Sleep apnea causes the breathing to repeatedly stop and start again. Symptoms include loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, and difficulty staying asleep. Though sharing some similarities, there are three distinct types of sleep apnea. ‘Centralized’ sleep apnea occurs when the brain malfunctions, not sending the necessary signals to the breath-controlling muscles. Obstructive apnea is the more common form, happening when the throat muscles over-relax. The third type, complex sleep apnea, is a combination of obstructive and central. At present, there are three main treatment machines used to improve the quality of rest that sleep apnea patients receive.
CPAP Machine and Its Benefits
The most commonly used therapy for sleep apnea, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP machine) system is the leader in sleep technology machines. While sleeping, patients wear either a nasal or full-facial mask that is connected to a pump device. The pump provides a positive air flow into the nasal passages, causing the airway to stay open. Most people report positive experiences with CPAP machines, citing increased mental clarity and sharpness as the major benefits of the treatment.
In addition to enabling more restful sleep for the patient, the CPAP machine masks also provide benefits for a person’s partner CPAP eliminates the harsh snoring and restlessness that sleep apnea provokes, silencing the noises and creating a more optimal sleep environment for the patient and his/her partner.
compliance when coupled with patient education and a positive first experience with CPAP
Auto PAP Machine: What’s the Difference?
An Auto PAP machine essentially achieves the same goals as a CPAP. Unlike a CPAP, however, an Automatic Positive Airway Pressure device does not provide continuous air flow. A doctor or speech specialist programs the machine to settings best suited to the individual. Through this specially-fitted mask, the mechanism is able to detect pressure changes in your breathing while you sleep, automatically correcting it to best suit the patient’s needs. This device is more practical in that it adjusts and treats the individual. People may experience a variety of airway changes during sleep, and an Auto PAP machine is more suited to atypical sleep and breathing patterns.
The third type of nighttime breathing apparatus is called a BiPAP, or Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure system. Again, this system is very similar to the original CPAP. As a non-invasive form of treatment, a Bilevel machine delivers pressurized air through a mask that is worn during sleep. This reduces the potential obstructions and prevents the throat muscles from collapsing, allowing the patient to breathe more easily. However, normal CPAP machines can only be set to a single setting, providing a consistent pressurized flow through the night. A Bilevel machine, on the other hand, can be programmed to two settings, starting off the night with a lower pressure that gradually bills as the person falls into a deeper sleep. BiPAPs make the beginning of the treatment more tolerable and less intense, working up to the maximum and idyllic capacity and then remaining at that level throughout the night.
How to Choose
All three of these sleep apnea treatment devices are effective. The right one for each individual patient will depend on his/her symptoms and characteristics. While controlling the breathing and airflow is the frontrunner in treatment, each of these three machines only normalizes the breathing while the person is wearing the machine. Furthermore, it is crucial for patients to regularly update the settings to their device in order to ensure that the treatment is adequately addressing the changing complications that occur during sleep.
Valley Sleep Center Mission:
The mission of Valley Sleep Center is to deliver excellence in patient care. To achieve this goal, each of our facilities is dedicated to becoming the leading independent sleep diagnostic testing facility serving its community.
About Our Accreditation
AASM Accreditation of Sleep Disorders Centers is a voluntary process for the assessment of sleep programs. By achieving accreditation, a sleep disorders facility, stand-alone provider of Home Sleep Apnea Testing or Durable Medical Equipment provider demonstrates a commitment to the provision of quality diagnostic services and/or long-term management of sleep patients.