CPAP - Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
CPAP therapy can be delivered in different ways. Based on your sleep study, your sleep doctor will prescribe the best therapy, with specific pressures, that dictate which type of CPAP machine you require to control you OSA - Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
- Manual CPAP machines: For prescriptions with a fixed pressure. During your sleep study, you were titrated to the 95th percentile pressure. This number, measured in cmH20, is the pressure you required 95% of the time to stabilize your airway. That is the pressure the machine will provide all night long to keep you optimally treated. Any pressure changes will require another sleep study for further titration. There are comfort settings to promote complaint usage.
- Auto CPAP machines: For a prescription with a range of pressures. APAP machines are prescribed more often due to the automatic technology that keeps you optimally treated throughout the night. The APAP provides optimal pressure despite sleeping position, health changes, weight changes and aging. This machines high technology, allows for both fixed and auto modes to be set. The modes can be interchanged for titration when required or used in Auto mode full time, based on the prescription.
- BiPAP machines: For a prescription with both inhalation (IPAP) and exhalation pressures (EPAP). Doctors prescribe BiPAP therapy when central apneas are noted in the sleep study. The pressures and settings on the prescription will dictate which BiPAP machine you require as there are several different bi-pap machines available including VPAPs, BiLevel ST and ASV machines. BiPAP machines have the highest and most intricate technology.
- BiPAP/VPAP/BiLevel ST machines: BiPAP, VPAP, and BiLevel ST machines can effectively treat central sleep apnea.
OSA - Obstructive Sleep Apnea is, by definition, when a sleeper has repeated apnea events during sleep. An apnea event occurs when the upper airway of the sleeper is obstructed and reduces or blocks the airflow during sleep for longer than 10 seconds and causes a significant drop in the blood oxygen level.
The upper airway of the sleeper can collapse for many reasons. When this occurs, it causes a blockage in the airway or an apnea. When an apnea occurs, the person becomes unable to breathe. The brain then signals the heart to get busy circulating the oxygenated blood throughout the body. Eventually the brain takes over and forces the sleeper to wake making the sleeper choke and gasp and then go back to sleep. The sleeper’s apneas never allow the sleeper to enter, or stay in, the deep, restorative stages of sleep required for the human body to stay healthy. The cardiovascular system is overworked, organs are not allowed time to heal or produce, the brain is never able to rest and suffers from lack of oxygen intermittently all night long.
The CPAP machine, as per your prescription, will provide the therapy you require to stop having apneas in your sleep. With the correct mask and machine you will be able to sleep through the night, allow your body to get the restorative rest it requires and wake feeling rested.
You will find the top manufacturer’s machines, ResMed, Fisher & Paykel, Philips Respironics and more, on our website. There is information available for each one to help you learn more about the machine. You will see we carry travel machines as well. Please do not hesitate to call in to speak to one of our Medical staff with any questions. We can help you read your prescription and guide you to the correct machine. Once you have found the correct machine as per your prescription, you then need to find the perfect mask for you. We have the latest models of masks, from each of the manufacturers, available on our website for you to see and read about. Masks come in three designs – full face, nasal and nasal pillow. To better understand which mask fits best for you, please read the article written by our Certified Polysomnographic Technologist - A Guide to Finding The Right CPAP Mask.
Again, our medical staff is here to assist you in finding the best mask to add to your order. You can find information about the care and cleaning of your CPAP, Remote Data Service and articles about everything to do with Obstructive Sleep Apnea on our website. Read all Sleep Apnea & CPAP Knowledge HERE.