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Sleep Apnea 101: New User Basics

New CPAP User

New User Basics

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, speak with your general care physician. Your doctor can refer you to a sleep lab for a sleep study. Based on your sleep study results, your doctor may diagnose you with sleep apnea and prescribe your sleep therapy. As a patient, realize you have a right to a copy of both your prescription and your sleep study. You have the choice to use your insurance coverage to get equipment or to pay cash through an internet retailer. Often times, internet retailers offer more choice and better pricing than local dealers. CPAP.com offers user reviews, return insurance and many other benefits local distributors are unable to offer.

New User Basics FAQs

What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which a patient's muscles and tissues in the throat and air passage relax while sleeping which impedes the flow of air into the lungs due to the blockage of the airway. This can occur many times per night in the sleep cycle and especially during the REM sleep stages. Apnea is Greek for "without breath."

The scientific standard of an apneic event is the patient must stop breathing for at least 10 seconds per event. There must be an overall blood oxygen desaturation level of 3 to 4 percent along with certain potential changes in EEG frequencies and data. If a person has 5 or more of any type of events per hour of sleep then they are clinically diagnosed with sleep apnea.

The body responds to the lack of oxygen by arousing, or waking, from sleep. This cycle leads to the patient being unable to get the needed quantity of restful sleep and may result in:

  • Constant Fatigue
  • Difficulty Focusing
  • Irritability

Untreated sleep apnea is potentially fatal and frequently results in the following serious health problems:

  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes

What is central sleep apnea (CSA)?

In central sleep apnea (CSA) a person stops breathing throughout the night, not due to a blocked air passage, but because the brain temporarily stops sending signals to the muscles that control breathing.

BiPAP therapy can be used to assist persons with central sleep apnea. The BiPAP machine provides air pressure in an inhale/exhale pattern helping a person to breathe.

What are the health risks of untreated Sleep Apnea?

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Cardiac Arrhythmia
  • Depression
  • Glaucoma
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Fatigue

What is CPAP therapy?

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP therapy is the most recommended and the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

A CPAP machine provides air at a constant prescribed pressure through a tube, using a CPAP mask to deliver the air pressure to the person with obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP therapy provides a constant airflow which maintains the airway open so that uninterrupted breathing is maintained during sleep. This eliminates sleep apnea events and allows the patient to get a restful sleep.

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 which offer FLEX or EPR technology provide exhalation relief, a slight drop in pressure at the time of exhalation. APAP, BiPAP and BiLevel machines offer various levels of pressure throughout the night.

What are the benefits of using CPAP?

Successful CPAP users report improvements in:

  • Quality of Sleep
  • Quality of Life
  • Energy and Motivation
  • Mood
  • Job Performance
  • Sexual Drive and Performance
  • Alertness While Driving

A failure to use CPAP therapy may increase your risk for conditions linked to untreated OSA:

  • Hypertension (OSA increases your risk of hypertension by up to five times)
  • Stroke
  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

I suspect I have sleep apnea, what should I do?

Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially fatal medical condition. If you or a loved one suspect you have it, you should be tested as soon as possible.

  • Sleep Questionnaire. This is a simple test you can fill out and take with you to your physician visit. It evaluates you for the most common symptoms of sleep apnea.

    Sleep Apnea Screening Questionnaire

  • Sleep Study. A polysomnogram, or sleep study, measures many key metrics while you sleep. These metrics are used to determine if you have sleep apnea or a number of other sleep related conditions such as central sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.

    To find a sleep physician or sleep lab in your area simply enter your address into our sleep services locator.

    Local Sleep Services Locator

    CPAPtalk.com has created an "Introduction To The Sleep Lab" video that explains the process of verifying, diagnosing and treating sleep apnea. If you are curious about the process or would like to know what to expect during your sleep study you can view the video in the Videos Tab of this page.

    If you have tested positive for sleep apnea, it should be treated. CPAP is the most popular and proven way to treat sleep apnea. Here is our advice on navigating the tricky process of getting effective equipment:

  • Get The Best Equipment. Watch Out! There is a significant difference between basic and high end CPAP equipment. High end equipment is generally smaller, lighter, quieter, less prone to leaks, easier to breathe against, better humidified and easier to travel with than basic CPAP Equipment. The key to CPAP treatment is comfort, choose wisely!

    Many traditional, brick and mortar CPAP providers will set you up on a CPAP and bill your insurance company. If this approach to getting your equipment is used, you will most likely be given basic equipment. This is because there is only one billing code for all CPAP Machines and very few unique codes for CPAP Masks. Due to this, the insurance company will pay your CPAP Provider the same amount if you get a high end or basic machine. Usually, the amount paid to traditional CPAP providers by insurance companies is not enough to cover the cost of high end CPAP equipment and the patient is left to make do with basic equipment.

    If you would like high end equipment, there are a variety of ways to obtain it online for equal or lesser cost than dealing with traditional CPAP dealers.

