CPAP Machine

  • How does a CPAP work?

  • How to use a CPAP machine

  • CPAP Mask

  • CPAP vs BiPAP

How does a CPAP work?

CPAP works by delivering a steady continuous pressure during both inhalation and exhalation.
CPAP is the most basic level of support and provides constant fixed positive pressure throughout inspiration and expiration, causing the airways to remain open and reduce the work of breathing. This results in a higher degree of inspired oxygen than other oxygen masks.
When indicated for home use it is usually via a low flow generator and is commonly used for patients requiring nocturnal CPAP for sleep apnea.
High flow systems used in a hospital environment are designed to ensure that airflow rates delivered are greater than those generated by the distressed patient. As well as having an effect on respiratory function it can also assist cardiac function where patients have a low cardiac output with pre-existing low blood pressure. It is also commonly used for severe obstructive sleep apnoea and also for type 1 respiratory failure.

A CPAP machine takes in room air, then filters and pressurizes it before delivering it through a tube and into your mask. The continuous flow of air gently keeps your tongue, uvula and soft palate from shifting too far into your airway. This stabilizes your breathing and improves your overall sleep quality.

A CPAP machine is just one type of PAP (positive airway pressure) device. While CPAP is the most common among these machines, there are other types as well. These include:

Bi-level PAP.
This machine uses two different pressures — one during inhalation and one during exhalation.

Auto CPAP.
This device self-regulates, using a range of pressures to keep airways open.

Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV).
Reserved for people with central sleep apnea, ASV keeps your airway open by delivering a mandatory breath when necessary.

CPAP equipment

Mask headgear
Air tubing Humidifier tub Air filters
Full face Nasal Nasal pillows
Mask cushions
Accessories
Flow generator (CPAP or APAP machine)

Here’s how it all works together
Filters are used to keep
allergens out of the airflow
Humidifier tub adds moisture
to the air you breathe
Mask (frame, cushion and
headgear) allows pressurized
air to enter the airway
Machine pushes air through
the tubing to the mask.

How to use a CPAP machine?

1 Place the device on a stable level surface. Plug the power connector into the rear of the device.
2 Connect one end of the power cord into the power supply unit and the other end into the power outlet.
3 Connect the air tubing firmly to the air outlet located on the rear of the device.
4 Open the water tub and fill with water up to the maximum water level mark.
5 Close the water tub and insert it into the side of the device.
6 Connect the free end of the air tubing firmly onto the assembled mask. Press Start/Stop to begin therapy.

Adjusting to therapy
If you are a first-time user, you might need some time to get used to therapy. This is not unusual as it takes most patients between one and two weeks to adjust to the air pressure.
Overcoming symptoms by changing comfort settings
• Dry or runny nose—If you are getting a dry or runny nose, adjust the Humidity Level by turning it
up.
• Droplets of water (condensation)—If you are getting droplets of water on your nose, mask or air
tubing, adjust the Humidity Level by turning it down.

Trouble falling asleep—If you are having trouble falling asleep with high pressure, turn on Auto
Ramp or increase Ramp Time.
• Bloated feeling—If you are experiencing a slightly bloated feeling from swallowing air, turn on
Auto Ramp or increase Ramp Time.
• Feeling of not getting enough air—If you feel like you are not getting enough air, turn Ramp
Time to Off.

Resmed CPAP

To change the Humidity Level:

  1. Press the dial to enter My Options.
  2. Turn the dial to highlight Humidity Level and then press to select it.
  3. Turn the dial to adjust to your preferred setting.
  4. Press the dial to save the change.

To change the Ramp Time:

  1. Press the dial to enter My Options.
  2. Turn the dial to highlight Ramp Time and then press to select it.
  3. Turn the dial to adjust to your preferred setting.
  4. Press the dial to save the change

Replacing your CPAP supplies

Mask frame system
Every 3 months
Air tubing
Every 3 months
Air filters
Every month
Headgear
Every 6 months
Cushions
Every month
Humidifier tub
Every 6 months

How to clean a CPAP machine?

