Simply put, a CPAP machine blows air at a high enough pressure to ensure that one’s airways are kept properly open during sleep. This might also be combined with therapy tracking software in many modern CPAP machines, off-grid power solutions and other features like heated humidification.
A CPAP machine is simply a machine that is used in the treatment of sleep apnea and related disorders. The machine helps the individual to sleep more soundly and effectively by allowing for a regulation of air into the airways. By blowing air at a high pressure, the airways are kept open during sleep.
CPAP more generally is a method of positive pressure ventilation. It is used on patients who are breathing spontaneously, rather than those who need helping breathing at all in the first place. It stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and it is normally a way of keeping the alveoli (lung sacs) open enough for oxygenation to improve and breathing to be more natural and normal. A CPAP machine helps achieve this.
When CPAP is administered with a CPAP machine, the pauses in breathing which are indicative of sleep apnea are being dealt with. Basically, people with sleep apnea generally have trouble with keeping the airways open for normal breathing while they sleep. Often the soft tissue in the throat relaxes and this causes a closing off of the space. In turn, that means that the lungs do not receive the air as the airway is blocked. The brain will then sense a drop in oxygen in the blood and force the person to wake up, so they can breathe normally. This can sometimes lead to up to a hundred awakenings in a night.
CPAP helps by keeping those pauses in the breath from happening in the first place. The machine delivers a stream of pressurised air which helps prevent this from even happening in the first place. The user can then breathe freely throughout the night, and not have to worry about continual awakenings.
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
Generally, a CPAP machine will have a mask that covers the nose and mouth, or a nasal mask that only covers the nose or a nasal pillow mask that fits into the nose directly. It’s a simple case of wearing that and keeping the machine on as you sleep.
Only your doctor can really tell you if you need a CPAP machine. But generally, they are for those suffering with sleep apnea disorder or related sleep or breathing disorders. If you are eternally exhausted or you are snoring all the time, you might want to see your doctor about it.
In order to obtain a CPAP machine, you have to have first undergone a sleep study, and for this study to have conclusively demonstrated that you are indeed suffering from a problem like sleep apnea. The study will recommend that you need a CPAP machine to sleep normally. Without that explicit and specific recommendation, you don’t need a CPAP machine and you won’t be able to get hold of one.
Advances in the technology means that they have become quieter and quieter over the years, and will probably continue to become so over time. Your CPAP machine is unlikely to disturb the person you are sharing a bed with.