How Do I Choose a CPAP Machine?

There are so many options to choose from when you’re diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  Your Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is at the center of your therapy, but with so many different types of machines it can be difficult to know where to start.  Here is a quick guide to help you narrow down your options and get going with your therapy.  Remember, sticking with your therapy can have numerous health benefits such as a better mood and waking, decreased risk of health complications, and even weight loss.

CPAP Machines

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines are the original machine and first effective treatment used to treat OSA.  They work by pumping pressurized air from your machine to your mask, keeping your airway open and eliminating the instances of apneas, where you actually stop breathing.  CPAP machines have one, continuous pressure setting that is set by a doctor.  Because of the single pressure setting, these machines have the same setting breathing in and breathing out, which some people find irritating while exhaling.  CPAP machines are great for those with a mild or manageable form of OSA, as with a lower pressure setting you won’t be uncomfortable during exhalation.

BiPAP Machines

Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure machines were the first machine to utilize two pressure settings to treat OSA.  These machines have two fixed settings that are set by your doctor, one while you inhale and one while you exhale.  These settings allow slightly more comfort while exhaling if you are in need of a higher pressure setting, as you eliminate the feeling of yourself needing to fight with your therapy to exhale.  Because of this, BiPAP machines are great for people with a higher prescribed pressure to sleep more soundly.

APAP Machines

Automatic Positive Airway Pressure machines are the newest machine available for treating OSA.  Similarly to BiPAP machines, APAP machines have two different pressure settings, but APAP machines can actually automatically adjust these while you sleep.  These machines are actually capable of recognizing your unique therapy needs, able to change on a breath by breath basis to ensure you are getting the most effective therapy possible.  APAP machines are more often the machine of choice for those with severe OSA, as a high exhalation pressure is not a cause of discomfort.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to the types of CPAP machines, but hopefully you now have a better idea of some of your options. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Can I Travel With My CPAP Equipment?

Everyone lives a busy life nowadays.  Between working full time, raising a family, and trying to keep yourself happy and in good shape, it can be very difficult to keep your Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy as a priority.  Many people allow their therapy to slip by the wayside, believing that a few missed nights here and there are not a big deal.  Unfortunately, allowing this to become a habit can actually eliminate many of the benefits of your CPAP therapy.  It is important to keep up with your therapy in order to keep your Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) under control, and in the last few years, CPAP equipment has really become flexible, even when traveling.

Possibly the greatest achievement of the CPAP industry over the last few years is the reduction in machine size.  Where CPAP machines used to require your entire bedside table top, many now are as big as your hand.  The reduction in space means your machine will take up less room in your carry on bag, allowing an ease of travel that hasn’t always been possible.  Alongside this, nearly all CPAP machines are compliant with FAA regulations, meaning they can travel with you as easy as your laptop.  Long distance travel is no longer an issue with CPAP therapy, helping keep your OSA under control and you working towards better health.

There are a number of CPAP machines and accessories made exclusively for travel.  Machines like the APEX XT Fit and the Z1 Auto Travel machine have been designed with travel in mind.  Their small design is about as big as your hand, and many options feature battery or cordless options for when you’re on the go.  If you’re the outdoorsy type, check out our different power options.  There are numerous cords and battery options that allow you to power your CPAP machine from your car, RV, or boat, and some battery packs allow you to venture out to wherever you’d like even if there are no plugs for miles.  Wherever you choose to go, make sure you keep your therapy in mind.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to the products available to help you travel, but hopefully you now have a better idea of some of your options. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

What is Sleep Apnea and what are the Symptoms?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects approximately 3 million Americans and has recently taken the stage as a more recognized medical issue.  OSA is characterized by the instances of apneas, when you actually stop breathing while sleeping.  This occurs because of a collapse of the soft tissue of your airway, actually eliminating the ability to breathe.  When these apneas occur, your body actually wakes you up in order to start you breathing again.  OSA sounds scary, and it really is if it is left untreated.  Luckily, there are quite a few signs that you could be suffering from sleep apnea, allowing clues for you to go see your doctor to get on your path to treatment.

One of the most obvious symptoms of OSA is the occurrence of these apneas.  Your partner may actually be able to notice these if they are near while you are sleeping.  You can notice them too; if you ever find yourself jolted awake, it could be your body waking you up to restart respiration.  Another very common symptom is loud snoring.  Again, your partner may complain of this and if you experience snoring with any other symptoms it is worth it to take a trip to a doctor.

