How To Buy A Cpap Machine
Buying and setting up a CPAP machine is unlike most purchases you have made before. To begin with, sellers will require a prescription from your doctor or specialist before allowing you to make a purchase. Once you have bought your machine, you will need to set it up with the correct pressure, purchase and attach the required accessories, and possibly communicate with your insurer for a reimbursement.
Prescription RequiredCPAP machines are a medical device and require a formal prescription from your doctor or your sleep specialist. If you purchase your CPAP machine from a brick-and-mortar store, they will accept your prescription in much the same way as a pharmacist does for medication. Buying online is only slightly more complex, with most sellers requiring you to upload your prescription before making a purchase. Many retailers allow you to do this online, or via fax. Given the wider selection and better prices available online, this extra step is worthwhile.
Doctors RecommendationsJust as you would not casually change your doctors prescription for medication, its important to adhere to recommendations your doctor has made about your sleep apnea treatment. CPAP machines are right for most PAP users, but your doctor may steer you towards a BiPAP or APAP machine depending on your needs. If your doctor has advised that you need an air pressure setting above 20 cm H2O, its also critical to ensure you purchase a machine capable of functioning in this range.
Whats The Difference Between Cpap Apap And Bipap Machines
Other types of breathing machines include APAP and BiPAP devices. Heres how they differ:
- CPAP device. This device is programmed to produce pressurized air at one steady air pressure level. To change the air pressure, you have to reset the devices settings.
- APAP machine. This kind checks your breathing throughout the night. It automatically adjusts the air pressure to compensate for changes in your sleep position or medications that may have changed your breathing.
- BiPAP . This device has two pressure settings, one pressure for inhaling and a lower pressure for exhaling. Its used for individuals who cant tolerate CPAP machines or have elevated carbon dioxide levels in their blood. BiPAP devices can also come with a backup respiratory rate for patients who have central sleep apnea. The backup respiratory rate ensures the person breathes, as the main problem with central sleep apnea is initiating breath.
As with many types of treatments, there are benefits and drawbacks associated with the use of a CPAP machine. Here are a few of the known pros and cons.
Lifestyle Treatments For Sleep Apnea
For mild cases of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes may be enough to treat the issue. Your doctor will let you know if thats the right starting point. But even if you are prescribed a medical treatment, the following changes can help reduce your sleep apnea episodes and improve your sleep.
Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can have an enormous impact. While it is usually not a total cure, it can reduce the number of breathing episodes you experience, reduce your blood pressure, and decrease daytime sleepiness. Even a small amount of weight loss can open up your throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms.
Exercise. Even when exercise does not lead to weight loss, it can decrease your sleep apnea breathing episodes and improve your alertness and energy during the day. Aerobic exercise, resistance training, and yoga are all good choices for strengthening the muscles in your airways and improving breathing.
Sleep on your side. Lying on your back is the worst position for sleep apnea, as it causes the jaw, tongue, and other soft tissues to drop back toward the throat, narrowing your airway. Sleeping on your stomach isnt much better, since lying face down or twisting your head to the side both obstruct breathing. Lying on your side, on the other hand, helps keep your airway open. If you find side sleeping uncomfortable or you tend to roll on to your back after youre asleep, countered side pillows or body pillows may help.
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Do Cpap Machines Come With Warranties
Almost all CPAP machines come with a warranty. Most are 2-year warranties, though some manufacturers provide a 3-year or 5-year warranty for their products. Depending on your warrantys terms, you may be required to ship your defective machine in for inspection before a replacement machine is sent to you. Other manufacturers allow for immediate replacement, which prevents you from going without your machine during the inspection process.
Arriving To A Glowing Tent
When our glamping weekend arrived, my children were excited for the change of scene and for time with their friends. The drive to the campsite was more than 5 hours long and we arrived in absolute darkness. After clambering through the undergrowth, we were delighted to see our canvas tent beautifully assembled and lit up from within by 2 bedside lamps that had been turned on in advance.
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Size Weight And Portability
Make sure to check the size, dimensions, and weight of your CPAP machine if you travel frequently because a bulky and heavy machine will not be portable. Some machines are bigger but lightweight, which may take up storage or luggage space but are still easier to carry, while others are travel-friendly and smaller in size, like the Philips DreamStation Go Auto Travel CPAP Machine with Bluetooth on our list. Make sure to also check that your machine is compatible with a range of plug-in adapters, or have a portable battery option because these features come in handy during traveling.
How To Choose Your Cpap Mask
The key to using CPAP therapy successfully is a good mask fit. Your mask needs to be comfortable. When youre choosing a mask, pick one that feels comfortable as soon as you put it on. Remember: it takes time to get used to wearing any mask for an extended period of time.
