So, you’re sleeping soundly with your CPAP machine, but your throat feels like a cactus. Why not sleep more comfortably by adding a heated humidifier to your setup?
When air enters the lungs, it first passes through your nasal passages or throat, where it is naturally warmed and moistened. Typically, with a CPAP or BiPAP machine, the amount of air streamed into your airways is more than what your body can naturally process, leaving your nasal passages and throat drier than normal. Oftentimes, the body directs more blood to the nasal areas in order to generate heat, which can lead to inflammation and congestion.
A humidifier adds moisture and warmth to the air, which can greatly reduce congestion and discomfort. Air passes over a chamber of heated water before entering your airways, giving your body much-needed processing assistance. Most CPAP and BiPAP machines these days already come equipped with one to maximize the effectiveness and comfort of your machine.
Humidifiers can and should be used with all mask types. However, sometimes moisture can build up in the tubing, causing condensation known as “rainout.” Adjust your humidifier’s heat settings to avoid overly damp air.
If you are treating your sleep apnea with a CPAP machine, but don’t feel as well-rested as you should be, ask yourself a few questions. Are you snoring at night? Do you wake up with a dry mouth and a sore throat? Then you may need to add another accessory to your nighttime fashion.
A chinstrap is a stretchy piece of fabric that straps over the top and back of your head, down your jawline, and across your chin, like the inside straps of a bike helmet combined with rugby headgear. It helps keep your jaw gently closed, increasing the proper, dedicated airflow through your nose from your CPAP machine. Most often, it is used in conjunction with the nasal tubing CPAP machines to prevent leaks, but it also can be used to more firmly secure a facemask.
Our highest-rated Premium Chinstrap by Respironics is a comfortable, affordable solution without having to resort to buying a full facemask. Used with a nasal system, it features an integrated cup to gently cradle the chin while offering just enough support to keep your mouth closed. If you use a mouth facemask, then try the Respironics Deluxe Chinstrap. Specially designed to be warn with sleep apnea masks, the Deluxe model comes with two points of adjustment on the back of the head for maximum comfort. Fast shipping from RespShop means you’ll be sleeping more soundly in no time.
Note: Don’t use a chinstrap if you have nasal decongestion, a deviated septum, or are experiencing difficulties with your CPAP machine. Serious breathing complications could occur.
Positive airway pressure sleep therapy typically comes in two forms: bilevel positive airway pressure therapy (BiPAP) and continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP). While most people have heard of CPAP machines, a BiPAP machine may be a new term. Both are pieces of equipment that provide an overnight non-invasive therapy for sleep apnea patients.
While both of them deliver pressurized air through a mask (whether it be a nasal pillow under the nostrils, a nasal mask over the nose, or a full face mask over the mouth and nose) they deliver said air at different rates and in different ways. The pressurized air, of course, keeps airways open and unobstructed, so the wearer can breathe comfortably through the night.
With CPAP, pressurized air is constantly streaming into the airways. The air can be controlled to stream at different pressures during the night. This “ramping” method lets the wearer start out at a lower pressure while awake and gradually shift to a higher pressure — which may feel more uncomfortable if used at the start — as they fall asleep. For some people, especially those who require high pressure settings to keep their airways open, the constant flow of air into the nose and/or mouth makes it difficult to exhale.
Advances in technology have made it possible for some CPAP machines to vary the pressure levels upon exhalation. The Phillips Respironics Dreamstation CPAP Pro, for example, has a C-Flex setting where the pressure can be softened during transition from inhale to exhale. The CPAP Dreamstation also benefits from resistance control, which lets it maintain optimal pressure no matter what kind of mask is used with the machine.
Patients who need a high pressure setting; or who suffer low oxygen levels or cardiopulmonary, lung, or certain neuromuscular disorders, may respond better to a bilevel machine. A BiPAP machine features two pressure settings — the prescribed pressure settings for inhalation, and a lower pressure setting for exhalation. This differs from the C-Flex technology mentioned above in that bilevel machines work with much higher prescribed pressures and have a set, non-variable exhalation pressure.
