Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and APAP machines treat sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. CPAP machines deliver a steady flow of pressurized air through a mask to keep airways open during sleep.
You need a prescription to purchase a CPAP machine because a healthcare provider determines the pressure setting for a treatment plan. The healthcare professional assesses the individual's sleep apnea severity to determine the appropriate pressure setting for the patient. Using the correct pressure settings effectively treats sleep apnea and improves the individual’s sleep quality.
The Process for Obtaining a CPAP Machine
To obtain a CPAP machine, an individual typically needs to follow these steps:
Consult with a healthcare professional:
The first step in obtaining a CPAP machine is to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or a sleep specialist. They will assess the individual's sleep apnea severity and determine if CPAP therapy is appropriate. They will also prescribe the appropriate pressure setting for the individual's treatment.
Begin by consulting with a doctor or sleep specialist about getting a CPAP machine. The professional assesses the individual’s sleep apnea severity to determine if they need CPAP therapy. If they do, the healthcare provider prescribes a specific pressure setting.
Obtain a sleep study
The healthcare provider may recommend a sleep study to diagnose sleep apnea and select the proper treatment. The study involves spending a night in a sleep lab or using a portable sleep monitoring device at home. In Canada, there are both public and private options for sleep tests. Often the private options have a shorter wait time and are covered by many insurance providers.
Purchase a CPAP machine
After a sleep apnea diagnosis and being assigned a treatment plan, the patient can purchase a CPAP machine. Choosing a machine that suits their needs and preferences is essential. Consider the size and weight of the machine, the noise level, the humidification options, and features like automatic pressure adjustments and tracking capabilities through smartphone apps when selecting your machine.
Set up and use the CPAP machine
After purchasing the machine, set it up and use it as directed by your healthcare professional. Fill the humidifier machine with water and attach the air tubing to the machine and mask. Consistent use and following the recommended pressure settings treats sleep apnea and improves sleep quality.
Maintain the CPAP machine
Maintaining the CPAP machine ensures it functions properly and has a longer life span. Cleaning the humidifier chamber and air tubing regularly, and replacing the filter every six months or as needed is essential. You should also inspect the machine for leaks and other issues and report any problems to a healthcare professional.
A prescription is required to buy a CPAP machine because a healthcare professional determines the patient’s treatment plan. Consulting with a healthcare professional, partaking in a sleep study (if needed), purchasing a suitable device, setting it up, using it as directing, and proper maintenance are all required.