Sleep Apnea Equipment
A sleep apnea patient usually starts with basic sleep apnea equipment such as a CPAP machine, hose and mask. As the machine becomes a daily part of your life you may find that additional features could be useful to you. For example:
- Patients who travel frequently might enjoy a smaller machine.
- Patients who find themselves without power (power failure, camping or no nearby outlet) may want to consider a battery-operated machine.
Filters Improve Performance
All sleep apnea machines have at least one filter. The filters are an important functioning part of the sleep apnea machine:
- Foam filters provide a barrier to catch larger dirt and air particles as well as animal hair before they enter the airflow which is being pumped into the mask.
- Finer paper filters can catch smaller particles which can help those with allergies and sinus issues.
Wash foam filters regularly, replacing them when they lose their structure. Replace dirty paper filters at least every month.
Choose a Mask Wisely
You may start out with a basic mask which is suggested by your doctor or sleep therapist. You may find that a different style will be more comfortable or will work more efficiently with your sleep patterns. For example, persons with allergies or sinus problems might consider switching to a full face mask which will let them maintain their proper air pressure, even if they breathe through their mouths.
Mask Parts Save Money
The silicon parts of the mask usually become too soft to hold a seal after about six months of use. At this point the mask should be replaced.Between replacements, a leaking mask can often be refreshed by replacing the deteriorating mask cushions or the stretched mask straps.
- Forehead spacers can usually be easily replaced.
- Worn or outdated straps can be quickly replaced with new quick release clips.
Hoses Increase Mobility
Typical six foot hoses can be restrictive making you feel like you are tethered to your sleep apnea machine. Consider replacing your hose with an eight or ten foot hose. The extra length may be just what you need to let you sleep without the fear of pulling your machine off the end table.
Humidifiers Increase Comfort
Some sleep apnea equipment users find the air flow to be irritating since it dries out the nasal passages. A humidifier adds moisture to the air flow. Some humidifiers use heat to produce the moisture while others are designed to produce moisture as the airflow passes over water in the humidifier's chamber.
Specialty Pillows for Comfort
Many times a mask will leak because the wearer is a side sleeper who knocks the mask out of position by bumping the mask against a bed pillow.Specially-designed pillows usually have cut out areas which allow the face to be supported while the mask hangs over the edge of pillow without bumping the pillow.
Most pillows are washable and some are available with washable pillowcases. As with all pillows, full replacement of the pillow is suggested whenever the pillow loses its shape.
Increase Options with a Battery
Sometimes it is just not convenient or possible to guarantee power during sleeping. Power failures, camping trips, or a lack of convenient power outlets call for a battery-operated sleep apnea machine. These machines can also be very helpful when traveling to countries which might otherwise require electrical adaptors.
Chinstraps Stop Mouth Breathing
If a mouth breather uses a nasal mask, they may find that their mouth will open which will cause the air flow to be released. Chinstraps hold the lower jaw up in place, providing a way to help a mouth breather keep their mouth closed while they sleep. There are several styles of chinstraps, with varying designs to minimize movement on the head.
Find What Works
Effective sleep apnea treatment requires constant use of well-performing equipment. Be sure to speak with a sleep professional if the equipment does not seem to be functioning correctly. New equipment including new machines and mask styles are introduced frequently; so, be sure you are using the best equipment for your particular needs.LoveToKnow Sleep can help you review the many options available in sleep apnea equipment: