CPAP Shop Features to Look Out For
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea or other breathing conditions that require oxygen therapy, then you know that at some point you will have to face the daunting task of purchasing CPAP and BIPAP supplies to use at home. The sheer array of BIPAP or CPAP machines can be confusing, as well as a little scary, and we will endeavor to make it easier for you to understand exactly what it is you are getting, and how to make the most of what you buy.
The Equipment Explained
Most patients who have been diagnosed with breathing problems will be assigned CPAP and BIPAP supplies to use at home to help them breathe during the most critical time of the day: while they are sleeping. To do so effectively, they will need a machine that is reliable, suited for the purposes they need, and have attached to it a mask that fits their face well, and is comfortable to use for long periods of time.
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and is the most common treatment in use today for conditions like sleep apnea. As sleep apnea machines go, it is designed to deliver a constant stream of oxygen through the airway, especially when their condition causes the airway to become blocked during the night. Some people are not comfortable with constant pressure, so they will often be assigned a BIPAP machine, instead. BIPAP stands for Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure, and uses two different air pressures, one during inhalation, and another during exhalation. Not everyone breathes in and out at the same pressure, and the machine will match your individual rhythm and air pressure. CPAP Supplies
The Importance of the Mask
One of the most important parts of any sleep apnea machines you can use for treatment at home is the mask. Any BIPAP or CPAP mask that you use should fit your face comfortably, and snugly, so that no oxygen is wasted. Any tubes fit to it should fit snugly, without bending or creasing the tubing to get it to fit. Never use tubing that is too large or too small, because trying to “make it fit” by using reducing couplings or linking it together with connectors will just defeat the purpose of the therapy itself, and you will not be able to draw the oxygen you need successfully.
All nasal masks for CPAP or BIPAP use should have nasal pillows attached to reduce any possible discomfort. These pillows should be smooth, without creases or wrinkles that could possibly leave marks on the skin. When purchasing them, you may want to also purchase wipes to clean them with, and spare tubing for clean connections to the machines. Maintenance and cleanliness is important, because you are dealing with pure oxygen and the chance for bacteria to grow inside or outside the equipment gets better with each bit of dust and dirt that accumulates.
Maintenance is Key
The technology available today in CPAP and BIPAP supplies is extensive, and none of it is cheap. Why waste money on equipment you need, and then cheap out or blow off the proper maintenance of it all? The item most often ignored when it comes to sleep apnea machines of all types is the filter. Find where yours is located on your machine, and keep it as clean and unblocked as possible. Same goes for the masks, tubing, and every bit of equipment that comes into contact with your body on one end, and the machine on the other. Keeping everything clean keeps the oxygen flowing, and the healing continuing to happen inside your body, simple as that.