The Phillips Respironics DreamStation Auto BiPAP also has the C-Flex technology option, but goes a step further and incorporates Bi-Flex relief technology to track each breath and adjust streaming pressure at critical points in the breathing cycle. It also features advance event detection, which allows the machine to identify apnea events, adjust accordingly, and record waveform data for later interpretation from a physician.
Since 1989, ResMed has been an award-winning CPAP machine industry leader, aiming to mprove the lives of obstructive sleep apnea patients all over the world. At RespShop, we carry more than 200 ResMed products, ranging from the top-selling lines of CPAP machines down to accessories like nose cushions.
Machines offered by ResMed include the manual AirStart 10 CPAP with HumidAir, an effective, low-cost solution that allows you to set pressure settings based on your own needs. Its simple design makes it easy to use, and its vibrant LCD display makes it easy to see at night. Weighing in at only 2.75 pounds, this machine is easy to pack when you travel, giving you guaranteed sleep comfort without any extra burden. And the same outstanding expiratory pressure relief algorithm from their S9 models, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll breathe easy.
For customers who prefer an automatically adjusting CPAP machine, RespShop carries the ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet CPAP with HumidAir . As the most advanced CPAP machine in its class, the S10 AutoSet features EPR, a heated humidifier, advanced detection features, the industry’s best data tracking, and more. Its fitting technology alerts you if your mask is leaking, then notifies you when you have adjusted and achieved a proper fit. Revamped ramp technology in the S10 series means you can set your ramp without starting pressure until you’ve fallen asleep — a wonderful option for those new to CPAP machine therapy.
ResMed’s AirCurve 10 VAuto VPAP is a good solution for those who cannot use traditional CPAP devices. With two pressure settings — one for inhalation and the other for exhalation — this bilevel delivers effective therapy. Easy Breathe technology regulates pressure to make sure you exhale at a lower air pressure than you inhale. Plus, this machine will automatically adjust pressure to your needs during the night, increasing during times of apnea, ensuring that you receive the least invasive therapy possible. Best of all, each AirCurve device is equipped with cellular communication, which enables you to transmit your therapy data to your doctor without leaving your home.
In addition to three top-of-the-line CPAP machines, ResMed also provides a wide range of masks including nasal masks, nasal pillows, and full facemasks. Need a few specific parts for your therapy setup? No problem. ResMed also makes a whole line of headgear, clips, tubes, swivels, and other supplies. And don’t forget your oxygen supplies and humidifier attachments!
Try practicing holding the mask to your face and not strapping it on. This will help you find the right fit and get used to the stream of air pressure. Wear the mask around the house when you aren’t sleeping, just to get used to the feel of it, or wear it during a short nap to build up to feel more comfortable wearing it all night. You may also want to talk to your doctor about using a nasal tube instead of a full mask, or ask about a prescription for mild anti-anxiety drugs.
If you are having problems getting enough air pressure, there may be a problem with the fit of your mask. Work closely with your doctor and run through several different trials to get the fit right, otherwise your mask may not be effective. If you lose weight or grow facial hair, you may also have to refit your mask or switch styles. You may also need an accessory like a chinstrap to improve the effectiveness of your mask. RespShop has more than 1,300 different products that can fit your CPAP needs.
Older machines can have a humming sound that can disturb sleep. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as moving the machine a little farther from your bed, or angling it away from your head. Technological improvements have lead to newer CPAP machines that barely register at a whisper. Talk with your doctor or insurance provider about getting a new machine. Customer service representatives at RespShop can also help you via phone, email, or live chat on our website.
4. Dry airways
If you are waking up with a dry, sore throat, you may need a chinstrap to help keep you jaw closed. If your nose is dry or stuffy and you have a newer machine with a humidifier, increase the settings to pull in more moisture. (If you don’t have a humidifier, try a saline nasal spray.) Finally, check the fit of your mask — it may be just as simple as a small adjustment to make your mask more effective.
If your air hose is getting in the way at night, try sleeping on your back or arranging the hose so it drapes off the edge of your pillow. Remind yourself of the health benefits from your CPAP machine. More than 18 million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea — you aren’t alone!