CPAP Machine

CPAP Guide For Patients with Sleep Apnea

The CPAP machine is the most effective treatment for sleep apnea known today.

However, CPAP therapy is designed to manage apnea, not to cure it.

The machine must be worn throughout each night to provide maximal benefit.

Using a mask and a hose (tubing), the PAP machine is able to provide a continuous airflow into the back of the throat. This pressure splints the throat airway open, and allows for normal breathing.

To understand more about how a CPAP works, check this video:

What Are The CPAP Benefits?

Using the CPAP effectively every night, you will see positive changes in your quality of life, such as:

Benefits of CPAP Therapy

Before Using CPAP

After Using CPAP

From excessive sleepiness during the day

to daytime alertness

From being easily annoyed

to being more calm

From having headaches in the morning

to not having them

From having memory and concentration problems

to being more focused

From having high blood pressure

to reduce or cancel the use of medication,

From depression

to improved quality of life.

From having weight gain problems

to helping lose weight.

From sexual problems in bed

to healthy sexual activity

For more on positive aspects of using the CPAP, see CPAP benefits.

How do CPAP Machines Work?

CPAP is used to treat mild, moderate and even severe cases of sleep apnea.

However, for complicated cases of central apnea, mixed apnea or Cheyne-Stokes respirations, the treatment requires the use of high-end technology devices, such as bi-level PAP device (BiPAP) or auto-adjusting device (APAP).

The air pressure setting from CPAP machine may differ from patient to patient. To find what is the best pressure to open your airway without causing side effects, you need a sleep study.

Having the correct air pressure from your CPAP

Higher than necessary CPAP air pressure can trigger central apnea events, which will aggravate your sleep instead of improving. The settings from your CPAP must be changed by a qualified person, not by yourself.

The following video describes what is CPAP and how does it work to give you air to breathe in the night:

Important features that CPAP needs to have

The CPAP machine has some features that help you increase the comfort when you sleep, such as:
Important Features in High Quality CPAP Machines

ramp feature - allows a gradual increase of the air pressure from a low level to the final prescribed air pressure. This feature is useful mainly for patients who need a high pressure to maintain the airway open.

humidifier - to prevent the nasal passages or the throat to become stuffy or dry. This feature is useful for every CPAP user.

memory card - to record the information from your sleep. This device records the necessary data for your doctor to analyze your sleep quality.

air filter - to clean the air before entering into your airways.

exhalation relief - to make exhalation against the CPAP pressure easier.

software - reporting of all compliance, pressure, leak and AHI parameters.

CPAP Manufacturers

Here are the most common CPAP brands:

Side Effects from CPAP Machines

Although CPAP is a simple therapy, many patients have difficulties using the machine every night. Research has shown that 50% of those who do use CPAP will not be using it after 4 years. Other patients use the machine only a couple of hours in the night, instead of whole night.

CPAP users give up their machines because they don't know how to confront the side effects. These CPAP problems are very common, and learning how to manage them can improve the success rate. Here are some examples:

The next video is about a positive experience with CPAP. This man explains very nicely how things work, from his own experience:

There are patients with sleep apnea who gave up the CPAP just because they have not seen any positive result. Learn from their mistakes with help tips for CPAP users.

CPAP Chin Strap - Do You Sleep With Your Mouth Open?

CPAP users who have air leak problems receive a low level of pressure, so their therapy is ineffective. If you sleep with your mouth open and you don't use a full face mask, the CPAP therapy will fail.

A chin strap was created to help you sleep with your mouth closed, and is a great helper in this situation. Read More about CPAP Chin Straps

For more on problems with CPAP therapy, see CPAP Problems.

How to Choose the Best CPAP

If your doctor prescribes a CPAP, you need to find one that is good for you. Do not rush at the first CPAP shop. Take your time. Think about buying a car: you need to compare many dealers and products before making a choice.

However, your breathing machine is more important. You will spend more time with your CPAP than with your car, and you should start using your breathing machine soon as possible.

CPAP for Travel

Are you planning a holiday overseas? Do you want to travel abroad? If you suffer from sleep apnea, you need to take your CPAP with you. Read more about how to choose a CPAP for travel.

For more on how to choose a CPAP from a shop, see Best CPAP Machines.

Cleaning Your CPAP Equipment

Cleaning your CPAP equipment can prolong the life of your machine, and protect your health from mold, dust, and bacteria.

Bottom line... The CPAP machine will eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea, but it doesn't mean you will be cured. So, don't assume that you are treated just because you feel better. If you stop your treatment with CPAP, sleep apnea will return.

Questions and Tips About CPAP/Masks

Do you have problems with your CPAP or mask? This is the place where you can ask a question about any aspect of using the CPAP machine and mask issues, and I will give you an answer or help you solve the problem. It's free and it's easy to do.

Just fill in the form below, then click on "Submit Your Question".

