The Pros and Cons of Using CPAP
Sleep Apnea Machine: For a Good Night’s Sleep
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend a sleep apnea machine to help treat your condition. Sleep apnea is a type of sleeping disorder where the sufferer is awakened as many as 50 times per hour because they cannot breathe. The most common form is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and a sleep apnea machine is the most common form of treatment. If you are looking for sleep apnea cures, there are many proven and successful treatment options. Why not pay a visit to your health care provider and see what solutions there are to solve your sleep problem.
How To Determine If You Need a Sleep Apnea Machine: First, it is important that your condition is diagnosed by a professional so that proper treatment can be prescribed. Diagnosis is performed by means of a sleep study or Polysomnography test. Polysomnography tests are usually conducted overnight in a sleep lab. The patient is connected to a series of electrodes which measure the biophysiological changes that occur while sleeping. Measuring brain, heart, eye and muscle activity, the goal is to determine if a patient stops breathing while asleep, when it occurs, how frequently it occurs and for how long. If OBS is diagnosed, there are several treatment options. There are two types of machines to choose from. One is the CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine and the other one is the BIPAP or the Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure machine.
Which Sleep Apnea Machine is Best: Let’s begin with an explanation of what OBS is. When a person has OBS, the airway tissue in the mouth and throat can collapse, causing a temporary blockage and preventing the patient from breathing normally. As the person struggles to breathe, they are awakened and sleep is disrupted. The CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine increases air pressure in the person’s airways by pumping air through a small mask that fits over the nose and mouth. So, as a person breathes in, the airways in the nose, throat and mouth are kept open and prevented from closing by the positive air pressure. The CPAP machine delivers a constant or continuous flow of air so as the patient exhales; they must do so against the pressure supplied by the CPAP Machine. For some, especially those with neuromuscular conditions, this can be difficult.
This is why the BIPAP or Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure Machine was developed. The difference here is that the BIPAP machine uses two levels of pressure while the CPAP only uses one. As the person exhales, the BIPAP machine reduces the air pressure making it easier to exhale. The two pressures that are being used in a Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure machine make it easier to get more air out of the lungs and have also been shown to be effective for treating some patients with congestive heart failure and some lung conditions.
Both machines perform the same function but do it differently. Whereas the CPAP machine works continuously as the person inhales and exhales; the BIPAP machine provides breathing assistance to the person. The BIPAP is commonly used in patients who have heart failure and other diseases that affect the heart and the lungs as well as for those patients who have nervous system and muscular problems. Your doctor or medical provider can help you decide which machine is appropriate for you.
For those who are lucky enough to not require either a CPAP or BIPAP machine such as those with mild sleep apnea, other less invasive treatment options exist. There are several types of dental devices that can be effective for treating this sleep disorder when worn during sleep. These can also be used as stop snoring devices. The mandibular advancement device is fitted on the lower jaw and it pulls the jaw forward to allow air to pass freely. There is also a tongue retaining device that is used for people who snore. It is fitted to the tongue and it sucks the tongue forward, clearing the throat and allowing the passage of air.
Remember that CPAP and BIPAP machines are not a substitute for breathing independently. They are not ventilators. What the machines do is make sure that you take the proper number of breaths every minute according to what your doctor determines is right for you. After careful diagnosis of your type of sleep apnea, he may recommend a sleep apnea machine that is just right for you.