What is a CPAP Pillow?

Sandra Koehler
Sandra Koehler
A CPAP pillow accommodates the CPAP device to ensure proper positioning.
A CPAP pillow accommodates the CPAP device to ensure proper positioning.

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It is a method of mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation is a method using a machine to assist with breathing or replace spontaneous breathing. A CPAP device is used for people suffering with sleep apnea, respiratory failure and premature infants with breathing irregularities.

A CPAP machine consists of a hose attached to a generator box that pumps air connected to a face mask or nasal pillow. The unit blows pressurized air. This pressure is specifically prescribed to prevent apnea, or the temporary stoppage or absence of breathing.

Untreated sleep apnea can make it difficult to concentrate or even remain awake during the day.
Untreated sleep apnea can make it difficult to concentrate or even remain awake during the day.

The CPAP pillow is an actual pillow designed to position the CPAP tubes and mask while sleeping. There are several different designs, either like a small pillow on four legs, or a pillow with cutouts and contours. The CPAP pillow can be used whether you sleep on your back, stomach or side.

The CPAP pillow is intended to help eliminate problems with using the device while sleeping. It also helps in the reduction or elimination of red marks and pressure sores that can occur from leaning on the tubing. With this unique design, the CPAP pillow eliminates pressure changes in the tubing caused by the pressure of lying on the tubing, therefore, it can increase and enhance the machine’s effectiveness. Since the pillow is designed specifically for the CPAP, it also helps eliminate leaks from the mask area.

Use of a CPAP device may relieve nighttime headaches and other symptoms caused by sleep apnea.
Use of a CPAP device may relieve nighttime headaches and other symptoms caused by sleep apnea.

The CPAP pillow assists in maintaining proper positioning of the airway. It also enhances the positioning of the neck and spine area. Good positioning of the airway as well as the whole body increases the effectiveness of this ventilation system. It also allows the body to be in an optimal position for spontaneous or self breathing.

The CPAP pillow is hypoallergenic and comes with varying degrees of filling or foam. It can be designed for mask or nasal pillow users. It can accommodate over-the-head strapping devices, forehead and chin strap devices, or nasal strap devices. It can be a standard pillow shape or be contoured.

A CPAP device may be beneficial for premature infants with breathing difficulties.
A CPAP device may be beneficial for premature infants with breathing difficulties.

The CPAP machine can be used without the pillow. However, this specially designed pillow supports the head, neck and shoulders while providing unobstructed placement of the tubing, masks and strapping devices attached to the machine. The sole purpose of the CPAP pillow is to increase the efficiency of the CPAP machine while providing a natural, comfortable resting position conducive to natural breathing rate and pattern.

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    • A CPAP pillow accommodates the CPAP device to ensure proper positioning.
      By: BVDC
      A CPAP pillow accommodates the CPAP device to ensure proper positioning.
    • Untreated sleep apnea can make it difficult to concentrate or even remain awake during the day.
      By: Halfpoint
      Untreated sleep apnea can make it difficult to concentrate or even remain awake during the day.
    • Use of a CPAP device may relieve nighttime headaches and other symptoms caused by sleep apnea.
      By: inesbazdar
      Use of a CPAP device may relieve nighttime headaches and other symptoms caused by sleep apnea.
    • A CPAP device may be beneficial for premature infants with breathing difficulties.
      By: massimhokuto
      A CPAP device may be beneficial for premature infants with breathing difficulties.
    • A high body mass index is considered to be a major risk factor for conditions such as gout and sleep apnea.
      By: Rozmaryna
      A high body mass index is considered to be a major risk factor for conditions such as gout and sleep apnea.
    • Some research has shown that sleep apnea can be hereditary.
      By: Konstantin Yuganov
      Some research has shown that sleep apnea can be hereditary.
    • Using a nasal saline spray before starting CPAP therapy may help control nasal congestion caused by using the device.
      By: florinoprea
      Using a nasal saline spray before starting CPAP therapy may help control nasal congestion caused by using the device.