Helpful CPAP Tips from Our Staff!

Posted Mar 11, 2014 by Kristen P. in Tips & Tricks

Helpful TipsEvery few months, we try to gather useful tidbits of information from our customer service staff that might be helpful for beginner-to-expert level CPAP users. A combination of frequently asked questions that we hear on the phone and live chat and instruction guides, the tips are then posted on our blog.

Our newest group of helpful tips include info on traveling with your CPAP, cleaning methods, CPAP and allergies, mask sizing, and how to adjust to living with your CPAP. Read all of our helpful tips below:

From Carol:

"Traveling with your CPAP Machine - 1. Always carry the CPAP machine as a carry on bag. 2. Make sure to carry an extension cord and the correct adapter plug . 3. Carry a 3-prong plug, and adapter that converts to a 2-prong plug. 4. Carry extra fuses for CPAP machine (if needed). 5. Keep a copy of CPAP prescription for any repairs or replacement parts. 6. With a humidification CPAP unit, have access to purified or distilled water. 7. If traveling by car, keep the CPAP machine in the passenger compartment rather than the trunk to minimize temperature extremes. 8. If traveling by car, camper, motor home, or boat, consider taking a 12-volt adapter for operating the CPAP from a cigarette lighter plug. NEVER use CPAP when the motor engine is running. 9. If traveling to higher altitudes, pressure setting may need to be adjusted accordingly."

"Face Mask Leaking: You may note leaking of air from around the mask, or difficulty getting a good seal around the mask. This happens when masks do not fit or the head gear does not hold the mask on tight.

1. Tighten or loosen head gear to get a good seal with the mask. 2. Make sure your masks fit properly and is comfortable. If not ask your home health company to refit you with another mask. 3. Once you find a comfortable position for you mask that provides a good seal mark your strap position with colored thread. This will remind you how tight your straps need to go to get a good seal. These may change over time."

"Stuffy Nose: A stuffy nose may come from several different reasons. The stuffiness may indicated that the tissue inside the nose has become swollen. This may occur when the nose is to dry, when you have an allergy or when you have a cold.

1. Make sure the air intake of CPAP machine is clean not near a dusty or moldy environment. 2. Get a humidifier for your CPAP machine. 3. Change the filter on your CPAP machine 4. Change the humidifier water and clean the humidifier and tubing , rinse with distilled water. 5. Nasal salt sprays four times per day. 6. If you have a cold you may wish to use a over the counter decongestant for a short period but most of these lose their effect when used for over a week. 7. If the stuffiness persists, you should consult your doctor"

"Skin Irritation: You may notice rub marks from your mask or head gear. This may particularly occur on the bridge of your nose. This comes from the mask being tight or the head gear being tight. From some people requiring high CPAP pressures the tight head gear may be unavoidable. Sometimes skin is irritated because of the mask not being cleaned well or soap left on the mask.

1. Skin protectors or patches like those sold for tender areas on your feet may be placed on the head gear or mask to reduce the pressure on the irritated area. 2. Make sure to use a skin moisturizer to keep the skin from cracking or peeling. 3. Clean the mask and head gear regularly making sure that all of the soap is rinsed off thoroughly with distilled water. 4. Foam spacers may provide some relief of pressure to the skin. 5. Use a soft series mask or bubble mask."

From Kandace:

"Be sure to change the water in your humidifier nightly with clean, distilled water. This helps to prevent calcium buildup and sinus infections."

From Bill:

"As a CPAP user make sure you are changing your filters in the back of your machine to help with the airflow and keeping the air cleaner blowing into your lungs. The times of the year when you have pollen in the air or its dry and there is more dust in the air make sure you are using the ultrafine filter for cleaner air if you are not using one at all times."

From Brandi:

"Never guess your mask size. Always use a mask gauge or visit you local DME or doctor’s office for a mask fitting session."

From Amy:

"Focus on the Health Benefits: Not only is there the obvious benefit of sleeping but also increased energy, better mental alertness, can somewhat help lower blood pressure, and can improve heart rhythms.

Consider your Bed Partner: The bed partner of a person with sleep apnea is not getting sleep a lot of times too. If you are sleeping, they can get sleep too.

Learn what you can about your CPAP: Be sure to check with your doctor that you are getting the correct machine and mask, learn about your pressure setting, and that you are using your equipment properly.

Stick with it: By making the effort to adjust to your device you will get back your sleep and improve your quality of life."

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