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What is CPAP Gel?

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  • Written By: Sandra Koehler
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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A CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is a method of mechanical ventilation. This specialized machine is used to assist with breathing or replace spontaneous breathing. CPAP gel refers to the lining placed inside the face mask to increase comfort.

Anyone suffering from breathing irregularities could benefit from a CPAP machine. Common problems include apnea, sleep apnea, and respiratory failure. Premature infants with breathing irregularities can also benefit from this mechanical breathing assistive device. The stream of compressed air this machine delivers helps to keep the airway open, allowing for unobstructed breathing.

Air flow is delivered through a mechanical device consisting of a hose attached to a generator box at one end and a face mask or nasal pillow at the other end. An optional feature of the mask is a gel lining. This addition in the inside of the mask, as found in the Respironics™ CPAP mask, allows a customized, comfortable fit. A CPAP gel lining can also maximize the mask seal to prevent leaks. It also provides mask stability to prevent slipping when sleeping, the most common time to use a CPAP machine.

The Respironics™ CPAP gel mask also comes with special features like an adjustable forehead support arm to add more flexibility, and an adjustable forehead support cushion to avoid pressure points. A pressure point is an area pressure that can cause discomfort, redness, rubbing, and in extreme cases, a skin lesion.

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With a CPAP gel lining, the Respironics™ CPAP mask also offers a silent exhalation port. This port reduces whistling and other noises that can cause sleep disturbances when air is expelled or breathed out. Decreased sleep disturbances and increased comfort allow for better compliance with treatment protocols set up by the physician.

Optional features that can be included in addition to the CPAP gel mask are heated or passive humidifiers. Heated humidifiers add heated moisturized air to decrease the dryness of compressed air. Passive humidifiers can also decrease compressed air dryness, but this method relies on the room air temperature. The exhalation pressure relief feature of a CPAP gel mask provides a short decrease in pressure when air is breathed out. This reduces the amount of effort required for this task of breathing.

Other optional features with a CPAP gel mask include things like flexible chin straps and data logging. The chin straps decrease mouth breathing and maintain a closed pressure system. Data logging allows the physician to analyze information to determine the effectiveness of treatment.

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anon239643
Post 1

I am an R.P.S.G.T. and I have OSA as well. A rep came by my sleep lab about three weeks ago with CPAP mask gel. Its a gel that helps keep the CPAP pressure in the mask. So I gave it a shot. That night I slept like a champ. I never woke up to my CPAP alarm. That's what my wife calls it. But I never woke up to adjust the mask, or to the high pitch whistling noise my mask makes in the middle of the night when I roll over.

I'm using CPAP mask gel with my patients during their CPAP titration and it seems to work with most mask types, except the pillow masks. I think

the gel may create an obstruction in the nasal passages, so I've been avoiding that application.

But all in all, I give the stuff a 10. It works for me at home and for my patients in the lab. So I'm suggesting it to you all. If your mask is leaking and you have tried several different masks, then try the gel.

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