Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe.
It’s ok to be picky. Which CPAP machine to pick? When it comes to choosing the right one, it can be tricky. You definitely can’t navigate your choice by singing a rhyme and seeing which one you land on. To make your therapy more comfortable, it takes some knowledge and understanding of certain features that are offered. There are a spectrum of options, so let’s talk machines.
CPAP Machine – Set at One Pressure Setting
Did you know the invention of the CPAP was propelled by reversing a vacuum cleaner? This reverse now provides the most common Sleep Apnea remedy. One constant flow of continuous positive air pressure to open your airway and prevent the obstruction caused by muscle relaxation.
What does a CPAP prescription need to say?
Your prescription is required to read “CPAP” and the doctor must prescribe the setting. A pressure needs to be determined before it can be shipped.
APAP Machine – Set at a Range of Pressure
Between doctors and manufacturers, APAP machines have earned many variations of its name; you might see it called an Auto Adjusting CPAP, Auto Pap, or just Auto. In every regard the “A” stands for “Automatic”. This is because APAP’s automatically adjust pressure on a breath by breath basis. Instead of blowing one set pressure stream like a CPAP, an APAP adjusts to the pressure necessary to keep airways open. While this machine is more expensive, many find it significantly more comfortable.
What does an APAP prescription need to say?
This prescription can read APAP or CPAP, but note, if your prescription reads APAP only it will not be suitable for a CPAP.
BiPAP Machines – Set at Two Levels of Pressure
BiPAP machines may be referred to as BiLevels or VPAPs (Variable Positive Airway Pressure) and are less commonly used than APAPs or CPAPs. These complex machines deliver two unique pressure streams: one at inhalation and another at exhalation. BiPAP machines are typically used to treat people with respiratory disorders like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It would be smart to talk to your doctor on this one to see if your symptoms apply here.
What does an BiPAP prescription need to say?
This prescription must read BiLevel, BiPAP, or VPAP. The doctor will also have prescribed two pressure settings for your therapy.
Comfort Features for CPAP Therapy
CPAP machines have come a long way since they were originally invented in 1981. Today many have comfort features which help cut down on the discomfort associated with airway pressure. Different features like Flex, EPR, or SmartFlex technology relieve pressure during exhalation making it easier to breathe against the machine air. Additionally, many machines offer Ramp settings which starts you off at a lower pressure as you fall asleep, and “ramps” up to your full pressure requirement.
Why Do You Need a Humidifier?
Lastly, nearly all CPAP machines have an available humidifier. By adding moisture to your airstream your nasal cavity is less likely to become irritated from dryness. Humidifiers can be added separately if necessary. Or you can opt for ones with and built in design. Be sure to check your heat setting, it can be adjusted according to your needs.
Take Your Pick
Now that you have more information on what your CPAP options are, let us know which one you picked! Need more information? No worries! Our CPAP experts are here to answer any questions you might have, just contact us through email, phone, or chat.