Who Needs a CPAP Machine and What to Know About It

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If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend using a CPAP machine. Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. A CPAP machine uses gentle air pressure to keep your airways open while you sleep.This guide will show you how to get back into a deep sleep after waking up during the night to feel rested in the morning.

There Are Three Types of Sleep Apnea:

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): It is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the muscles in your throat relax and block your airway.
  2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): This type of sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send the right signals to your muscles to keep a regular breathing pattern.
  3. Mixed Sleep Apnea: This type of sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and CSA.

If you have sleep apnea, you may not be aware that you’re not breathing. Sleep apnea can cause snoring, gasping, or choking sounds, but it is possible to have sleep apnea without these symptoms. It can also cause you to wake up frequently during the night. Sleep apnea can make it challenging to get a good night’s sleep, affecting your overall health.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, see your doctor. They can recommend a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis.

What Is a CPAP Machine?

A CPAP machine is a small, portable device that delivers air pressure through a mask you wear during sleep. The air pressure keeps your airways open so that you can breathe normally.

CPAP therapy can be an effective treatment for sleep apnea. It can improve your sleep and help you feel more rested during the day. It may also reduce your risk of heart problems and other complications.


How Do I Use a CPAP Machine?

You will need to use a CPAP machine every time you sleep. CPAP Therapy should be overseen by a Respiratory Therapist to ensure that you have the highest chance of success with the therapy, as they will help find the right pressure and mask for you.

You will need to clean your CPAP machine regularly. The mask, tubing, and humidifier need to be cleaned every day. The machine itself needs to be cleaned once a week, and requires distilled water and power to run.

You will need to replace the filter in your CPAP machine regularly. You will also need to replace the tubing and mask every few months.


What Are the Side Effects of CPAP Therapy?

Try performing a breathing exercise when it is hard to go back to sleep. You can adapt the 4-7-8 breathing technique, which involves inhaling for 4 seconds through your nose, holding for 7 seconds, and exhaling in your mouth for 8 seconds. This method may calm your mind, helping you relax so you can fall asleep faster.


How to Avoid Waking up in the Middle of the Night

The most common side effect of CPAP therapy is a stuffy nose. You may also have a sore throat, dry mouth, or a headache. These side effects are usually mild and go away after a few days. There are also less common side effects, such as craniofacial changes caused by mask pressure, and TMJ disorder flare ups in those with a pre-existing condition. 

While CPAP machines can be very effective, not everyone tolerates them well. This could be because facial shape creates issues with masks fitting properly, discomfort from the headgear, feelings of claustrophobia, or even sleeping on your stomach, which can be difficult with the tubing to the machine. We always recommend trying a CPAP machine before you buy it to make sure you tolerate wearing it well.

If you have trouble using CPAP therapy, talk to your doctor or respiratory therapist. They may be able to adjust the pressure setting or recommend a different type of mask.

What Are the Benefits of CPAP Therapy?

Sleep apnea puts you at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. CPAP therapy can help reduce your risk of these problems and can improve your sleep to help you feel more alert during the day.


If you have sleep apnea, you know how frustrating it can be to get a good night’s sleep. CPAP machines are a helpful tool for people with sleep apnea. They help to keep your airways open and prevent snoring. If you are considering a CPAP machine, talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you.

 Dr. Muir and her team at Sleep Better, Live Better are experts in sleep apnea and can help you find the proper treatment for your needs. They offer various services, including sleep studies, CPAP therapy, and other sleep apnea solutions in Vancouver.