If you are the type of sleeper that snores loudly and often feels tired even after experiencing a full night of sleep, you might be suffering from sleep apnea. Aside from snoring and fatigue, another sign that you have this sleep disorder is when your breathing repeatedly starts and stops while sleeping.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that should not be taken for granted. Obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke, to name a few. One of the most recommended methods to treat this is by using CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines, especially for severe cases. It is a kind of therapy that provides patients with a major improvement and quality of sleep in just one night.
Before buying your personal CPAP machine, here are some important details you should know:
Securing a Prescription
One cannot simply buy a CPAP machine. You should first be diagnosed with sleep apnea before you are allowed to purchase one. The diagnosis comes in two ways. You can be studied overnight in a sleep clinic, or the test could be done in your home.
During the diagnosis, the technician will expose your body to a different level of air pressure and watch how it will respond from each. From this study, your technician can prescribe the right type of machine and the correct pressure level for you. You could either get the prescription from a sleep clinic or an equipment retailer.
Finding the Right Machine for You
Some sleep centers can immediately provide you with your CPAP machine. If not, they will recommend you to a supplier that either rents or sells them. Make sure to only purchase from sellers recommended by your sleep center, and do not forget to check if your health insurance can cover the cost of the machine.
Upon finding a supplier, here is what you should expect:
- They should find a mask that fits you
- They should show you how the system works
- The machine usually comes with a six-foot hose and a carrying case
- Some doctors will ask you to add a heated humidifier. It can help turn the harsh airflow into a bearable one. If your doctor specifically asked you to buy one, follow the instructions to avoid side effects like nasal congestion and dry throat.
Note: The humidifier, masks, and other accessories can be bought without any prescription.
Important Notes About the Accessories
There are four types of masks used in CPAP machines. Your doctor will tell you the right mask to use, depending on the air pressure level in your test. Some users of the machine have two to three masks that they can use interchangeably, depending on their needs.
- Oral masks – These are the masks that are attached between your lips and gums
- Nasal masks – These masks directly seal the surrounding of your nose
- Full-face masks – These masks cover the nose and the mouth
- Nasal pillows – This directly fit into your nostrils
These masks have straps that go around one’s forehead and chin. The straps are often made with gel cushioning or flexible foam.
Ask your insurance company how often your masks will be replaced in a year. If you use nasal cushions, you need to replace them frequently.
Guidance Through the Process
Before you decide on buying the machine, you have to ensure that you are willing to use the CPAP machine and that it will work well for you. Getting a diagnosis from trusted sleeping centers can help you decide on this. Knowing where to buy your machine, the right type for you, and how long you will use it will also help in the decision-making process.
Sleep Center in Jacksonville, FL
If you are looking for a CPAP machine in Jacksonville, FL, we offer that treatment at Jacksonville Sleep Center. If you have questions about getting diagnosed with sleep apnea, or if you are wondering if a CPAP machine is right for you, contact us today to request an appointment.