A: Using the right mask is essential to the success of your treatment. You will need a mask this is comfortable and fits properly. It should form a good seal on your face so that air doesn't leak (this would be uncomfortable and make your therapy less effective). A nasal mask which covers the nose is the most common. However, some people breathe through their mouth when they sleep. In this case, a full face mask that covers both the nose and mouth is the best option. Another option would be a nasal mask and chinstrap. This will prevent the jaw from opening during sleep and still provide for effective therapy.
A: Unfortunately, our faces are designed differently, and no mask will seal 100% of the time, because air will look to escape via every nook and cranny. However, you’ll want to get the best fitting mask and adjust your headgear properly to have the best seal. Also, before using your equipment make sure your face is clean and free from moisturizers, make up, or creams.
A: There are many methods available. Most manufacturers of CPAP masks include cleaning instructions in the packaging. Alternatively, we recommend that our patients use a solution containing one part white (distilled) vinegar and two parts water. Simple soak your masks for 15-20 minutes and then dry it on paper towels. This is a great - and inexpensive - way to disinfect your mask!
A: Use the following as guidelines, because they adhere to most insurance carriers' requirements.
A: Your humidifier is on too high. Start at the 1st setting (1) and gradually increase as necessary each night.
A: Adding a chinstrap to your headgear is often helpful under these circumstances, because it will prevent you from keeping your mouth open and having more moisture evaporate. Additionally, your doctor may need to adjust some of your medications if he or she feels that it may be contributing to your dry mouth.
A: If so, your mask is probably too tight so we suggest that you loosen it a bit. Also, put some zinc oxide, a band-aid, or skin tape on the affected area, but do not discontinue your CPAP therapy. However, if your sore continues to worsen, contact your physician. You may need to return to your CPAP clinic for another mask- one with a more comfortable, and better-fitting style.
A: After cleaning your tubes and hoses in warm water (don't use soap in the water or you may be blowing bubbles out of your tube!) and rinsing them thoroughly, you can dry them by leaving them alone for a while or using one or more of the techniques listed below. It’s a good idea to have two hoses so you can rotate them as necessary.
A: Most people continue to sleep using their CPAP devices for the duration of their lives, even though their pressure setting may need to be adjusted downward due to improvements in the severity of their sleep apnea. However, some no longer need treatment because they lose weight; experience changes in their muscle tone; undergo oral surgery; or have their airway structures “trimmed” down by a physician.
A: Having OSA doesn’t mean you have trouble falling asleep. Having OSA means you have trouble breathing while you are asleep.
A: In order to comply with your insurance carriers’ compliance requirements, you must wear your CPAP device a minimum of four hours a day. However, we recommend that you wear your device whenever you sleep, your airway can become obstructed anytime you relax enough to fall asleep, such as after meals or watching TV.
A: No. Every time you sleep your airway is obstructed and your oxygen drops your heart, brain, lungs, and other bodily systems are strained. That’s why it’s vitally important that you use continue your therapy whenever – and wherever – you sleep.
A: Yes, if you are purchasing a CPAP machine, humidifier, or mask, we will need a copy of a prescription written by your doctor. A prescription is not required if you are purchasing any other suppliesand do not wish insurance to be filed.
A: The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends that patients be “re-titrated” once a year or when lifestyle changes occur, to ensure that optimum therapeutic levels are maintained. This is especially important if you - Especially if/when you lose or gain weight; no longer feel you are getting optimal sleep; and/or if you are taking new medications (which can make apnea worse).
A: You should always check with your physician and pharmacist before taking prescription or over-the-counter medication with your CPAP therapy in order to avoid any possible negative reactions.
A: CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure,” and it is considered to be the most recommended and effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A CPAP machine provides air at a constant prescribed pressure through a tube and CPAP mask, which patients suffering from OSA to maintain uninterrupted breathing while sleeping by holding open their airways.
The pressure of the air is determined during your sleep study and your doctor will prescribe you a CPAP machine at that pressure. CPAP therapy is traditionally provided through a nasal mask that seals around the nose. However, more innovative and comfortable options are available and advances in the delivery of CPAP therapy are continually occurring. For instance, CPAPs with FLEX or EPS technology will offer you exhalation relief. APAP, BiPAP and Bi-Level machines offer various levels of pressure throughout the night and exhalation relief.
A: Humidification, refers to the process of adding humidity, or moisture, to the CPAP air, which reduces nasal passage irritation – and sometimes, bleeding – due to dryness. Additionally, adding moisture also reduces possible swelling, excess mucous, congestion, and sneezing, and makes patients’ sinuses less susceptible to bacterial infections. Humidification is therefore, a critical part of CPAP therapy.
A: Your machine will come with a six-foot hose, power cord, at least one filter, and manuals. Most manufacturers include a carrying case which is designed specifically for their equipment. Your machine will not come with a delivery system or mask. CPAP masks must be purchased separately. You’ll find more details and specifics on all of our CPAP / BiPAP equipment in the “Shopping” section of this website, under the “CPAP Machines” sub tab.
A: Most CPAP and Bi-level (BiPAP) machines today are designed to operate on both AC and DC battery currents. In the United States, the AC current from wall outlets is 110 volts and most batteries produce 12 volts of DC current. Overseas, the AC current is usually 220 or 240 volts.
A: The only care you are required to do for machines is to clean or change the filters at the air intake of the machine to keep the internal parts from accumulating dust. Here are some more tips on caring for your machine:
A: Yes, there are smaller, more compact machines available for self-pay purchases. One of the customer care representatives at Feeling Great Respiratory Equipment will be happy to help you choose one that suits your needs.
A: The type of insurance you have will determine how often you're able to upgrade to a new machine. Most carriers allow you to do so every five years.
A:You may be experiencing an allergic reaction to the cleaner you are using, so it’s a good idea to try alternate cleaners. Also, if you are using humidity, try using distilled water. You may also be allergic to the materials in your CPAP mask.
If you’re not sure, please call us toll free at: 1-888-272-7050.
A. Below are some tips for “easy traveling” with your CPAP device.
If you are flying:
If you are driving or camping:
A: Below are two useful tips for getting rid of build-up in your machine's chamber.
A: You should always use distilled water in your humidifier to prevent the buildup of mineral deposits on your water chamber. This will significantly prolong its life.
A: The two most common side effects are dry mouth (which can be relieved by increasing the humidity level on your machine) and feelings of"air" in the stomach (which is usually relieved when our patients change their sleeping positions).
A: At a minimum you should change your filters once a month. We, however, recommend that you do so twice per month (and this is the amount allowed by most insurance carriers). You should definitely change your filters, however, if you notice any discoloring. Additionally, you should wash and dry your filters as needed.
A: Either your mask is fitted incorrectly or your seal is wearing out, and needs to be replaced