There are plenty of other symptoms to look out for.  Because OSA greatly affects your quality of sleep, many of the symptoms are related.  Often, those with untreated OSA find themselves feeling tired throughout the day.  Along with this, you could experience irritability or mood swings due to your body not getting the deep sleep it needs.  Those with undiagnosed sleep apnea can even have poor job performance in more severe cases.  Even if these symptoms don’t seem like the end of the world, untreated OSA has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and more severe high blood pressure.  Because of this, it is very important that you see a doctor or schedule a sleep test so you can begin treatment.  Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment is the most effective method of managing your OSA and is shown to help eliminate all of the aforementioned symptoms.  You will find yourself more alert, happier, and you may even lose a few pounds along the way.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to OSA or it’s symptoms, but hopefully you now have a better idea of some symptoms. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

What Type of Mask is Right for Me?

There are many options to choose from when going through Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment.  One of them, arguably the most important, is what kind of mask to wear.  Your mask delivers your pressurized therapy air from your machine into your airway.  For this reason, it’s very important that you choose a mask that fits your individual preferences, taking into account how you breathe and your comfort choices to provide a smooth transition into therapy.

Full Face Mask

Psyche Sleep Pillow s3ds_3

Full face CPAP masks are the most full coverage mask option.  They cover both your nose and mouth and are ideal for patients who breathe from both while sleeping.  Many users of full face masks often toss and turn much more in their sleep, finding that the larger contact area of the mask helps keep it in place better throughout the night.  Also noteworthy, these masks are a great option for men with facial hair, as their greater surface area helps keep your mask snug even with a mustache or beard.

Nasal Mask

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Nasal CPAP masks are essentially a smaller version of a full face mask, however they only cover the nose.  These masks are great for those who breathe solely through their nose while sleeping, and are still a good option if you toss and turn as the triangle shape helps keep your mask in place.  These masks can be used in conjunction with a chin strap in order to ensure minimal pressure leakage if your mouth happens to open during the night.

Nasal Pillow Mask

Nasal Pillow Mask

Nasal pillow masks are the smallest mask option.  They insert two soft pillows at the base of the nostrils to deliver your therapy.  These masks have a very light footprint and are great for people who stay relatively still while sleeping, as well as those who have found the larger mask options to be too intrusive on their comfort level.  Nasal pillow masks can also be used alongside a chin strap to eliminate pressure leakage through the mouth.

Oral Mask

oralmask

Oral masks are a relatively new design that inserts into the mouth between the lips and the teeth.  These masks have helped fill the void for users who breath solely through the mouth while sleeping, where previously these users would need to purchase a full face mask even if they didn’t breath through the nose at night.  Oral masks are held sturdily in place thanks to the way they fit around the lip and are a good option for those who find straps too near their eyes to be uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to your CPAP mask options out there, but hopefully you now have a better idea of your choices. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

How Does CPAP Therapy Work?

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy has been around since the 1980s, helping millions of americans suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.  Starting with work done by Dr. Colin Sullivan, CPAP treatment was founded on the idea that pushing air into the trachea would eliminate the instances of airway closure, or apneas, and provide an effective method of controlling OSA.  With the pioneering work of Dr. Sullivan, CPAP therapy grew into the leading treatment for OSA, now with a multitude of different manufacturing companies serving the wide range of clients.

Obstructive sleep apnea required a treatment to be able to keep the airway open in a way that was effective, but as minimally invasive as possible in order to allow patients to sleep soundly without interruption.  CPAP therapy filled this void and was able to provide a non invasive solution by pushing pressurized air to keep your airway open throughout the night.  This pressure is set by your doctor, and it changes depending on the severity of your OSA.  With more severe forms, greater air pressure is required to open up the airway.  Your CPAP machine uses electricity to pressurize your therapy, sending it from the machine, through your tubing, and into your mask for delivery.  

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to your CPAP therapy and its inner workings, but hopefully you now have a better idea of the basics. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

What are the Parts of My CPAP Equipment?

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are the proven most effective way of treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  With all of the different options, though, it can get confusing what all of these different parts due, so we’ll try to walk you through some of the basics.  

