CPAP Machines and Masks: Tips for Choosing the Right Equipment

CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure, is among the most common therapies for the treatment of sleep apnea. By working with your primary physician or specialist, you may be in the position of purchasing the equipment you need, and there’s more choices than you may think. The prescription will tell you which types of CPAP machines and masks will work best for optimal results, but even among subcategories there are options in features and functionalities that you’ll want to consider.

CPAP Machines

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing among the different CPAP machines available:

The CPAP machine should be approved by the FDA-and nearly any that you find will be, but it doesn’t hurt to double check. You also need a doctor’s prescription to make the purchase, regardless of where you choose to make the purchase. CPAP Cushions

Compare costs of different retailers of CPAP equipment. And check with your insurance provider to see how much is covered and how high your out of pocket expense will be. This is the reality of determining which features are necessary for thorough treatment and which are superfluous. These machines can be expensive. Even when insurance picks up a portion, it doesn’t hurt to shop pricing.

Consider the features of different models.

• Carrying case-for those patients that typically sleep in their own beds every night, probably not worth any additional expense. Those that travel for work on a regular basis or who spend a significant time visiting friends and relatives for weekend getaways may find this essential.

• Ability to adjust for different altitudes-again, essential for some and completely unnecessary for others.

• Bi-level machines-a machine that shifts for inhalation and exhalation variances (known also as a BiPAP machine) may be necessary. Your physician can help make this determination.

• Monitoring and recording features-some CPAP machines will record how often the machines are used and also record apnea episodes. This is an innovative feature that can even allow your doctor to access your data. Depending on the severity of your condition, the therapy plan dictated by your physician, and your personal preferences, this may or may not be a worthwhile feature.

• Other CPAP equipment-you’ll also have to choose a mask to fit your machine. Some masks fit over the nose and mouth and others just the nose. Your doctor will recommend which type you need. Then browse different online resources to see which models offer the most comfort and which retailers provide sizing assistance. Look for future articles about choosing a mask and considering features.

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