CPAP Machine Choices for Sleep Apnea

The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and millions have it but remain undiagnosed. Sleep apnea matters. Not only does it reduce the quantity and quality of your sleep, which by itself is a serious health problem that can branch out into many issues, it also can lead to other medical issues like high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, various forms of heart disease and stroke. Experts within the sleep apnea research and treatment community believe that sleep apnea is also a cause of obesity in many people. And since obesity leads to many of the metabolic disorders listed above, it is more than a mere slight to one's vanity.

What is Sleep Apnea? A Brief Summary

There are actually three sleep apneas. 

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea - The usual way obstructive sleep apnea occurs is the tongue will collapse against the soft palette and the soft palette will then collapse against the back of the throat during sleep; thus air, and the breathing process, becomes obstructed.
  2. Central sleep apnea - The airway remains clear and unobstructed, but the brain (the central nervous system's controller) fails to send a signal to the muscles to breath.
  3. Complex sleep apnea - These are the "lucky" ones who have a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy is a common way for people with obstructive or complex sleep apnea to manage their condition from home. You should see your doctor to ask if you are a candidate for a CPAP machine.

CPAP machines are small devices that push a steady stream of air pressure through a hose and into a face mask or nose piece and into your airway to avoid obstruction.

Here are three different CPAP machines for you to consider as you begin your research for the product that is right for you. I've linked them to a popular internet medical supplier, but you can search in your web browser for other places to buy them. You may have a local medical supply store that you can visit in person in your area to talk to a representative and buy it there.  Check with your doctor for referrals and your medical insurance plan to understand all your options for payment.

Respironics GoLife - CPAP/BiPAP Mask Kit

Respironics GoLife CPAP/BiPAP Mask kit.

Some manufacturers make BiPAP kits too. BiPAP stands for Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure. The main difference from CPAP is that BiPAP has two pressure settings for the air that it runs from the machine, through the hose, and into your airway. One pressure for when you inhale, and one pressure when you exhale. BiPAP therapy is usually prescribed after CPAP has been tried and has proven not effective enough for the person struggling with sleep obstructive or complex apnea. Most often, BiPAP is used for complex sleep apnea cases.

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Respironics ComfortFusion - CPAP/BiPAP Mask with Headgear (Nasal Mask)

Respironics ComfortFusion - CPAP/BiPAP Mask with Headgear (Nasal Mask).

Respironics' ComfortFusion mask comes with headgear to securely, but comfortably, keep a nasal mask in place for either CPAP or BiPAP therapy.

The masks are made of a gel material to fit comfortably and conform to the face. The forehead pad is also soft so that it adds further security and comfort. 

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Respironics ComfortGel Blue - CPAP/BiPAP Mask with Headgear (Full Face)

Respironics ComfortGel Blue - CPAP/BiPAP Mask with Headgear (Full Face).

Here is an example of a full face mask. The ComfortGel Blue by Respironics has the same comfort and security benefits designed into it as its ComfortFusion model. The main difference here is that there is a mask that covers your entire mouth and nose while you sleep.

A major feature difference in this full face unit is built-in exhalation port, designed to evenly disperse air for quiet operation. 

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