Sleep Apnea Machine

Continuous Positive Airway (CPAP) Machine

Sleep apnea machine is otherwise known as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. It is the commonly used device to treat obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep-related breathing disorders.

CPAP machines treat this by delivering a continuous stream of pressurized air through a sealed mask, opening the airway and normalizing breathing. While CPAP machines are known to efficiently manage obstructive sleep apnea, their success depends on how well the machine works and how often it is used. For some patients, they may need humidifier and heating tubes to be able to use and tolerate CPAP therapy.

It is important to buy the right CPAP machine, and to choose one either as a first one you will be using or as a replacement can be difficult and stressful. Hence it is important to take note of the following outlined below.

Sleep Apnea Cpap Machine

What is a CPAP Machine?

If you will undergoing CPAP therapy, the CPAP machine is the core. Without it, there is not treatment. The machine uses its motor and fan to take in room air, filters it, and generates the air pressure that is delivered to treat sleep apnea. Usually, these CPAP machines are small and produce little to no noise. They are mostly electrical appliances, but can also be run on batteries.

A sleep study “polysomnogram” is carried out to determine the level of pressure required for your treatment. The pressure settings are then determined by your sleep doctor and set by your CPAP equipment provider. However,  there are CPAP devices that have the autotitration function (AutoCPAP or APAP) where the levels of the delivered pressure are adjusted  automatically if the device senses increased airway resistance.

The CPAP device also makes you set a pressure ramp. In other words, you get to sleep at a lower pressure that gradually increases to the pressure required after a set time or it senses a regular breathing pattern that indicates you have fallen asleep.

Most CPAP machines can track your use and store data with an internal memory card. The stored data can be shared and evaluated by your sleep specialist and healthcare provider. This helps them assess and evaluate CPAP compliance and to determine whether insurance will pay for your continued therapy.

Sleep Apnea Machine

Are there different types of CPAP machines?

All CPAP devices, irrespective of the brand and cost, have the same basic components. The three main parts include:
  •  a motor
  • CPAP hose or tubing
  • CPAP cushioned mask

Other components include:

  • adjustable straps and/or a headgear frame that allow the mask get fitted over your nose or face conveniently
  • “elbow” pieces that act as joints

CPAP Machine Components


Some patients need humidifiers to be able to tolerate CPAP therapy. Newer models have attached humidifiers used to add humidity to the air that is delivered to the patient. The humidifier comes as a plastic water chamber that is filled with distilled water. Some can be heated and a such, come with a small hot plate that increases the amount of humidity. When the air passes over the water, evaporation occurs and there is water vapor. this water vapor increases the humidity of the air.

The water in the plastic reservoir should be kept clean always. If the water is kept in the chamber for too long periods, it may be a source of respiratory infections.


CPAP Hose or CPAP Tubing

Sleep Apnea Machine Humidifyer
CPAP hose or tubing is another major part of the CPAP machine. The CPAP tubing is typically flexible, about 6 feet long and can be moved or bent to a generous extent. The length of the tube can be connected together with a connector or adaptor.

The tubing may be heated and have controls that can be adjusted to prevent the vapor produced for humidity to condense into the tubing. The hose or tubing connects the pressure output of the machine to the mask. Extending the hose too much can affect the level of pressure delivered to your face mask and invariably to you. The same applies to kinking the hose.  Hence, you should take that into consideration when using the machine.


The mask is another important part of the machine that completes your experience. It is the part that allows the pressure generated in the motor and passed through the tube to be delivered to you and keep your airway open. There are several types of CPAP masks and they vary with different CPAP machines. The type best suited for you depends on several factors including:
  • How comfortable you find the mask
  • Your breathing habit
  • The kind of sleep apnea disorder you have
  • The issues you face while using the mask

The different types of masks available include:

Nasal pillow mask

This type of mask has plastic inserts or prongs that look like headphone earbuds that fit directly and snugly into your nostrils. It also has small cushion that rest at the ends of your nostrils. It is best if you wear glasses or keep or have facial hair that may let air leak. It is also a good alternative if you suffer claustrophobia from a larger mask.

Over-the-nose nasal mask

The over-the-nose nasal mask is also referred to as the oronasal mask.  It is a silicon-cushioned mask that sits under the nose bridge and is worn over the nose only. This type of CPAP mask has a triangular-shaped, rounded dome that makes wearing it comfortable.  The nasal mask either has has stretchy straps or a headgear that holds it up around the nose. This type of mask is best used if you are a very active sleeper, that is you move a lot when you sleep. It is lighter and feels easier on the face. It can deliver a high-pressure airstream.

However, some people do not like it. Experiencing higher concentrated pressure around their nose increases nasal congestion for some patients.

Full-face mask

This is a triangle-shaped mask that covers both your nose and mouth.  You may be asked to get this type of mask if you breathe through your nose and mouth or majorly, your mouth when you sleep or have any nasal obstruction or congestion.

This type of mask may be prescribed by your sleep doctor if you sleep on your back or require high-pressure settings. 

Cpap Machine Mask
Sleep Apnea Machine Mask

What’s the difference between CPAP, APAP, and BiPAP machines?

