Sleep Apnea Equipment
In this article about sleep apnea equipment, we'll focus on the features of
the different equipment rather than on the different types of sleep apnea
The major purpose for using sleep apnea equipment is to ease the suffering
in a patient diagnosed with sleep apnea syndrome. The most popular and
doctor recommended machines for someone diagnosed with sleep apnea
are CPAP devices (continuous positive airway pressure). The efficacy of
these machines comes from the fact that they, as the name suggests,
provide a constant flow of air into the patient's airways during sleep,
thereby keeping the airways open and free of any blockage.
In years gone by, they were a bit bulky, too
noisy and quite uncomfortable and many
patients found them very difficult to sleep
with. Nowadays, however, with technology
being what it is, many sleep apnea machines
are literally whisper quiet and the devices
have shrunken in size and now come no
bigger than a box of your favorite chocolates.
In addition to that, rather than just a
facemask option, many manufacturers,
including ResMed Inc, offer three different
types of CPAP masks:
Full Face Masks - where a mask is fitted over the user's mouth and
Nasal Masks - where the mask fits only over the user's nose
Nasal Pillows - where tubes are placed just inside the nostrils
Since people with sleep apnea experience pauses in breathing (apneas)
throughout the night (caused by blockages in the airway), sleep apnea
machines are designed to free the airways from these blockages by forcing
air into the airways. For a more in-depth look at what sleep apnea is, see
what is sleep apnea.
The most ideal Positive Airway Pressure machines should
have certain important features:
it should be comfortable
it should be quiet enough as to not disturb your sleep
if you tend to move around at night, it should allow for such
it should be easy to assemble and disassemble
it should be easy to clean
it should be portable (if you travel frequently for business or
the device should be data-capable, being able to store the patient's
sleep data (and be able to present that data in a readable format).
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In addition to the above, you'll also want to find out if you can handle
sleeping with a CPAP device - as the airflow is continuous, it can oftentimes
be dry and irritate the user during sleep. Also, some patients don't require
continuous airflow and may want to look into either a VPAP device
(variable positive airway pressure) or an APAP device (automatic positive
airway pressure). VPAP devices blow more air during the inhale and less
air during the exhale. APAP machines, on the other hand, utilize sensors to
determine when the patient needs more air - and the device responds
Many patients who take home sleep apnea equipment stop using it after
the first couple of days or weeks. This is generally because they can't get
used to some aspect of the machine. Therefore, take your time when
selecting a sleep apnea machine, do additional research, talk to your doctor
and speak to any friends or colleagues who may have experience using such
Aside from the different types of Positive
Airway Pressure devices on the market, Related Articles
there is also another type of sleep apnea
equipment that, while not universally Why We Sleep
effective, is still effective for many. This What is Insomnia?
device, called a Mandibular Advancement What is Sleep Apnea?
Device (MAD) is a dental device and What is Narcolepsy?
works by slightly pulling the lower jaw Looping Dreams
forward. This in turn, pulls the tongue
forward, preventing the tongue from blocking the airway during sleep.
They are made to fit the jaw of a patient and, compared to CPAP machines,
are relatively cheap.
If you suffer from sleep apnea and are looking for sleep apnea equipment,
take the time to do your research and ask as many questions as possible -
don't just jump into bed with the first piece that catches your eye.