  • CPAP.com (CPAP Retailer). CPAP.com sells high end CPAP supplies and equipment direct to consumers. Many times buying with cash is less expensive than the copay and deductible charged through insurance. If you want a way around the hassle and low end equipment provided by insurance companies and local providers, this is a good choice.

Is there a sleep apnea assessment quiz?

Yes, the link below will take you to a questionnaire designed to evaluate the most common symptoms of sleep apnea. This quiz may be a useful tool for discussing your symptoms with your doctor and can be taken to your appointment.
Sleep Apnea Screening Questionnaire

What questions should I ask at my sleep study?

  • Did I have any central apneas? How many?
  • Were there any comorbidities? What were they?
  • Did I breathe or leak through my mouth? How often? What do you recommend to prevent it?
  • Did I exhibit positional sleep apnea (PSA)? Was my apnea more severe in one sleeping position as compared to others? Is my pressure requirement higher in one position as compared to others? (Often sleep apnea is more severe when sleeping on the back.)
  • Is there anything else unusual about the results?
  • How will I know my therapy is preventing apneas?
  • I would like to own a data-capable machine and software to monitor apneas, hypopneas and mask leak. Will you help me with the appropriate prescription?

In addition to the questions:
  • Get a copy of your PSG. It is your legal right to have one.
  • Get a copy of your CPAP prescription. It is your legal right to have one.
  • Make sure the prescription calls for a humidifier with the machine.

What is titration, as it relates to sleep studies?

If a sleep study determines you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you will need a "titration study" to determine the pressure level required to maintain your airway during sleep. A titration study may take place during the same night as your diagnosing sleep study or it may be scheduled for a later date.

Titration is a scientific lab term, meaning to slowly add a little bit more of something until you reach a desired effect. During your titration study, a skilled technician will monitor your sleep and slowly increase the air pressure on a CPAP machine until you are able to sleep without or with few sleep events (apneas and hypopneas). Your pressure needs vary throughout the night, so an overnight sleep study is required to prescribe you the correct pressure.

Your prescribed CPAP single pressure setting will be set to the highest level you needed during the night. By prescribing the highest pressure, your doctor hopes to prevent as many sleep events as possible. The downside of this approach is that you will have the highest pressure at all times even when it's only necessary for part of the night.

APAPs offer technologies which allow the pressure to be adjusted on a breath by breath basis, which you may find helps your therapy.

I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, what should I do?

  • Get The Best Equipment. For effective treatment, the CPAP equipment must be used nightly. Because of this, selecting the most comfortable equipment possible is advisable. Our company provides a low cost, hassle free alternative to the stress and risk of dealing with private insurance and traditional providers to obtain CPAP equipment and supplies.

  • Get Support and Information From Other CPAP Users. The prospect of adjusting to CPAP therapy can be daunting. You are not alone. The online CPAP Community cpaptalk.com is a free, no registration required resource where CPAP users from all over the world gather to ask questions, provide encouragement, review CPAP equipment and stay up to date on the latest treatment techniques and options.

    CPAPTalk.com Online Sleep Community

  • Replace Disposable Equipment Regularly. CPAP filters should be replaced following manufacturer's guidelines. In general, disposable or fine filters should be replaced once a month. Washable, or foam filters, should be rinsed with clear, running water once a week and allowed to air dry and should be replaced every 6 months. Expect a CPAP mask to remain effective for about six months. Sinus infections and nasal congestion often result from the failure to care for and replace disposable equipment regularly. Use our Replacement Part Wizard to identify your machine or mask and see all the related parts.

  • Replacement Reminder Emails. CPAP.com offers equipment replacement reminders to help you maintain healthy functional therapy. After placing an order with our company, you will be given the option to have email reminders sent to you. Select the desired time frame for the reminder email allowing you to "order it and forget about it". Edit reminder setting at Product Reminders in Your Account.

  • Stay Informed. The market for CPAP goods and services is competitive and dynamic. Manufacturers are frequently coming to market with products that make CPAP therapy more comfortable and effective. You do not want to be stuck using an inferior product or miss out on a new machine or mask that could improve your therapy and comfort! Subscribe to our CPAP newsletter and get the product and industry news that affects your therapy.

    CPAP Newsletter Archive

    CPAP Newsletter Sign Up

How do I explain sleep apnea to my partner or family?

Understanding OSA may help friends and family offer support or lead them to an awareness of their own symptoms. This newsletter can help them learn about sleep apnea:

CPAP.com Newsletter: Educate your Family and Friends About Sleep Apnea

What techniques will help me adjust to treatment?

To get used to CPAP, wear it every night without exception even if you end up taking it off after a few hours. Get into the habit of wearing it. CPAP therapy is necessary for your life. You need to make a commitment to a longer, healthier life.

Wear your Mask around the house when you are first starting out. Watch TV with it on, read while wearing your mask. Getting used to the feel of the mask when you are awake will help it to feel familiar at bedtime.

