Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder that temporarily stops an individual’s breathing while sleeping. Though there are different therapies that could lessen its symptoms, one popular method is through the Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP).
A CPAP is a machine that provides humidified and pressurized air according to prescribed rate. The type of air that this machine provides helps in easing one’s breathing process and makes sleeping smoother.
Traveling with a CPAP machine
The standard size of CPAP is usually for home use only. However, creators of CPAP machines understand that it would be difficult to travel with the standard sized CPAP. Thus, they created a portable sized, travel friendly machine that you could bring anywhere you wish. Its travel sized version is lighter but also operates like the standard sized CPAP and just like the standard sized, one would need a doctor’s prescription before being able to use and purchase one.
Best Mini CPAP Machines
1. ResMed AirMini
The ResMed AirMini only weighs .66 pounds which makes it easy to pack and to bring anywhere. Though the ResMed AirMini is small in size, it is packed with great helpful features such as its AutoRamp feature and EPR technology. These features provide its users option to start at a low pressure which would gradually increase up to the prescribed rate. This CPAP machine also includes a waterless humidifier and a portable bag.
2. Apex XT Fit
If you are a bit on a low budget, Apex XT fit is the answer. Though this machine is cheaper than most CPAP machines, it has all the needed features that one would look for in a CPAP machine. It has auto-ramp option for those who would want to start at a low pressured rate and an automatic altitude adjustment and leak compensation.
3. HDM Z1 Auto CPAP
The HDM Z1 comes in 10 ounces in weight and 2.25” in height which makes this machine one of the lightest and smallest CPAP machines. This machine has a quiet motor as well which makes it usable in any closed traveling mode such as airplanes, trains, etc.
As for its features, this machine offers automatic adjustment of pressure rate that is based on the user’s breathing pattern. Moreover, its users could track their sleeping data such as duration, apnea episodes, etc. on their smartphones.
4. Philips Respironics DreamStation Go
The Philips Respironics DreamStation comes with a DreamMapper data card that will keep one’s users sleeping data for one year. Furthermore, one would enjoy this machine’s feature of Bluetooth connectivity and automatic altitude which is useful for flyers. DreamStation also includes three different pressure settings and programmable ramp time between 5 minutes to 45 minutes.
5. Somnetics Transcend EZEX
This CPAP is known for its best features such as automatic altitude adjustment and leak compensation which is a very useful feature for frequent flyers, EZEX pressure relief for exhalation which provides three different settings and lastly your sleeping data could be tracked through its cloud-based app connection.
There are two types of Sleep Apnea. The first one is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and the second is the Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). These two types of sleep apnea disorders differ in treatments to ease one’s symptoms. As there is no cure to these types of disorder and only to ease its symptoms, it is important to know which type of machine that would work better for each type of sleep apnea.
For OSA it is highly suggested to use CPAP machines which provides pressurized air and prescribed rate. As for CSA, one would need a BiPAP- Bi-level positive air pressure machine which provides variable pressure rates.
Components of a CPAP Machine
- Airflow generator- this is the motorized fan seen in the machine. This is where air gets pulled in and gets pressurized before it releases to the user at prescribed rate.
- Filter- This is usually seen at the back of the machine’s central unit. This should be washed or replaced weekly.
- Humidifier – this part could be included and not included in a CPAP machine. This part is used to humidify air before it releases air to its users.
- Connective Hose- This hose links the face mask to the machine.
- Face mask- this is where the pressurized air comes out and is delivered to the users.
When choosing a CPAP Machine, one should take the following into consideration:
- Operating pressure range- it is important that you have a prescribed rate coming from your doctor before purchasing a machine. Most Sleep Apnea patients need air pressure that ranges from 6 to 14 cmH20. Ensure to check this before purchasing.
- Easy breathing- some CPAP machines offer features that could reduce air pressure during exhaling.
- Power source- most machines accommodate AC and DC voltages from 110 to 240 AC voltage.
- Ramp time- a ramp time is time that one would require the machine to reach a prescribed rate.
- Volume – there are some machines that are noisy but some are quiet. If you are sensitive to noise. This one should be taken into consideration before purchasing.
- Operating and Storage/Transport temperatures- temperatures vary depending on model.
- Data- is your machine able to store and transmit your sleeping data or information/
- Operating Altitude- if you fly often, this is one thing you need to consider.
- Automatic Adjustment- Some models provide automatic positive air pressure.
Tips while Traveling with CPAP Machine:
- 1. Drain the humidifier
- 2. Label your bag as medical equipment to expedite airport security process
- 3. Place your machine in a transparent plastic bag
- 4. Know about in-flight machine usage rules
- 5. Ask about power sources