Which CPAP Humidifier is Right for Me?

Transitioning into Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy can be challenging.  With so many machines, masks, and parts to choose from it is certainly overwhelming when faced with seemingly endless decisions about the direction of your therapy.  What about a humidifier?  If you’ve found yourself waking with a dry or sore throat after using your CPAP equipment, you may want to consider adding a humidifier to your regimen.  There are a few different types of humidifiers.  Humidifiers either fit into your existing CPAP machine or can be hooked onto it in succession, adding much needed moisture to your therapy air.  Here are a few types to consider:

Passover Humidifiers

Passover humidifiers work by directing your therapy air over a basin of room temperature water to allow moisture to be picked up.  The humidity setting of this set up cannot be adjusted, it is purely dependent on the climate it is in: if your area is colder, less humidity will make its way in, and if it is a warmer area, more humidity will be present.  Because of the non heated nature, many CPAP users find that passover humidifiers work best in warmer, drier areas.

Heated Humidifiers

Heated humidifiers add moisture to your therapy by heating up water and allowing it to easily evaporate and integrate itself into your therapy.  These settings can be adjusted by changing the level of heat going into your humidifier water.  Many of these fit with one or a few specific machines, but there are options for stand alone humidifiers that connect to your machine via tubing and are compatible with a variety of machines.  Due to the adjustable nature of heated humidifiers, they are more versatile and work in a wider range of climates.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource of CPAP humidifiers, but hopefully you now have a better idea of which type may work better 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.

The Basics of CPAP Therapy

When you’ve been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, it might be a little overwhelming seeing the huge amount of choices you have when it comes to your CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy.  When you break it down, though, it’s really not too bad once you have a grasp of the necessary equipment.

Your Machine

ICON Auto Machine
ICON Auto Machine

Your machine is really the core of your CPAP therapy, doing the bulk of the work to help keep your airway open as you rest.  Most machines run off of a traditional AC current where you plug your machine into the wall at home and you’re good to go, but there are a few alternatives.  All machines require filters that are specific to the individual machine or brand of machines and have a pressure setting designated by your doctor.  There are a few different types of machines, and typically the kind you need is determined by your OSA severity and individual preferences:

CPAP MachinesCPAP machines deliver a steady stream of pressurized air to treat your OSA by keeping your airway open while you sleep.  By keeping the airway open, the instances of apneas, where you cease breathing, are virtually eliminated.

BIPAP MachinesBIPAP machines work similarly to CPAP machines with one exception, it uses two pressure settings instead of one.  With the two settings for inhalation and exhalation, some users feel more comfortable and less like they are fighting their machine while exhaling.

APAP MachinesAPAP machines are essentially an evolving machine able to react and change your therapy pressure whenever needed.  They can adjust to variables like your weight loss or gain, sleeping position, or anything else that could change your pressure needs.

Your Mask

maskMuch like your machine, your mask is capable of being individualized to treat your specific preferences.  Your mask in most cases is worn over your nose or mouth and ensures the delivery of your CPAP therapy.  There are a few different kinds of CPAP masks:

Full Face Mask: Full face masks are typically worn over the bottom portion of your face and cover both your nose and mouth, but there are versions which cover the entire face.  These masks are good for those who breathe through their mouth while resting.  

Nasal Mask: Nasal masks are similar to a full face mask, but are worn only covering the nose.  They are ideal for those who breathe exclusively through their nose while sleeping.  These can also be used in tandem with a chin strap to ensure effective therapy delivery.

Nasal Pillow Mask: Nasal pillow masks are worn under the nose and have pillows that fit along your nostrils to form a seal.  They are the most minimally designed masks and can also be used in tandem with a chin strap.

Oral Mask: Oral masks seal outside of the mouth and along the inner lip.  They are good for those who breathe exclusively through their mouth.  It is often suggested that you use a humidifier if using an oral mask to minimize any discomfort from airway drying.

Humidifiers

CPAP humidifiers are devices that often fit onto your machine to add moisture to your therapy air.  Because of the pressurized air used in CPAP therapy, some users experience dryness of the air passages that can lead to sore throat or a desire to stop their therapy.  Luckily, humidifiers can help to eliminate any discomfort and create a more natural sleeping experience.  Whether you’d benefit from using a humidifier depends on a few factors like your personal comfort preferences and your location.  To learn more about the types of humidifiers and whether they would be of benefit to you, click here.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of the core items used in CPAP therapy. 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 a CPAP Humidifier and do I need one?

Overview

Most modern Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines that treat sleep apnea offer for option to include a CPAP humidifier. Many first time CPAP users aren’t sure whether or not to purchase the optional humidifier, and often wonder if it’s worth the extra price. In this week’s post, we’ll outline why an individual might benefit from the additional humidifier and how it can increase quality of therapy, as well as increase the probability that you will successfully adopt the new CPAP therapy into your lifestyle permanently and enjoy the benefits to the fullest extent.

Main Header Humidifer

New CPAP users often report discomfort during the transition into CPAP therapy. While some of this discomfort is simply lifestyle adjustment, a majority of the discomfort may be caused by airway passage dryness that can accompany therapy based on your atmospheric and geographical environment. The lack of moisture may result in a sore throat, dry nasal passage, or swelling of the tongue. If you find any of these symptoms to be the case with your CPAP therapy, the inclusion of a humidifier into your treatment plan can help alleviate these symptoms and maintain comfortability throughout the entire night.  As air passes from the machine to the mask, a small amount of moisture is added to the air stream, alloying for a more comfortable breathing dynamic.  All major manufacturers of CPAP machines offer some sort of humidifier that is compatible with their machines, so finding the right one is often very simple.

 

Geography

Patients that live in consistently dryer climates such as areas in the southwestern United States often find the need for a humidifier, as well as cities that experience relatively colder winters that lead to dry air. The moisture that normally acts as a natural lubricant freezes due to the severely cold temperatures, causing the air to irritate your breathing passageways and reduce comfort during your night’s sleep. If this scenario sounds familiar, or you will soon be moving to a colder environment, your best solution is to include an in-home humidifier as well as a CPAP humidifier to combat the negative effects of frigid, dry air and ultimately improve your CPAP experience.
The discomfort is not unique to one type of sleep apnea therapy device, as patients who use CPAP, Auto CPAP, and BiPAP therapy all have reported discomfort based on  geography. Customers might feel compelled to discontinue using their machine but it is important to keep in mind that all of the major manufacturers of CPAP Supplies offer some type of heated humidifier. Whether you own a Resmed, Respironics, Fisher & Paykel, DeVilbiss, or a different brand, you might consider trying a heated humidifier with your present machine.

humidifer 2

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of the whether or not you could personally benefit from a CPAP humidifier in conjunction with your CPAP Machine. 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.