How long will I have to use CPAP?

Using a CPAP machine treats OSA, it is not a cure. It is very important to remember that this is therapy and therapy is continuous. CPAP therapy is still today, the most recommended and the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

Do I have to use CPAP every time I sleep?

Yes. Using CPAP therapy every night and during naps will increase the effectiveness of therapy, which will lead to an improvement in your mood and energy levels. Remember that even during a short rest your air passage is obstructed and being without oxygen is harmful to your health both short and long term. To avoid the side effects of untreated Sleep Apnea use your CPAP each time you sleep.

It will get easier, and become second nature to you if you stick with CPAP and surround yourself with support. CPAPtalk.com is a free sleep apnea patient forum we maintain. It is a great source of advice and support at any hour of the night or day.

If I lose weight, will I cure my OSA?

The answer to this question depends on the person. Some people report experiencing less severe or cured sleep apnea after losing weight. Others report no change in their sleep apnea with weight lose. Most experience other benefits by losing weight healthily. Losing weight is good for your overall health when done properly.

I'm a new user, what do I need to buy?

You will need a CPAP machine, hose (tubing), power cord, filters, and a CPAP mask for effective CPAP therapy. Every CPAP machine comes with a power cord, filter, and a hose (tubing). CPAP masks are sold separately.

During your CPAP therapy you may find that your needs require additional elements. More advanced and comfortable setups also include humidifiers, machine software, CPAP mask strap pads, chinstraps, insulated hose coverings, and extra filters.

Are prescriptions required for mask, machine and/or humidifier purchases?

Yes. Federal law requires we have a valid prescription on file before we ship your mask, machine and/or humidifier.

We provide many easy ways to get your prescription:

  • We can request your prescription for you! When you checkout, just let us know you would like us to request your prescription, or you can log into your account to have us request your prescription.
  • Fax your prescription to our Toll Free fax number: 1-866-353-2727, or our international fax number: 713-541-7370
  • Email your prescription to cpap@cpap.com
  • Upload your prescription in your account, under the prescriptions section
For more information on prescriptions, please see our Prescription Section of the Learning Center.

What comes with my machine?

Machines 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. CPAP / BiPAP / APAP machines do not come with a delivery system or mask. CPAP Masks must be purchased separately.

To see the list of what specifically comes with each machine, you can browse for a machine. Then on the product page, click the "Specs" tab to see a full list of what comes with the machine.

Which CPAP masks work on which machines?

All CPAP masks work with all machines.

Is your equipment new?

Every product sold on CPAP.com is new and has never been used.

What maintenance is required on machines?

The only care a CPAP or BiPAP machine requires is to clean or change the filters at the air intake. This keeps the internal parts from accumulating dust. Fine paper filters should be changed out every 30 days, or when they appear soiled. Foam washable filters should be rinsed with clear running water once a week, allowed to air dry, and reinserted.

There are some other suggested actions to care for your machine:

  • Keep the area around your machine clean by removing any dust from the area to improve the air quality delivered to your machine and you.
  • Keep the air intake of the machine unblocked. Curtains, bedding, and papers can easily block the air intake of your machine, reducing the airflow.
  • If a humidifier is used with your therapy, do not pick up the machine with the humidifier attached. With most machines it is easy to spill water from the humidifier chamber into the machine causing damage. Manufacturer warranties are voided by water damage to the machine. To avoid this, remove the chamber from the humidifier and then remove the humidifier from the machine rather than transporting them together.
  • If a humidifier is used you should empty the water from the chamber every morning. Accidents happen. If a family pet or family member moves the machine and humidifier with water in the chamber it is more likely that water could be spilled into your machine. Water damage to a machine voids the manufacturer warranty.

What is an APAP Machine?

An APAP (Automatic Positive Airway Pressure) machine automatically adjusts on a breath by breath basis to blow the minimum pressure needed to keep your airway open during sleep. This allows your machine to provide you with your ideal pressure nightly.

APAPs tend to be more advanced than CPAPs in that they normally offer more therapy tracking information and more comfort features. You can learn more about therapy tracking information in our Software section of the Learning Center.

Every APAP machine can be placed in a CPAP mode to blow one straight pressure like a CPAP. However, no CPAP can automatically adjust pressure like an APAP. An example of an APAP machine is the DeVilbiss IntelliPAP AutoAdjust that comes with built in Smart Code therapy tracking software.
IntelliPAP AutoAdjust CPAP Machine

Why might I prefer an APAP machine?

Some CPAP users find it more pleasant to breathe with an APAP than with CPAP. The pressure delivered by an APAP machine automatically changes as needed to deliver the minimal pressure required to maintain the airway. The pressure delivered by a CPAP machine is set to a single pressure, the highest necessary to keep the airway open as determined during the sleep study. This is the case even when the higher pressure is needed only a fraction of the time.

What is a BiPAP or BiLevel machine?

