CPAP Machines : Understanding And How it Works

CPAP MachinesCPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), is a medical device that is usually used by people who have respiratory problems, such as sleep apnea. You need to know, that CPAP is the most effective non-surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and is the first and most widely used treatment for adults. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where there is a pause in breathing.

Your respiratory tract consists of the nose, mouth, and throat, which allows air flow to carry oxygen into the lungs and remove carbodioxide from the lungs. In people with obstructive sleep the respiratory apnea experiences constriction or closes completely so that it blocks air flow.

The CPAP machine works by giving pressurized air flow through the hose to the nose and / or mouth so that the respiratory tract stays open. The air pressure given depends on the severity of sleep apnea that you have. The pressure required is usually determined by doctors after reviewing an overnight study (polysomnography) in a sleep laboratory under supervision.

CPAP Machine For Snoring
CPAP Machine For Snoring

In general, the benefits of CPAP Machines are:

– Keep the airway open when you sleep

– Reduces or even eliminates snoring

– Improve sleep quality

– Relieves symptoms of sleep apnea, such as excessive daytime sleepiness

– Reducing or preventing high blood pressure

CPAP is also used to treat premature babies whose lungs have not yet fully developed. For this treatment, a soft fork is placed in the baby’s nostrils. The CPAP machine gently blows air into the baby’s nose, which helps make the lungs expand, thereby increasing survival.

A CPAP medical device has three main parts:

– A mask (or other device) that fits on the nose and / or mouth. And the strap that keeps the mask in place when you are wearing it.

– A tube that connects masks to engine motors.

– A motor that blows air into the tube.

Some CPAP machines also have other features, such as a humidifier.

There are many types of CPAP masks. And the types of CPAP machines also vary such as: BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) and VPAP (Variable Positive Airway Pressure). Therefore, let your doctor know if you are not satisfied with the type you are using. Your doctor may suggest switching to a different type that might work better for you.

Immediately consult with your doctor, if you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea and determine the appropriate medical device for you. Remember that sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder, which not only annoys you but also your sleep partner.

The term Obstructive Sleep Apnea is still unfamiliar to the public. This disease is rarely detected, even by doctors. Even though the symptoms, which are snoring during sleep, we often find in most Indonesian people. Obstructive Sleep Apnea or commonly abbreviated as OSA is a frightening disease, because sufferers can stop breathing while sleeping. This is what can trigger a variety of metabolic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart attacks, and even strokes.

Various types of research were conducted to find the treatment of this disease, while improving the quality of life for sufferers. In addition to surgical measures to widen the patient’s respiratory tract, non-surgical treatment is also developed. This is done to support sufferers who are afraid of scalpels. One non-surgical treatment for OSA is CPAP, which is a device that drains air into the patient’s lungs during sleep, so that the incidence of lack of oxygen during sleep can be avoided.

What is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)?

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the main therapeutic choice for sleep apnea. A CPAP machine is a machine that gives air pressure through a mask that is placed over the nose and / or mouth during sleep.

How can CPAP eliminate snoring in sleep apnea sufferers?

In patients with sleep apnea, the channel is closed partially or completely during sleep, so that the flow of blood to the lungs is inhibited. When fully closed, sometimes patients experience respiratory arrest which can endanger life. Closed airway is caused by many factors, such as the tongue is too long, enlarged tonsils, to obesity.

The concept of CPAP is to work through positive pressure in the upper airway constantly and continuously, so that the upper airway stays open during sleep. As a result, lung volume can be maintained, helping the pharynx to remain open. This can prevent the occurrence of apnea, and oxygen can be channeled properly. In addition, several studies also mention the use of CPAP can reduce the incidence of snoring.

What is the shape of a CPAP machine like?

The type of mask used in CPAP is tailored to the patient’s needs and the severity of OSA. The use of CPAP masks must pay attention to patient comfort, because it will be used by every patient sleeping. These types include:

  • Nasal mask (a mask worn on the nose, like an oxygen hose)
  • Oral mask (mask used in the mouth)
  • Combination masks (masks covering the nose and mouth, such as fighter pilot masks)
  • Other variations

At the beginning of using CPAP, sometimes there are patients who feel awkward and uncomfortable. Most people learn to adjust masks to get a suitable, comfortable and safe mask. A few people also benefit from using a humidifier along with the CPAP system, to reduce the side effects of a dry nose when using CPAP.

Who can use a CPAP machines?

All sleep apnea sufferers who have not received surgical therapy, can use CPAP as the treatment of choice. Obstructive sleep apnea is a frightening disease because it can cause sudden death, regardless of age, sex and race, because sufferers have episodes of stopping breathing on each of their sleeps.

Nasal CPAP (CPAP with a mask on the nose) has been used with good results in children including infants, obese children, Down syndrome, akondroplasia, and with craniofacial abnormalities (lesions of head-face shape). In the age group of children, CPAP is especially useful for obese patients and patients with sleep apnea who do not go away despite undergoing tonsillectomy and or adenoidectomy.

Experts recommend giving CPAP to children who after tonsillectomy and or adenoidectomy still have OSAS symptoms. Or, the CPAP machine is used temporarily while waiting for tonsillectomy and or adenoidectomy. The same thing applies to adults. However, if from the beginning refuse surgery, CPAP is absolutely the first choice.

Are there side effects from using a CPAP machines?

Many people worry that giving positive pressure to the respiratory tract can cause the lungs to rupture. But don’t worry, CPAP has the ability to adjust the pressure the body needs only to keep the airway open. In addition, also developed the type of Autoset CPAP which can gradually increase inspiratory pressure until patient comfort is created.

CPAP side effects are usually mild and are associated with air leaks around the hose mask. This condition can cause dry eyes, conjunctivitis, nasal irritation, and a rash on the skin. Nasal drops with physiological NaCl or using a CPAP system using humidifers can reduce side effects.

What are the signs if your CPAP machines therapy is successful?

The key to the success of CPAP therapy is compliance with treatment combined with good preparation, education, and intensive monitoring. Signs of successful use of CPAP include:

  1. You can sleep better
  2. You feel more refreshed when you wake up
  3. A decrease in blood pressure
  4. Increase in vitality and self motivation
  5. Improved performance in work and mood control
  6. Increased alertness when driving a vehicle
  7. The success of this therapy is very dependent on your adherence to using the tool, so this tool becomes less effective if not used regularly.


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