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.


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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What are treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Therapy Overview

Many patients who use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy to treat their obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) often wonder what other alternatives exist to treat the disease.  You might be surprised to find out that there are a variety of treatments available, spanning the spectrum from invasive to completely non-invasive.  Each type of treatment and therapy has its own pros and cons, and the best type of therapy often depends on the patient’s individual needs and preferences.

CPAP Therapy

Chances are, if you find yourself on this blog, you are pretty familiar with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea.  Pressurized air is delivered through the patient’s mouth to their airway passages from an external machine.  Tubing connects the machine and the wearable mask, and the patient has assistance in the form of pressurized air to push through any blockages that may develop in the airway passages, also known as a hypopnea.  Pros include the non-invasive method of therapy and proven benefits of long term use, but often patients have trouble successfully adopting their new treatment into their lifestyle on a permanent basis.


Oral Appliance

A popular trend in the obstructive sleep apnea world is to recommend Oral Appliances for treatment instead of traditional CPAP therapy.  The oral appliance functions similarly to a mouth guard and patients undergo a fitting process to ensure an optimal fit.  The oral appliance manually slides the jaw forward, and removes any blockages or hypopneas that occur due to obstructive sleep apnea.  Pros include the lifetime affordability of the treatment and the non-invasive nature of delivery, but they are said to potentially cause permanent jaw damage among long time users.



The most extreme of the various treatment options, surgery is mostly reserved for patients who can’t use either CPAP therapy or an Oral Appliance due to previously existing medical conditions.  The surgery to correct Obstructive Sleep Apnea can take several forms, but the main goal is to remove tissue at the back of the throat.  Technically named, “uvulopalatopharyngoplasty” (UPPP), the surgery seeks to widen the airway passage, deter some muscle action to improve the openness of the throat, and promote movement of the soft palate. Benefits of this procedure include a higher rate of certainty of success, but it is often costly and incredibly invasive, requiring many doctor visits.  Even then, the surgery’s success is not guaranteed and many patients need to return to CPAP therapy in order to continue treatment.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of how to benefit the most from your CPAP therapy and get the best night’s sleep possible. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs and therapy requirements.

Can I Make Travel With CPAP Equipment Easier?

We all know that CPAP equipment can take up quite a bit of space on your bedside table and for those who travel a lot it can be a real hassle taking all of your equipment with you.  It is definitely important, however, to continue with your CPAP therapy even when on the go and there are a few things that you can think about that will help you when you’re on the go.  It may seem like skipping a weekend of therapy here and there is not a huge deal, but discontinuing your therapy even for a night can have adverse effects on your health, so do the best you can to keep up with it!  Anything from taking your travels into account when buying your machine, to purchasing a travel CPAP bag can help you adjust.

transcendThere are many ways that you can make traveling with your CPAP equipment easier.  For starters, if you know you’ll be traveling a lot it’s best to choose your CPAP machine accordingly.  There are tons of travel friendly machines that have qualities like a small design, quiet run, and handy carrying equipment.  Machines like the Z1 Travel CPAP Machine, which weighs under a pound, can be easily packed into a carry on suitcase for easy travel.  Other machines have even more unique qualities like the Transcend EZEX Travel CPAP Machine which has the ability to be worn on the head.  

chargerThere are also a few accessories that can help you travel more easily with your therapy.  Many manufacturers create travel bags for their machines that offer an easy and discreet way of carrying your equipment with you when you’re on the go.  For example, the ResMed S9 and the Respironics PAP travel bag are compatible with a few machines without advertising what you’re carrying.  These bags can either fit inside of your suitcase or be brought onto an airline as a carry on bag so you’re not risking losing your machine with your luggage.  If your travels are taking you out into the wilderness, there is even an option for you!  Some manufacturers like Somnetics have developed a solar charger that can power your CPAP machine overnight!  This means you can charge your machine during the day while hiking and have therapy throughout the night.  Whatever accessories you choose, make sure you make CPAP therapy a priority when on the go.