A BiPAP machine (also referred to as BiLevel or VPAP) delivers two separate and distinct pressures. A higher pressure when the patient inhales and a lower pressure when the patient exhales. The machine alternates between the two pressures which are set per the doctor's order or prescription. A prescription for a CPAP machine may not be used to purchase a BiPAP machine.

An example of an BiLevel machine is the Philips Respironics PR System One BiPAP Auto with Bi-Flex.
PR System One BiPAP Auto

What are data capable machines?

Data capable machines track your therapy progress and performance over time. Therapy data can be used to spot issues and used to see how changes to your CPAP setup effects your overall treatment. You and your doctor can use the therapy information to make changes in your setup. Some changes might be altering the mask or fit or increasing or decreasing your pressure to see if your therapy performance improves to ensure you are getting effective treatment.

The data capable machines not only let you know how many hours the machine was used, like pure compliance tracking machines, but also tracks advanced information such as AHI, Leak Rate, and Average Pressure (if using an APAP).

Depending on the machine, the information can be reviewed or accessed

  • On Machine Screen Display. Machines that display advanced tracking using the on machine display allow for fast review of therapy metrics. Many people like to use the on screen display to check every morning. Information such as AHI and leak rate for the previous night are displayed allowing the user to make adjustments such as mask fit. The information provided on the on machine screen is usually average values over different time frames, such as 1 day (last night), 7 night, 30 nights, etc.
  • SmartCode. SmartCode is a code that is accessed through the machine's display. This code is then inputted into the machine's product page on CPAP.com and a summary report is generated. You can see a Sample Report here. An example of an on machine display with the SmartCode is shown below. The only machine with advanced data capable SmartCode is the IntelliPAP AutoAdjust. The SmartCode provides therapy data averages for the following time frames: 1 day (last night), 7 day, 30 day, 90 day, and cumulative. This is like the information provided from the on screen display, however the information is displayed in chart format instead of a single number at a time. SmartCode Display
  • Optional External Software. Some machines have external software that can be used to download the data from the machine for detailed analysis. External software, unlike the on machine display or the SmartCode, allows you and your doctor to look into any night of use. Further, the information for any given night can be broken down hour by hour. This allows you and your doctor to look for patterns in your data through the night; for instance, do you tend to have more apneas in the early morning? Or do you begin to breathe with your mouth open in the middle of the night? Some external software is available for sale to patients, other software is only sold by the manufacturer to sleep professionals. External software may require other components to be able to get the information from the machine onto you computer with the software installed.

What are compliance tracking machines?

Compliance tracking machines only track the numbers of hours the machine is used. These machines do not track any advanced information such as AHI or leak rate.

Compliance machines are basic machines which the manufacturers made to be able to track usage hours. Compliance tracking machines are a manufacturer response to Medicare requirements that mandate DME (Durable Medical Equipment) providers show the Medicare patient used the equipment for the required minimum number of hours set by Medicare. DME providers cannot continue to be paid by Medicare without this information.

There is one billing code for all CPAP and APAP machines. Therefore a DME will be paid the same from Medicare or insurance whether they provide a patient with a more expensive machine that is data capable with more comfort features or a basic compliance tracking machine. Therefore, compliance tracking machines are the most common type of machine that is provided to patients through local DMEs.

There is software created to show the compliance information from the machine, however CPAP.com does not recommend purchasing this software. This data will only tell you how many hours you actually used the machine. It will not tell you how effective your therapy is.

What data capable machines are available?

CPAP machines which record full data (such as AHI and leak info):


AUTOPAP ("Autotitrating CPAP" or "APAP") machines which record full data:


BILEVEL ("BiPAP") machines which record full data:


CPAP Machines that only record Compliance Data (Hours Used) are:

  • IntelliPAP Standard Travel CPAP Machine
  • PR System One REMstar DS150 CPAP Machine
  • PR System One REMstar Plus CPAP Machine with C-Flex
  • PR System One REMstar 60 Series Plus CPAP Machine with C-Flex
  • PR System One REMStar 60 Series SE CPAP Machine
  • S9 Escapeâ„¢ CPAP Machine with EPRâ„¢
  • SleepEasy II CPAP Machine with Built In Heated Humidifier and C-Flex
  • SleepStyle 234 CPAP Machine with Built In Heated Humidifier

    What is ramp?

    The ramp button on a machine is a feature that allows for a gradual pressure build-up to your prescribed pressure. The feature is enjoyed by those with high pressures because they ease up to their pressure.

    What is exhalation relief?

    Exhalation relief is a comfort feature offered by two manufactures which reduces the air flow at the time of exhalation making the breathing process more natural.

    • Respironics = C-Flex, C-Flex+, A-Flex and Bi-Flex
    • Resmed = EPR (Expiratory Pressure Relief)

    How can I find replacement parts for my CPAP machine?

