Sleep apnea machine treatment is often the most common treatment of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea (Schlafapnoe)occurs when you have abnormal pauses in your breathing during your rest. Often when you have this problem you also have a bad problem with snoring. The result can be serious health problems including, but not limited to, daytime fatigue, impaired reaction time and vision problems.
The device consists of nasal tubes that resemble an oxygen tube or it can be a larger apparatus that covers both you nose and your mouth. The machine supplies a continuous supply of air through your nose that keeps your airways open while you are asleep.
There are three common types of devices. The most common device is the CPAP or Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure. With the CPAP the same amount of air is blowing all the time and you have the same amount of pressure when inhaling and exhaling. This continuous pressure can make it hard for you to exhale. Another type of machine is called the BiPAP or Bilevel Positive Airflow Pressure. This instrument is different because it has two levels of pressure. It has higher pressure for inhaling and lower pressure for exhaling. This makes it easier to exhale while still giving you the pressure you need to open your breathing passages for inhaling.
The third type of device is called the APAP or Automatic Positive Airflow Pressure. This machine is more expensive, but the pressure of the airflow is automatically adjusted on a breath by breath basis. This monitors your breathing and only pumps air through when you need it.
Some patients find the contraptions extremely uncomfortable and discontinue treatment shortly after they start. Sometimes this is because the mask does not fit properly. If you are prescribed a machine and find it to be uncomfortable, talk to your therapist about ways that you can make it more comfortable.
Another complaint of patients is that the device is too noisy. Usually after a few nights, the patient becomes accustomed to the noise factor and is no longer bothered by it, much like the noise of a busy street becomes familiar to one moving to the city for the first time. Options may be to play soft music and possibly even wear earphones to shut out the sound. Some newer devices are lined with sound absorbing materials that keep the noise to a minimum.
New smaller sized instruments, said to be no larger than a box of tissues, make it easier to take your device with you when you travel. You can also purchase machines that run on 12 volt batteries which ease travel as well.
The sleep apnea machine must be prescribed by a doctor and a sleep therapist will deliver the device to your home and set it up according to your prescription. It is usually then monitored by follow up visits and adjusted as necessary. Most patients say the feel better after using the device for a short time, but this is a treatment and not a cure. Sleep apnea symptoms will return if the patient stops using the device.