There are several kinds of CPAP mask on the market:
- nasal mask
- masks for children
To figure out which type of mask is right for you, ask yourself these questions:
- Can I breathe through my nose or do I breathe through my mouth? If you breathe through your mouth, a full face mask or chin strap may be better.
- Am I claustrophobic? If so, nasal pillows may suit you better.
- Can I handle something inside my nose? If not, a nasal mask would be better.
Your Sleep Is Worsened By Cpap Problems
Unfortunately, CPAP can introduce its own set of problems. Without support, these issues can make it hard to adjust to therapy.
Some people may struggle with the fit of their CPAP mask. If it is not properly sized or adjusted, it can leak or cause pain, marks on the face, and ulcers or sores. Others may find breathing against the pressure uncomfortable as well.
Finding the right mask takes a little guidance from the equipment supplier. There are a lot of options, including nasal pillows, nasal masks, and full-face masks.
The humidity and temperature of the air may need to be adjusted to improve comfort. Nasal congestion or blockage may lead to mouth breathing and dry mouth. Too much pressure can cause you to swallow air.
These issues may make it difficult to fall asleep and sleep soundly. If you feel upset or frustrated, reach out to your provider for support and guidance.
Your Cpap Pressure Needs Adjusting
You may not get the full benefit of your treatment if your CPAP settings are incorrect. These settings are ordered by your physician who has monitored your breathing. Your settings may be adjusted at your follow-up, especially if your device was set to default.
If the apnea-hypopnea index , a measurement of how often your breathing stops, goes above 5 events per hour, the pressure setting should be changed. Ideally, the goal is to get this number as low as possible.
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Main Differences Between Epap And Cpap
Other than the three disparities discussed above, the table below explains the difference between the two sleep support devices.
|Does not need serious maintenance||Requires routine cleaning and maintenance|
|Less effective for people who breathe through their mouth||More effective for people who breathe through their mouth|
Learn About Sleep Apnea And The Many Solutions
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder that affects over 1 in 4 Canadian adults. If left untreated, OSA can cause daytime drowsiness, lead to weight gain, increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, and negatively impact your mental health and well-being. Fortunately, there are treatment options available that dramatically reduce or eliminate these negative outcomes.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
Many patients with documented sleep apnea require more than conservative therapy. Continuous positive airway pressure is the most consistently successful and extensively studied treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP machines contain a fan that blows air under pressure into the nostrils. The airflow acts as a pneumatic splint that keeps the pharyngeal airway open . CPAP is not curative, and patients must use the mask whenever they sleep. A recent systematic review concluded that CPAP therapy improves quality of sleep and reduces problems of excessive daytime sleepiness in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.8 Other studies9,10 have shown that CPAP therapy improves mood and functional status in patients with sleep apnea, and decreases the incidence of motor vehicle crashes in these patients.
How Long Do Cpap Machines Last
Most CPAP machines last 3 to 5 years before they must be replaced. Some machines have longer or shorter lifespans depending on the quality of their construction and the durability of any integrated accessories. Components like hoses usually need replacing at some point during the machines lifespan. You can help your CPAP machine last longer by using only compatible external accessories, as well as cleaning it regularly and correctly.
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What Is Cpap Therapy
CPAP therapy is the leading treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP therapy keeps your airway open by gently providing air through a mask you wear while you sleep. This splints the airway open and eliminates the breathing pauses caused by sleep apnea. When you sleep with a CPAP machine, you will no longer snore or make choking noises in your sleep. You will be able to sleep through the night without your body waking up from a lack of oxygen.
When you use CPAP each night, you can prevent or may even reverse serious health problems linked to sleep apnea such as heart disease and stroke. Your memory and mood may also improve. The quality of your sleep will improve, which, for some people, means you will feel more rested and alert during the daytime. Your partner might even sleep better because you will stop snoring.
A CPAP system is a small air compressor with flexible tubing and a mask. Most machines are about the size of a tissue box, lightweight and relatively quiet. You can keep the CPAP machine on your nightstand or at the side of your bed.
The tubing connects the CPAP machine to your mask. The tubing is long enough to allow you to move around or turn over in your bed.
CPAP is a lifestyle change. It works best when used all night, every night. You also should use CPAP when you are napping. Just one night without treatment can have a negative impact on your blood pressure. Your body will feel better the more you use CPAP.
Cpap Can Dramatically Improve Quality Of Life
Green thinks CPAP machines get a bad rap.
But, many of my happiest patients are people like Patrick, she said.
Some say if they had to race out of their homes during a fire, the first thing theyd grab would be their CPAP machine.
The CPAP makes that much of a difference in their quality of life, she said.
