Tips for Choosing a CPAP Machine

by Allia Vidmer on January 15, 2010

A CPAP machine is designed to provide continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to allow patients that suffer with sleep apnea and other respiratory problems to sleep normally without breathing interruptions and problems. Since the machines are important to overall health and well being, finding the best type of machine as well as mask is essential. Many people that are required to wear CPAP masks and hook to a machine to sleep may not realize that there are lots of new options in both machines and equipment from the older models of equipment provided even just a few years ago.

It is absolutely necessary to have equipment that is reliable, quiet and also very efficient. Comfort and ease of use are also critical considerations whether the CPAP machine is to be used short or long term. Knowing about new options and features provided with many of the machines is a great way to evaluate your current machine and determine if you may be ready for an upgrade to a newer model.

In general, most of the new models of machines will offer all necessary accessories for operation. This will include the required tubing, filters, carrying case as well as the operation manual. Within different units there may be additional accessories that can be purchased depending on your needs. For example, some companies now offer an optional battery that is fully integrated into the machine. The equipment can be used without a battery, however, with a rechargeable battery it can also be used when you are traveling, away from a direct power outlet or if the power is out for short or more extended periods of time. Since the battery continually charges when the unit is plugged into the wall outlet, it is always fully ready to operate and requires no special care or constant charging of the battery outside of the machine.

Highly compact options in machines are also available. These machines may be a terrific addition to a larger model for those that travel or require the equipment in more than one room of the house. Since they are physically about half the size and weight of a traditional machine they are easy to pack, move and carry. The design is perfect for adding to a suitcase or carry on for any type of travel.

Some of the more deluxe models of CPAP machines can also include a built in humidifier. These machines are typically larger and heavier, perfect for use in any area or room of the home. These machines are still less than four pounds, so they can be transported with ease if necessary. The built in humidifier can help with all types of respiratory problems and avoids the necessity of a second machine running in the room. Humidifiers can also have the optional heating system, allowing the air be both moist and warm for easy inhalation. Having the humidifier built right into the breathing machine also means one less cord in the room and one less power outlet that is used, often a major consideration in most homes.

Since many people find exhaling difficult with the constant pressure provided by a CPAP machine, some models offer an expiratory pressure relief mode. This is automatically done by the machine to decrease the air pressure to the mask when the individual is breathing out. This makes exhaling more normal and natural feeling and prevents the slight discomfort that many people feel when first adjusting to using a machine.

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