What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that interrupts the patient’s sleep multiple times during the night as he/she keeps waking up due to an insufficient natural flow of oxygen to the brain of the individual. It can even have long-term effects, if left untreated. The condition is divided into two primary types, which are classified as obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. When the airway is blocked during sleep by the muscles in our throat or due to some other obstruction in the oral cavity, it’s called obstructive sleep apnea. In some rare cases, the airway remains clear but the brain’s respiratory center fails to function during deep sleep and your body stops breathing. This should never happen under normal circumstances and is known as central sleep apnea.
What Exactly is a CPAP Machine?
The CPAP machines typically consists of a box which has a humidification chamber and a motorized fan inside it, while on the outside, it’s attached to an oxygen mask via a lightweight hose. The size and the smaller details of the machine might differ, but this is basically what a CPAP machine consists of mostly.
What is the Technology Behind It?
The function of the fan inside the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is the most important one and that function can be divided into three steps.
- It draws in air from outside the box and through the filter that keeps the air free of dust, debris, etc.
- The air is then pressurized by the fan (set your pressure beforehand, as instructed by your doctor)
- Finally, the fan forces the pressurized air out through the hose and into the mask
The humidifying chamber inside the box plays a key role here by moisturizing and warming the air before it is pushed out, because it is particularly beneficial for those that find the machine to be uncomfortable for sleep time use or who live in very dry climates.
How Does It Help Patients with Sleep Apnea?
It should be noted that CPAP machines are mostly effective when the patient is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and not central sleep apnea. As the warm, moist and pressurized air makes its way through to the patient’s airway via the mask, it forces the airway open and keeps it that way by preventing the throat muscles, the tongue, and the tonsils from becoming obstructions to the breathing process during sleep. As a result, the oxygen supply to the brain is never cut off or diminished and the brain doesn’t feel the need to wake up. It might take people time to get used to the feel of the mask, but once they do, life for sleep apnea patients becomes a lot easier as they feel more energetic after each night of uninterrupted sleep.
Now that you know about the technology which makes CPAP machines so effective, it’s important to understand which one would be right for you and which products are probably a bad idea. Check the reviews of the best CPAP machines available in the market as of now on Digitizd before making your purchase. It’s better to take an informed decision, rather than just randomly ordering or picking up the first machine you see.