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Travel CPAP: 9 Pros and Cons of Portable Devices

Traveling with respiratory illnesses is difficult. People with breathing problems often avoid traveling. Their oxygen concentrators are too heavy to take along. 

Whether it is for a road trip with your family or a business trip to another country, if you suffer from sleeping disorders like sleep apnea, a portable travel CPAP device can be a lifesaver. 

These portable devices claim to provide you with the same support level, but are they as good as the real deal? Let's find out! 

Advantages of Using Travel CPAP 

It is a miniature version of standard heavy-duty oxygen concentrators. They help patients with respiratory illnesses travel with ease. These devices are about as heavy and big as a novel and are FAA-approved, making them easy to use during travel. They are also rechargeable.

1. Portability 

These machines are an excellent option for patients looking to have a smaller device to carry on their travels. It can go anywhere you do, whether on vacation, work trips, or even to sleep at a friend's house.

Most models are battery-operated, eliminating the need to connect to a power outlet while traveling. They are also safe to transport. To make these devices small, they use sleek slimline tubing. The tubing length is flexible and can be rolled up or folded in different ways.

2. Quieter

The technology that goes into portable CPAP devices is much more compact. Thus the fans are smaller and more powerful. On average, a mobile CPAP device is about 30% quieter than a stationary one.

It doesn't use a blower, which creates the noise you hear from a traditional CPAP machine. The blower is a part of the device that pushes air out of it. A portable CPAP device uses a humidifier instead. Plus, as they're smaller and lighter, they don't put out as much air pressure. 

3. Same features in a smaller size

CPAP machines have been bulky and heavy and difficult for travelers to bring along on trips. Modern travel machines have the same functionality as their home counterparts. With a few exceptions, such as power requirements, they can do everything a home machine can do. 

Travelers no longer need to compromise their health and safety. Some devices allow you to use the same mask as you use at home. 

4. Easy to use

These machines are user-friendly. The technology has advanced significantly, and even the most novice travelers can set it up on their own and use it without a problem. 

Some devices allow travel CPAP users to stop and start their therapy using the app. They can also change their comfort settings in real-time. Also, view data on their sleep scores to make better sleep choices and improve their health. 

Some devices enable users to begin their pressure at a lower frame and increase it as needed. By doing so, it allows users to adapt to pressure naturally. This method increases comfort and safety.

5. Customizable 

Besides the ultra-portability of these devices, they are also compatible with different types of masks. For example, nasal pillow masks, full face masks, and nasal CPAP masks. An important factor for users who may need one that is more customized to their needs.

6. Improved functionality 

Some devices do not use water-based humidifiers. For example, the heat moisture exchanger works by capturing moisture from the breath you exhale. Then it reuses it.

This process is as comfortable as it is with a traditional humidifier. But there is no need for more water. Moreover, this creates an environment that prevents bacterial growth and pipe corrosion. 

Many of these devices have an auto-on/off mode. That comes in handy for convenience. Doing so allows delivering therapy automatically - once it detects the mask on your face. Or when you've begun breathing. If you remove it at any point, whether there's a leak or not, it stops the therapy by itself. 

Potential Drawbacks 

They are portable devices for helping people with sleep apnea while traveling. Smaller and lighter than traditional CPAP machines, as well as more affordable. But, there can be some shortcomings. 

1. Some might not be as portable

While still portable, some machines can be a bit heavier to carry around with ease. They are best suited for air travel, car camping, and bus or train travel. But may not be the best option for backpacking or long-term back-country excursions.

2. Some might not be as quiet as you'd want them to be

The decibel (dB) rating for these machines is a good measurement of how loud the machine likely is. Most manufacturers rate their devices at about 30dB. That is roughly equal to the sound made by raindrops. Yet, some people find this to be a bit too loud. Also, a few machines are a bit noisier than others. 

A noise level of 20 decibels is equal to a whisper or the sound of rustling leaves. A noise level of 40 decibels is like the sound of your refrigerator.

3. Some may have limited features

Some devices may have limited features. For example, you may not be able to store your sleep data or connect to a smartphone monitoring app. Also, some devices might not be compatible with a variety of masks. 

Conclusion 

Sleep apnea is a severe condition that affects sleep quality and puts a strain on your health. If you suffer from sleep apnea, then you can use these machines to ensure you get enough quality sleep on the go. These are portable devices that you can use to get your therapy while you're away from home.

It's true, not all travel CPAP machines are created equal. There are many different factors that you need to consider when purchasing a portable CPAP machine. One of the most important factors is the size of the device. There are various sizes and shapes available on the market. It is essential to know which size will work best for your needs—heard of Transcend 365 miniCPAP? It's worth checking out.