Many individuals suffer from breathing problems that would have caused them a great deal of discomfort in the past. Still, we need to keep in mind that technology has advanced at a breakneck pace in recent years. This has resulted in the development of numerous methods to treat respiratory and sleep-related conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
Oxygen Generators & CPAP Machine
One of the most common strategies for OSA is to employ the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. However, you might have also heard of an oxygen generator.
These two mechanisms are often confused due to the fact that they are both intended to alleviate specific respiratory conditions. Let us take a look at both in greater detail before contrasting some of their major differences.
CPAP Machines: How do They Function and What do They Address?
As the name suggests, CPAP machines are designed to provide a continuous supply of air at a higher pressure. This is often required by those who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea, as their airways will remain open while sleeping. They are able to obtain a sound night of rest and other issues such as choking or waking up out of breath can be dramatically reduced.
Without getting overly technical, a CPAP machine will first draw in air from the ambient environment through the use of a motor. This air is then compressed to a higher pressure and directed towards your nose and mouth via a tube used in combination with a face mask.
These machines are extremely quiet and some are even portable; ideal if you plan on travelling in the near future. Certain models are likewise able to increase the humidity levels of the air should you suffer from a dry nose or throat. CPAP machines are specifically engineered to treat sleep apnoea and (with the help of a specialist) their pressure can be adjusted in order to accommodate the severity of your OSA.
What’s an Oxygen Concentration Machine?
Sometimes known as an oxygen concentrator, this machine will draw in air from the local environment and cause it to be passed through a number of filters.
The air quality associated with this method is normally between 87 per cent and 93 per cent pure oxygen.
A flexible tube runs from the machine into the nose of the user (you may have seen these units within hospitals or on recovery wards). These machines are normally quite bulky due to the fact that they require the presence of other equipment such as electronic monitoring systems, compressors and filters. They also contain a cooling element to prevent the compressor from overheating.
To be clear, oxygen concentrarors are generally not used to alleviate the symptoms associated with OSA. They are rather administered to
those who may be suffering from chronic respiratory conditions. A handful of common ailments include:
- Lung cancer
- Cystic fibrosis
In other words, their primary purpose is to decrease the amount of nitrogen delivered to the patient and to increase the level of oxygen that reaches his or her blood supply. This arises from the fact that their lungs (as opposed to their airway) are no longer capable of extracting oxygen via natural means.
Putting it All Together: Drawing the Right Conclusions
The bottom line is that each of these units is intended to provide relief from specific respiratory conditions. While they do indeed share some similarities in common, there are also many important differences to highlight.
This is why it is prudent to seek the advice of a trained medical professional. He or she will be able to determine what is the best option for your unique requirements; allowing you to breathe easy and to obtain a sound night of sleep.
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