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Is CPAP Harmful from Long Term Exposure? 
Just beginning my wonderful experience of living with CPAP. Doing lots of reading on the subject and find the short list of minor side effects interesting. …

Dry eyes from CPAP 
I have been diagnosed with chronic dry eye. I also wake up with large bags under my eyes. The puffiness is from the CPAP can the dry eye be the …

What To Do While Waiting For CPAP? 
I had severe sleep apnea years ago. I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism after my thyroid levels got back to normal I lost thirty pounds and the …

Swollen eyes from CPAP 
I have been using a cpap machine for over 6 weeks. Before going for sleep study I was always tired no matter how much I slept. I would wake often to …

Stomach bloating with CPAP 
I was dianosed with mild sleep apnea, and have been using my cpap more lately with lots of gas and bloating, now here's my question it came with a chin …

What To Do With CPAP Machine Not Needed? 
I have had two sleep studies. In the first study I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and was given/sold/whatever a CPAP machine. The short of it is …

CPAP Addiction 
I have been told by a friend that people can get addicted to the CPAP and have to use oxygen all the time and to avoid the CPAP at all costs. Is this …

CPAP chest or lung pain 
Some mornings when I wake up my lungs actually hurt. The pain goes away within a few minutes after taking off my cpap full face mask. But I have …

CPAP Tubing condensation 
There is condensation building up in the tubing that runs from the humidifier to my mask. I also get doused with water when I turn over or shift positions. …

Receiving Low CPAP Air Pressure 
In this article you'll learn what can you do if you feel the CPAP pressure is too low, affecting your sleep: I have been using the CPap for almost …

Can CPAP Treatment Help Your Heart Rate? 
My grandmother is supposed to be sleeping with a CPAP machine, unfortunately she does not use it every time she is napping or nightly. Lately her heart …

High Leak Session Message on Resmed Elite II 
Following message appeared on my Elite II machine : "High leak in last session". Does that mean the machine is disfunctional? Answer The ResMed …

CPAP Gas Problem - Aerophagia? 
I get a tremendous amount of gas every morning from my CPAP machine, so much so that I do not want to continue using it. Neither the company I got …

Can't sleep and have sleep apnea! 
If you're a sleep apnea patient and struggling to fall asleep, then the answer from this page may interest you. Here is Bob's story about his sleeping …

How to stop CPAP air leakage through my lips? 
If you want to stop the CPAP air leaks from your mouth or lips while you sleep, this article will give you some solutions. I have had my CPAP machine …

Travel with CPAP and distilled water supply 
The following question is often asked by CPAP users who travel abroad, especially on long distances: What do I do if I am going on a three week China …

CPAP hand numbness and pain 
I wake up with both of my hands hurting and i sleep on my back. The CPAP is set on 12 and I have had the machine a month. Answer Your problem …

Changing pressure of CPAP machine? 
Can you change the pressure on your own CPAP machine? Is it recommend? Read this article to learn more: My husband had been told to have his …

Where can I find a custom fit CPAP mask 
Where can I buy a custom fit full face CPAP mask please? I have tried 3 masks but struggle to get a seal I need to buy a custom fit mask, any ideas? …

Can I Die If The CPAP Power Goes Out? 
If you're worried that you may suffocate in your sleep if the CPAP shuts off during a power outage, then this page is for you. The following question …

How Long Does It Takes To Feel Better With CPAP? 
The following question is often asked by the CPAP users who want to know how long does it take to see results from a CPAP machine: How long before CPAP …

Still tired with CPAP treatment. What is wrong? 
I use my CPAP machine every evening, but I still am tired during the day. What is wrong? Answer If you're still tired after using the CPAP machine, …

Dry mouth problems with CPAP 
The following question is often asked by CPAP users who have dry mouth problems while using the CPAP usage: I have been using the cpap machine for …

Choosing between CPAP nasal mask or CPAP full mask Not rated yet
Just started using CPAP nasal mask about a week ago. After I get it set, it seems to hold a seal for about 4 hours and then it loses it. I have …

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How often to replace the CPAP machine? Not rated yet
Do you need to replace your CPAP machine periodically? Answer Is a good practice to replace the CPAP machine periodically, but that doesn't mean you …

Top 4 Questions on CPAP Asked by New Patients Not rated yet
1. How much does the CPAP machine cost? 2. Are there many types of CPAP machines? 3. Where can i buy the CPAP? 4. Do I need a doctor subscription? …

What lubricant do I use for a squeaking mask? Not rated yet
My mask squeaks at the plastic swivel connection where the hose connects to the mask. What type of lubricant should I use to eliminate this? Answer …

Sleeping without CPAP machine. What can happen? Not rated yet
My husband removes the cpap during the night if it gets bothersome. I listen and many times he does not take a breath for 2-3 minutes. What permanent …

Will the Cpap machine help with Migraine Headaches?  Not rated yet
If you are prone to Migraine Headaches will using the cpap machine help with Migraine Headaches or increase the migrain headaches? Answer Debbie, …

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