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Advanced CPAP Machines for Sleep Apnea

Automatic CPAP Machines

Some advanced machines for sleep apnea sleeping disorder have a capability of analyzing your breathing pattern and adjusting the pressure as the night progresses.

The idea is that you may not need the same high pressure throughout the night - it can be maintained at a lower level for some time if there are no events and, when needed, the machine will raise the pressure to a level that will eliminate all of them or most of them.

That level may vary from minute to minute, hour to hour, but on average the pressure you will have to tolerate will be lower than it would have been with a fixed CPAP pressure.

A lower average pressure means a higher chance of long term compliance, which is the biggest problem in CPAP therapy.

Another advantage of a smart CPAP machine is that you don’t need to spend as much time in the sleep lab – the technician doesn’t need to go through the process of increasing the pressure step by step (titrating) until he or she finds which is best for you.

Instead, they will give you a machine that can make that decision on-the-fly, as needed. Of course, if it can be so great why do we even bother with the old fashion machines for sleep apnea? Well, as you can guess things are not that simple. What works for one person may not work for another.

A particular algorithm will recognize certain sleep patterns and may be effective in some people but fail to provide a satisfactory treatment in others.

The automatic machines keep getting smarter and more effective but it is up to each doctor to decide which machine will work best for a particular patient.

Bi-Level Machines for Sleep Apnea

Another device that may be considered for some patients is a bi-level type machine.

Typically, if you are starting your CPAP therapy and your prescribed pressure is not very high, you will receive a single-level device.

They are quite effective and much less expensive than more complicated two-level machines.

Those are given to patients who for some reasons cannot tolerate a regular CPAP machine for sleep apnea.

A bi-level device monitors the airflow and senses your inspiratory and expiratory efforts. It can recognize with quite good accuracy which part of the airflow is going through your lungs and which is leak.

Based on that information it will know when you are finished with your inhalation and as soon as you are trying to exhale it will lower the pressure to make it easier for you. Similarly, when you are ready to inhale, the pressure goes up and you get an extra boost.

Since you are dealing with two separate pressure levels it is even more time consuming to find out in the sleep lab what those levels are. That’s another reason it is not a primary choice for a sleep apnea sufferer. And, although it sounds like a superior mode of treatment, studies show that it is only marginally more effective long term then a regular CPAP machine for sleep apnea.

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