A continuous positive airway pressure (or CPAP) machine is used to treat people with sleep apnea disorder. CPAP is often used to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea which can cause interruptions in your breathing. This happens when your airways briefly collapse, or something temporarily blocks them. When patients use a CPAP machine, a steady flow of pressurized air flows into their nose and mouth as they sleep. This keeps your airways open and allows you to breathe without trouble.
A CPAP uses a compressor (or motor) that generates a continuous flow of pressurized air. The air travels in front of the machine through an air filter into a flexible tube. This tube delivers purified air into a mask that is sealed around your nose or mouth.
For patients who struggle with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the airstream from the CPAP machine can push against any blockages opening your airways so your lungs can receive plenty of oxygen. Without this disruption of oxygen, your breathing doesn’t pause. As a result, you do not repeatedly wake up to resume normal breathing, and your brain is never deprived of the oxygen it needs to function.
Are there different kinds of CPAP Machines?
All CPAP machines have the same essential components such as a motor housed in a unit, a mask, a tube that connects the unit to the mask, a frame that includes headgear, elbow pieces that act as joints, and straps that allow you to customize the fit of the device.
CPAP Machines differ slightly in the type of masks they use. The kind of mask you wear will depend on your breathing habits and your sleep preference based on comfort. The best way to tell which type of mask you should wear is to work with a sleep specialist like the experts at The Sleep Center at Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine, P.C. We can schedule a sleep study and help you find the best mask for your optimal sleep and personal comfort. Sleep mask options include
Nasal Mask: This cushioned mask that covers your whole nose can provide a high-pressure air stream and is ideal for those who move around frequently in their sleep.
Nasal Pillow Mask: This mask has a cushion that caps over your nostril area and sometimes has prongs that can fit into your nostrils. This mask allows you to wear glasses and is more comfortable for facial hair patients.
Full Mask: The full mask is what most people think of when they think of CPAP machines. This triangle-shaped mask covers your mouth and nose and is most commonly prescribed if you breathe through your mouth when you sleep or have a nasal blockage.
What are the benefits of a CPAP Machine?
Although many people are initially resistant to using a CPAP machine, the benefits are well-documented, and most patients adjust quickly and reap the benefits of a whole night’s sleep. CPAP machines prevent breathing interruptions that are the hallmark of sleep apnea and allow patients a continuous oxygen supply. With long-term use, CPAP machines can improve your ability to sleep without waking up. In addition, they can lower your risk of a stroke, heart attack, or other cardiovascular events and help lower your blood pressure, reduce daytime drowsiness, and reduce blood glucose and help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
How Do I Know If A CPAP Machine Is Right For Me?
The experts at The Sleep Center at Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine, P.C. specialize in sleep disorders. If you suspect you might have a sleep issue, contact us today and schedule a consultation. We can help you determine if a sleep study is right for you and answer any questions you might have about sleep apnea or other sleep-related conditions. We all function at our best after a good night’s sleep, and we want you to feel your best every day. Contact us today to get started!