Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, therapy is a popular and highly effective, results-driven treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder characterized by breathing interruptions during sleep, which can occur up to hundreds of times in a single night. The lack of oxygen can place people at a higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other health issues, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
As a treatment for sleep apnea, CPAP machines use mild air pressure to keep the breathing airways open, helping prevent snoring and sleep apnea events. A CPAP machine should be used each time you sleep at home or while traveling, even during naps, notes the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
While CPAP therapy is effective, it does require regular use of said machine and several accompanying accessories to ensure maximum effectiveness. Here’s everything you need to know about CPAP supplies and components.
The CPAP mask is the most critical CPAP supply since it’s the interface between the machine and the user. The mask is available in various shapes and sizes to accommodate different facial structures and personal preferences, should fit snugly, but not too tight, and be comfortable to wear for extended periods. According to the Sleep Foundation, there are several CPAP masks to choose from to find the best fit, including:
- A nasal mask that pumps air through a mask covering just the nose
- A nasal pillow that flows air through a pair of prongs extending into the nose
- A full face mask covering the nose and mouth; some cover the whole face
- An oral mask covering just the mouth
Used to clean the air that is blown into the mask, the filters’ primary function is to remove allergens and other impurities that can be harmful to the user. The filters should be changed regularly, depending on the type of filter and the user’s environment.
The CPAP hose is the tubing that connects the mask to the CPAP machine. It’s available in different lengths and diameters to fit different machines and masks. The hose should be flexible, lightweight and easy to clean. It’s essential to replace the hose regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and other contaminants.
An optional accessory that adds moisture to the air that is blown into the mask, the CPAP humidifier can help prevent dryness, congestion and sore throat that can occur during the night with CPAP therapy. The humidifier can be attached to the machine or used as a standalone unit.
The CPAP chinstrap is an optional accessory that helps keep the user’s mouth closed during sleep. It’s primarily designed for users who breathe through their mouth during sleep (which can reduce the effectiveness of CPAP therapy). The chinstrap is worn around the head and under the chin and is adjustable for a comfortable fit.
CPAP Cleaning and Sanitizing Supplies
Proper CPAP hygiene is crucial for reducing the risk of infection, extending the lifespan of CPAP supplies, and ensuring the therapy’s effectiveness. CPAP cleaning supplies include wipes, sprays and brushes for cleaning the mask, hose and machine. CPAP sanitizing supplies use UV light, ozone, or other technologies to kill bacteria and viruses.
CPAP Travel Accessories
CPAP therapy can be challenging to manage while traveling. Travel accessories such as carrying cases, portable batteries and adapters can make traveling with CPAP therapy more convenient. These accessories allow users to take their CPAP machine on the go and ensure they can get quality sleep while away from home.
Find More Harmonious Sleep
A CPAP mask is just one facet of finding an end to sleep apnea. Loud or irregular snoring, pauses in breathing, excessive sleepiness and frequent urination at night are all symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. How do you know if you have sleep apnea and if CPAP therapy is right for you? Contact Whitney Sleep today to schedule an overnight sleep study and determine the most effective form of treatment to find more harmonious sleep each time your head rests on the pillow.