Respironics' A-Flex Technology
By Andrew Senske, President CPAP-Supply.com
Last Updated 6/6/2007 10:42:00 PM


Guess what? XYZ CPAP manufacturer has built a better mousetrap!

It doesn't matter when I write this, or when you read this. The statement above seems to always be true. Just replace XYZ with one of the many manufacturers of CPAP equipment, and you've got yourself an accurate statement.

It's good that there are lots of choices for CPAP users, but it can also be confusing and time consuming for people to learn about CPAP equipment and figure out what will be best for their own CPAP therapy. I sometimes talk to customers who say "just tell me what you think I need", because they really don't understand the differences between the various CPAP machines and CPAP masks. And even when people do understand the differences, it's not always clear whether certain form or function aspects of a machine will ever be relevant during their CPAP therapy. There's a good explanation for this, and it's simply because new CPAP users don't know what to expect, and they don't know how they're going to use their CPAP machines or CPAP masks - so they don't establish expectations in terms of functionality - before they actually start using the equipment.

CPAP-Supply.com can help you decide which equipment is right for you. We know a lot about this stuff, and we make recommendations every day - over the phone and via email - so that our customers don't have to figure out everything for themselves. If you have questions about any of the equipment we sell, I encourage you to give us a call. We'd be happy to help explain the features and functionality of our CPAP machines and CPAP masks.

This leads me to what I wanted to write about in the first place, and that is a new technology from Respironics called A-Flex. A-Flex is a feature found on the Respironics REMstar Auto M Series with A-Flex CPAP Machine. You may have already heard of a technology called C-Flex. If you haven't you'll understand both technologies and how they work in just a moment.

C-Flex is a feature found on several REMstar models (in fact it's on all of the new M Series models except for the REMstar Basic M Series) and it is a comfort setting that reduces the air pressure delivered by the CPAP machine each time you exhale. C-Flex has four settings: OFF, 1, 2 and 3. The OFF setting is pretty self-explanatory. The numbered settings correspond to a pressure drop of approximately 1, 2 or 3 units of pressure during exhalation. Simply put, if your CPAP machine pressure is 10 and you have a C-Flex setting of 3, then each time you exhale the pressure will drop 3 units to 7. During inhalation the pressure will spike back up to 10. You can read a little more about C-Flex and exhalation pressure relief in general in my article called Exhalation Pressure Relief Defined.

A-Flex works in exactly the same way as C-Flex during exhalation. On inhalation, though, the pressure is increased more gradually to better match the normal breathing rythm of the CPAP user. With A-Flex the pressure doesn't spike up from exhalation to inhalation. It's a smoother and more comfortable increase. A-Flex also helps to prevent the CPAP machine from delivering a pressure that is too high. The difference between C-Flex and A-Flex is subtle. The bottom line is that if you want a CPAP machine that follows more closely your natural "breathing curve" then A-Flex is the technology for you.

I wonder what these guys will think of next...

Andrew Senske
President
www.cpap-supply.com

CPAP-Supply.com is a leading online retailer of CPAP equipment. Located in Spokane, WA CPAP-Supply.com has been serving thousands of customers around the world since 2001. Founded on a belief that patients are their own best primary care providers, CPAP-Supply.com understands the importance of educating patients and customers on both the effects of and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. For more information visit CPAP-Supply.com or call toll free 1-888-955-2727.