Sleep apnea is a common condition among people day. At least 1 in 10 people older than 65 has sleep apnea today. One of the most common methods utilized to treat sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP. This is a respiratory treatment that works by gently applying air pressure from a humidified chamber into airways of a patient through a mask and tubing. Positive air pressure provided by the CPAP supplies helps to ensure that the pressure in the patient’s airways remains positive. This will allow them to continue to breathe easy without periods of apnea. CPAP supplies that are used to treat sleep apnea often include a mask, straps and cushions to attach it to the face, various tubing, a humidifying water chamber, and filtration systems for the chamber.
Mask and Cushions
The CPAP supplies that are most crucial to a patient’s comfort and treatment are the mask and cushions. Masks come in various sizes and shapes including oral, nasal, and full-face masks. The masks and some of the cushions and tubing are generally made from gel silicone or plastic materials. Masks are usually chosen based upon the way the patient breathes as well as their preferences based on comfort which may change throughout the treatment period. Masks that are ill fitting can result in air leakage that can result in under treatment. Under-treatment of conditions like sleep apnea can be harmful to patient’s health and predispose them to a host of respiratory, metabolic and physical ailments. Nasal cushions are the CPAP supplies that are often worn out the fastest. Normal wear on these can decrease the fit of CPAP supplies and make them uncomfortable to use. Head gear and various head and chin straps are the CPAP supplies used to stabilize the mask to the patient preventing movement during treatment in the night. They are generally elastic bands covered in soft comfortable material.
Water Chamber and Tubing
The main CPAP supplies necessary are the humidifying water chamber and tubing. The water chamber is generally filled with tap water that is humidifying and warmed up slightly in order to maintain a patient’s comfort during treatment and prevent drying out of the nasal and oral mucous membranes. The humidified air is filtered through CPAP device filters before being delivered through the tubing to the patient’s airways. CPAP supplies such as device filters help to protect patients from airborne contaminants such as pet dander, allergens, mold and bacterial pathogens that may be harmful to the patient. Without the filter, patients can develop allergies, respiratory infections and other illnesses during treatment that may exacerbate their pre-exisiting condition of sleep apnea.
CPAP supplies are essential in treating certain conditions of sleep apnea. Properly fitted and functioning CPAP supplies must be obtained in order to achieve successful and effective CPAP therapy. Continual replacement and maintenance of a patient’s CPAP supplies can work to decrease the possibility of under-treatment or secondary respiratory illness occurring. Choosing the right CPAP supplies allows patients to be sure that they are getting the most beneficial treatment for sleep apnea.
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