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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are currently the most recommended treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, and patients often feel major improvement after using them for just one night. But before you decide whether the therapy works for you, it’s important to consider the different options available: Where you buy your machine, which type you end up with, and what options are included will all affect how willing you are to use CPAP and how well it will work for you.

Getting a prescription

To get an air pressure machine, you first need to be diagnosed with sleep apnea. This process will probably require an overnight study in a sleep clinic; a home sleep test may be another option.

After your initial sleep study, a technician will measure your body’s response to different air pressure, or titration, levels. Most machines range from about 4 to 20 cm H20, meaning that they blow enough air to create a column of water that height.

Your prescription can be filled at a sleep clinic or another equipment retailer. It should include the following details.

 

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