Types of Sleep Apnea Machines
Are you suffering from moderate to severe forms of sleep apnea? The most common treatments for sleep apnea are sleep apnea devices. Depending on your unique form and severity of sleep apnea, we might recommend different types of positive airway pressure (PAP) machines. At Emerald Sleep Disorders Centers in Eugene, OR, our sleep specialist will assess and diagnose your sleep apnea, and help you choose the right medical device.
What is a PAP Machine?
PAP machines promote healthy breathing during sleep by moving air through the airway at a pressure that prevents your airway from becoming blocked. PAP machines are discrete, usually around the size of a shoebox, but they can be much smaller. PAP machines are made up of 3 components: the airway generator, the hose that connects to the generator, and the mask that connects to your airway. PAP machines can come with a variety of settings and features, and the pressure of your PAP machine will be set according to the severity of your sleep apnea.
Are PAP Machines Covered by Insurance?
Since PAP machines are a medical device, they must be FDA approved, and you will need a prescription before you can obtain a PAP machine. For this reason, most PAP machines are covered by insurance as medical equipment. You can either rent your PAP machine or buy it through a home health care company. We recommend renting your machine before purchasing it to make sure that it has all of the features you need for your sleep apnea situation.
Types of PAP Machines
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines are the primary treatment option for moderate to severe sleep apnea. The CPAP machine helps your obstructive sleep apnea by opening your airway, so there is no collapse in your throat while trying to breath.
CPAP machines require one of the following kinds of masks:
a mask that covers your mouth and nose
a mask that goes over your nose called “nasal continuous positive airway pressure”
prongs that are placed in your nose.
Because CPAP machines continuously deliver oxygen into your airway, it can take some time for your body to adapt to using this device. Oftentimes, patients complain of their CPAP devices, because their mask does not fit correctly. Finding a comfortable mask will be an integral part in the success of your CPAP therapy.
BiPap machines are another common form of positive airway pressure devices. They are similar to CPAP machines, only the pressures are split, so the patient may inhale and exhale more easily.
BiPAP machines are useful for patients that need higher pressure levels of incoming air. BiPAP machines can also include features that record the amount of breaths per minute that a patient is taking.
If the patient’s breathing starts to slow, the machine will increase in air pressure, so the patient is able to breath. Typically, BiPAP machines are prescribed to patients with lung disorders, cardiovascular disorders, or congestive heart failure.
CPAP with C-Flex
To sleep comfortably, patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea will need less pressure in their PAP machine than traditional CPAP and BiPAP machines. The CPAP with C-Flex machine is a CPAP variation that allows for a lighter exhale pressure release, similar to the BiPAP machine, but at a lower setting.
APAP machines are similar to CPAP machines in that they are deliver positive pressure into the airway. However, APAP machines are not limited by one pressure setting. APAP machines have a low range pressure setting, as well as a high range pressure setting. APAP machines have a more intricate ability to measure the pressure on a breath-by-breath basis to decide what pressure you need before sleep apnea events occur.
EPAP devices are used to treat mild sleep apnea and snoring. Unlike most PAP machines, EPAP devices are small, portable, single-use devices that are placed over your nostrils before falling asleep.
EPAP devices serve as valves that help you breath in more easily, but exhale through a smaller vent. This design causes an increase in pressure that keeps your airway open. EPAP devices help to cut back on snoring and help with daytime sleepiness. It is also a good option for patients that have a hard time adapting to CPAP machines.
Choosing the Right Mask for your PAP Machine
If you have received a prescription for a positive airway pressure machine, you will need to be fitted for a mask that attaches to a tubing that connects to the PAP machine.
Getting the correct mask size for your PAP machine will be an integral part in making sure the correct pressure level is being met. Masks with straps that are too loose allow air to leak out and having a mask that is too tight can be uncomfortable. You should also make sure that the chin strap on your mask is flexible, so that you can easily open your mouth if you need.
You also need to make sure that your sleep apnea mask is the right size and shape to fit over your nose and mouth. Your mask should be made from a comfortable material that is pliable, but also seals to the face as to not experience leaks. If you have sensitive skin, you should make sure that your mask does not inflame your skin.
Traveling with a PAP Machine
Are you worried about keeping your sleep apnea under control while traveling? Traveling with a PAP machine requires some planning. For one, if you are traveling by plane or train, you should bring your PAP prescription with you while traveling with a letter of necessity. Make sure that you keep your letter of necessity on your person.
You also need to be prepared to take your machine out when bringing it through security and allow airport security to know you are traveling with a PAP machine. Before using your CPAP machine on a plane or train, you should check with the company’s rules and regulations.
Treat Your Sleep Apnea at Emerald Sleep Disorders Center
Are you ready to get your sleep apnea under control? Emerald Sleep Disorders Center will find the appropriate sleep apnea treatment and ensure that your PAP machines maintain the proper settings and parts for your unique sleep apnea needs. Call use today to schedule an appointment at 541-683-3325.