May 20th 2021

​ What Does a CPAP Do and Understanding CPAP Machines & Masks

The month of May is dedicated to "better sleep" since sleep is essential for your mental and physical health. Lack of sleep could lead to high blood pressure, potential heart problems, memory loss, and more. As a CPAP user, it's important to stay consistent and follow your therapy.

This article will focus on educating you on what does a CPAP do, understanding and selecting machines and masks, and tips on how to get the most out of your therapy.

What does a CPAP do?

A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine helps a person with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) breathe easier and sleep better.

CPAP Machines

CPAP machine increases the air pressure in your throat (through your nose) to open your airways and improve your oxygen flow. The oxygen flow prevents your airway from collapsing as you breathe. It ensures continuous breathing patterns (no stop and start breathing patterns).

Your machine restores normal breathing patterns, helping you to rest better.

How to Choose a CPAP Machine?

When it's time to select your device, all CPAP machines have the same parts. They include:

  • A motor (in the base of the machine)
  • A standard mask (most machines allow you to use a different mask to fit your specific needs)
  • A tube that connects your machine and mask
  • Adjustable straps to fit you comfortably
  • A headgear frame

3 Types of CPAP Masks

Unlike the machines, there are different CPAP masks available, so you can find the one the best fits you. You must use a suitable mask (for your specific needs) to receive the full benefits of your therapy. Consult with your doctor or medical professional about the best mask for you.

There are three main types of mask styles.

1. Nasal Pillow Mask

CPAP nasal pillow masks have a small cushion that covers your nostrils. This mask is ideal if you have facial hair or wear glasses. The small prongs fit over your nostrils and leave the rest of your face uncovered.

2. Nasal Mask

CPAP nasal masks like the Fisher Paykel nasal CPAP mask cover your entire nose area (unlike nasal pillow masks) and can deliver a high-pressure airstream. This mask is ideal if you move around in your sleep because it stays secure.

3. Full Face Mask

CPAP full face masks have a triangle shape and cover your mouth and nose. This mask is ideal if you breathe through your mouth or have a blockage inside your nose.

5 Benefits to Using a CPAP Machine

CPAP therapy is an effective non-surgical option for treating OSA. If you're diagnosed early and begin treatment, it can:

  • Decrease daytime drowsiness
  • Improve blood pressure
  • Improve overall sleep quality
  • Reduce heart problems with anyone diagnosed with coronary artery disease
  • Significantly reduce or eliminate snoring

5 Tips on Preventing CPAP Side Effects

CPAP machines are an effective way to improve your OSA and quality of life, but you may experience some drawbacks. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to prevent (or stop) these side effects from occurring.

  1. Clean your equipment often – This helps to prevent you from becoming sick.
  2. Ensure the humidifier isworking – This helps to stop or significantly reduce dry mouth, dry nose, and nosebleeds.
  3. Try sinus medicine – If you have blocked sinuses, this can help reduce the pressure in your nose.
  4. Secure your mask strap – If the strap is too tight, it can cause skin irritations, and if it's too loose, it can leak.
  5. Use a proper mask – Finding and using the mask that's best for your life will help make sure you receive the full benefits of your therapy.

If you're having difficulty getting used to your machine, read our blog post on how to get used to CPAP.

Shop with a Reliable Supplier

GoCPAP is a reliable and trusted CPAP supplier. The GoCPAP team can help you with all your equipment needs and help you start your initial treatment. Shop with confidence, knowing you can access quality CPAP cleaning products, machines, and accessories to sleep better.

Shop here for your equipment needs.

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