Having trouble sleeping is not necessarily something that you notice right away. It is often a problem that creeps up on you slowly. It typically starts by beginning to recognize how tired you are and searching for a cause of that feeling. It’s easier when you’re sleeping in the same bed as a significant other because they may often be awoken by your frequent tossing and turning or inability to either get to sleep or remain sleeping through the night. They may realize you have a sleeping issue like sleep apnea before you do.
Once you’ve gotten checked by a doctor and perhaps had some breathing tests performed, it may have been recognized that you have a breathing difficulty which is making sleeping difficult. Interrupted breathing through either a blocked airway, the lungs not working as well as we’d like or obstructed breathing due to obesity are just three of the ways that breathing while asleep gets to be a problem. The worst risk with sleep apnea is stopping breathing for long periods which could cause suffocation or worse, so when in difficulty, check with your doctor whether a CPAP machine might be good for your condition.
How CPAP Machines Can Help
A CPAP machine which stands for continuous positive airway pressure is a tool to help you sleep if you’re having difficulties. The idea of the CPAP equipment is that it helps you to breathe more regularly by ensuring enough oxygen is being taken in through your nose, down your esophagus and into your lungs. The positive airway feature relates to ensuring a sustained amount of necessary oxygen is fed in a measured quantity to ensure you receive enough air – not too much or too little – to breathe normally while asleep and not get awoken. This way, you can get a restful night’s sleep.
There are many differences between one CPAP model and the next. They certainly are not all the same. About five major manufacturers produce this type of equipment, so they each have their own pros and cons which are worth looking over before deciding which one will be the most help to you.
Automatic Titration or Hospital Testing?
There is a choice with the best CPAP machine whether to pick one that has automatic titration or not. The automatic titration sounds technical, but what it basically means is that it continually measures the air pressure needed for normal respiratory breathing and adjusts the CPAP system accordingly.
The alternative is an expensive, time-consuming series of tests at a local healthcare facility to confirm what necessary pressure is required for you to breathe normally. The setting determined from the healthcare tests is then fed into a machine—usually one without automatic titration – to ensure the right amount of air pressure for you.
If you feel you require the CPAP machine for many years to come, you might find you need a greater amount of air flow if your breathing condition worsens. Perhaps this could be because of coming down with a cold or the flu and being more blocked up or for another reason. Having a model that’s a bit more expensive but that comes with the automated feature avoids the need to get re-tested. When you factor in the time and money involved, getting the better model with the automatic calibration feature is worth it in most cases.
Is a CPAP Machine Noisy?
The CPAP machines present in hospitals tend to be less noisy than home-based models. However, that does depend on the manufacturer and which model you look at. Certainly, some CPAP models are almost whisper quiet whereas others are less so. Just like with any other comparative purchase, it’s a good idea to look at what features are provided by each model to determine the best purchase for both your needs and your pocketbook. Rest assured, there are quiet home CPAP machines available; if that’s the high priority, look specifically for that feature in the product specifications.
For homes in dry climate environments that get hotter and drier in the summer months, the lack of humidity in the bedroom can create an additional problem with labored breathing due to a dry mouth. A portable humidifier is a useful addition to the home, but it doesn’t always work perfectly in conjunction with a CPAP machine. Fortunately, there are some products like one of the Res-Med AirSense models that includes a humidifier to avoid getting a dry mouth through the night. This is one of those little features that you often don’t know that you needed until you bought a machine that didn’t have the option, so it’s well worth considering.
Are CPAP Machines Portable for Business or Personal Travel?
The size and weight of CPAP equipment for the home has come down in recent years thanks to modern manufacturing techniques. Some units are under 2 pounds including the oxygen mask and cabling. Their dimensions aren’t much larger than a laptop even though the machine itself is taller than one. It will certainly fit on a bedside table in a hotel or a bedroom at home without difficulty. It’s best to travel by car or pack it into your luggage when flying domestic to take it with you. These types of easy breathing equipment are portable enough to take on the road. You do need a little bit of arm strength, but they’re usually much lighter than a heavily stuffed suitcase that you take traveling with you.
Thankfully technology has made it possible to breathe more easily without needing to go into hospital for an extended period. CPAP machines are no longer just used on hospital wards to deal with patients that have prolonged breathing difficulties that have so far gone unresolved. The advent of home-based CPAP machines provides greater independence to sleep as you like without needing continual medical intervention. For anyone who is suffering from sleep apnea or a related breathing issue, this provides peace of mind because no one likes the feeling of losing their independence. That’s especially true as we get older.