Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which the person experiences that his breathing stops repeatedly during sleep. There are many symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea making it difficult to sleep. The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apneas include snoring loudly while asleep, stop breathing during sleep, gasping for air, headache in the morning, difficulty in sleeping, feeling sleepy during the day, difficulty in concentrating, irritation.
After being diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may be prescribed a CPAP machine by your doctor. It becomes challenging to use it as it is important to understand how it works.
What is a CPAP Machine?
A CPAP machine is continuous positive airway pressure. The machines help people suffering from sleep apnea. It provides assistance in breathing at night while people with OSA are sleeping. By increasing the air pressure in the throat a CPAP machine prevents your airway from collapsing. It also decreases snoring also for better sleep at night. The machine has a humidifier also with a tube that connects the unit to a mask that you place over your face while you sleep. It all comes with a chin strap to keep it in place.
Most CPAP machines have a mask that covers your nose and mouth, but there are some options available in the market with a mask that covers only your nose or prongs that fit into your nose. After your doctor prescribes CPAP, he is the one who will decide the right machine settings for you. You may also be asked to undergo an overnight sleep study in a lab to help determine how you will react to it and what you will need from your CPAP machine. Until you feel comfortable in it adjustments can be made.
Benefits of Using a CPAP Machine
It's the most effective and popular treatment for sleep apnea that doesn’t need any surgery. With its usage come multiple benefits. They are as follows:
Sleepiness and fatigue during the daytime are common symptoms of sleep apnea. By eliminating breathing pauses in your sleep CPAP can restore normal sleep patterns and sleep time. This will help you feel refreshed and give a boost to your energy.
Sleep apnea can damage your brain tissue and can result in trouble concentrating. This can also lead to memory loss. Using CPAP improves your ability to concentrate and make decisions. This also can improve your productivity that can be helpful in the long run.
Depression can be a result of untreated sleep apnea. CPAP can help improve your mood and temperament thus, improves your overall quality of life.
CPAP reduces or eliminates snoring by keeping your airway open as you sleep. This will also result in a quieter sleep environment for your partner.
Sleep apnea can lead to many health problems and CPAP machines can improve your overall health, thus reducing your medical expenses. Treatment for serious health risks such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes can be burdensome on the pocket. In this way, the usage of CPAP machines decreases medical expenses.
How is the CPAP Machine the Perfect Option for Better Sleep?
Recent researches in medical technology have improved the performance of CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, machines in a great way.
Someone with obstructive sleep apnea, the airway narrows down during sleep. This results in causing oxygen levels to fall. This, in turn, gives signals to the brain to wake the person for a brief time in order to re-open the airway.
This causes disruption in sleep and also increases the body’s stress. All this leads to an increase in the risk of developing higher blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke.
CPAP blows the air into the throat through a mask, preventing the airway from narrowing by subtly increasing air pressure in the throat.
There are a few things that should be kept in mind to ensure your CPAP machine is working effectively. First, for continuous air pressure from your CPAP, it’s important that the seal over your airways is tight enough.
There are several variations of the CPAP mask available in the market and you can have the one that suits your needs. This includes a nasal or full face mask that comes in many shapes and sizes. So it’s best to try a few to make sure which fits your face most comfortably.
Also, go for the machines that have a humidifier. It is very important because the airflow from the CPAP can dry out your mouth and nose. With a little more progress in its design and use some machines now include built-in heaters that warm the moist air that relieves you from such problems.
Proper care and maintenance is necessary to make the most of your machine. You can use distilled water as it will prevent any build-up from natural minerals that are found in tap water. You should wash the mask and headgear daily or after every use or weekly respectively. You can use one-part vinegar to three-part warm water to clean its parts by soaking them and then dry.
CPAP’s humidifier chamber should be washed each day. To clean it, empty the chamber, and then gently scrub it with a soft cloth, soap, and warm water. Alternately, you can use the vinegar solution to soak the chamber, as the acidity is great for removing the buildup of bacteria. Just be sure to rinse thoroughly after. Clean and replace the filters.
The machine’s tube should be cleaned at least once a week. Use warm water and a mild detergent to wash these parts. There are also cleaning brushes that are designed specifically to fit the needs of cleaning CPAP equipment and accessories, which you can find online or buy in medical supply stores.
You should wash these parts at least every second day using a little soap and warm water. You can also use cleansing wipes. After washing, allow the nasal pillows to air drying them in air.
These machines have data settings that help you to determine if the settings on the machine are still effective or need a change as the data can indicate if there are any adjustments your mask may need or if you need to adjust the pressure settings.
CPAP machines can make your life easy if you are going through OSA but finding the right one that suits your needs is very essential. This is why you should go for nothing but the best like Philips CPAP machine or Dreamstation CPAP machine that comes with all the advanced features to make your life easy and comfortable.