The most obvious part of your CPAP equipment setup is the machine itself.  These machines come in a variety of types.  All of these machines have the purpose of delivering pressurized air to your airway in order to prevent the instance of apneas, where your throat closes and you stop breathing during sleep.  CPAP machines deliver one pressure while BIPAP and APAP have multiple pressure settings that can help those with more severe OSA.  You can read more about these machine types here.  Machines also contain filters.  These small, usually white pads fit into your machine and filter the air intake to ensure cleaner therapy.  They need to be changed in order to ensure they are doing their job to eliminate particles that could cause you irritation.

Your machine delivers air through a series of tubing.  The tubing attaches at one end to your machine, and at the other on your mask.  Masks fit over your nose, mouth, or both and form a tight seal to ensure you get your prescribed therapy pressure.  Like machines, there are a few different types of masks to choose from.  Full face masks are triangular in shape and fit over your nose and mouth.  They’re a great option for people who breathe from both their nose and mouth while sleeping.  Nasal masks are a smaller triangle that fit only over your nose.  Even smaller are nasal pillow masks that fit on your nostrils.  Each of these masks is fully effective at delivering CPAP therapy, but everyone has their own preferences about which works best for them.  You can read more about which mask might work best for you here.

Your mask is held on by a set of headgear.  The headgear clips onto your mask and then fits around the head to hold it firmly in place even if you toss and turn.  Headgear is often adjustable, so find a comfortable fit that’s snug, but not too tight.  You also may choose to use a chin strap if using a nasal or nasal pillow mask.  These will help keep your mouth closed while resting in order to prevent air leakage.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to complex CPAP equipment, but hopefully you now have a better idea of the basics. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

How Do I Make My CPAP More Comfortable?

Many CPAP users often have a hard time complying with their CPAP therapy due to some discomfort that can result from the different components.  Luckily, there are a plethora of products available to help minimize irritation caused from your mask or headgear.  The first step to ensuring comfort in your CPAP experience is to choose a mask that fits you well.  Masks typically come with a few different sizes of cushions, allowing you to pick the one that best fits your facial contours.  By choosing the correct size, you can ensure minimal irritation as your mask will move with you more seamlessly during the night.

One of the easiest products you can purchase to help rid yourself of any discomfort is a mask liner.  These are great for anyone feeling uncomfortable where their mask rests on their face.  By providing a barrier from the mask, mask liners can help reduce irritation and wick away any moisture buildup.  Many mask liners are not reusable, but there have been some more recent models that are completely reusable, a great option for users who find mask liners beneficial.  A slightly different model of liner is a mask pad, a reusable pad that rests on your nasal bridge to form a barrier between your mask and nose.  These pads are often made from a gel base that besides providing comfort, can actually help create a stronger seal with your mask.

If you’re finding that your mask is perfectly comfortable, there may be some comfort issues with your headgear.  Headgear has expanded in the past few years, providing a few different types of fit to try to minimize pressure points.  However, plastic joints or other parts can still cause some discomfort.  A great way to combat these plastic components is with a wrap that fits around the arms of your headgear, the portion between where it connects to the mask, often running across your cheek.  These wraps can get rid of any uncomfortable rubbing that your headgear can cause and help you rest easier.  All of these options are great to help you comply with your CPAP therapy.  Remember, down the line there are many complications that can occur related to untreated OSA, so it’s always a good idea to use your CPAP equipment every night.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to CPAP comfort, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what products may be of use to you. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has been on the rise in the last few years, now with over 200,000 new cases diagnosed every year.  But being as common as it is, many people suffering from sleep apnea don’t even realize they have it!  One of the most important early symptoms to look out for is excessive snoring while asleep.  Snoring could just be snoring of course, but OSA can cause this symptom due to the partial blockage of airflow through your windpipe, causing loud and persistent snoring that can disturb you and your partner.  Following this, if is very common to find yourself woken suddenly at night due to the instance of apneas, where you actually stop breathing due to airway blockage.  These instances could just feel like waking for whatever reason, or it could be more sudden where you find yourself gasping for air.  These are some of the earliest things to look out for in order to get yourself on the road to treatment.

If your OSA goes untreated for a more prolonged period of time, your symptoms could become much more serious.  Due to these mini waking periods, even if you get what felt like a full night sleep many sufferers find themselves exhausted throughout the day.  This can lead to irritability, mood swings, and a decrease in productivity, all of which can affect your relationships and job performance.  Waking, you could experience a sore throat, dryness of the mouth, or headaches, all of which can have you starting off the day on the wrong side of the bed.

