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A Guide to Choosing the Right CPAP Machine for Your Family

12th Feb 2016

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Image by sallyvillarreal via Flickr

 The word “apnoea” is an ancient Greek term for “want of breath” and is a suitable terminology when referring to what a sleep apnoea is; a chronic health problem which induces the cessation of breathing for 10 seconds to just under 7 minutes per sleep session (not all at once, or you’d likely never wake up).

The condition and amount of time where breathing cessation occurs is typically on the lower end of the spectrum, which makes it more of a repetitive nuisance that grows over time into a larger problem.

Interrupted sleep once or twice a week is normal for many, however interrupted sleep on a nightly basis can wreak havoc on one’s life. And this fact is worsened by the fact that a sleep apnoea can gradually increase in severity over the years.

It is estimated that approximately 5% of adults have a sleep apnoea, with an additional 2% – 4% of the population who are undiagnosed.

And these figures turn into other problems; those affected by a sleep apnoea are also 6 times more likely to perish in a car accident and struggle daily with work related tasks. A lack of sleep can affect performance in every way, as well as increase the likelihood of other chronic health problems in short order.

CPAP Alternatives

There are CPAP alternatives available which you may want to consider before you start shopping for a CPAP machine, such as mandibular advancement splints. If you or your loved one is having sleep problems, talk to your family doctor to learn more about CPAP alternatives.

CPAP Machines: A Solution to Sleep Apnoea

CPAP machines are a common non-invasive solution to sleep apnoea. They prevent breathing cessation by forcing air into the lungs gently to regulate breathing for uninterrupted sleep. 

Before you make your first CPAP machine purchase, it is probably best to understand the key features of one. There are different form factors of CPAP machine masks, and so on, and knowing them in advance will ensure the most comfortable fit for a well rested slumber. 

CPAP Masks 

Traditionally, CPAP masks available today come in 3 basic form factors; a nasal mask that covers your nose, a “nasal pillow” mask which rests just under your nose, and a full facial mask which covers both the nose and the mouth. A full facial mask can also cover your eyes as well, and nose masks can have prongs which slide up your nostrils when you put it on for a snug fit. 

Those with allergies and problems breathing their nose may want to opt for the full mask option. 

The key is to have an airtight fit that allows pressure to be create when the air from your CPAP machine enters the body. 

Sensitivity to Dry Air 

Those with sensitivities to dry air or have a greater susceptibility to nose bleeds may prefer to purchase CPAP machines with a humidifier. A number of CPAP machine users claim that all that forced air makes them feel dried out, and a humidifier option will solve this problem for most people. 

Light Sleeper? 

Those who are likely to wake at the smallest sound will want to shop for a CPAP machine with sound in mind. CPAP machines have come a long way from their predecessors and are much, much more silent than they once were; however they are still machines, and as such they will make a humming sound. 

If sounds keep you up at night, it is suggested you shop for your CPAP machine in person so you can hear it for yourself. 

Pressure 

The air pressure required to prevent sleep apnoeas varies from person to person. This aspect of your CPAP machine shopping should come with a little help from your family doctor who can assist with deciding what air pressure is most comfortable and appropriate for your or your loved one’s condition. 

In Conclusion 

These are generally the most important factors to consider for your CPAP machine before you start looking at the cosmetics of your appliance, as many today do. 

Have anything to add? Let us know in the comments!

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