Keeping your CPAP machine clean helps you avoid bacteria and mold exposure. For optimal hygiene, you should clean your tubing, mask and water chamber daily. If this isn’t possible, make an effort to clean your CPAP machine at least once a week. You should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your CPAP machine, but here are some general guidelines:

Disassemble your CPAP machine
Unplug the device.
Remove your mask and headgear from the tubing.
Remove the tubing from the CPAP machine.
Remove the water chamber from the CPAP machine.
Soak the parts of your CPAP machine
Fill a basin with warm water and a small amount of dish soap.
Submerge your tubing, mask and headgear.
Allow the parts to soak for at least 30 minutes, then rinse.
Allow the CPAP parts to air dry.
Clean the external surface
Dampen a soft cloth and wipe down the external surfaces of your CPAP machine.
Reassemble your CPAP machine
Once the parts are completely dry, reassemble your CPAP machine.
Turn the device on temporarily to ensure that everything is working properly.
Clean the humidifier once every week
Use hot water and mild soap.
Allow the humidifier to air dry.
You should only use distilled water when running your humidifier.
Note: Don’t use external cleaning devices that aren’t included in the manufacturer’s instructions, as many of these products haven’t been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you’re having trouble with your CPAP, here are some solutions to try.

 

I have a nasal mask and air comes out of my mouth at night.

Try altering your sleeping position or the number and position of your pillows.

 

If that doesn’t work, ask your sleep clinic for:

 

a humidifier to moisten your airway or
a chin strap to help keep your mouth closed or
a full-face mask to cover your nose and mouth

I or my partner find the machine noisy

Check if the noise is coming from the mask – it may need re-fitting or re-assembling
Put the machine in a box or cupboard – this is fine as long as there is room for air to circulate
Try wearing earplugs

CPAP treatment is causing a runny nose, blocked nose or sneezing

Go to your sleep clinic or your GP to see if there is a medical reason
CPAP’s cool air can irritate your nasal lining and give you a runny nose or make you sneeze. This usually settles down after a week or so. If not, try a nasal spray or ask your sleep clinic. Heated humidification may help if problems persist.

I take my mask off in my sleep

You might be waking up slightly, which may indicate your pressure is not quite high enough. Ask your sleep clinic
I wake up feeling uncomfortable with the pressure of the machine
Try switching it off and removing the mask for a few minutes. Clear your nose if you need to before putting the mask back and switching on the machine
Try using CPAP during the day for short periods while you are relaxing to help your body adjust
Use the ramp setting to increase the air pressure gradually

I find the air too cold and it disrupts my sleep

This can make your nose, mouth or throat feel dry. You could:

 

ask your sleep clinic for a heated humidifier
try heating the room
try adding moisture to the room by placing a tray of water above your radiator
try keeping the tube warm

I am finding it difficult to get a good seal

Remember to adjust the mask with the machine turned off. Lift the mask off your face, let it settle again and make sure the cushion is not distorted
Try adjusting the straps
Make sure your mask and cushion are not worn or torn – the cushion may need replacing every three – six months
Your mask may not be the right size for you, or you may need a different type – ask your sleep clinic
There is air leaking out of the mask, which irritates my eyes
The mask may be too tight -if so, the cushion won’t work as well as it should
The mask may be too small or too large
The cushion may need replacing – ask your sleep clinic
The mask may not be fitted correctly – check it’s not upside down

I am getting sores where the mask is rubbing

A bit of tenderness on the bridge of your nose is common when you first start on CPAP
Your mask may be too tight, so try loosening the straps.
This could be because the cushion is no longer working and needs replacing, or it could be because the mask is too big for you
Use a cream to ease soreness
Ask your sleep clinic for advice if the soreness remains or gets worse, or if you loosen the straps and get a leak

