CPAP Mask/Machine Info Needed?

By price_s_right Latest Activity December 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm Views 10,955 Replies 24 Likes 1


I've been told that a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask can be beneficial for COPD treatment at night when oxygen saturation levels tend to drop.

Does anyone know how useful this really is? Is there a major difference b/n using a CPAP mask and CPAP machine?

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  • NationalCPAP
    NationalCPAP August 9, 2012 at 10:44 am   

    I actually work at a DME (durable medical equipment) company and our specialty is Resp. We are a small company with only 200 CPAP patients… And I will tell you that using a CPAP will help out a lot. You will wake up feeling tons better… Great thing about this lil machine is that it can go everywhere you go they arent that big, yet they do make a lil bit of noise when you turn it on, but nothing too bad. Now when it comes to choosing a mask, thats a different story, I have had plenty of patients that didnt like the feeling of something on their face and had to stop using their CPAP. But no worries there are plenty of masks out there to help you.

  • carla osborn
    carla osborn July 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm   

    I have been on a cpap full face mask with oxygen and humdifier since December. I feel so much better especially in the am and getting the oxygen I need has really helped my aches. I was very set that it was a bunch of bull but it has been a lifesaver I cannot imagine being without it I call it my little buddy it is my best friend.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 March 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm   

    Perpelexed, Great suggestion on Dr. Scholls & moleskin. Gonna try it and I'll let you know. I've got a "hose nose" trench that you could hide things in, but wow it hurts. Thanks again my friend. SUPERHUG just alec

  • Perplexed
    Perplexed March 1, 2011 at 10:48 am   

    How many know what brand and model PAP device they are using?
    How many know what their pressure setting(s) is/are?
    How many know the name of the PAP mask they are using?
    How many know what the following are?

    1] CPAP
    2] APAP
    3] BPAP
    4] VPAP
    5] xPAP
    6] IPAP
    7] EPAP
    8] DME

    I was started w/a Resmed S8 Elite CPAP in late 2006. I purchased a Respironics pre-M Series AutoPAP out of pocket as a backup/travel device. There were features I liked better about the Resmed S8s so I sold the Respironics pre-M Series Auto and bought a slightly used Resmed S8 AutoSet Vantage out of pocket. Then in early 2008 I was switched to a bi-level and insisted on the Resmed S8 VPAP Auto. I was able to purchase a slightly used Respironics pre-M Series Bi-PAP Auto online out of pocket as a backup/travel device. When my Resmed VPAP Auto went into the provider's for some maintenance and upgrading I was provided w/a (Respironics) PR SystemOne Bi-PAP Auto.

    I was initially started at a set pressure of 7cms which was dropped to 6cms whilst I got acclimated to pressure and mask and then increased to 7 cms and then 8 cms. When I was first started on a bi-level PAP my pressure settings were IPAP 10cms, EPAP 5cms. Then I was titrated at IPAP 13 cms, EPAP 8 cms and am now all this while later at IPAP 15 cms, EPAP 11 cms.

    I've been thru a good dozen masks thru this while searching for the one most comfortable and leak free for me. THE MASK is THE KEY to successful, comfortable CPAP therapy once your needed pressure has been establsihed. So much so that the major mask manufacturers: Resmed, Respironics and Fisher & Paykel will replace FREE to the local DME providers most all of their masks that patients have tried and been unsuccessful with if the DME provider will fill out a form and return form and mask to the manufacturer W/IN 30 DAYS.

    I am presently using the ProBasics Zzz-Mask full face mask. It works well for me but the headgear is way too large so each time I get a new one I have to get out the scissors and velcro and "fix" the headgear to fit.

    So I just recently requested the Resmed Quattro FX as I am hearing good things about it. It is also a full face mask.

    For a nasal cushion mask I had the best luck with and liked the old Respironics Simplicity simple nasal cushion best. But - as w/the Zzz-Mask the headgear was way too large and entailed the ole scissors and velcro "fix" each time I got a new one.

    I'm not a fan of the nasal pillows style masks. I HATED the original Swift due to the asinine side attached hose. By the time Resmed smartened up and centered the hose attachmnet in the center I rather liked the Swift LT. I haven't felt inclined to try the Swift FX altho I am hearing great things about this nasal pillows mask.

    I no longer remember than names of all the other masks I've tried and eliminated thru the years.

  • elyseoz
    elyseoz January 3, 2018 at 5:54 pm   

    Have you had a look at the Fisher and Paykel AIRVO + Optiflow products? Thoughts on those?

  • NationalCPAP
    NationalCPAP August 9, 2012 at 10:46 am   

    Resmed is the best machines you could use… they have always more "up to date" products rather then Respironics… Im not saying Respironics isnt bad but Resmed just has impressed me way more. I prefer their masks as well… Swift huh? Great mask! but pts either hate it or love it

  • Perplexed
    Perplexed March 1, 2011 at 10:11 am   

    I'm sorry. I failed to address your question regarding CPAP mask and CPAP machine.

