We spend a third of our lives sleeping, which makes sleep apnea respiratory supplies all the more important. Sleep apnea patients rely on CPAP masks and machines every night to breathe comfortably and safely by allowing their airways to remain unobstructed. However, like most products, CPAP machines vary dramatically in quality and design. Let’s take a look at some of the factors you should consider when selecting your CPAP masks and machines.
All CPAP machines and masks require a certain amount of care, but the exact requirements depend on both the device and the patient’s specific set of needs. For example, a CPAP machine with a built-in or attached humidifier will have to be emptied and cleaned regularly to avoid mold. Additionally, all CPAP machines involve some filters, either just foam or a combination of foam and paper. Foam filters must be cleaned and eventually replaced, whereas paper filters should be thrown out as soon as they become discolored. This might sound inconvenient, but paper filters have been shown to block certain irritants from entering the machine, which is ideal for sleep apnea patients with allergies.
CPAP machines are designed to help you sleep, which is hard to do if they happen to be making a racket! Fortunately, most modern CPAP machines are manufactured to run very quietly, but determining whether a machine is “quiet enough” depends on the individual. Some sleep apnea patients are heavy sleepers that can snooze through almost everything, while others might have to put even the quietest of machines underneath the bed to further muffle the noise.
Sleep apnea respiratory supplies vary in size (and weight), which is especially important for patients that are frequently on the road. Although some people with sleep apnea might attempt to go without their machines while traveling, doctors recommend that patients use their CPAP machines every night. Travelers should opt for less bulky machines and consider skipping certain features like humidifiers.
As mentioned, CPAP machines with humidifiers are often slightly heavier and require some extra maintenance, but for many sleep apnea patients, the benefits far outweigh the costs. This is because of the air from CPAP machines – although essential for proper breathing – is also a natural irritant, and can cause nasal congestion and another discomfort. Humidifiers are available in several different types, including cold water humidifiers – also known as Passover humidifiers – and heated humidifiers.
Of course, even the best CPAP machines will do little to provide a good night’s sleep with an uncomfortable mask. That’s why CPAP masks are available in so many different styles. Some of them offer full face coverage – ideal for mouth breathers – while others are only designed to push air through the nose. Why is getting a good night’s sleep with the right respiratory supplies so important? The reasons are twofold. First, being well rested will improve your concentration, energy level, and mood, and can even boost your job performance and prevent falling asleep at the wheel. Additionally, the lack of oxygen caused by untreated obstructive sleep apnea is associated with some health problems, including congestive heart failure.
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