Some people worry about their bed partner. But the partner is usually thrilled to get rid of the snoring, she said.
Gaertner said neither he nor his wife have had any trouble getting used to the CPAP. Hes overjoyed to be sleeping well, loves his doctors and encourages anyone who is struggling to speak up.
If you feel like youre sleeping like crap, go talk to your doctor, he said.
Now that Gaertner has more energy, Wilk is helping him find time for more exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
This is changing my life. I was having to use sleeping pills every night. I dont need anything and I have a little app on my phone that gives me results. I sleep soundly every night. Im a lot more alert. Im not dragging anymore. Im going on more mid-day walks.
Its been great.
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Diagnosing And Treating Sleep Apnea For Better Health
Its important to treat sleep apnea, because it can have long-term consequences for your health. While there have been some high-profile deaths linked to sleep apneasuch as with Judge Antonin Scalia Jun says that the true risk is from damage done over time.
Obstructive sleep apnea can range from mild to severe, based on a measurement system called the apnea-hypopnea index . The AHI measures the number of breathing pauses that you experience per hour that you sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea is classified by severity:
- Severe obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is greater than 30
- Moderate obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is between 15 and 30
- Mild obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is between 5 and 15
Johns Hopkins Home Care
We provide high quality, individualized care for patients of all ages where you feel most comfortable your home or community. Our services and equipment are designed to help you regain and retain a level of independence.
Whether or not you need treatment for sleep apnea depends on its severity, whether or not you have symptoms such as sleepiness and other health conditions. For example, if you have risk factors for heart disease, your doctor might opt to treat you even for mild sleep apnea. On the other hand, if you have a severe case of sleep apnea, your doctor might insist on treatment even if youre not sleepy.
Not very relaxing, right? Luckily, its treatable.
Benefits Of Cpap For Sleep Apnea
Wilk immediately recommended that Gaertner use a device that helps patients keep breathing overnight. Its called a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine or a CPAP. Patients strap a mask over their mouths and noses and the CPAP delivers steady air pressure.
Some people find CPAPs awkward and uncomfortable. And, before trying the CPAP, Gaertner had his doubts about using a device to help him breathe at night for the rest of his life.
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How Should Your Cpap Mask Fit On Your Head
- The top of the mask should be at the bridge of your nose.
- The bottom of the mask should be about halfway between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip.
- The edge of the mask should be close to the sides of your nose without actually touching it.
- The smallest mask that fits is usually the best choice.
- Its okay if a little air leaks from the mask, as long as its not blowing into your eyes.
- You shouldnt have to pull the headgear very tightly to control leaks.
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
Wilk thought Gaertner might need additional help beyond the CPAP and referred his patient to Dr. Katherine Green, an expert on sleep apnea and medical director of the Sleep Medicine Clinic at University of Colorado Hospital.
Green worked closely with Gaertner, but since he did so well with his CPAP, she recommended against any surgery on his tonsils for now.
Green said sleep apnea is a very common condition and most people are not getting the help they need.
As many as 80-to-90% of people with sleep apnea are still undiagnosed, Green said.
Among children, enlarged tonsils are the leading cause of sleep apnea. For adults, there can be additional causes.
Since sleep tests no longer require patients to spend a night in a sleep lab and can easily be done at home, Green urges anyone who is feeling exhausted to seek help. Other symptoms related to apnea include snoring, high blood pressure and obesity.
The most classic symptom is a partner complaining about snoring. If a patient wakes up gasping, that can be a sign too. Daytime sleepiness is a big one, as is waking up and still being tried, Green said.
She also said morning headaches can be a sign of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea linked to high blood pressure and heart problems
While sleep apnea can make people feel lousy, it can also be quite dangerous for heart health.
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A Quick Comparison Of Cpap Vs Bipap Vs Apap:
CPAP: CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and is set at one specific pressure setting between 4 and 20, and that pressure is used at all times. If you actually need more or less pressure during the night, the CPAP is not able to adjust.
BiPAP: A BiPAP, also known as a BiLevel machine, is an acronym that stands for BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure and operates at pressure settings between 4 and 25. They are unique in that they have two pressure settingsone for inhale and one for exhale.
BiPAP machines are typically used to treat Central Sleep Apnea, as they can prompt breathing. This is also helpful for other conditions affecting the lungs, such as COPD. They can also be set at a pressure setting higher than 20 if it is required.
APAP: APAP stands for Automatic Positive Airway Pressure and will adjust the pressure on a breath-by-breath basis. APAP machines operate in the same range of pressures between 4 and 20, but unlike CPAP machines, they can automatically choose the right pressure setting based on your breathing needs. This allows for much better flexibility and is largely why APAP machines are so popular today.