Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when an individual’s breathing is obstructed or interrupted, while they are sleeping. When an individual’s breathing is obstructed during sleep, their brain and other parts of their body aren’t getting enough oxygen throughout the night. This can happen several times a night and in some more extreme cases hundreds of times in one night.
An effective way to treat sleep apnea is to use a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over the nose and mouth to provide constant airflow, keeping the patients airways open throughout the night. The machines also collect data on breathing changes which is used by healthcare professionals to adjust the air pressure if need be. This data is also used to determine if the patient needs additional treatments or medications to treat their sleep apnea.
CPAP machines are effective however they are also large and cumbersome making it very difficult for a patient to travel with their CPAP machine. Some patients elect to leave the machine at home putting their health at risk. Thankfully, device manufacturers along with sleep medicine professionals are responding to patients various travel needs and have produced some new travel CPAP machines. They are a smaller version of the traditional CPAP machine but they don’t include a humidifier. When deciding which type of travel CPAP machine is right for you, consider reading the reviews of several machines to determine comfort and durability. While travel CPAP machines are typically very easy to use, they usually aren’t as durable as a home CPAP device, so they should be treated and packed with care.
Another thing that may help patients when they are traveling away from their home CPAP machine is an oral appliance. An oral appliance is worn in the mouth during sleep, and it fits like a mouth guard and holds the jaw forward to help keep the airway open during sleep. This can be a little more convenient, subtle, and cost effective compared to a travel CPAP machine.