If you have decided to buy a CPAP machine in Toronto, it is imperative that you choose the right one. After all, you will be using it every single night, possibly for the rest of your life.
Ideally, the durable medical equipment (DME) technician in the sleep clinic will walk you through the different features of CPAP machines. However, it always pays to do some homework of your own.
So here’s a guide for buyers that explains the various features of newer CPAP machines. Browse through these features and make an informed decision while buying your device.
Types of machines
There are three different types of machines that you need to be aware of.
- CPAP: The most commonly used one and the most basic one among all, the CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure constantly delivers air pressure that is delivered via a mask. This air pressure helps to keep the airway open by pushing the air palate back.
- APAP: An APAP is an automatic CPAP machine that adjusts the amount of air pressure depending on the requirements of the patient. So, when your body demands less air pressure to keep the airway open, the machine automatically adjusts the air pressure bringing it down. APAP machines also record breathing patterns and a lot of other data.
- BiPAP: BiPAP or bi-level positive airway pressure is a machine in which the air pressure alternates. Higher pressure or inspiratory positive airway pressure, or IPAP is used when the person inhales and expiratory positive airway pressure, or EPAP is used when the person exhales.
Not all CPAP machines are the same. Some are feature rich while others are intended for basic use. Here are a few important features of CPAP machines that you must consider while deciding to buy one.
- Humidifier: A humidifier is now a standard feature in most CPAP machines because it helps to prevent nasal dryness and nosebleeds. Some older machines offer a humidifier as a separate unit that can be connected to the main device.
- Leak Compensation: CPAP masks can have minor leaks due to the contours of the face. A CPAP machine with leak compensation ensures that despite the minor leaks, the prescribed air-pressure is maintained at all times.
- Mask Alert: If you are a restless sleeper or involuntarily pull the mask off while sleeping, then you may want to consider a machine with a mask alert feature. The machine will alert you when the mask is pulled off, either via a small beep or via a blinking message on the LCD screen.
- Heated Tubing: To maintain a uniform air temperature, a heated element is placed inside the tubing. Very few CPAP machines have this feature. Heated tubing prevents condensation of the air inside the tube.
- Voltage: If you travel internationally and carry your CPAP machine with you, then you may want to consider a machine with built-in voltage selection. Newer machines switch the voltage automatically.
- RAMP: People who are prescribed a higher air pressure find it difficult to fall asleep due to the constant airflow. CPAP machines with the RAMP feature start the machine with a low air pressure and then gradually ramp it up in time (usually 45 minutes). This allows the person to adjust to the rising air pressure and fall asleep.
You also have the option of renting a CPAP machine in Toronto for some time. This will help you get used to the various features.