CPAP Therapy Information / What to Look for?
Purchasing a CPAP machine allows an individual to get a better night’s sleep, as it is often an effective treatment for sleep apnea. However, not all machines are the same. It is a good idea to have a formal sleep study conducted as a first step. This ensures a thorough understanding of your needs is met. It also allows for the individual’s specific settings to be determined. Recommendations are often made during a sleep study to provide information on which type or specific model of CPAP machine is ideal.
As you shop and compare options, there are a few key things to look for in these devices:
Let’s face it. Not all nights are the same. There may be a time when the CPAP machine hits the floor. Since you will use this device every night, even taking it with you when you travel, you should purchase a durable, hard-boxed CPAP machine that can handle regular wear and tear. Quality construction is important.
Easy to Clean Water Trays
Water trays are a common component on these devices. Adding moisture to the CPAP mask makes it more comfortable, especially when the area is already very dry in the room. Look for a device that is easy to fill and easy to clean.
Since the basic CPAP machine is a fan located within a box, you want to make sure it runs quietly. This will help ensure you can sleep well. However, this will partly depend on proper use of the machine and the mask that comes with it. A low blower sound is common, but it should not be loud enough to keep you or your partner awake at night.
Lights That Dim
Most devices have lights to illuminate the screen. What you want to see is that this light will turn off once the device is up and running. After all, you don’t need a glaring green light on all night.
Ensure the pressure can be adjusted, but let this be something your sleep study professionals adjust for you. Additionally, some devices offer reporting to the doctor’s office about your usage of the machine.
Any of these components can be valuable when purchasing a CPAP machine
How Long Will It Take You to Get Adjusted ? How Does CPAP Work?
When you first learn of the need to invest in a CPAP machine, you may be overwhelmed and worried about what this means for your sleep patterns. There is no doubt that it will take time to get used to a CPAP machine. However, once you get a few nights under your belt, you’ll see and feel the relief it can give you from sleep apnea. The continuous airway pressure helps to keep your airway open, making snoring less likely. That leads to a better quality of sleep. Yet, until you get used to it, you may initially feel uncomfortable.
Adjusting to Your CPAP
It may take a few days or a week or more for you to get used to the CPAP machine. Keep in mind that there’s no reason to fight it. In short, this device is going to help you to get a better night’s sleep, which many men and women report leads to improved energy, overall health improvement, and just feeling more rested. Don’t fight using it. Try to use it steadily so you get used to it faster.
Some initial problems and solutions that can help you with your sleep apnea CPAP include the following:
- Ensure a tight fit around your nose. This prevents the air from seeping out and, as a result, provides you with improved results.
- Ensure the hose leading from the mask to the machine is long and lightweight. This allows you to turn and lie on either side and move around as you would like to.
- Keep the CPAP machine at bed height whenever possible. This helps it to work more effectively, keeps it easily within reach, and extends that hose even longer.
- Use the moisture tray. This makes breathing a bit easier and more comfortable.
You’ll need to give yourself time to adjust to the new device. The good news is you will adjust and you will get better sleep. Ultimately, obstructive sleep apnea can be very dangerous to your health. However, the expectation of sleeping better at night after getting used to your CPAP really makes it worthwhile to go through this learning process.
How Long Do CPAP Machines Last?
A CPAP machine is a device designed to be used every night, or anytime the individual is sleeping. As a result, these machines get a lot of regular use. And, just like any type of device that is used on a daily basis, it is common to need to replace them. A variety of machine designs are available, some of which last longer than others. Most commonly, though, these machines should be replaced between every three to five years. If you have not done so recently, it may be a good idea to consider replacement, rather than to continue using your current device.
Adjustment of Flow Settings
One of the reasons why you may need a new CPAP machine has to do with the technology built into them. Like most devices of their type, it is common for these machines to become “off” in terms of their settings. For example, the air flow rate and setting measurements can easily become disturbed when the machine is bumped, dropped, or otherwise bothered. For this reason, it is best to consider replacement of the CPAP more frequently.
Many of the most modern CPAP machines will have removal pieces. These pieces are the most common components of the machine that need to be replaced. Every four to six weeks, filters need to be replaced. You may also need to replace chin straps and the actual facial mask every few months. In addition to this, the water container and hose may need replacement just as often. However, these items are replaceable with interchanging pieces.
Nevertheless, the interior of the machine can still become damaged. For example, the interior fan can stop working properly, begin to make noise, or not work as efficiently as it should. Though the entire machine does not have to be replaced often, every few years it is best to have a new sleep study or at least to replace the machine itself.
It is a good idea to talk to your doctor about your usage of these machines. If you are having problems with them, or you notice reduced effectiveness, it may be time for a replacement.
Tips for Masks and CPAP Machines
CPAP machines operate with a fan blower that creates air flow. The air flows through a plastic tube to a mask. The mask then fits over the nose and mouth of the individual, in some cases just one, and provides a seal. When set up properly, the mask and CPAP machine help to keep the airway open, allowing the individual to sleep well, while reducing snoring and walking instances. Yet, a lot goes into keeping both the masks and the CPAP machines working well. Consider a few tips to help you to maintain your systems.
Maintenance Is Key
Each CPAP manufacturer provides specific directions on how to use and maintain their machines. it is important to follow these guidelines. For the actual CPAP device, it is important to keep it dust-free. Make sure to clean the water dishes, if applicable, regularly. It is also important to replace these machines every three to five years to ensure the right level of pressure is consistently maintained.
For masks, properly washing them and allowing them to dry out is important. This helps to reduce the risk of mold or bacteria buildup. Rinsing them is often not enough. A small amount of mild soap, properly rinsed and dried from the plastic, can make a big difference in the condition, comfort, and longevity of these devices.
Attach Masks Properly
Both in order to maintain the mask and to get the results designed, individuals need to ensure the mask is fitted properly. Even small changes, such as the mask being off just a bit, allows for air to escape and makes the process less effective. Masks also need to fit the individual. The right size can make all of the difference. In some cases, a chin strap is necessary. This helps to keep the jaw closed and the mask on properly. Don’t skip the chin strap if it is recommended by a doctor.
Most importantly, replace these masks and CPAP devices as they begin to wear. The quality of sleep you get depends on the condition of these masks and machines.