    A CPAP machine produces pressurized air that is used to keep your upper airway open during sleep. A CPAP mask is NEEDED to provide that pressurize air produced by the CPAP machine. A hose is attached between CPAP machine and CPAP mask for the pressurized air delivery.

    There are basically 4 different styles of CPAP mask: full face, nasal cushion, nasal pillows and oro-nasal.

    1] The full face covers from bridge of nose to below the lower lip or to the chin.
    2] The nasal cushion covers from bridge of nose to below the bottom of the nose on the upper lip.
    3] The nasal pillows are two small cushions that fit snugly against, or very slightly into, the nasal openings at the bottom of the nose.
    4] The oro-nasal is a form of full face mask that combines nasal pillows w/a mouth cushion.

    The pressurized air produced by the CPAP is NOT supplemental oxygen (02), it is just room air under increased pressure. The 02 content of supplemental oxygen is greater than that of room air and/or pressurized room air.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 February 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm   

    I have been using a full face mask for about 10+ years. Initially I used a mask with CPAP and now with BIPAP. My shift to a mask was necessary because I tended to breath thru my mouth. I had been using a "Nose hose" but after a couple of sleep tests it was determined that I wasn't getting much benifit.

    For me the mask has been much better as long as I remember to take the time before I go to bed to make sure that there are no airflow leaks around the exterior of the mask. I learned that on the mornings that I woke up feeling crappy, it was after I just slapped the mask on when I went to bed. My Centralized apnea is so severe, that I now know better than to be "casual" about using the equipment, that basically keeps me alive.

    BTW, I am not one (usually) to leave a base uncovered. I may be a pain in the but to my provider, but I insist on monthly equip checks (which I observe) I just know that I take my "equipment's functioning" a whole lot more than my RT does. To her, I'm just another client. To me, I am very VERY important.

    I hope you can pull something useful from my experience. There is only one thing I absolutely hate about a full mask, and again, this may be just me, but I am often awakened because the bridge of my nose hurts so much.

  • Perplexed
    Perplexed March 1, 2011 at 10:54 am   

    Hey, Phonse. Try buying a sheet of Dr Scholl's moleskin (in the foot care department at drug stores, Wal-Marts, etc.). Cut it in a V to fit the bridge of the nose area of your mask then stick it to your mask. It not only protects that tender bridge of the nose it helps to keep your mask from slipping.

  • Perplexed
    Perplexed December 9, 2010 at 9:58 pm   
    Edited December 9, 2010 at 10:09 pm by Perplexed

    IF your upper airway becomes obstructed during sleep or even partially obstructed that reduces the 02 saturation in your blood. CPAP devices do NOT provide oxygen, all they provide is air pressure to keep the airway open.

    CPAP or bi-level PAP, etc. is the "gold standard" for treating OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). As we sleep we do tend to breathe more shallow as well as slower. The CPAP can help w/the shallow breathing as it does encourage us to breathe more deeply.

    Many COPDers on CPAP require some form of expiration pressure relief. This can be provided by CPAPs w/EPR (Resmed) or C- or A-Flex (PR Respironics) or by the use of a bi-level PAP.

    The ONLY way you will know if CPAP will help you breathe better at night is to undergo a sleep study and for those w/COPD it is recommended that you undergo an in-lab full night PSG (polysomnogram = sleep study) rather than an at-home auto PAP titration. They will start the night's study on room air (w/o 02 supplementation) and will add 02 supplementation during the night if it is indicated. 02 saturation is one of the measures taken during a sleep study.

    OSA can be caused by a deviated septum, chronically enlarged tonsils, too large tongue, too large uvula, narrow throat, receding jaw, overweight, thick neck, slack throat muscles, etc., etc. It is not a pulmonary problem per se, it is an anatomical problem.

    An overnight oximetery is NOT sufficient to Dx OSA.

    All of the above being said CPAP and especially bi-level PAP (VPAP is Resmed's proprietary name of their bi-level PAPs; Bi-PAP is PR Respironics' proprietary name for their bi-level PAPs) can be beneficial for some COPDers. Resmed and PR Respironics are the leading CPAP companies in the USA, they provide about 80% of the market. Both provide entry-level CPAPs capable of compliance data only as well as mid-level and high end CPAPs and bi-level PAPs that are fully data capable and can provide nightly data on Pressure, Leaks (whether mask or mouth leaks), number of apneas per hour, number of apneas and hypopneas per hour, etc via their LED screen and/or via software and your computer. If you are Dx'd w/OSA and are going to start using a PAP device I STRONGLY advise you to educate yourself on the current PAP devices and INSIST on being provided w/a PAP capable of providing Leak, AHI and AI data. Ask the prescribing doctor to include "access to Leak, AHI and AI data" on your script.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 February 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm   

    Perplexed excellent comments were primarily concerned with Obstructive SleepApnea (OSA) There is another type of sleep apnea, that is potentally more frightening than OSA. For many OSA cases there are treatments that actually amount to the total elimination of obstruction and thereby a "cure"

    Centralized Sleep Apnea (CSA) is much more dangerous and deadly. With CSA there is no actual obstruction. As explained to me by my pulmenoligist, persons that have CSA are almost never aware of it. OSA is usually discovered after testing that was prompted by some symptom. With CSA there are no symptoms.The brain stem simply does not send a messege to the respiratory system that the person has stopped breaathing, and needs to breath again.
    There is no tossing and turning, no struggling for breath. Those thing that the significant other tends to call to the person's attention, tests are scheduled, etc.

