As CPAP machines are precisely manufactured and calibrated with severity levels of sleep apnea in mind, you also need to adhere to the pressure recommendations set by the concerned physician, depending on the nature and type of the ailment. Moreover, with the machine generating only pressurized air for facilitating seamless and involuntary breathing, aligning the pressure levels based on the recommendations, physical requirements, and other aspects becomes all the more important.
More about Pressure Adjustment of a CPAP Machine
Adjusting the CPAP machine for permissible pressure ratings is only possible if you have a fair idea regarding the functioning of the device. For starters, CPAPs compress the air procured via the surroundings and push the same right into the breathing airway via the hose and the aligned mask. As the machine facilitates assistive and involuntary breathing, pressurized air is necessary for the easing out inhalations.
However, the pressure requirements vary with the patients and the severity of the OSA. For instance, mild OSA requires a pressure setting of up to 5 CWP which can also be attributed to the moderate conditions. Then again, the highest pressure rating for the same ranges up to 30 CWP, usually administered for the worst cases of sleep apnea.
When and Why Pressure Adjustment is Necessary?
While you can always start with the basic pressure ratings offered out of the box, adjustments are necessary when you start feeling uncomfortable with the CPAP usage. For instance, if the existing pressure levels render the nose and mouth drier than usual, despite CPAP humidification, it might just be the right time to change the pressure and adjust the same to a higher limit.
In addition to that, any experience of air leakage is also indicative of pressure adjustment, preferably on the lower side. Moreover, if you keep experiencing Aerophagia or air swallowing due to high pressure, you might have to consider minor tweaks. Other instances leading to pressure adjustments include difficult and strenuous exhalations, dry eyes, and a dysfunctional AHI rating.
What should be the Ideal CPAP Pressure?
You should always consult a physician to find the suitable CPAP pressure rating, based on your curated preferences. In most cases, doctors initially recommend adjustments to a higher-end for speeding up the treatment option. While adjusting to the higher pressure might take time, the RAMP functionality can be quite a handful considering the incremental increase in the pressure ratings.
Moreover, if the physician has recommended a higher CPAP pressure keeping the ailment, sleeping position, and posture in mind, adjusting the same is possible with a full-size CPAP mask. Not just that, if pressure adjustment isn’t yielding the desired results, you can always consider adding a humidifier, which moistens the air and makes higher pressure more tolerable.
Last but not least, a CPAP machine offers a single pressure rating for the patients to account for, thereby aiding in better inhalation. However, if exhaling against the higher pressure is an issue, adjustments aren’t going to reap the desired results and you might have to consider BiPAP machines for getting the requisite levels of breathing comfort.