Oct 28th 2021
How to Buy a CPAP Machine
If you find yourself in need of a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea needs, you may find the process to be intimidating. However, doing so doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If you are wondering how to buy a CPAP machine and what type of machine is best for you, look no further. We have all the information you need to make an informed decision and to simplify the buying process.
What is a CPAP Machine?
You likely know how a CPAP machine functions, but you may not have full insight into how it can improve your breathing, induce a better night’s sleep, and drastically improve your overall quality of life.
CPAP machines draw in environmental air using a special fan. Then, the machine pressurizes that environmental air at a constant pressure. Each patient has different pressure needs, which is why it’s important to get direction on that from a healthcare provider, as we discuss below. Standard CPAP machines can pressurize air between our and up to 20cmH2O.
Consistently following your prescribed CPAP therapy ensures that you are reaping the benefits of easier breathing, a better night’s sleep, and an improved quality of life. Purchasing a CPAP machine that fits your needs and is easy to use will help you practice your therapy regularly.
Obtaining a CPAP Machine Prescription
Before you can purchase your CPAP machine, you will need to receive a prescription from a medical professional. This prescription will specify what kind of machine you should buy, making the process easier. The prescription will also detail the pressure setting you need to use to treat your specific case of sleep apnea.
However, something to know about this process is that it’s not as easy as going to the doctor’s office and asking for a prescription. Since a CPAP machine is a specialized medical device, your healthcare provider will need to perform a sleep study. This process will reveal if you have sleep apnea and require a CPAP machine to treat it.
What Does a Sleep Study Entail?
Part of buying a CPAP machine involves receiving a sleep study by a doctor to determine whether it’s merited. This fact may leave you wondering what a sleep study entails and what it measures.
These studies measure the following:
- Heart rate while sleeping
- Breathing patterns while sleeping
- Blood oxygen levels
- Number of times you stop breathing during sleep
- Number of times you wake up during your sleep cycle
Once the sleep study concludes, your doctor will have a clear idea of whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea. From there, your provider will prescribe a course of treatment. If your diagnosis is sleep apnea, the treatment will likely entail CPAP machine therapy. Other routes of possible treatment include BiPAP therapy, oral appliances, more doctors visits to accommodate intense therapy, or even surgery.
CPAP Machine Humidification
Some CPAP machines offer a built-in or add-on humidifier. It’s essential to know about this feature in searching for a CPAP machine that suits your needs. While not every CPAP user opts for a device with a humidifier, it can do a lot to make your experience more comfortable.
Humidifiers prevent your mouth from becoming severely dry after receiving CPAP therapy. Humidifiers keep moisture in the air, preventing your nose and mouth from drying out while using your CPAP machine. This feature can also prevent nasal infections, bloody noses, and other common side effects of regular CPAP machine use.
It’s possible to get a humidification unit for your machine that disconnects from the main CPAP machine, making it optional to use. This humidifier is a handy feature when traveling, as you may decide not to bring the humidifier if you’re low on suitcase space.
Understanding Ramp Feature
Something else you want to familiarize yourself with when looking to purchase a CPAP machine is the “ramp feature.” When you first start receiving CPAP therapy, getting used to the air pressure can be jarring. That’s why some CPAP models have ramp features.
The ramp features allows the device to begin delivering oxygen at lower pressure levels when you first start with your therapy. Then, the machine will slowly start to increase pressure to your ideal level. This process can take anywhere from zero to 45 minutes. If you set it to the maximum time, the machine will gradually increase pressure over the 45 minutes to allow you to adjust more naturally to the pressure.
This feature helps many patients become accustomed to their therapy quicker. It can also aid in falling asleep faster. This is an optional feature, but it’s certainly one worth considering.
Smart Data Recording
Another feature worth mentioning is smart data recording. Some CPAP machines can record important information about your specific therapy. After collecting this data, your doctor can review it.
This data can help your healthcare provider determine whether your therapy settings need adjustment to better suit your needs. This data includes pressure changes, air leak rates, snoring episodes, apnea events throughout your sleep cycles, and other items.
Smart data recording is another optional feature, but it can benefit your sleep apnea journey and provide more information for your doctor
Should You Consider a Travel CPAP Machine?
Many individuals who receive sleep therapy also purchase a travel CPAP machine. It’s worth considering this because you will likely, at times, sleep somewhere other than your own home. In those instances, you’ll want a portable machine that is easy to bring with you to ensure you can continue your CPAP therapy regardless of your location.
Some machines are more portable than others. If your everyday CPAP machine is portable, you likely don’t need one explicitly designed for travel. However, if your machine is cumbersome to bring from place to place, you may want to consider a device designed specifically for travel.
For traveling, look for a lightweight machine. You’ll also want to ensure that a travel CPAP machine has a carrying case for portability purposes.
How to Buy a CPAP Machine Online
Once you have your CPAP machine prescription, you will want to consider purchasing your machine and CPAP equipment online. This method of purchasing is one of the most convenient and common ways of buying a CPAP machine.
Buying your CPAP machine online allows you to compare the various CPAP machine types and manufacturers on your own time. Shopping this way also enables you to research the machines and read reviews from real users.
Things to Consider When Buying a CPAP Machine Online
There are specific considerations to take into account when buying your CPAP machine online. First, of course, you want to do your research and ensure you’re purchasing a machine that will meet your specific needs and preferences.
It would help if you asked yourself the following questions when considering different CPAP machines online:
- Will I be traveling with my machine or only using it at home?
- Do I need accessories along with my machine (like batteries or a humidifier)?
- What are some features that are important to me?
- What were the specific recommendations from my doctor?
- What is my budget for purchasing a CPAP machine?
Purchasing your CPAP Machine from a Trusted Supplier
Deciding on the right CPAP machine and making the purchase is a big decision. We understand that you want to buy yours from a reliable and trustworthy CPAP supplier. Our team is ready to help you find what you need to ensure a healthy and comfortable night’s sleep.