CPAP Machine FAQs
View common questions about CPAP machines below.
Please don't hesitate to contact customer services if you require further information or assistance selecting your CPAP machine.
What is positive airway pressure or PAP?
There are three types of positive airway pressure (PAP) machines used to treat sleep apnea.
These sleep apnea machines look alike, but differ in the way they moderate the flow of air:
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or
- Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP) or
- BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP),
In term of usage, CPAP and APAP are the most common go-to sleep apnea machines for treating obstructive sleep apnea while BiPAP’s are used as therapy for some sleep apnea patients who require higher pressure strengths or low oxygen levels. Bi-PAP can be helpful for patients with cardiopulmonary disorders, COPD and other respiratory and lung disorders.
CPAP & APAP devices work by delivering a gentle flow of air to the back of your throat using a mask, this flow of air creates positive air pressure which forms an air splint to reduce obstructions in your airways.
Similarly, to CPAP and APAP devices the BiPAP machines also creates an air splint but provides additional support during exhalation.
What is CPAP therapy?
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP therapy is considered the gold standard therapy that delivers pressurized air into the upper airway to relieve obstruction during sleep.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a common but serious sleep disorder that causes you to repeatably stop and start breathing during sleep. The airway becomes partially or completely blocked, limiting the amount of air reaching your lungs. The loss of air could last for 10 seconds or longer. A narrow or an obstructed airway is likely to vibrate during sleep causing loud snoring. These episodes may occur several times during a night, triggering the body to wake up sometimes unknowingly for a short period of time and restart the breathing process.
A CPAP machine provides air at a constant prescribed pressure. CPAP therapy provides a constant airflow which keeps the airway open so uninterrupted breathing is maintained during sleep. This stream of air eliminates/ reduces Apnea events and allows the person to get a restful night’s sleep.
Studies indicate that more than 6 hours of CPAP therapy leads to improved daily functioning and memory and decreased daytime sleepiness.
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to potentially serious health complications including heart attacks, stroke or depression. It can also leave a person feeling drowsy, increasing the risk of accidents while driving, difficulty concentrating.
How is the level of air pressure determined?
The level of air pressure required is determined during a sleep study. Your physician will write a prescription for a CPAP machine set at that pressure.
How is CPAP Therapy delivered?
CPAP therapy is delivered through a CPAP/APAP/BiLevel Machine that connect a CPAP Mask. The CPAP Machine pumps pressured air into the patient’s airways during sleep. There are three types of CPAP Masks that are recommend to patients. A nasal mask seals around the nose, nasal pillows gently seals the nasal opening and a full face mask are generally recommended for a person who breathes through both the nose and mouth.
Do all CPAP Machines use filters?
Yes, all CPAP Machines use at least one filter that is a made of foam material and is washable. Cleaning and changing CPAP filters are one of the requirements to maintain a CPAP machine. The CPAP filters are located at the back of the CPAP machine at the air intake.
What is the purpose of adding humidification to my machine?
Heated CPAP humidification can increase your comfort while completing your sleep therapy. Humidification adds moisture to the air being blown into your airway, and without it, many patients find that they have significant drying out of their nostrils, mouths, and throats. Studies have shown that because patients' comfort levels are increased when humidification is added to therapy, their compliance with the therapy is also greatly increased as well. If you are purchasing your first CPAP or do not normally use humidification, we strongly recommend adding a humidifier to your machine.
What are auto-titrating or auto CPAP machines?
Auto-titrating CPAP machines automatically adjust your CPAP pressure throughout the night to ensure that you are receiving the exact CPAP pressure necessary to keep your airway open. The auto CPAP machine senses and adjusts to whatever pressure is necessary for your needs. Even the smallest change, such as a loss or gain of only ten pounds, can change the optimal pressure for your therapy. A standard CPAP will not adjust with these changing needs. It would have to be reset. Auto CPAP Machines sense your new needs and function according to what your body demands. If you are unsure whether an auto CPAP is correct for your therapy, please give us a call on 1300 676 279 and we will be happy to help you choose the best CPAP machine for your needs!
What is the difference between CPAP and BiPAP therapy?
CPAP therapy is used for patients who have been diagnosed with OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) and only require one continuous pressure. BiPAP therapy is normally used for patients who have more complexed forms of sleep disorders. BiPAP therapy allows for both inhalation and exhalation pressures to be set at different ranges. Your physician will always determine which therapy type you need.
What if my CPAP pressure seems too high?
Most first time CPAP users experience this sensation. It normally takes 1 to 2 weeks for you to adjust to the pressure on your CPAP machine. If you still feel your CPAP pressure is too high, you must contact your physician before any adjustments can be made. Patience is extremely important while you adjust to your pressure.
How often should I change the water in my humidifier?
Distilled water should always be used to prevent calcium build up in your water chamber and to prevent sinus infections. Your water should be changed daily. Always rinse your CPAP humidifier chamber out before adding new water. Washing your CPAP humidifier on a weekly basis helps prevent bacterial build up.
What kind of support do you provide customers?
We have a dedicated staff of trained CPAP experts to assist you before and after sales. We honor all manufacturers warranties and will gladly handle any warranty claim you may have. We have a comprehensive education and resource center at your disposal 24 hours a day. We also offer online live chat with our CPAP experts. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or problems before or after you purchase your CPAP supplies.