Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device is a gold standard treatment for people who suffer from sleeping disorders, like snoring or OSA. It is one of the most commonly used treatment methods for OSA. In OSA a person experiences, shortness of breath several times while asleep, due to a blocked airway. OSA can disrupt sleep making it difficult for a person to get complete sleep, making the person drowsy and anxious, after waking up and in long term if it is left untreated it could increase the risk for High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Stroke, Heart diseases and obesity. This is where CPAP comes into play.
How does CPAP device work?
CPAP device helps a person to have a more regulated breathing. A CPAP device increases the flow of air pressure in the throat, preventing the airway from collapsing when you breathe. A constant pressure is maintained while the machine gently blows the pressurized air through your airway.
The machine consists of 3 parts, that work in conjunction to perform.
- CPAP motor - Acts as a compressor to draw in the room temperature air and pressurize it, to gently deliver the right amount of air and thereby, clear the obstruction.
- CPAP hoses - Transfers the air from the motor, to the mask.
- CPAP masks - Available in different shapes and sizes, keeping in mind the comfort levels of different individuals.
Benefits of CPAP therapy
CPAP results in positive outcomes for most users. Some of these improvements in sleep include:
- Breathing and snoring issues are eliminated
- Improved quality of sleep
- Regular use of CPAP device results in reduced daytime drowsiness and tiredness, especially in mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.1
- Improvement in health conditions like cardiovascular problems.
- Regulates blood pressure both during daytime and night.
- Increased attention, and better concentration during day.
Things to remember while using a CPAP machine
- Mask size/style: CPAP masks are available in a wide range of sizes and style, depending on individual needs. Find the perfect fit and style for you, to feel comfortable. Some people might feel claustrophobic in masks that cover the full face, and thus may opt for nasal pillows, as they cover less of your face. Also, different styles may have different size charts, so it is always good to check the fitting, before buying the product.
- Tolerance for forced air: Beginners may find difficulty in getting used to the forced air from a CPAP device. In such cases, it is advised to switch to the ‘ramp’ feature, as this setting has low pressure air to make you tolerant to the technique.
- Stuffy nose: This can be due to a leaking or broken mask, so make sure you test your device properly.
- Dry mouth: This is a result of breathing through your mouth which can worsen while using a CPAP machine. In such cases, a chin strap helps in keeping your mouth closed, and reduce leakage of air while you use a nasal mask.
- A noisy CPAP machine: The newer CPAP machines are comparatively a lot less noisy. However, if you find the sound irritating, it can be due to a jammed filter. Always check that the filter is clean, and nothing is blocking the path of air in it, that might contribute to the sound.
Instructions for using a CPAP machine
Before you start using a CPAP device, it is good to know about the below-mentioned instructions:
- Follow the instructions that come with the user guide, to assemble the equipment. It is not advised to assemble the product without proper instructions.
- Place the CPAP device on a sturdy surface and make sure that the air inlet in the room is not blocked.
- Avoid placing the CPAP device near a heat source.
- Wash your CPAP mask daily with warm water, to keep it germ-free.
- Make sure to wash your face before putting on the mask, to get rid of excess facial oils and for proper fit.