CPAP machine for sleep apnea

It’s interesting to note that the development of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) started with dogs. The inventor, an Australian doctor named Colin Sullivan, got the idea when he was trying to help a dog having breathing difficulties.

The CPAP prototype was a modified vacuum cleaner, which he used on his canine patients. It was a success—he went on to refine his contraption and by the time a human patient came to him with similar problems, the doctor and his machine were ready—well, almost.

That patient was showing symptoms of sleep apnea and the symptoms were severe enough that the doctor recommended a tracheotomy. The family balked at the invasive procedure, however. They opted to try Dr. Sullivan’s experiment instead, which, as mentioned previously, had only been tried on canines.

The first CPAP machine was a far cry from its modern successors. For one thing, the contraption was loud. For another, the airflow wasn’t consistent at all. It sometimes made breathing more difficult for the patient. Despite these problems, however, Dr. Sullivan’s patient managed to sleep for seven hours. According to the patient, it was the first time he felt that good for how many years. Dr. Sullivan’s breathing contraption was a resounding success.

Today, CPAP machines have improved, and are now more comfortable for patients. The machines have helped a lot of people suffering from sleep apnea and they’re even used by first responders to aid people suffering from respiratory illnesses. But what is CPAP, exactly?

What is a CPAP Machine?    

A CPAP machine is used to treat people who suffer from a condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder in which a person periodically stops breathing for a few seconds throughout the night. These interruptions, or ‘apneas,’ occur because the soft tissues in the airway collapse, blocking it and preventing oxygen from going into the lungs.

The machine prevents these soft tissues from blocking the airway as a person inhales by increasing the air pressure in the throat. The CPAP delivers filtered and pressurized air from the room to the mask through the tube that connects it to the unit. By maintaining sufficient oxygen levels and normalizing breathing, the machine helps improve sleep. Moreover, snoring, which is another common symptom of sleep apnea, is reduced, which is a great benefit to the entire household.

If you are one of those people who suffer from sleep apnea and could use a CPAP machine, your physician will ascertain the appropriate settings for you—each patient’s requirements for CPAP therapy may vary. Sleep apnea is a chronic condition, so people who are diagnosed with this will always need a CPAP machine’s help.

But it isn’t so bad. If your doctor recommended a CPAP machine for you, think of it as a pair of eyeglasses. Sure, you may feel a little discomfort at first, but you’ll get used to it eventually. Besides, a little discomfort is nothing compared to the myriad of health benefits you’ll enjoy, like the following:

1. Improved Cardiac Health

Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can cause a decrease in oxygen levels in your blood, which can be stressful to your heart. As you wake up, your body tries to regulate the effects of the disorder on your body, like an insufficient supply of oxygen. Your body releases and maintains adrenaline at an increased rate for some time to mitigate the effects of sleep apnea.

This adds further strain to your heart, which could lead to high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and heart disease. A decreased oxygen supply could also lead to higher levels of carbon dioxide. With a CPAP machine, your airway is kept open during sleep, preventing your oxygen level from decreasing. Regular use of CPAP machines helps decrease the stress on your heart.

What does a CPAP machine do

2. Increased Energy  

Tiredness is another major symptom of sleep apnea. You feel sluggish and exhausted all day because you don’t get enough rest. Having your airway blocked while you’re sleeping will make your body work harder to restore sufficient airflow, which disrupts your sleep rhythm.

An interrupted sleep would mean your body won’t have enough time to repair itself, and you’ll wake up fatigued and cranky. This is why patients report having increased energy after a few nights with a CPAP machine—they finally had enough sleep.

3. Decreased Risk of Having Diabetes

Sleep apnea, because it contributes to the body’s low oxygen intake, can make Type 2 diabetes worse. Oxygen deprivation or hypoxia negatively affects the body’s ability to metabolize glucose. CPAP therapy, however, helps negate that; glucose becomes easier to metabolize and metabolism is improved overall as well.

4. Helps Lose Weight

Lack of sleep can be the main cause of the feeling of general malaise. You won’t feel motivated to do anything, let alone exercise. But it would increase your appetite for sweet food, which would further disrupt your hormones. It turns out sleep apnea is also responsible for lowering your leptin level, which is a hormone that signals your body when it’s full.

If that happens, you’ll just keep on eating. And if that isn’t enough, the hormone that signals your body when you’re hungry—ghrelin—is increased. But CPAP therapy can balance your hormones and your body can again feel the willpower to be active and resist those chocolate chip cookies.

5. Improved Mood

Getting up in the morning feeling poorly can be depressing. In fact, a majority of people with sleep apnea suffer from depression. The condition is also linked to mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. Patients who have undergone CPAP treatment, however, report a significant reduction of symptoms relating to depression. Enough sleep can go a long way towards making you feel better.

6. Robust Immune System

With enough rest, your immune system can become more robust; that’s why people suffering from sleep apnea are more prone to viruses. Your body releases T-cells during sleep that prevent infections and fight off illnesses by telling your immune system to play defense.

Sleep apnea can lower the amount of your body’s T-cells. The condition can also make you more susceptible to inflammation. Get better protection from diseases by using a CPAP machine as instructed by your physician.


One of your body’s most essential functions is to get enough sleep. During sleep, your body repairs itself, making your immune system work better and giving you much-needed rest. On the other hand, disrupted sleep will result in a plethora of health problems.

That’s why sleep apnea is one of the most horrid conditions out there because left untreated, it can be the root cause of many more illnesses. Luckily, Dr. Sullivan’s invention, the CPAP machine, can help a lot of sleep apnea sufferers lead a normal and healthy life.