Further down the line, sleep apnea has actually been linked to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease when it goes untreated.  If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, it is best to go see a doctor or get a sleep test done to avoid any further complications.  Treatments like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) have been shown as the most effective means of controlling your OSA and reducing the risk of severe symptoms down the line.

 

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what symptoms to look out for. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Featured Product: ResMed AirStart 10 CPAP Machine

ResMed has launched it’s newest addition to its AirSense line over the Labor Day weekend – the AirStart 10 CPAP machine.  This machine boasts all of the comfort and design prowess that the AirSense line has come to be known for, with a number of great features that make this machine a great choice for virtually any user.

Heated Humidifier

The HumidAir Heated Humidification system is integrated into the AirStart machine.  Heated humidifiers actually heat the water in your humidifier chamber, allowing it to vaporize and be picked up more easily when your therapy air streams over it.  This type of humidification is great for users living in dry climates or those who suffer long, cold winters.  Heated humidifiers offer added comfort in the CPAP world.

Simplified Design

The AirStart 10 prides itself on being a more intuitive machine with fewer unnecessary bells and whistles than some counterparts.  It has a small footprint, making it a great travel machine option, and a less complicated set up.  Fewer complicated menus make this machine more streamlined in design and in use, simplifying your therapy and letting you get right down to use without having to worry.

EPR

Expiratory pressure relief is a feature that really looks to add comfort to the AirStart 10.  This is a simpler version of what BiPAP and APAP machines do; it allows a lower pressure to exist during exhalation, making the machine easier and more natural feeling.  It can also help eliminate any disturbances your machine can cause as some users are woken up by the high exhalation pressures some CPAP machines have.

AirView Technology

Many machines now allow you to track your therapy data and the AirStart 10 is no exception.  Using an SD card that fits into your machine, your therapy data can be recorded and sent to ResMed’s AirView system.  This allows you and your doctor to be able to pull up the data for review and see if your prescribed pressure is working properly or if adjustments are needed.

 

Overall, the AirStart 10 is designed with the user in mind.  It was built with a number of desired features that nearly all CPAP users are looking for, and at a fraction of the cost of auto machines it’s not hard to see why this machine has been so long awaited.  Check it out on our website here.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to the AirStart 10, but hopefully you now have a better idea of if it will work for you. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Will a Nasal or Nasal Pillow Mask Work Better for Me?

When diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), many people can become overwhelmed at the number of choices they need to narrow down to effectively begin continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment.  One of the most important pieces of equipment you will need to choose is what type of CPAP mask would work best for you.  Your CPAP mask is the channel through which your pressurized therapy air is delivered into your airway, preventing apneas from occurring and keeping you breathing smoothly during the night.  There are many types of CPAP masks, but this post will focus on the nasal and nasal pillow masks.

Nasal
Nasal Mask

Both the nasal and nasal pillow CPAP masks deliver your therapy air through the nose exclusively.  These masks are ideal for people who breathe through their nose a majority of the time while sleeping.  However, even if you breathe through your mouth for a small portion of the time, these masks can be used in conjunction with a chin strap, an elastic strap that attaches to your mask and fits under your jaw to help keep your mouth closed.  Chin straps can be an important feature of these nasal oriented masks in order to ensure that your therapy is effective; if your mouth is open, the pressurized air can’t work to keep your airway open!

Nasal Pillow Mask
Nasal Pillow Mask

The differences between these masks are noticeable in their design.  Nasal masks are similar in design to a full face mask but smaller, with a triangle shape that covers the entire nose.  This can have a bulkier feel that some people find uncomfortable, however, it also provides a very stable seal that works well for people who move around a lot while sleeping.  Nasal pillow masks consist of a sleeker design, with two nasal pillows that insert into the nostril opening.  This is a more minimal design that only covers the bottom of the nose and the space between your nose and mouth.  The less intrusive design is ideal for those who stay relatively still while sleeping, as the smaller design can be more easily dislodged from tossing and turning.  Overall, this really comes down to personal comfort preference.  Both masks are completely functional at delivering your CPAP therapy, so whatever you find more comfortable should work perfectly!

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to the nasal masks, but hopefully you now have a better idea of if it will work for you. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.