I have a cold or other infection of my upper airway

Ask your GP if you should continue your treatment
If you do continue, wash everything more often
You may need a full-face mask to help you breathe more easily
Don’t worry if you need to stop using CPAP for a night or two. But try to avoid stopping CPAP for more than a few nights

My throat feels dry or sore

Ask your sleep clinic for a chin strap or a humidifier
You may find a full-face mask more comfortable

I need to go into hospital for an operation

Tell the surgeon and the anaesthetist you have OSA
Take your treatment with you

I find it hard to breathe

You might take time to get used to breathing out while pressurised air is being pushed in. Once you’re asleep, this will happen automatically. Try:

 

practising with the machine on during the day while you relax or listen to music
using the ramp feature
using a full-face mask instead of a nasal mask

I am still snoring and stopping breathing in my sleep

Maybe air is leaking out of the mask – follow our tips on how to get a good seal
The pressure might need adjusting – ask your clinic

I feel bloated or I have wind

You might take time to adjust to using a CPAP machine – keep trying.

 

You may be swallowing air in response to the pressure – using a ramp feature can help
Ask your sleep clinic for advice – the pressure may need adjusting
Drink peppermint tea at bedtime and when you get up
Relax by lying still and breathing calmly or listening to music
Raise your head higher with an extra pillow

I feel claustrophobic wearing the mask

Try to keep the mask on for a few hours every night and gradually increase the length of time you wear it
If you’re using a full-face mask, you may be able to switch to a nasal mask (not if you breathe through your mouth when asleep or if your nose is blocked)
Check you’ve adjusted the mask correctly so there are no leaks and remember to breathe through your nose if you have a nasal mask – sometimes, air rushing out of your mouth can make you panic
Try taking a few deep breaths in and out of your nose.

CPAP How to choose the right mask

Your mask is one of the most important components of CPAP therapy. A great mask can make therapy comfortable and successful, so picking the right one is
important. There are several types of masks to choose from

Different types of CPAP masks

There are a few different types of masks available. The kind that’s best for you depends on your comfort level, breathing habits and the type of sleep apnea you have. CPAP mask types include:

Nasal mask.

This option covers your nose. A nasal mask is often recommended for people who move around a lot when they sleep.

Nasal pillow mask.

Rather than covering your entire nose, a nasal pillow mask only covers your nostril area. Some options also have prongs that fit into your nostrils. People who wear nasal pillow masks can wear their glasses comfortably.

Full mask.

This triangular mask fits over your nose and mouth. A full mask is best for people who breathe through their mouth during sleep. Your healthcare provider may also recommend this type of mask if you suffer from a nasal blockage.

Why choose Full face mask?
If you breathe with your mouth open, this is the mask for you. It covers both the nose and mouth area.
Why choose Nasal mask?
If you breathe through your nose, but feel more comfortable with a mask that covers your nasal area, a nasal mask is a great option.
Why choose Nasal pillows mask?
If you’re looking for a lightweight mask that makes minimal facial contact, a nasal pillows mask is a perfect solution.

Μasks are typically three sizes (small, medium and large), but some masks in our for Her
options include an extra small cushion or set of pillows in the packaging. Your equipment provider
will help you choose the right mask size using a mask-fitting template.

Before you choose your mask, tell your equipment provider if you have:
• Chronic or seasonal allergies
• A deviated septum
• Previous nasal surgeries
• Nasal polyps

1. Before your setup appointment, your equipment provider can go over your CPAP prescription and doctor’s recommendations. If you prefer a certain model or brand of CPAP machine, talk to your provider to see what options are available to you.
2. Ask about new product releases or innovations.
3. Discuss mask types and your preferences based on your sleep style and/or allergies.
4. Ask about your CPAP equipment replacement options and scheduling.
5. Ask if your equipment supplier offers a CPAP replacement supply program that works
within your insurance coverage parameters

I feel claustrophobic wearing the mask

Try to keep the mask on for a few hours every night and gradually increase the length of time you wear it
If you’re using a full-face mask, you may be able to switch to a nasal mask (not if you breathe through your mouth when asleep or if your nose is blocked)
Check you’ve adjusted the mask correctly so there are no leaks and remember to breathe through your nose if you have a nasal mask – sometimes, air rushing out of your mouth can make you panic
Try taking a few deep breaths in and out of your nose.