    Wondering which filters work for your machine? Or trying to find the right replacement power cord? To find what parts are compatible with your machine or to find what parts of your machine are replaceable you can:

    • Use our Replacement Part Wizard to identify your machine and see all the related parts.
    • Browse for your machine and then click the "Replacement Parts" button on your machine's product page.

    Do all CPAPs use filters?

    Yes, all CPAPs use at least one filter that is usually a type of foam material and washable. Some CPAPs offer finer filtration with the addition of a disposable paper filter.

    Cleaning and changing filters is the only maintenance required for a CPAP machine.

    The filters are located at the back of the machine at the air intake. The image below shows the black foam filter at the back of the Everest 3 CPAP Machine.

    In what order do I insert the filters?

    If both the foam and paper filters are used, the paper filter is inserted first with the smooth side against the machine and the soft, fuzzy side facing out. The tab is folded out for easy removal. The foam filter is placed on the outside to remove the larger dirt particles first.

    If you are using a two colored filter, the colored side faces out as shown in the image below.

    S8 Filter

    What are the different types of filters?

    There are five types of filters used with CPAP machines: reusable foam filters, disposable white fine filters, standard disposable filters for ResMed machines, hypoallergenic disposable filters for ResMed machines and bacteria filters.

    Reusable Foam Filters. Reusable foam filters are placed at the air intake of the machine and are designed to catch larger particles. These filters can be lightly washed with a mild detergent to remove any particles that have collected. It is suggested to replaced a foam filter every 3 months or when the filter starts to break down. If a foam and disposable filter are used in a machine, the foam filter should be on the outside. M Series Filters

    Disposable Filters. These filters cannot be washed. There are three types of disposable filters:

    • White Disposable Fine Filters. Ultra fine filters collect much smaller particles and are useful for those with allergies or sinus issues. These filters are not meant to be cleaned, but rather discarded when dirty. This filter is placed at the air intake for your machine and is used with a reusable foam filter. It is placed inside the machine first with the foam filter on the outside. This filter should not be washed and is suggested to be replaced every month, or more often with a more dusty environment. M Series Fine Filter
    • Standard Disposable Filters for ResMed machines. Disposable standard filters clean large particulate matter from the air as it enters the CPAP or BiLevel machine. This filter is placed at the air intake for your machine and is used by itself for ResMed machines. For the S8 machines, one side is colored, usually yellow or blue, and the other is white. It is placed with the color side facing out. For the S9 machines, they are all white and it does not matter which side faces into the machine. These filters should not be washed and it is suggested to be replaced every month, or more often with a more dusty environment. These come in different shapes depending on the machine. Below are examples of the standard disposable filters for the S8 and S9 machines.
    S8 Standard Filter S9 Hypoallergenic Filter
  • Hypoallergenic Disposable Filters for ResMed machines. Hypoallergenic filters are made of a combination of two different density filter materials in order to block both the fine and large particulate matter. This filter is placed at the air intake for your machine and is used by itself. Hypoallergenic Disposable filters are available for the S8 and S9 ResMed machines if you want more filtration than the standard filter. This filter should not be washed and is suggested to be replaced every month, or more often with a more dusty environment. These come in different shapes depending on the machine. Below are the hypoallergenic filters for the S8 and the S9 machines.
S8 Hypoallergenic Filter S9 Hypoallergenic Filter
Bacteria Filters. Bacteria filters are fine enough to remove some bacteria and are clinically indicated when a CPAP machine is used by more than one person. However, many CPAP users find them helpful in reducing the occurrence of sinus infections and other nasal issues. Bacteria filters can be used with an CPAP/APAP/ or BiPAP machine.

They may be used with humidifiers, but should be removed and allowed to air dry during the day. This filter is placed at the air outtake for your machine if you are not using a humidifier. If you are using a humidifier, it is placed at the air outake for your humidifier. The bacteria filter is placed in the air outtake and the CPAP hose is placed on the other end.

The entire housing is disposable and should be discarded as soon as matter becomes visible. A clogged bacteria filter may affect the amount of air delivered by the CPAP.
Bacteria Filter Bacteria Filter Air Flow

How often should I clean my filters?

Washable foam filters should be cleaned as soon as they become discolored. Manufacturers recommend foam filters be rinsed weekly under clear running water and allowed to air dry before being reinstalled in the machine. If the machine is used in a very dusty environment, the foam filter may require more frequent cleaning.

Disposable filters are not intended to be cleaned but rather changed out, disposing of the used filter. Manufacturers recommend changing the disposable filter once a month, more frequently if used in a very dusty environment.

How often should I replace my filters?

Reusable foam filters should be replaced when they deteriorate and begin to fall apart, much as a sponge does. The foam filter should be washed with a mild detergent monthly and should be replaced every 3 months or more if the foam is torn.

Disposable fine filters should be discarded as soon as they become discolored or at least every 30 days.

Standard Disposable Filters for ResMed machines should be discarded every month or more often if the machine is in a dusty environment.

Hypoallergenic Disposable Filters for ResMed machines should be discarded every month or more often if the machine is in a dusty environment.

