Today, around 30 million Americans have sleep apnea; however, only 6 million have an actual diagnosis.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that makes your breathing erratic. In fact, you stop breathing often, which is dangerous to your health. If it’s left untreated, you can have a fatal heart attack or stroke.

One way sleep apnea’s treated is through a CPAP machine.

What is this, and what does a CPAP machine do? Read on to find out more.

What Does a CPAP Machine Do?

“CPAP” stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”, which means a CPAP machine helps you breathe at night. There are several types available: nasal mask, nasal pillow mask, and full mask.

No matter which type you get, the machine consists of a machine and a face mask that covers your nose, nostrils, or both your nose and mouth. You fit it over your face before sleeping and switch the machine on. During the night, the machine will deliver enough air pressure to keep your upper airway passages open.

As a result, a CPAP machine can prevent snoring and sleep apnea itself. This is because untreated sleep apnea causes collapsed airways, which then obstruct breathing during the night.

Why Use a CPAP Machine?

There are many sleep apnea solutions besides the use of a CPAP machine. But in most cases, sleep apnea patients are “prescribed” these devices.

So why is this the case? Well, the main benefits of a CPAP machine are that it’s non-invasive and highly effective. Not to mention, it also provides immediate results.

How to Use a CPAP Machine

First, attach one end of the hose to the CPAP machine, and the other end to the mask.

If your machine has a humidifier, then you’ll need to fill it with distilled water. Here’s a good resource if you need more info.

Plug in the machine, then put on the mask. Make adjustments so you’re comfortable and that the mask stays in place firmly.

You can then turn on the CPAP machine and go to sleep. It might take a few nights to get used to the machine, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t feel great on the first try.

Make sure you clean your CPAP machine daily too; you should clean it once a week at the very least. That way, it’ll keep bacteria and mold growth at bay.

Get an Effective Sleep Apnea Solution

Now you know the answer to the question, “what does a CPAP machine do?”

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor ASAP. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry. And if you do indeed have this sleep disorder, then your GP can recommend the best device for your needs and budget.

If you’d like to learn more about science and medicine, then check out the rest of our blog.

By Manali