What is a CPAP mask cushion?
A CPAP cushion is the soft, front part of the mask that touches your face. You have a choice
of silicone for full face, nasal or nasal pillows masks, or memory foam for full face masks

CPAP & family

Tips for getting your family used to your new CPAP equipment

Be patient with your partner
Just like seeing you with a drastic new haircut, seeing you with your CPAP equipment may take some time to acclimate. Some loved ones may be intimidated by medical equipment at the bedside. But today’s devices are so sleek and quiet, once your loved one realizes you’re sleeping comfortably and quietly, and awakening full of energy, they may easily adjust to CPAP therapy with you.

Discuss the health benefits of CPAP
Beyond the obvious benefits of being more alert, discuss how CPAP therapy can protect you from other diseases and the prevalence of various dangerous health conditions that often coincide with untreated sleep apnea.
CPAP alleviates snoring, so if your nightly snoring was interrupting your bed partner’s sleep, you can assure him or her it will stop if you stay on therapy.

CPAP and sex
Studies show that women and men both experience sexual difficulties as a result of sleep apnea.
With sleep apnea treatment, you may experience a stronger libido.
You also won’t be as tired each day, which can help with intimacy as well.

I or my partner find the machine noisy

Check if the noise is coming from the mask – it may need re-fitting or re-assembling
Put the machine in a box or cupboard – this is fine as long as there is room for air to circulate
Try wearing earplugs

Showcase your CPAP equipment
Curious kids love to know how things work, so your first step should be sitting down, disassembling your equipment, and letting your children touch your mask, hose and other accessories. Tell them what each part does, then reassemble your equipment and put it on. As always, emphasize the importance of CPAP therapy for your health.
From the very beginning of this journey, include your partner or family in your CPAP experience. Their response to your therapy is key to helping you stay on therapy.

CPAP vs BiPAP

  

CPAP

BiPAP

Stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

Stands for Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure

It continuously provides a single airway pressure to the patient. However, the set value can be changed as per the requirement of the patient.

It continuously provides two airway pressures to the patient. One is during the inspiration, while the other one is during expiration.

CPAP is useful for the treatment of patients with normal breathing problems such as sleep apnea.

If the condition of the patient becomes much more complex, then BiPAP is better.

Since a single high positive pressure is applied continuously, expiration might be difficult.

Since a lower airway pressure is applied during expiration, breathing becomes much easier.

It is cheaper to purchase

It is much more expensive in comparison to the CPAP.

  
  

BiPAP and CPAP machines are both used for the treatment of sleep apnoea. However, there are differences in their functions. A CPAP machine delivers continuous positive pressure to help control sleep apnoea. This pressure is fixed and is based on the results of the sleep study of the patient. There are CPAP machines with auto adjusting pressure.

BiPAP machine is considered more technologically advanced and is recommended for people who cannot tolerate CPAP machine treatment. The inhalation pressure of a BiPAP is similar to a CPAP but the exhalation pressure or EPAP is not. For some, it is difficult to breathe against constant pressure and this is where BiPAP is helpful as exhalation on this machine has a lower pressure to allow patient to breathe easily. The drop in exhalation pressure is most helpful for CPAP patients prescribed with a 15 cm pressure or higher. BiPAP exhalation pressure can go down as low as 4cm, thus preventing straining of the patient and allow a more natural and comfortable experience.

Which Is Better?
One is not better or worse than the other. The CPAP Vs BIPAP debate cannot be answered as they simply suit individual needs in different ways. Some prefer the constant pressure whilst others prefer the bilevel pressure.

This is dependent upon what is right for the patient, and the severity of their sleep apnea.

A sleep physician will be able to recommend the best machine for you, and will set the pressure level to suit your needs.