CPAP is an acronym for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”. A CPAP machine is a non-invasive medical device used in conjunction with a mask which is worn over the nose (nasal mask), or over the nose and mouth (full face mask). The mask is held securely with comfortable straps that fit behind the head while a steady stream of air flow maintains airway pressure that keeps the passageways open ensuring normal breathing. This therapy, first developed by Dr. Colin Sullivan in 1981, is the most effective treatment for sleep apnea today. There are other surgical and pharmaceutical options, but they have not been proven effective for everyone with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or other breathing disorders may also use a CPAP at night.
Since sleep apnea can have an overall effect on a person’s wakefulness during the day, a CPAP is a useful tool. One study originating from New Zealand suggests that untreated cases of sleep apnea create a state similar to intoxication. People who are driving and have obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to be involved in car accidents than those without. Therefore, addressing sleep apnea with CPAP Therapy is a necessity.
Sleep Therapy equipment, including CPAP, AUTOPAP and BIPAP machines and nasal, full face and nasal pillow masks are continuously improved in the areas of size, style, features, and quietness. Patient comfort is number one and compliance with therapy is important for the improved quality of life CPAP therapy offers.
For those who are in need of a second CPAP machine, would like a smaller CPAP machine for travel , do not wish to go through insurance or have no insurance at all, ordering through our website is the most cost effective way to purchase your equipment. Prices range from approximately $200 - $1200.00 based on type of machine and the manufacturer. CPAP masks can range from $40 - $175.00 with Full Face Masks being the most expensive. And we always offer our CPAP Supplies Plus brand of filters and tubing at the lowest prices on the internet.
Though, at first, adjusting to the CPAP can be difficult, the benefits will ultimately outweigh the initial discomfort. Those whose lives are affected by sleep apnea will soon find themselves feeling rested and refreshed. Greater alertness during the day can increase memory, improve job performance and enhance mood.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA) is the repeated interruption of breathing during sleep. When the muscles which support the tongue and soft palate relax during sleep, the airway becomes narrower causing snoring and some breathing difficulty. When these muscles relax excessively, the tongue and tissues completely block the airway preventing breathing completely. An apnea, which is the cessation of breathing for at least 10 seconds, can occur as many as 20 to 60 times within an hour. When this happens, the quality of one's sleep is greatly compromised, and it can also lead to numerous health conditions and a decline in the quality of life. Through the use of a CPAP machine, sleep apnea can be treated without medication or surgery.
CPAP machines deliver air through a specially designed Nasal Mask or Full Face Mask. The mask/machine does not breathe for you; the flow of air creates enough pressure when you inhale to keep your airway open. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is considered the most effective non-surgical treatment for the alleviation of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. A CPAP machine is set to a constant pressure setting with little deviation from the continuous pressure.
Auto CPAP machines are very similar to standard machines but allow for a range of pressure settings which include high and low pressure. This range of pressure will fluctuate throughout the night to meet the user’s different needs (i.e. apneas and hypopneas). This type of machine is available from Respironics, ResMed, and Puritan Bennett. An auto CPAP machine must be specifically prescribed by your doctor. The user benefits from the auto CPAP machine by experiencing lower pressure throughout the night.
The Nasal CPAP mask is designed to fit over the nose. This type of mask is available in many different sizes and models, as well as differing cushion types. The Nasal mask cushion is available in silicone, gel, or plastic. In addition, other nasal masks include Nasal Pillow interfaces. The Nasal Pillow interface is more lightweight than standard Nasal masks. While the CPAP Therapy is applied directly through the nasal passages via Nasal Pillows, this process is accomplished via small inserts (called Nasal Pillows) at the base of the nare. The advantages of the nasal CPAP masks include wide varieties in style, size, material, cost and light-weight.
There are many manufacturers of masks which include RedMed, Respironics, DeVilbiss, Fisher & Paykel. The Full Face CPAP mask is designed to fit over the nose and the mouth. This type of mask is designed to combat the problem of opening the mouth during sleep. If a patient opens their mouth during sleep, the therapeutic effect of CPAP escapes through this opening. Fisher & Paykel has created a unique "under the chin" design in the HC431 and HC432 which helps patients keep their mouth closed throughout the night. Currently Full Face mask is limited in style and the cost is significantly higher than most nasal masks.
Most CPAP Machines require very little scheduled maintenance. One item that does need to be changed on a regular basis is the filter. Most machines use at least one poly-foam, washable, reusable filter. The filter is usually located on the back of the machine. Respironics and Puritan-Bennett provide a reusable filter with their machines, while ResMed and Fisher & Paykel provide disposable filters with their machines.
CPAP Filters should be changed every 30-45 days depending on your environment. Once a month, you should inspect your filters to ensure they are not discolored or full of debris. If your filter appears to be in good shape, simply place the filter back into the machine and continue use. However, if the filter appears to be worn or discolored, wash or replace it depending on its type.
By replacing filters on a regular basis you will ensure proper operation of your machine and prevent harmful contaminants from entering your body. We have a cross-reference page to help you find filters for your specific machine.
It is possible that patients may experience mild discomfort when using CPAP, Auto CPAP, and BiPAP therapy. This discomfort is usually caused by a lack of moisture and involves drying of the nasal passages, sore throat, or swelling of the tongue. Customers might feel compelled to discontinue using their machine but it is important to keep in mind that all of the major manufacturers of CPAP Supplies offer some type of heated humidifier. Whether you own a Resmed, Respironics, Fisher & Paykel, DeVilbiss or a different brand, please consider trying a heated humidifier with your present machine.
Additionally, in some of the colder areas such as Chicago and New York, the winter climate can also cause drying of the airways. People who are affected with Sleep Disorder Breathing (SDB) suffer due to the dry air of the season as well as the drying caused by their CPAP device. To combat this situation, it is suggest that a central humidifier is installed in the residence as well as heated humidification in the CPAP circuit. If a central humidification system can not be installed, consider using a portable humidification system in the bedroom specifically.
Which style of heated humidifier is more effective for your system?
As indicated above, the first CPAP Machine was invented by Dr. Colin Sullivan in 1981. Since then, manufacturers such as Respironics, ResMed, DeVilbiss, and Fisher & Paykel have made significant changes to the size, shape, weight, and technology in CPAP Machines on the market today. Modern machines are capable of altering the pressure based on the patient’s breathing cycle. These machines can also alert patients when a problem occurs during the night or when it is time to replace a part.
As Sleep Labs continue to diagnose patients with sleeping disorders associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, sleep manufacturers are being pressured to create machines which are user and travel friendly. Machines such as the DeVilbiss Intellipap and the Carefusion Puresom are small in size and weigh just a few pounds. This is ideal for the traveler!
Machine Comparison Chart
The CPAP Mask is the one, truly effective method of delivering CPAP therapy to the patient in a non-intrusive method. CPAP Masks are available in many styles, shapes, sizes and models as manufacturers are trying to cater to the individual needs of each patient. CPAP users are demanding that CPAP Masks fit comfortably and function quietly so as to not disturb the user’s bed partner.
While there have not been any major technological innovations in the CPAP Mask market in last year, ResMed, Respironics, and Fisher & Paykel have continued to lead by making their masks lighter and quieter
ResMed has recently introduced two CPAP masks: The Quattro™ FX for Her Full Face Mask and the Pixi™ Pediatric Nasal Mask.
Respironics has introduced the GoLife FitPack Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask.
Fisher & Paykel has introduced the FlexFit™ 407 Premium Nasal Mask and the FlexFit™ 432 Full Face Mask.