAP Machines
CPAP therapy is used to treat most sleep apnea because it offers its users a full range of benefits. These include but are not limited to:
- Wake Up Feeling Refreshed – For most sleep apnea users, one of the first benefits they notice is that they feel as if they have actually gotten a full night’s sleep. This feature alone is what makes CPAP machines so popular among sleep apnea patients.
- Reduces Snoring – The air pressure keeps your airways from closing at night, thus reducing snoring. This benefit can be useful for both the CPAP user and their bed partner.
- Increases Concentration – If left untreated, sleep apnea can damage brain tissue. As a result of this, many people find it difficult to concentrate and may even suffer from memory loss, according to this article from Sleep Education. Idaho Falls CPAP devices can improve your cognitive decision-making processes.
- Stabilizes Moods – Lack of sleep can cause irritability and mood swings. Severe sleep apnea has also been known to cause depression in some people. Taking back control of your sleep with a CPAP will allow you to sleep better every night, which will assist in emotional stability.
- Promotes Overall Health – Since sleep apnea is associated with heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, combating it with the use of a CPAP machine (or any sleep apnea machine) will improve your overall health.
Should You Consider Getting A CPAP Machine?
Before you start CPAP treatment, it’s best to first speak with your doctor and a sleep study specialist about getting a sleep study done. Without a sleep study evaluation, we won’t have an overall picture of how mild or severe your sleep apnea may be.
Once the sleep assessment is complete, we will prescribe a specific treatment plan to help you reduce your sleep apnea, snoring, etc. In some cases, lifestyle changes and medication are required to treat sleep apnea, and a CPAP may or may not be necessary. Most people who get an Idaho Falls CPAP machine suffer from one of the following:
- Snoring – Snoring is usually the first sign that obstructive sleep apnea may be close at hand if it’s not already present. Loud snoring can prevent you from getting a full night’s sleep as well as your partner.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea – CPAP machines are most commonly used to treat mild to severe sleep apnea. Patients who have tried CPAPs before and had little to no success should speak with a professional about trying a BiPAP or APAP machine.
- Upper Airways Resistance Syndrome (UARS) – Considered to be the stage between mild snoring and sleep apnea. UARS occurs when your airway diameter decreases in size due to loose tissue. If left untreated, UARS almost always will develop into mild or severe sleep apnea.
Purchasing a CPAP machine and CPAP supplies in Idaho Falls isn’t expensive, and some insurances will even cover all or some of the costs associated with the device. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a sleep study specialist about your sleep habits, contact Comfort Sleep Solutions today.