Types of Sleep Apnea Machines

If you have sleep apnea or have even participated in a sleep study or home sleep program, consider investing in a sleep apnea machine to help improve your sleep and quality of life.

You’ve probably noticed different types of sleep apnea machines, but you are unsure of the differences and how to know which one would be best for you.

The three main types of sleep apnea machines supply positive airway pressure therapy (PAP) and help to treat sleep apnea, including the most common type, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This article will discuss the differences between the three sleep apnea machines to consider after your sleep study.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep disorders like sleep apnea are potentially life-threatening when left untreated. Sleep apnea machines connect to a mask you wear over your nose and sometimes your mouth. When you sleep, PAP machines provide you with air at a pressure set just high enough to prevent your upper airway from collapsing so that you can breathe normally with little effort and get the sleep you want and need.

The three main types of sleep apnea machines are APAP, CPAP, and BiPAP. And while their primary function is similar, some essential differences may make one type of PAP device better for you.

APAP Sleep Apnea Machine

The APAP machine is an auto-adjustable positive airway pressure that will automatically decrease or increase the level of positive airway pressure in response to changing airflow levels.

The APAP machine was designed to make improvements to the CPAP. For example, an APAP machine will adjust the air pressure to low when the person is breathing normally and increase the air pressure when the person has sleep apnea, snoring, or shallow breathing.

Most people with sleep apnea do not always have the condition and do not constantly experience shallow breathing, snoring, or respiratory effects related to waking up. Therefore, they prefer the APAP machine over the CPAP machine.  

The APAP machine will only increase the air pressure enough to help your breathing return to normal while sleeping and works very well for long-term use.

BIPAP Sleep Apnea Machine 

BiPAP machines deliver two-level positive airway pressure, an inhale and an exhale pressure. It doesn’t adjust automatically to respiratory cycles as the APAP does; however, some machines have the natural mode, which detects when you’re not breathing naturally to intervene automatically.

The BiPAP is the ideal sleep apnea machine for anyone needing higher air pressure to help with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). The BiPAP works well for overweight people, although it is more expensive than the APAP.

CPAP Sleep Apnea Machine

The CPAP machine, or continuous positive airway pressure, is the sleep apnea machine most commonly recommended for sleep apnea. It provides a steady, constant pressure while you inhale and exhale. The CPAP differs from the APAP in that it only has one pressure rate while you are sleeping.

The CPAP is the most widely used and studied treatment method for sleep apnea. However, the CPAP can also lead to some discomfort because of the continuous rate of pressure rather than one that is adjusted based on your breathing.

Possible Side Effects of Sleep Apnea Machines

A common side effect of sleep apnea machines is that you may have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Similar to sleep apnea, it can increase your risk of developing mood disorders and heart disease. 

Other potential side effects include:

  • Skin irritation from your mask
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Dry mouth is expected for complete face mask wearers or those wearing a nasal mask that mouth breathe
  • Oral health issues like dental cavities
  • Aerophagia, which is bloating or nausea from too much air pressure in your stomach
  • Germs that lead to infections from unsanitary equipment

Choosing the Best Sleep Apnea Machine For You

When you use a PAP device for the first time, expect an adjustment period. Finding a suitable CPAP mask and the best sleep apnea machine for you may take time.

The CPAP machine is usually the first choice for many because of its prolonged standing use for sleep apnea, and it is the best-studied non-invasive PAP device.

Whether you struggle with obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, snoring, or other sleep issues, if you find that the CPAP machine is an ineffective treatment, consult with your Sleep Medicine board-certified physician about the APAP or BiPAP.

Dreamzz Is Here to Help You Get a Restful Night’s Sleep

The expert Dream Team at DreamZz Sleep Center is here to help you find the best sleep apnea machine to suit your needs even after your sleep study. We provide comprehensive care and strive to improve your overall quality of life and well-being, and you get the sleep you deserve.

Are you ready to get a good night’s sleep? Contact us today for a consultation.