Other types of breathing machines include APAP (automatic positive airway pressure) and BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) devices. They all provide positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy. Here’s how they differ:

CPAP Device

The continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machine is set to deliver air at a pressure greater than the environmental air pressure and keep your airway patent. This prevents snoring and sleep apnea. The pressure delivered is at a constant air pressure level. For this air pressure level to hanged, you have to reset the  settings of the sleep apnea machine.

APAP Device

The Automatic positive airflow pressure (APAP) device monitors your breathing pattern throughout the night. Usually, the APAP device has air pressure levels set to a particular range. However, the levels of the delivered pressure are adjusted  automatically if the device senses increased airway resistance during change in sleep positions or due to other factors such as medications, etc.

BiPAP Device

Unlike CPAP, Bi-level positive airflow pressure (BPAP/BiPAP) devices uses two kinds of pressure, one for breathing in and a lower one for breathing out. This helps patients tolerate higher pressures as exhaling becomes easier. When you inhale or breathe in, the BPAP delivers air at a higher pressure to combat any upper airway blockage. It is used when CPAP does not produce the required outcome and even essentially treats nonobstructive sleep-related hypoventilation (central sleep apnea) in patients with obesity or neuromuscular disease.

Am I a Good Candidate for a CPAP machine?

You area candidate for CPAP therapy if you have been diagnosed with moderate  severe obstructive sleep apnea. Hence, if you notice or experience the following symptoms, you just might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. They include:
  • Frequent loud snoring
  • Repeated stopping and starting of breathing during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia), even after a full night’s sleep
  • Waking up with a very dry or sore throat
  • Frequent morning migraine  headaches
  • Frequent nighttime awakenings
  • Waking up with a gasp or body jerk from deep sleep
  • Trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Difficulty paying attention and poor memory
  • Reduced sex drive and/or sexual dysfunction
  • Bruxism or teeth grinding
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

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CPAP Benefits

Numerous studies have shown that using CPAP machine is one of the most effective ways to treat sleep apnea. CPAP machines deliver a continuous supply of pressurized air to your body during sleep. By doing so, they help prevent the loud snoring and apneic episodes that are primary symptoms of sleep apnea. The benefits tend to increase with longer-term CPAP use.

The benefits of using a CPAP machine include:

  • It improves your quality of sleep
  • It helps reduce or eliminate snoring
  • It prevents frequent nighttime awakenings and restlessness
  • It reduces daytime sleepiness
  • It helps lowers your blood pressure
  • It lowers your risk of having heart disease including stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.
  • It increases daytime productivity
  • It improves alertness, concentration, and memory
  • It may lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels
  • It helps lower occurrences of morning headaches, irritability, and mood swings.

CPAP Side Effects

Using a CPAP machine ight come with numerous benefits. However, it has some side effects. these side effects have made people to be non-compliant with CPAP therapy and seek more convenient and cost-effective alternatives such as oral appliances.

Some side effects of using CPAP machines are:

  • discomfort and difficulty falling asleep, especially when you first start using it
  • nasal congestion
  • anxiety
  • claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces)
  • dry mouth
  • nosebleeds
  • skin irritation or sores where the mask touches the face
  • a feeling of being bloated with air

CPAP Machine Cost

Your health insurance could cover the cost of your CPAP machine. For example, if you are enrolled in Medicare Part B, Medicare could cover up to 80% of the cost of your CPAP machine. However, this is only possible if your doctor who diagnosed you of sleep apnea nd prescribed the device for your treatment is an approved Medicare provider. You will have to cover up for 20% of the machine cost and pay your deductive, whether you are buying it or renting it.

If you are enrolled to the Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plan, cost coverage depends on the terms and conditions for  purchasing or renting durable medical equipment (DME) like CPAP machines.

Without insurance coverage, sleep apnea machines can cost between $500 and $3,000, depending on whether you’re purchasing a CPAP, APAP, or BiPAP device.

CPAP Machine Reviews

According to Sleep Foundation, the best CPAP machines are:
Get the sleep you desire with a Sleep Apnea Dentist in Los Angeles, CA

CPAP Machine FAQs

How much do CPAP machines cost?

Most CPAP machines cost between $350 and $1000, though higher-end or specialized models may cost upwards of $3000.

How long do CPAP machines last?

Most CPAP machines last 3 to 5 years before they must be replaced. This could be less or more depending on the brands and model. Also, the quality and durability of the machine’s accessories may be a factor. Certain accessories may need replacement at some point, so try to get durable and compatible ones. Cleaning your machine regularly and according to its manual could help it last longer.

Do CPAP machines come with warranties?

Most, if not all CPAP machines come with a warranty. Most are 2-year warranties, though some manufacturers provide a 3-year or 5-year warranty for their products. However, terms and condition of warranty may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

How do I buy a CPAP machine online?

Locate a reliable and reputable online CPAP retailer. Do not forget to check out their policies and fees, including shipping. Usually, online retailers ask for your prescription before you can make a purchase.  a CPAP machine online is no different from buying any other item online.

How do I clean my CPAP Machine?

Your machine usually comes with a manual that contains the cleaning instructions. Different parts of the CPAP machine require different methods of cleaning. Asa general rule, ensure your machine is unplugged before washing, wash parts gently with mild soap, rinse twice and dry. Store machine in a cool, dry place. Humidifiers should also be cleaned with a 50-50 water and vinegar mix at least once a week.
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