CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure. It refers to the use of continuous positive air pressure to maintain positive airflow. Used as therapy, CPAP employs air pressure to keep airways open in patients that suffer from collapsed or obstructed airways. In simpler terms, it keeps one’s airways open to assist him in breathing.
This mechanical ventilation can be used by a patient in a hospital or even at home. Although it may appear to have the same function as PEEP (positive end-expiratory pressure), CPAP works differently. CPAP is pressure directed by a constant flow, while PEEP uses an applied pressure against exhalation. Unlike the PEEP, CPAP does not apply additional pressure above the level that it is set to provide. Patients who use CPAP must give out all of their breaths.
Although the CPAP machines’ focus is on treating sleep apnea, it has also been found to be an effective treatment for other breathing problems and a preventive measure for serious illnesses resulting from respiratory malfunction.
Uses of CPAP
Treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP has varieties of usages, but it is more commonly used as a treatment for people who have difficulty breathing. Sleep apnea is among the breathing problems that can be treated with CPAP.
This condition is demonstrated by shallow breathing or even periods of no breathing during sleep. This happens when parts of a person’s airways are blocked unconsciously during phases of deep sleep, often characterized by snoring. As a result, the lungs do not receive enough air.
Letting sleep apnea remain untreated can lead to serious health problems. CPAP helps to avoid this by serving as an effective treatment.
Treatment for infants. CPAP is also used to treat premature babies who have underdeveloped lungs, more commonly known as neonatal respiratory distress syndrome. CPAP delivered through the nose is one of treatment for this condition, as it helps keep the newborn’s airways open.
Breathing assistant for people with lung, heart and respiratory problems. Patients with lung and respiratory diseases and congestive heart failure often need endotracheal intubation to breathe properly. This is a procedure wherein a breathing tube connected to an external mechanical respiratory apparatus is inserted into one’s airways. This is often undesirable and may require numbing to be administered. Fortunately, a better alternative to this procedure is available through CPAP.
CPAP helps ease breathing with minimal employment of mechanical aid. It is noninvasive and does not use breathing tubes, which may even cause complications in one’s airways.
Prevents Aggravation of Respiratory Problems.People with bronchitis, asthma or other lung problems have varying levels of need for oxygen, which, sometimes cannot be fully supplied by their lungs. When this happens, respiratory problems get worse. Oxygen therapy is often used to address this.
However, this procedure may sometimes not be enough. Using CPAP machines together with this treatment helps provide the demand for oxygen by improving the gas exchange within the lungs, efficiently aiding one’s breathing.
CPAP Machine Components
CPAP machines are lightweight and can be portable. Unlike the big machines, CPAP’s mechanical parts function quietly. Its components include the following:
- A mask or other apparatus. This directs the flow of air to one’s breathing tracks. Some devices fit over the nose, while some fit both the nose and mouth. It includes a strap to keep the mask in place. The mask is the interface for CPAP and is required to form a tight seal against the face.
- A tube or hose. This connects the mask to the machine's mechanical power.
- A motor. This pushes or blows the air into the tube. This is the CPAP machine.
Over the years, CPAP machines have developed to make them more comfortable for patients. There are now machines that even have features like heated humidifiers.
We carry various CPAP machines and accessories in our site. Please feel free to browse through our wide catalog and contact us if you have any questions about any of our products.