CPAP machines are considered the gold standard for people diagnosed with sleep apnea and snoring. CPAP is an acronym for continuous positive airway pressure. A CPAP works by filtering room air and delivering the pressurized air to a mask you wear while sleeping. This constant flow of air pressure is intended to keep your airway from collapsing and thus providing a more restful and healthy night’s sleep. These devices are prescribed by physicians and are available in fixed pressure, auto adjusting or bi-level models. The type of device you need if often determined by the severity of your apnea and therapy needs. Heated humidifiers are available and recommended to prevent dryness that can be caused by direct pressure.
Auto Adjusting CPAP Machines
Auto CPAP machines can detect apnea and snoring events during sleep and automatically increase or decrease air pressure as needed. This technology is great for people that may have frequent fluctuations with sleep patterns, positions, medications, and weight change. These devices call also be programmed to operate in auto or fixed pressure mode. Over the past decade these models have been the most purchased and recommended by physicians
Fixed Pressure CPAP Machines
A fixed pressure or “standard” CPAP machine delivers one pressure setting (steady or constant) during the night. The pressure setting is often determined by your physician after you stayed a night at a sleep lab. These devices are most often used by people that like the machine to stay at one pressure setting throughout the night. The pros about a fixed pressure CPAP devices are the cost and the ability to control or keep the setting at a level that is comfortable and constant. The cons are that it will not adjust automatically based on your needs and you may need to visit your physician for pressure changes frequently.
Bi-Level or BiPAP Machines
Bi-Level (BiPAP) machines offer two separate pressure settings during sleep that alternates between your inhale and exhale breaths. This is a great technology for people with moderate to severe sleep apnea that have a hard time breathing against high pressures. The pressure settings of a Bi-Level are often a difference of 3 to 6 cm/H2O. Bi-Level and BiPAP machines are available in standard or auto adjusting models and typically used for people with COPD, CPAP intolerance due to high pressures and underlining health issues.