Understanding the need for CPAP while traveling
We fully understand that those who have a need for CPAP already know why they are using the device. I have been using a CPAP machine for over 3 years now and was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I can remember being told by my doctor that I slopped breathing over 37 times per hour. Quite the “eye-opener”, pun intended.
We will take some time however and discuss sleep apnea, what causes it and how a CPAP machine helps to prevent the episodes that sufferers experiences. After we learn a little bit about sleep apnea, we will take a look a some of the machines available on the market and the different types of masks that you can use.
Following those discussions, we will take a look at how to care for your CPAP unit and make sure that you are breathing the healthiest air possible.
What is Sleep Apnea?
First and foremost we want to inform you that we are not doctors and nothing that we outline in this article should be used to make a decision regarding your health. If you believe that you are experiencing sleep apnea,
YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Once your doctor believes that apnea may be your problem then he/she will schedule you for a sleep study with a sleep disorder specialist. The sturdy will be quite revealing if you are truly experiencing apnea. It’s quite sobering tho learn that you stop breathing in your sleep, so be prepared for that.
The test can vary from doctor to doctor, but many are performing home sleep studies that allow you to take the equipment home and sleep in your own bed, return the equipment the next day and have the information diagnosed by the doctor.
I should also let you know that there are surgical options available to correct apnea. My doctor reviewed them with me and I can tell you that not one of them sounded overly appealing to me.
Once you have been diagnosed with the sleep disorder and have opted out of the surgical solutions, the doctor will likely set you up with a practitioner or registered nurse who will go through your options for using CPAP equipment.
What does CPAP stand for and what does it mean?
Continuous positive airway pressure, that’s what the acronym CPAP stands for and trust me it is exactly what it sounds like. CPAP machines are designed to provide an accurate and consistent flow of air that is supplied to your breathing passages through the mouth. nose or both.
The reasoning behind this constant positive pressure is that sleep apnea is caused by the relaxation of your throat and tongue muscles which slowly close off the air passage. Your airways are not huge to begin with and when the soft tissue in your airways starts to relax, it doesn’t take much to completely close them off.
Generally, your body natural reaction is to wake up when you stop breathing and this causes the muscles to retract to their normal position and your will start breathing again.