If you live in a house with pets or smoke, you may need to replace the filters more often.

How can I get help from a CPAP Expert?

  • Ask A Question: Question Submission Form
  • Email Us: cpap@cpap.com
  • By Phone: 1-800-356-5221 (8 AM - 10 PM CST Mon-Fri; 8 AM - 6 PM CST Sat)
  • By Fax: 1-866-353-2727

What is humidification?

Humidification adds moisture to the CPAP air, reducing irritation to the nasal passages caused by the increased airflow.

CPAP air is an irritant - to one degree or another - to everyone. In some cases the irritation dries out the nasal passages and may cause bleeding. It may also cause swelling, excess mucous, congestion or sneezing. The irritation may create a very fertile ground for infections to begin. The irritation may be cumulative, building up over time. The only way to reduce the irritation is to add moisture.

Humidification is therefore a critical part of CPAP Therapy.

What are the benefits of using a humidifier?

Many PAP users experience nasal congestion and dryness of the nose and throat during treatment. This can be especially problematic for new users who are adapting to treatment. Humidification adds moisture to the air helping to reduce the symptoms of dryness and congestion.

Nasal congestion also leads to mouth breathing, which perpetuates the problem of dryness. If this is an issue for you, try a heated humidifier.

How do I care for my humidifier?

To care for your humidifier simply empty and clean the water tank each morning. Only distilled water should be used in the humidifier to avoid mineral deposit build up. S9 Dishwasher Safe Humidifier Chamber

Why do I need to use distilled water with in my humidifier chamber?

Use distilled water to help keep the humidifier chamber clean and mineral deposit free. Tap water should not be used as it will leave hard white mineral deposits in the chamber as the water evaporates, or it may lead to mold growth. Cases of lung disease have been connected to using contaminated well water in a CPAP humidifier.* Source

If distilled water is not available where you live, use bottled water. It will be important to clean the chamber each morning, do not leave standing water the chamber between uses.

What is CPAP tubing/CPAP hose?

CPAP tubing and CPAP hose are interchangeable terms. CPAP hoses/tubing are used for two main purposes: either to connect the machine or humidifier to the CPAP mask, or to connect the machine to a humidifier.

Machine to Mask Hose. Machine to mask hoses are the standard hose used with most therapy setups. The hose is connected to the air outlet of either the machine or humidifier and connects to the CPAP mask to deliver the airflow to the mask. There are three types of machine to mask hoses:

  • Standard/Performance Hose. A Standard 6 foot hose come included with each CPAP machine purchase. The port connections on all CPAPs, humidifiers and masks are a standard size, so a standard CPAP hose will fit on all. Standard hoses are also available in 8 foot and 10 foot sizes. There are lighter hoses available that were designed to be more flexible and put less pull on the CPAP mask.CPAP Performance Tubing
  • Hose with Sensor Line. A few auto-titrating CPAPs and Bilevels require a pressure line sensor to detect breathing patterns and pressure needs. (The machines that require the tubing pictured have been discontinued.) Sensor Line Tubing
  • Heated Hose. A heated CPAP hose contains copper coils embedded in or wrapped around it. These coils conduct a constant temperature through the hose. Heated hoses can only be used with specific machines.Heated Hose

Humidifier Hose. Humidifier hoses connect a CPAP machine to a stand alone humidifier to deliver airflow from the machine to the mask. Humidifier hoses are shorter than standard hoses. They come in either 18 or 24 inches.
18 in Humidifier Hose

How do I clean a CPAP hose?

Your CPAP hose will last longer if it is detached every morning and hung to air dry.

Drying the hose each morning will also prevent bacteria from growing in the damp interior and help reduce the possibility of colds and other health issues. Remember, what is in the hose goes into the airway.

If you are not drying the hose daily, then be sure to replace the hose very frequently as negative health issues will result!
Hose care tips:

  • Remove the hose by gripping the end or cuff, not the hose itself
  • Hang the hose to dry after each use
  • Wash hose weekly to avoid residue and maintain health
  • Protect the hose from curious pets

Hose care tools:
  • A Hose Quick Connect helps the tube to easily disconnect from the humidifier
  • The Tube Cleaning System is a tube care kit to rinse, soak and dry the hose.
  • The CPAP Tube Brush Second Gen is used to scrub the inside of a tube. It is available for both slim line and standard diameter hoses.
  • A SnuggleHose Cover wraps the length of the tube in soft fleece material. Although it's intention is to help reduce rain out (water collecting in the tube) many CPAP users report it detours pets from using the hose as a chew toy. The SnuggleHose is available for 6 foot; 8 foot and 10 foot hoses.

How often should I replace my CPAP hose?

CPAP hoses can last a long time, sometimes up to a year if taken care of properly.

Signs of wear include dry, cracked places on the inside lining or on the rubber ends; "stretch marks" near the rubber ends; mineral deposits or mold from water left inside the hose; or a visible puncture or tear in the material.

