More Than Just CPAP

The CPAP machine is the most common breathing machine. It provides a continuous stream of positive air pressure. The air moves through a flexible tube and into a sleep mask over your nose.

But CPAP is not the only option; there are other types of breathing machines as well. Some people do not prefer CPAP machines. However, it’s worth noting that other machines tend to cost more than CPAP and are less likely to be covered by insurance. A VPAP machine provides variable positive airway pressure. A BiPAP machine offers bilevel positive airway pressure. These machines allow for different air pressure when inhaling than when exhaling. For some people, VPAP or BiPAP therapy feels more natural and comfortable.

An APAP machine provides automatic positive airway pressure or auto-titrating continuous positive airway pressure. This type of breathing machine has sensors that monitor breathing and provide air as needed. CPAP therapy is often covered by insurance. However, insurance is less likely to cover the cost of other breathing machines. Patients generally begin with CPAP treatment, moving on only if they’re not satisfied.

If you’ve had a sleep apnea diagnosis, here are some of the best tips for sleep apnea treatment and snoring prevention:

  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol, muscle relaxants, opiates and other depressants make breathing more difficult, especially when you sleep. It’s especially important to avoid them in the few hours before you fall asleep.
  • Lose weight. The fact is, people who are overweight are more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Losing weight doesn’t just trim your midsection; it also can give your airways a little more “breathing room.”
  • Sleep in a different position. Evidence suggests that you may be able to find a snoring solution by sleeping on your side or stomach instead of your back, or by sleeping in an inclined position. (Some people use a sleep apnea pillow for this purpose.)
  • Quit smoking. Nicotine and cigarettes can make a snoring problem worse.
  • Do breathing exercises. They can make your airway stronger, less likely to collapse as you sleep. Singing lessons can also be a snoring remedy. So can learning the didgeridoo!
  • Avoid congestion. This means avoiding allergens or anything else that may cause mucus: dust, dander, pollen, and dairy products are common culprits.