Final Thoughts

Of course, while the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of the different ways you can travel more easily while continuing CPAP therapy, but it is best to talk to your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at
We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Is My CPAP Machine Working Properly?

Transitioning into CPAP therapy is certainly an adjustment, but when done with a properly working machine, therapy can help reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue as well as eliminate any instances of apneas.  Remember, these apneas often leave you waking throughout the night which can cause sleepiness, dry mouth, and other serious health issues.  If you’ve been using your CPAP therapy for some time and notice a change in your alertness or simply feel like your machine isn’t working as properly as it once did, it’s better to be safe than sorry and talk to your doctor.

AirSense 10 CPAP Machine

If you’re noticing any changes, it’s possible that your machine may need to be recalibrated, especially after long periods of use.  Recalibrating your machine is as easy as bringing it into your doctor’s office or local sleep lab or health clinic and letting them know your concerns.  They’ll likely take your machine and calibrate it to the desired settings to fit your unique therapy needs, allowing you to get back to your restful night’s sleep.

If you feel as though machine calibration did not do the trick, however, it is always possible your therapy needs have changed.  It’s best to talk with your doctor about your concerns and keep an open dialogue about any changes you notice in your sleep habits or state during the day.  This can help to cue them in and keep you feeling your best.  Remember, your CPAP machine is unique to you and keeping it running optimally is the best way to ensure you’re receiving the highest quality therapy possible.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how to ensure your machine is working properly, but it is best to talk to your doctor to sort out any further issues.

If you have any questions, post a comment or feel free to contact at at CPAP Supplies Plus – 877-791-3195.

How Do I Chose A Sleep Apnea Machine?

CPAP vs. Auto-CPAP Machine


If you have been diagnosed just recently with Sleep Apnea, it is not as complicated as it sounds.  There are many options when best trying to choose your care, but when discussing sleep apnea therapy, there is a lively debate in the community as to which machine is superior: the classic continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, or the auto titrating positive airway pressure (autoPAP) machine.  While autoPAP machines are slightly more expensive, the devices can respond to long term therapeutic changes that occur in a patient’s sleep therapy lifecycle.  Some patients prefer one device over the other, and in this article we will discuss the pros and cons of each device as well as some long term trends affecting each machine’s popularity.

CPAP Machines

AirSense 10 Machine
AirSense 10 Machine

Traditional CPAP machines were created to supplement your normal breathing cycles and patterns through tubing and a CPAP mask.  It provides a pressurized stream of air to prevent apneas and hypopneas while sleeping.  Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is unanimously known as the best method to treat sleep apnea, and CPAP machines provide a pre-prescribed set treatment during the night.  Your doctor will have you attend a sleep study, which can indicate whether or not you have sleep apnea.  Before CPAP Supplies Plus/Direct ships your CPAP machine, we will set the machine with your personalized pressure from the sleep study to make sure that you receive the best experience possible.

AutoPAP Machines

ICON Auto Machine
ICON Auto Machine

AutoPAP machines provide the same quality therapy that the original CPAP machine provides, but can adjust to differing levels of pressure needs throughout your sleep.  Advanced technological sensors in the autoPAP machine detect changing needs in your sleep apnea therapy and change the pressure accordingly.  In clinical studies, autoPAP machines deliver more successful patient outcomes and can provide a more streamlined therapeutic experience.

The new trend in the sleep testing industry is to provide patients the comfort of their own home while testing for obstructive sleep apnea.  Home sleep tests, also known as a polysomnography, are heavily favored by most insurance companies due to their ease, reliability, and predictability.  After sleep testing, the data is sent to a doctor specializing in sleep, who then interprets the results.  In the event the patient does have sleep apnea, he or she typically is prescribed an autoPAP machine.  While the machine tends to be slightly more expensive, its dynamic pressure settings make it extremely popular to make sure patients’ changing needs are met over time.  Given changes in the insurance industry, the autoPAP’s popularity will continue to increase due to its ability to respond to changes in patients’ breathing needs.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what the equipment is, but it is best to talk to your Doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

If you have any questions, post a comment or feel free to contact us at CPAP Supplies Plus – 877-791-3195.