What is a heated CPAP hose?

A heated CPAP hose contains copper coils embedded in, or wrapped around, the hose. These coils are gently heated to conduct a constant temperature throughout the length of the hose. This enhances the comfort of the therapy and reduces or eliminates rainout caused by the water compensating as it travels through the hose to the mask.

Heated hoses are more expensive alternatives to cloth tubing insulation, but they prevent rainout in nearly all cases. The Hybernite Rainout Control System is a stand alone option that can be used with any machine to prevent rainout and increase delivered humidification.
Hybernite Rainout Control System
Some manufacturers have developed heated hoses to work specifically with select machines in their product lines. The ClimateLine Tubing is used with S9 and H5i Climate Control System machines.
ClimateLine Tubing
The following video shows how to install a ClimateLine hose on a S9 Series Machine with H5i Heated Humidifier:



The PR System One Heated Tube is used with PR System One 60 Series CPAP Machines.
PR System One Heated Tube
The ThermoSmart Heated Hose is used with Fisher & Paykel 600 Series machines.
ThermoSmart Heated Hose

What is rainout?

Rainout is the accumulation of water in a CPAP tube due to warm moist air cooling and condensating on its way from your CPAP machine to your CPAP mask.

The image below from Fisher & Paykel explains how rainout is formed. Warm moist air leaves the heated humidifier and travels down the CPAP tube. As the air travels down the tube the room temperature cools the tube and thereby cools the air traveling down the tube. As the air cools, it releases its moisture and condensation occurs, otherwise known as rainout.

Solutions to rainout include:

  • Raising the temperature of your bedroom.
  • Keep your CPAP machine at the same level as your bed.
  • Insulating your tubing with a hose cover like Snugglehose.
  • Reduce the tempurature setting on your heated humidifier.
  • Purchasing a CPAP machine with a rainout reduction comfort feature.
  • Some machine systems offer a compatible heated CPAP hose which maintains the temperature from the machine all the way to mask reducing the occurrence of rainout. The list of available heated hoses can be found here: Hoses With Heating Coils.
  • If your machines uses a standard hose, consider the Hybernite Rainout Control System.


Conventional Humidification

What is a hose cover?

A hose cover is placed over the hose in order to insulate the hose and to make the hose more comfortable. The simplest and most cost effective way to insulate a CPAP hose is to wrap it in an insulating fabric. This enables the hose to remain flexible and adds little weight.

Companies such as Snugglehose provide a cost effective tubing insulation available in several colors and styles. Not only will the covers reduce or eliminate rainout, they also provide a more personal and less institutionalized appearance. An example of a Snugglehose is shown below.

Snugglehose

How do I choose the mask that is right for me?

We provide our customers with many tools to make informed decisions about their mask purchases. Options include:

  • Calling a CPAP Expert Toll Free. 1-800-356-5221.

  • Comparison Charts. These charts compare available masks, feature by feature. If you're unsure of the meaning of a feature, click on or hover over the question mark for a pop out definition. Click on the image or name of the product for more detailed product information, pictures and resources.

    Compare Most Popular Masks

    Compare All Masks

  • Help Me Choose Guide. We created a guide to help you select the right mask or machine according to your preferences. The guide asks you a series of questions regarding your preferences and your facial features. Based on your answers we provide you with a comparison chart of the masks that meet your criteria. Get started here:

    Help Me Choose - Mask

  • Browse Our Mask Product Categories. These categories show each mask our company offers, ranked by popularity. Popularity is determined by a mix of sales data and our in-house opinion of the quality of the mask based on our experience and customer feedback. The best products float to the top of our categories.

    Nasal Mask Category

    Full Face Mask Category

    Nasal Pillow Mask Category

    Nasal Prong Mask Category

    Hybrid Mask Category

    Oral Mask Category

    Total Face Mask Category

  • Return Insurance. With every mask we sell, you have the option of purchasing Return Insurance. Masks are FDA approved medical devices. Once a mask is used, it cannot be resold to another customer. CPAP.com was the first in the industry to offer Return Insurance to our customers. Return Insurance provides 30 days for you to try a mask and return it for any reason for a refund of the price of the mask. If you are trying a mask for the first time, Return Insurance might be right for you.

How do I care for my mask?

Masks should be washed daily with warm water using a very gentle soap or baby shampoo, and left to air dry. Never use antibacterial soap as it will break down the silicone of the mask cushion. Avoid soaps that include lotion which can coat the mask and cause it to lose its seal. A safe cleaner is the Control III Disinfectant CPAP Cleaning Solution. Remember, going to bed with a clean face will improve your seal and protect the lifespan of your mask. Citrus Mask Wipes
The best time to clean your mask is in the morning after use. This removes the oils left behind from your skin which can reduce the lifespan of your mask. We recommend using mask wipes to make daily morning cleaning easy. The mask wipes are made from materials that will not break down your mask.
Citrus Mask Wipes

How often should I replace my mask?

