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What Is A CPAP Machine?


If you have been newly diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may have informed you that you need a CPAP machine. However, do you know what a CPAP machine is, what it does, and what factors to look out for when choosing one? In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about CPAP machines.

Understanding CPAP Machines

CPAP stands for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure” and CPAP machines are the most common form of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. There are three main types of CPAP machines;

  • The traditional CPAP that supplies therapy air at one pressure.
  • APAP machines that supply therapy air at various pressures, depending on the patient’s needs throughout the night.
  • BiLevel or BiPAP machines that come with a setting for inhalation and a lower pressure setting for exhalation.

APAP machines are most commonly used by OSA patients because of their versatility. If you have been diagnosed with OSA, your doctor will recommend the most suitable kind of machine for you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing A CPAP Machine

Although your doctor will advise on what kind of machine is the best for you, there are certain factors to consider when it comes to selecting a model. They are:

  • Portability: You may not travel often, but unless you are absolutely certain you will never sleep in a different bed, you may want to consider a portable CPAP machine that is not too bulky. Even if you are out of town for a night, you will need to bring your CPAP machine with you. Thankfully, many models today are lightweight and some even come with a carrying case, so keep in mind the size and weight of the machine before purchasing.
  • Humidification: Does the CPAP machine you are considering come with a built-in humidifier? If not, is there an option to purchase one as an add-on? Beginning users may not think it makes a lot of difference, but prolonged use without a humidifier can result in several symptoms, including dry mouth, over time. Humidifiers also help to keep your nasal passage dry and reduce the chances of nasal infections, bloody noses and more.
  • Noise Level: The CPAP machine may be there to help you sleep better, but if you are unable to fall asleep in the first place, it defeats the purpose. When choosing a CPAP machine, look out for one that comes with a noise level of 30dB or below. 30dB is considered “whisper level” and any higher can disturb you and your bed partner when you are trying to sleep. A machine that’s 25-28dB is considered exceptionally quiet.

Get CPAP Machines from Patient Solutions

Do you or a loved one suffer from OSA and are in need of a CPAP machine? If so, we have just the thing for you at Patient Solutions. If you have any questions about our products or would like some recommendations, please feel free to contact us.