    With CSA neither the sufferer or a significant other are tipped off to the presence of a problem. If your brain thinks everything is fine, then the body has no reason to trip an alarm of some kind. The sufferer simply "dies in his/her sleep".

    CSA has been seen most often after the deaths of highly skilled or professional jocks, usually football players. Experts are unable to explain the link. Do you remember Reggie White of the Green Bay Packers, the NFL's "Minister of Defense"; given that nickname because he was a defensive super-star, and he was aalso an ordained minister. He is just one of many that died, very young, from CSA.

  • Perplexed
    Perplexed March 1, 2011 at 9:54 am   
    Edited March 1, 2011 at 10:22 am by Perplexed

    The theories regarding CSA I've read have to do w/CO2 retention. In "normal" breathing when CO2 reaches a certain level in our blood it alerts the brain to tell us to breathe.

    Football players are an interesting example since so many of them have THICK necks w/a LOT of body mass - two of the physical, anatomical causes of OSA.

    Did you know the new Resmed S9s and the new PR SystemOnes have "open airway apnea" detection?? They report them in their software data, I'm not sure if they report them in the LCD screen available data or not, just as they do obstructive apneas and hypopneas.

    Interesting too, that too high a pressure provided by CPAP/BPAP/VPAP can "cause" central apneas!! One of the main arguments for not encouraging patients to adjust their own pressure settings. This is recognized during in-lab titrations studies by the sleep techs as they titrate to your needed pressure. A good sleep tech is the true hero of the sleep medicine profession! You may even see a reference to "mixed apneas" in your PSG report. That is indicating an apnea that started out as a central and then some collapsing/obstruction began to occur and it became a full-fledged obstructive apnea. All that goes on and is monitored and adjusted during an in-lab PSG is absolutely fascinating: brain waves, muscle movements, chest and abdominal cavity movement, eye movements, etc., etc.

    I tell my online apnea support group friends I am FIRST in line to VOLUNTEER as a professional sleep study guinea pig. Have pillow, will travel (well, w/in a REASONABLE distance - unless they will pay for my travel, then no restrictions). NOT interested in taking part in any sleep pill research.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 March 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm   

    I am lucky their are several highly respected Sleep Centers in metro Phx, including Mayo. At minimum I "plan" on study per year, ut for one reason or another, it ends up being two.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 February 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm   

    Thank you for an amazingly informative "comment". You mention that CPAP and BIPAP do not provide any oxy, which is true! Some people, however, require an supplemental "bleed" or oxygen feed with their PAP. This is true in my case. I sleep with a BIPAP, but it is fed oxy.

  • jaliceII
    jaliceII December 12, 2010 at 10:25 am   

    I started with a CPAP, but as my condition progressed I went on to the BiPAP. It does have an attachment to which you can hook the oxygen tube at night. Use it every night and am at the point where I do not feel safe without it.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 February 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm   

    I agree so much with JaliceII's comment on "feeling safe"! I can't fall asleep without it. This feeling of "being safe" is really comforting

  • carla osborn
    carla osborn December 4, 2010 at 7:14 am   

    I asked the tech when I was being fitted for my mask what this was going to do to help me. She said it would help keep my airway open and keep oxygen levels up. The higher oxgen levels help keep vital organs getting proper oxgen to prevent more damage or other problems related to sleep apena. Also I am bad to take my oxgen off in my sleep and breath though my mouth. The full mask helps me keep the air flowing though both mouth and nose making me feel better in the mornings, not hurting all over as bad and more rested.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 February 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm   

    Carla, I have a question. Do you use any sleep apnea equip, or is the mask just how you receive your supplemental oxygen? I just have never met anyone that used a full mask to get their oxy.

  • carla osborn
    carla osborn February 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm   

    Yes, I have a cpak machine that the oxgyen hooks up to, it also has a humdifier on it. When I was tested my breathing was stopping 52 times an hour now it is only 5 times an hour. It has a chip in it that monitors my breathing airways. It has been a huge blessing.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 February 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm   

    Carla that is incredible! I'm really happy for you! I need your blessing.

    BREATHLESSDIANE December 2, 2010 at 11:03 pm   
    Edited February 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm by BREATHLESSDIANE

    I use a CPAP for sleep apnea and COPD and I could tell instead relief right away with my breathing.I loved my mach from the very beginning.So yes it help me alot!!!!! And like Jeannie said ,the mask is part of the mach.My oxygen hooks up to my CPAP along with my neb.! It has been a blessing to me!!!!

  • Jeannie Holmes
    Jeannie Holmes December 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm   

    I use a CPAP because I have sleep apena. I have never heard of it being used for COPD. The mask is part of the machine. You have to have both.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 February 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm   

    "Nail on the head", Jeannie

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