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Article: A Complete Guide for Choosing the Right CPAP Machine

A Complete Guide for Choosing the Right CPAP Machine

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines provide constant airflow during sleep for those suffering from sleep disorders. Choosing the right CPAP machine is key. The wrong machine could keep you up at night if the fit, noise level, or other factors aren’t suited to your needs. Here are some essential features to consider when purchasing a CPAP machine.

What Are The Different Types Of CPAP Machines?

If you are diagnosed with a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, your doctor will prescribe the best type of CPAP machine for your needs. There are three types of machines available:

1. Standard CPAP Machines

This is the most common and prescribed sleep apnea machine. It delivers the required steady air pressure you need to ensure you breathe properly while you are sleeping. This machine is best for those who:

  • Are starting their sleep apnea therapy
  • Only have moderate sleep apnea symptoms
  • Don’t suffer from additional lung or respiratory diseases

2. APAP (Automatic Positive Airway Pressure) Machines

An APAP machine differs from a CPAP machine as it offers varying pressure rates throughout your sleep. The pressure supplied is based on the lowest pressure you need to breathe without obstruction or interruption. An APAP machine is best for those who:

  • Tend to turn and roll around a lot in their sleep
  • Have rising apnea levels during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and lowering levels during other sleep stages
  • Need flexibility with their air pressure settings

3. BiPAP/VPAP (Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure) Machines

The BiPAP machine provides varying air pressure rates for inhalation and exhalation. These machines are best for those who:

  • Have difficulty inhaling and exhaling with the same amount of air pressure
  • Suffer from respiratory health issues like asthma

Your doctor will tell you which machine is right for your needs. In some cases, you might find the machine is not quite right. Often you can use a test/rental system to see which machine is best.

Factors To Consider Before Choosing A CPAP Machine

There are several features available when choosing your CPAP machine. Sleep apnea affects everyone differently. You want to receive the right therapy to keep you comfortable while you sleep and help your breathing. Here are the main factors that impact your CPAP machine:

  • Auto Algorithm: To adjust the machine based on inspiratory flow limitation, snore, and apnea.
  • Pressure relief: To reduce pressure during exhalation.
  • Leak Compensation: To adjust if the mask leaks below the recommended level of 24 litres per minute.
  • Mask On/Off Alert: In case your mask gets knocked out of place:
  • Data Recording: For a review of the improvements to your sleep.
  • Mask Size: For a snug fit.

You also want a CPAP device with less noise to prevent distractions while sleeping for both you and your partner. Remember that not all accessories and features will fit all machines and masks. Be sure you know what will work with yours before spending any money.

Choosing The Right Mask

CPAP machines come with many different types of masks. You need a CPAP mask that fits your face shape while being wide enough to allow proper air delivery. If you don’t find the right fit, it will affect your sleep and make the CPAP therapy less effective. It is best to choose one with either a built-in or dedicated humidifier when choosing a mask. The humidifier helps avoid irritation in your airways if they become too dry. If you tend to travel often, whether for business or pleasure, look for a model that comes with a separate humidifier.

Size And Portability

A compact and portable machine can be used both at home and while travelling. However, when it comes to travel, the battery life of your CPAP machine matters. There are special CPAP machines designed for travelling that are smaller and lack some features and expensive as you have to buy third-party inverters or adapters to use car/marine 12v accessories. Keep this in mind when choosing your machine. Also, travel CPAPs can get lead-acid batteries. However, you can look for multiple plug-in adapters or a portable battery with a longer-lasting charge.

Choose The Best CPAP Machine In 5 Steps

To choose the best CPAP machine, follow these five steps:

  1. Consult an Expert: A doctor can make the best recommendation because they will assess and record your sleep habits during sleep studies. This will ensure you have the perfect machine for your specific needs.
  2. Choose the Right Type: As mentioned earlier, you might find the machine or mask you start with doesn’t provide what you need. Since different CPAP machines and masks offer other benefits and shortcomings, it is not uncommon to try different masks or devices before you find the most comfortable one.
  3. Prioritize Use: If you travel often, pick a portable machine and a mask that suits your face for maximum comfort. This will ensure you can use it wherever you go.
  4. Explore Accessories: Ask your CPAP expert about the many accessories available to find out if you need them. It might seem safer to invest in many different accessories, but often you don’t need them. The key to accessories is to find the ones that improve comfort and any specific needs you might have. If you experience issues such as dry throat, waking too often due to noise, or feeling your mask doesn’t fit properly, speak to your CPAP expert, and they can offer advice.
  5. Consider Maintenance: Your CPAP machine can make you sick without proper maintenance. Be sure you understand how to perform regular cleaning so your machine works properly, and you also don’t use a dirty mask or machine that causes you to breathe in bacteria. Look for a device that is easy to assemble as this means it will also be easier to clean.

This guide will help you find the right CPAP machine for your needs. For more information, speak to the experts at CPAP Outlet.