The use of CPAP machines has exploded in recent years and there are plenty of reasons for this. They include an improved understanding of disorders like COPD and sleep apnea. These machines are also used for premature infants, and to combat the breathing challenges faced by obese patients.

CPAP is an acronym for continuous positive airway pressure. These machines help people keep their airways open and unobstructed. CPAPs make it possible for people with breathing difficulties to get a good, regular supply of oxygen. CPAP machines can help people improve their sleep quality and overall health. CPAP come in a variety of configurations. These machines have three crucial parts: a mask, hose and the machine itself, that generates the continuous pressure.

CPAP machines have the most variation in terms of the type of mask that can be attached to the hose. A nasal mask can cover part or all of the nose. That’s the route by which airway pressure is delivered with this set-up. Other configurations include a nasal pillow mask. It stays attached with a simple strap, not full headgear. This is very comfortable for people with facial hair, or people who plan to read or watch TV with their mask on. It’s the least obstructive to vision, and provides some cushioning.

A full face mask covers both the mouth and the nose. It requires a four-point headgear set-up to stay attached. This type of mask can be a good fit for people with serious allergies or sinus problems. Studies show that many patients find it hard to be compliant when using this type of mask. These patients should use their CPAP as prescribed, but seek a new full mask. Full face masks are improving in quality all the time. Newer models allow for a better field of vision, for example.

The total face CPAP mask seals the whole face. Typically, this type of mask is used for patients who leak CPAP air during testing for sleep apnea. This is a mask configuration for people who can’t effectively use other types of CPAP mask. For any patients who have trouble getting a seal on their mask, CPAP liners can be a big help. It’s also a good idea to use humidified air to prevent dryness.