During normal sleep, the muscles of the throat may relax allowing the airway to become restricted. This condition is referred to as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Gravity also plays a partin the condition resulting in mechanical blockage of the trachea. The throat begins to operate as a one-way valve allowing the person to exhale but preventing them for inhaling.
When oxygen levels in the blood fall, the heart may pump faster to compensate for the lack of oxygen. This can cause an elevation in blood pressure. Eventually, the body signals the brain to wake up so that you breath normally once again while falling back to sleep.
One solution to this problem is use of a sleep apnea mask.
During the entire process, you can be unaware of the whole process you may be consciously unaware of what is happening. This process may repeat itself several times during the course of a night so that sleep patterns are interrupted.
Sufferers may be both tired and sleepy during the day despite sleeping for several hours during the night.
The resulting tiredness can be a real problem for drivers, heavy equipment operators or persons working with machinery. Many times the sufferers assume that they just did not sleep well during the night.
One of the most effective treatments for Sleep Apnea is the CPAP machine which stands for continuous positive airway pressure.. The machine provides continuous pressure to keep the airway inflated so the person is able to breathe normally, even when in deep sleep. A CPAP machine combines an air pump with a mask that covers the nose or nose and mouth. Air pressure is set so the airway no longer collapses. Without insurance CPAP machines can be very expensive.
Many people find that a CPAP machine helps them to get the sleep that they need. Others do not tolerate it as well.
The mask or the sensation of air being pushed into the lungs can cause a problem getting to sleep. Overall, users will find that the machine does work for preventing OSA and snoring. APAP Machines
Also known as an Automatic Positive Airway Pressure machine, this will automatically adjust on breath by breath to maintain the minimum pressure required to keep your airway open while sleeping. This will allow your APAP machine to give you perfect pressure each night.
They are usually more advanced compared to CPAPs with usually more information regarding therapy tracking along with more features for patient comfort..
Some people prefer the APAP over CPAP due to the fact that the former auto adjusts pressure when needed. CPAPs on the other hand have to be set to full pressure all the time, even when it’s not necessary.
Also knowBiLevel machines work by generating two pressure levels, one when the patient inhales (higher pressure) and one when they exhale (lower pressure). Some OSA sufferers find that the Bi-PAP machine works better for them. This machine has two different pressure levels that make it easier for the person to exhale. However, Bi-PAP machines are even more expensive than CPAP machines.
Sleep Apnea Pillows
In order to remain comfortable while wearing a sleep apnea mask one should use a special pillow for sleep apnea. It helps with the follow issues associated with sleep apnea.
- Makes the mask more comfortable
- Helps with freedom of movement during sleep
- Allows side, back, and stomach sleepers to select the best position for them
- Gives excellent neck support and orthopedic alignment for the spine
- CPAP Humidifiers
A lot of air with low moisture can dry out and irritate your airway. Not only are dry air passages uncomfortable, but the swelling they cause can actually narrow your airway affecting pressure requirements. Humidifiers add moisture to the air from the CPAP machine. There are two kinds of humidifiers: cool passover and heated.
The cool passover humidifier passes room temperature water over room temperature air. The heated humidifier heats the air to ensure to can hold enough moisture to maintain a comfortable airway.
Your airway can get dried out easily due to a lot of air with low moisture. This is where a CPAP humidifier comes into play. By removing dryness from air passages the patient can feel more comfortable and not suffer from swelling which can act to narrow the airway which affects pressure requirements.
Two types of humidifiers are available. A cool passover and a heated. The cool passover works by passing room temperature water or air that is also room temperature. The heated variety on the other hand uses hot air to facilitate the holding of moisture within the air.
CPAP Nasal Masks
Products such as the Profile Lite Gel Mask with headgear by Respironics make the wearing of a sleep apnea mask more comfortable. They employ a gel based mask which can be boiled, cooled, and then conformed to the face. The Profile mask also includes a gel forehead pad to relieve pressure that can build around the bridge of the nose.
Read more about our review of one of these Respironics cpap masks.
CPAP Battery Packs
If you would like to use your machine in an area with no electricity or maybe you are worried about a power failure then you can purchase a battery for your CPAP machine. These can weight as little as a couple of pounds for easy transport.
The battery life time can greatly vary and using products such as a humidifier will also affect the amount of time one can get from a single charge.
If you think that you suffer from sleep apnea symtpoms, your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist who can order a sleep study to diagnose the problem and possibly fit you with a sleep apnea mask that works for you and help your overall health and well being.