Sleep apnea is considered to be a serious condition that leads to abnormal breathing while sleeping. People who have this condition usually have extended pauses in breath during their sleep. So these temporary breathing pauses can affect your body’s supply of oxygen and cause lower-quality of sleep, leading to serious health conditions.
Sleep apnea can affect both adults and children of both sexes, though it is quite common in men. The good news is that you can use sleep apnea machines also called continuous positive airway pressure machines (CPAP machines) to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Patients who have used the CPAP machine claim that there is a significant improvement in their health. This article explains the right way to choosing the best sleep apnea machines.
The things to consider when purchasing the CPAP machines
A CPAP machine has a compressor that produces a continuous flow of pressurized air. This air travels via an air filter to get into a flexible tube that delivers purified air into the mask. The mask is sealed around your mouth or nose.
So when you sleep, the airflow from the CPAP machine forces out any blockages to open the airways so that your lungs get enough oxygen. Without anything blocking this airflow, you can have breathing that doesn’t pause. However, before you buy a CPAP machine, you need to consider the following factors:
Get a prescription
To get a CPAP machine, you need to be diagnosed first to determine that you have sleep apnea. This diagnosis may need to have an overnight study in a clinic that deals with sleep apnea. Alternatively, you can opt for a home sleep test to find out if you have sleep apnea.
After this sleep study, a technician can measure the response of your body to various air pressure levels. Many machines usually have about 4 and 20 cm H2O, meaning these machines can blow adequate air to make a column of water with that height.
You can get a prescription at a sleep clinic or any other equipment supplier. It should include the type of devices, such as CPAP or APAP, it can be generic instead of a specified model or brand name.
Remember that many CPAP machines can be interchangeable, so it may take a while to find the ideal one. Also, if you decide to use one CPAP machine, it may take years for the same prescription before you can try the latest models.
The prescription should also have the correct pressure level. These are the levels that are set before you get the machine, and only the technician or doctor can adjust them.
When you get a CPAP machine, you may also get a six-foot hose as well as a carrying case. Some doctors may also offer a note for heated humidifiers. This enables the harsh airflow to be more tolerable and decreases some side effects like nasal congestion and dry throat.
But you can purchase a humidifier without getting a specific prescription, though it can be included on the slip. Masks and any other important accessories may also be sold without getting a prescription. Click for more information about a CPAP machine.
Many centers can offer you a CPAP machine instantly after the sleep study. They may also refer you to any local medical equipment supplier that rents or sells them. They can also fit you for a mask and even demonstrate to you how the entire system works.
Insurance may reimburse or cover the cost of CPAP machines, and various online suppliers offer discounted prices. But make sure that you’re buying from legitimate websites, and a supplier that doesn’t need a prescription may be selling CPAP machines illegally.
When you get a prescription for a CPAP machine, don’t feel pressured into buying any machine that you come across. Besides, make sure that you’re comfortable wearing a mask at night, and find out if your insurance covers the whole cost.
This is because there are various options around and you can even buy cheaper machines. To avoid getting stuck, ensure that you ask potential suppliers if they offer a trial period for the machine and whether or not it can be returned if it’s not the right one for you.
Choosing a mask
When your doctor determines the proper air pressure for the CPAP machine, then you need to find a breathing device. This device should fit well and be comfortable enough to wear during the night. You can find kinds of CPAP masks and they all have secured straps that go around your chin or forehead, with flexible gel cushioning or foam.
These CPAP masks include tiny tubes or nasal pillows that get directly into your nostrils, nasal masks that create a seal around the nose, full-face masks that cover the mouth and nose, and oral masks that are attached between the gums and lips.
It’s worth noting that it may take a while to find the right mask. Ideally, it’s a matter of trial and error, meaning you need to try several masks to get what works for you. Therefore, make sure that you read customer reviews to figure out the best CPAP masks that can fit you well.
Many insurance companies usually replace CPAP masks a couple of times yearly, and accessories, such as nasal cushions regularly. Some CPAP users prefer to keep at least two or three masks that they are comfortable with so that they can switch them regularly to relieve irritation and pressure on the face.
Other important features
Depending on your preferences and lifestyle, you can spend extra cash on special features like battery backup. If you intend to use a humidifier in a cold space, then a rainout reduction kit can assist to prevent condensation from settling in the hose. You can also purchase hose extensions that improve your mobility as well as insulated sleeves that give them a softer feel and look.
You can also find several CPAP models that have a memory chip to allow your doctor to measure compliance. Others may adjust automatically once you get to higher altitudes.