How to Buy the Best CPAP Machine For You
There are many things that contribute to sound sleep. One might need to look up a mattress that meets their particular needs or scour the Internet for the best anti-snoring device. At times, however, ensuring one gets good-quality sleep requires tackling a serious issue—obstructive sleep apnea.
Since CPAP machines are medical devices, there are quite a few aspects you are to consider. In this section, we took the liberty of going over some of the most important things you need to look for when shopping for a CPAP machine.
Learn About CPAP
A CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine, is a device that provides a steady oxygen flow during your sleep. It’s the most commonly prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea since it keeps airways open and doesn’t let them collapse. The best CPAP machines will push through airpath blockages enabling the lungs to take in the optimal amounts of oxygen.
Look Into the Features
Most commonly, there are a few features that are really handy and necessary, especially for newcomers who only just started using these devices and need some time to adjust. Below are the most common features that might make the transition easier.
- Humidifiers. Dry air can cause discomfort and irritation, leading to clogged sinuses, nasal passage irritation, and even nose bleeds. A CPAP humidifier can most certainly save you from experiencing these symptoms.
- Ramp Time.This feature is most helpful for those who are having a hard time adjusting to the forcefully inducted air. Ramps will increase the pressure of airflow gradually, giving users time to get used to it.
- Exhalation Pressure Relief. Some users also find it difficult to breathe comfortably against the pressure that’s generated during the CPAP machine usage. A pressure relief feature on more advanced CPAP units will reduce the pressure with every exhalation, making it easier for users to sleep through the night without any problems.
To ensure that you’re getting quality sleep, we also suggest that you look into our comprehensive guide of the best mattresses.
Choose the Mask
This part of the selection process will mostly depend on your personal preferences, the condition you are aiming to treat, and your breathing habits.
- Nasal Pillow Mask. These masks offer a small cushion that covers the nostrils’ area. They can also have nose-fitting prongs. If you wear glasses, this type of mask should fit you just fine. What’s more, if you have facial hair, this mask is, once again, your go-to.
- Nasal Mask. A typical part of CPAP equipment, cushioned nasal masks cover the entire nose area. These masks are great for those who change positions frequently during sleep.
- Full Mask. These triangle-shaped masks cover both the mouth and the nose areas. They are probably the best options for those who breathe through their mouths when sleeping or those who have blockage of some kind in their noses.
Select the Type
Apart from your basic CPAP models, there are also BiPAP and APAP devices. Here are the main differences between them:
- CPAP. These machines provide a steady flow of pressurized air to the airways. If you want to adjust the pressure level, you need to change the settings.
- APAP. Automatic positive airflow pressure machines adjust the air pressure when they detect changes in your breathing.
- BiPAP. Bi-level positive airflow pressure machines operate with two distinctive pressure settings—a lower one for exhaling and a higher one for inhaling. These machines are a great alternative for those who can’t tolerate a simple in-home CPAP machine or have higher levels of carbon dioxide in their blood. BiPAP devices can also come with a backup respiratory rate, which is extremely beneficial to those with central sleep apnea.
Consider the Advantages
Here are some of the benefits that come with the use of a CPAP machine:
- Continuous supply of oxygen that prevents sleep apnea-induced breath interruptions
- Improved sleep quality
- Lowered risks of cardiovascular events, such as strokes, heart attacks, and others
- Lowered blood pressure
- Enhanced energy levels during the day
- Possible reduction of cholesterol and blood glucose levels
Consider the Drawbacks
Like with any type of treatment, even the best sleep apnea machines can come with a few drawbacks as they might:
- Cause discomfort and make falling asleep difficult
- Induce the feeling of claustrophobia or anxiety
- Cause skin irritations, nosebleeds, nasal congestion, and dry mouth
- Lead to feeling bloated with air
Wrapping It Up
All in all, this comprehensive review is everything you might need to know about getting the best CPAP machine for your needs. Hopefully, these expert reviews helped you find the perfect unit. Also, we hope that our buyer’s guide managed to help you learn more about these devices.
While at it, we also suggest that you check our extensive review of the best medical alert systems that can add to the already taken safety measures.