What is a CPAP Machine?


Have you been a loud snorer for the majority of your life?

Do you experience breathing difficulties while lying down at night, followed by early morning headaches and sleepiness throughout the day!

If these issues have been bothering you for long, you are most likely to be suffering from a condition termed as the OSA. Better termed as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (1), the physical ailment requires an extensive stretch of treatment, presided over by the CPAP machine. As a matter of fact, CPAP or the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is the best solution for your obstructive breathing issues, and there is a dedicated machine to achieve exceptional and highly rewarding results.

Before we throw some light regarding what a CPAP machine is, it is necessary to understand that it is a non-invasive tool to facilitate seamless breathing, which in turn helps you sleep better at night.

CPAP Machine: Significance

While OSA is a topic for subsequent discussion, we shall now be focusing on the functionalities of a CPAP machine. As the name suggests, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is a handful when applying milder levels of pressure to the upper airway is concerned. OSA ensures that when a person is fast asleep, he or she doesn’t have any control over the throat airways, leading to repeated breathing pauses. With the airways blocked, there isn’t any seamless passage of air on an involuntary basis, eventually leading to sleep disruptions, snoring, and a host of other relative issues.

This is where a CPAP machine comes into the mix as it allows you to administer extended spells of treatment for OSA. Moreover, the CPAP is most relevant in the post-pandemic era as the COVID19 virus attacks your lungs and constricts you breathing as a part of the proliferation plan. Therefore, individuals suffering from OSA should be even more careful during this post-pandemic phase and immediately get themselves a CPAP Machine.

cpap machine

Structure

As a rule of thumb, CPAP pushes pressurized air into the otherwise obstructed channels. Therefore, a power-driven setup is more than evident. A standard CPAP machine, therefore, comprises a box featuring a motorized turbine and a potent filter for keeping the air clean. Lastly, the humidification chamber also deserves a special mention as the air, before being pushed into the airways; need to be humidified to match the physical standards.

From strictly a structural point-of-view, a CPAP machine is all about three essential parts, including the Motor for processing the air, Hose for supplying the same, and a dedicated mask that curates the air supply and redirects it to the desired target.

Modus Operandi

The process starts when the motorized turbine pushes the air at room temperature, right into the filtered chamber. The residual air, free of impurities, dust, and other anomalies, is then adequately pressurized to match the cavity standards. A good CPAP machine is capable of achieving the perfect pressure levels sans hassles and ensures that the air doesn’t lose out on compressive properties while being redirected through to the humidification chamber.

However, if you are considering a CPAP machine, you need to realize that humidification is an optional trait and the extent or even application depends on the local climatic conditions. Patients who often complain of blocked and dried up nasal passages due to conditions like OSA and Rhinitis require air humidification.

The CPAP Hose is the component that delivers air right from the Motor. While the Hose doesn’t have a lot of technical insights to account for, the material, thickness, and orientation might be scrutinized before making the purchase. For instance, you can always persist with a non-heated CPAP hose with standard or enlarged diameter or opt for the heated Hose, empowered with copper coils for heat retention.

Furthermore, you are at liberty to choose between a standard hose with an internal diameter close to 19mm and a slim hose measuring 15mm in thickness. Besides, if you want to replace the CPAP hose at some point in time, check the compatible diameter for the concerned machine, followed by the inclusion of rubber ends.

The CPAP mask happens to be the last log in the wheel, instrumental in delivering clean and purified air right into the airway, sitting at the back of the throat. The additional supply of air helps with breathing and mitigates long and short-term threats.

If you are interested in learning more about the humidifier, this optional attachment lends a moisturizing effect to the pressurized air. For the humidifier to work well, consider using distilled water as the humidifying agent, precisely to keep impurities and mineral accumulation at bay.

Usage

If you want to make the most of a standard CPAP machine, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Determine the preferred air pressure
  • Check the mask size, alignment, and opt for the one with the most comfortable fit
  • Check the airway seals to ensure continued pressure
  • For first time usage, activate the RAMP feature for slowly building the air pressure and gradually acclimatizing to an external air source.
  • Check for mask durability and leaks
  • If you inadvertently open your mouth while sleeping, consider chin straps for avoiding any form of leakage
  • Clean the filter periodically

Failure to abide by any of the mentioned usage techniques can result in CPAP malfunctioning. Therefore, it is advisable to get the machine checked by a physician for top-notch evaluations.

Bottom-Line

Adjusting to a CPAP machine might take some time. However, if you have any kind of nasal or airway-specific blockage, the CPAP machine is probably your best bet for getting a good night’s sleep. Moreover, if the same has been prescribed by the doctor, and you wish to be monitored continuously, consider a machine that supports automatic troubleshooting, online data sharing, and other advanced features.

Lastly, once you have started relying on a CPAP machine, do not consider discontinuing unless instructed by the physician.

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