What factors to keep in mind while buying your CPAP device?
For anyone diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, the CPAP machine is a necessary and reliable companion. Proven as one of the most effective forms of treatment for Sleep Apnea, CPAP therapy ensures correcting the core problem of airway blockage, making your sleep as good and healthy as that of someone without Sleep Apnea.
Given its huge benefits and wide-spread use, a large selection of CPAP devices are available in the market. From entry level and cost effective variants, to more advanced products with superior features built in to spruce up your therapy experience, there are a number of models to choose from. The price range also varies significantly depending on the model and the brand that you opt for.
Such an extensive plethora of choices is bound to lead to some confusion for the prospective buyer, who is often left wondering what to keep in mind while deciding on their perfect CPAP companion.
To help make this decision a little easier for you, our team of experts have put together the most important factors to consider while buying device -
Manual vs Auto : CPAP machines primarily come in two major types, one being the manual CPAP device where the ideal therapy pressure is set by the user in accordance with their prescribed settings. The second and more popular is the Automatic CPAP device where the pressure is adjusted by the device’s algorithm and flow sensors, making it to highly responsive to your evolving therapy pressure needs. Because of its auto adjustment capabilities, an Auto CPAP negates the need for repeat sleep study or titration tests on an ongoing basis.
This also implies long terms cost savings as you’re saved from the hassle of ongoing diagnostic testing. The manual CPAP, on the other hand is more affordable and has a low initial investment, but will have the associated cost of repeated diagnostic tests. Another characteristic of the Auto CPAP, making it different and a notch better than the manual CPAP is that it promises a higher degree of therapy comfort since it caters to positional variance of pressure, sleep stage related pressure variance and lifestyle influenced pressure variance.. Read article on lifestyle changes that can help reduce CPAP pressure.
Brand : The market is currently flooded with a hoard of brands and CPAP manufacturers, all promising to enhance your therapy experience. Among the vast sea of choices, the market leaders are two prominent manufacturers ResMed and Respironics. ResMed, an Australian company specialising in Sleep and Respiratory care devices, is a pioneer in this field and well-known for its spectacular product innovations. Respironics, an American brand managed and owned by Philips Healthcare, is a popular choice and brings to the table latest technologies backed by solid service support. Another popular and recommended brand is the American manufacturer DeVilbiss, known for its sturdy and effective products. DeVilbiss is ideal for those looking for good quality at an affordable price. After sales and on ground support are very important for any CPAP user and both ResMed and Philips are winners in providing this support in India, with presence in all major Indian cities. DeVilbiss Healthcare, although present is limited in its support through its major dealers and has only one company operated service centre in is Mumbai office. A Apart from the 3 suggested brands, most other companies including a number of Chinese providers lack support, product training and spare part availability.
Humidification : A very crucial factor to consider, the humidification system in the CPAP device hugely determines the cost of the device. The purpose of a humidifier in a CPAP machine is to provide extra moisture and reduce any instances of dryness in throat that some users experience. Entry level CPAP machines do not come with built in humidification and the humidifier has to be purchased separately as an added attachment, thereby affecting the total cost of your CPAP device. However, most recent models by leading brands now come with inbuilt humidification and climate control like the ResMed Airsense 10. An inbuilt humidification system and climate control are bound to enhance your therapy experience. That said, for users residing in coastal areas a humidifier is not always necessary since coastal areas tend to have a more sultry climate. In other parts of country comprising of dry regions, plains and hills the humidifier becomes very important, especially during winters when dryness in the weather is at its peak.
CPAP Size : While all CPAP machines are compact and easy to user, size a more pertinent issue for users who are required to travel frequently for work or otherwise. If high portability and ease of travel with your CPAP machine is important for you, then a portable device like the ResMed AirMini is recommended. The latest innovation from ResMed, the AirMini is a super compact device, weighing less than 300gm and size of a shaving kit. Even at that size, it is a is a fully loaded model with all comfort features necessary for a superior therapy experience. The other bigger, bulky models like the ResMed Airsense 10 or the Philips DreamStation are good when to be kept in one location as they are most comfortable for patients
- Data Interpretation and Support : For effective and continuous treatment of your Sleep Apnea, regular monitoring and follow up is extremely crucial. This is why all CPAP machines comes with their own way of data recording, to enable users to track their therapy through regular reports. DeVilbiss Healthcare has made this super convenient for its users through the Smartcode, a unique alphanumeric code generated on the device, which enables accessing of report via the Smartcode website anywhere in this world. ResMed AirMini has gone a step ahead and embraced latest bluetooth technology and allows the user to monitor their reports by simply looking at the ResMed Airmini mobile app on their smartphone. If the user is is not tech savvy and would prefer report interpretation only once in 3 months, they can also opt for a basic CPAP machine like the ResMed S9 Autoset or the Phlips Aflex, which store data on an SD card, available for report interpretation through specialized softwares only . The newer devices like the ResMed Airsense 10 and the DeVilbiss DV64 Blue store high resolution data with graphs and leakage statistics. The older and entry level models like the DeVilbiss DV54 and the ResMed S9 Escape Auto store limited data only.
- Mask : There are a vast selection of CPAP masks including nasal masks, nasal pillow masks and full face masks that can be used with your CPAP machine. Most of the CPAP devices are compatible with any type of mask mode and brand. Kindly go through our mask selection guide and types for more details.