CPAP machine is an acronym for Continuous Positive Air Pressure machine. These machines are used to help people with OSA better known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other issues associated with breathing. Using these machines helps sleep apnea patients in keeping the airway open and letting in a moderated air pressure to flow down into the airways. This, in turn, helps the patient to breathe normally during their sleep. They also assist in dealing with respiratory failure in adults and children.
These machines consist of three main parts: the tubing, the mask, and the motor. Other special models have humidifiers. These machines come in a wide range of sizes. However, most of them come in the size equal to a shoe box or a small radio. They are also very light in weight.
How They Work
So, how do the CPAP machines work? The CPAP machine works by ensuring that the airways are open in patients with sleep apnea. Shallow breathing during sleep causes laxity in the airways which in turn causes an obstruction in the airways during sleep. When this happens, the collapsed airway reduces the oxygen levels present in the bloodstream. More serious conditions like snoring and even death in worst cases may occur as a result. The CPAP devices assist in opening the airways gently thus allowing a continuous breathing and maintenance of normal oxygen levels.
These machines are not just given out to patients. Before the sleep doctor prescribes this machine, a sleep study is conducted on the patient. This study tests on the oxygen levels, breathing levels and the snoring of the patient. These tests are compulsory for all sleep apnea patients.
The test results will now give the sleep doctor an idea of what exactly needs to be done. The diagnosis is made from the test results is reached and can be either moderate or severe sleep apnea. The patient is then directed to getting the appropriate machine for their particular condition. The machines can be used by both children and adults. Infants can also use them especially if their lungs are not fully developed.
CPAP devices also come with different types of masks. The masks that are available are those that cover the entire face, the ones that cover either the nose or mouth and those that cover both the mouth and the nose at the same time.
The machines are also available in a wide range of sizes and are easily adjustable. There is a choice for people who are CPAP intolerant. Such people are not always comfortable wearing certain masks because of their sleeping positions or patterns.
Not too long ago, specialists came up with a special CPAP machine referred to as an AutoPAP or Auto CPAP machine. This machine is essential in accurately measuring the levels of oxygen pumped into the system in relation to the breathing patterns. They tend to be more expensive. However, many patients do not find it difficult to pay for it because of the many benefits and the wide range of treatments they get from it as compared to the traditional CPAP devices.