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How Does a CPAP Work for Sleep Apnea Management?

How Does a CPAP Work for Sleep Apnea Management?
Kevin Cleary

Those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have an ongoing battle between breathing and sleeping every night. Guess who wins? Your breathing will always win out, usually at the cost of sleep, which can lead to general tiredness for the sufferer, not to mention their bedtime partner. The best way to treat this problem is continuous positive airway pressure therapy or CPAP machine.

We all know that obstructive sleep apnea can lead to major health problems that include high blood pressure, heart problems, and an overall negative effect on our well-being. 

At the risk of sounding trivial, breathing is quite important to us humans. That’s not really a groundbreaking statement or even a secret, but it is a true one.

If you suffer from sleep apnea (or share a bed with someone who does), you understand the impact OSA has on your breathing as well as your night’s sleep. After being diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, there is a good chance you have been told to use a sleep apnea device while you sleep.

Your first question might be: what is a CPAP machine, and how does it work?

What is a CPAP machine?

Basically, a CPAP machine, also known as a sleep apnea device, consists of a machine that provides continuous pressure that is delivered through a hose to some type of a face mask or nasal apparatus to keep the airway under pressure, therefore allowing you to breathe in an unobstructed manner.

CPAP Machine Uses

A CPAP machine eliminates snoring and treats obstructive and central sleep apnea, which interrupts breathing while one sleeps. Sleep apnea can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night due to a lack of oxygen. CPAP also helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other ailments that may arise due to obstructed oxygen flow. 

How CPAP Machine Works?

The image below shows how a CPAP works and how it can help keep your airway open and allow oxygen to flow freely. A CPAP machine delivers continuous air through the nose and mouth to keep the airways open and make breathing easier.

What is CPAP Machine

A CPAP machine consists of a compressor or a motor that generates a continuous stream of pressurized air. This air travels through a filter into a flexible tube, which delivers the purified air into a sealed mask around the nose or mouth.

The airstream from the CPAP device pushes against the blockages and opens the airways for the lungs to receive plenty of oxygen when you sleep. The steady flow of oxygen makes breathing easier and sleep better.

What are the Different Types of CPAP Machines?

A CPAP machine is a type of PAP, i.e., Positive airway pressure therapy. CPAP is often used as a catchall term, but there are different types of sleep apnea machines. These are - 

1. APAP Machines

Auto-adjusting positive airway pressure (APAP) machines, also known as auto-CPAP, can modify the air pressure based on the individual's breathing patterns. This feature is particularly beneficial for those with varied pressure requirements due to changes in sleep positions or those who find it challenging to tolerate CPAP machines. APAP machines can provide a more comfortable experience for such sleepers by automatically adjusting the pressure levels.

2. BiPAP Machines

Bilevel positive airway pressure or BiPAP or BPAP machines have two pressure settings: high pressure during inhalation and low pressure during exhalation. These machines often offer a broader pressure range, reaching up to 30 cm H2O.

3. Travel CPAP Machines

Travel CPAP machines are similar to regular CPAP machines but more portable. They typically have a compact and lightweight design. Certain models can be used during flights, although it's important to note that airline policies may differ.

What is the difference between PAP Machines?

PAP machines vary in their pressure settings. CPAP and travel CPAP machines deliver consistent pressure, while APAP machines adjust pressure based on breathing patterns. BiPAP machines have different settings for inhaling and exhaling, with higher and lower pressure during exhalation.

Where to buy a CPAP machine online?

HPFY has been your health and wellness partner since 2002. We carry a wide range of respiratory supplies, including CPAP machines, nebulizers, and oxygen concentrators, to name a few. Explore our catalog today and find the products that suit your needs the best.

Best CPAP Machines Available At HPFY


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Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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