Medicare allows for mask cushion replacement every three (3) months, and a complete mask system replacement every six (6) months. CPAP manufacturers and vendors suggest these replacement schedules as well.

In our experience, most mask cushions begin to deteriorate after about six months of use. The cushion eventually becomes too soft to hold a seal. The headgear straps lose elasticity and must be tightened more and more to get the same quality seal.

We strongly suggest replacing cushions and pillows as soon as they start to soften. Air leaks may reduce the effectiveness of CPAP therapy and headgear that is too tight may cause facial sores at pressure points. In most cases, replacement headgear is available if it is stretched out or the Velcro worn out.

To see what parts of your mask are replaceable refer to our Replacement Part Finder. Just search for your mask to see all of the replaceable parts.

How can I find replacement parts for my CPAP mask?

For many masks there are parts that are replaceable such as the mask cushion, headgear, headgear clips and other parts. To find parts which are compatible with your mask, or to find which parts of your mask are replaceable, you can:

  • Use our Replace Part Wizard to identify your mask and see all the related parts.
  • Browse for your mask and then click the "Replacement Parts" button on your mask's product page.

I sleep on my side or stomach, what are my options?

Sleeping on your side or stomach is preferable to sleeping on your back because sleeping on your back worsens all forms of sleep-disordered breathing. However, sleeping on your side or stomach can present problems with CPAP therapy. Both positions can put pressure on one side of your mask increasing your leak rate. Your options are to (1) try a mask that other side sleepers like (2) try bed pillows made for CPAP users.

  • Masks: We have found some masks allow for movement in sleeping position better than others. See our recommended masks for Active or Side/Stomach Sleepers.

  • Special CPAP Pillows: Regular bed pillows can put pressure against the mask and cause leaks. CPAP pillows are made with CPAP users in mind. These special pillows are designed to minimize the contact of the CPAP mask with the pillow, even when you are sleeping on your side.
    SleePAP CPAP Pillow

What is the purpose of a chinstrap?

Nasal delivery devices are the preferred mode of delivering CPAP air. They are smaller, lighter and usually more comfortable, with many styles and sizes to choose from.

When using a nasal device with a CPAP, it is imperative that the mouth remain closed for the pressure to be maintained and the therapy to be effective. Most people will automatically keep their mouth closed while on CPAP, but some are unable to do so, at least in the beginning of the therapy.

Use of a chinstrap is the first response to opening the mouth during sleep. It is worn in addition to the CPAP mask to hold the jaw up and help keep the mouth closed.

Even with the use of a chinstrap, some people are still able to breathe through their teeth and lips. If so, a full face mask is an option worth considering.

I breathe through my mouth, what are my options?

People who have a deviated septum or small nostrils, or suffer from seasonal allergies or chronic sinus issues, may breathe through the mouth rather than the nose. If you are a person who breathes through your mouth you may be able to wear most masks with a few adaptations. Add a chinstrap if using nasal pillows, nasal prongs or a nasal mask.
Sullivan Chinstrap

A full face mask or hybrid mask can be used without a chinstrap because the seal covers both the nose and mouth. A full face mask will allow you to breathe through your mouth or through your nose.

If you suffer from chronic sinus issues, a full face mask or an oral face mask are good options. Oral masks work best for mouth breathers with blocked nasal passages. You must use a heated humidifier with the oral mask. CPAP.com sells the Oracle HC452 Oral CPAP mask.

If you are a mouth breather who does not want to or cannot wear a chinstrap, please see our recommended masks for Mouth Breathers.

Why is air leaking from my mouth?

Air leaks from the mouth whenever the mouth is opened during CPAP therapy. This occurs for many reasons, but a very common one is due to nasal irritation from the CPAP airflow.

The correlation between the lack of humidification and mouth leaks is a topic being heavily researched. Studies are now being conducted on the hypothesis that a large amount of mouth leakage is caused by the following cycle:

  • CPAP therapy is used with ineffective or no humidification.
  • The nasal membranes are unable to adequately condition the increased airflow and after a few minutes the airway and nasal passages become dry.
  • To remedy the dryness and obtain moisture, the body uses the mouth to breathe.
  • CPAP air follows the path of least resistance and leaks out of the open mouth.
  • The air leaking through the mouth causes more dryness.
  • Patient wakes up feeling tired with significant dryness in mouth and dry, swollen nasal passages.

The answer to this cycle is humidification. If the mouth continues to open during sleep, a chinstrap may be needed to hold the jaw up so that the mouth can close. If mouth breathing continues, a full face mask that covers the nose and mouth is indicated.

Why is my mouth dry in the morning?

Dry mouth is a sign that you are opening your mouth while you sleep. If you use a nasal mask, breathing through your mouth bypasses any humidification you may be using so increasing the heat will not be effective. Breathing through your mouth while using a nasal mask reduces the benefit of the CPAP therapy.

First be sure the mask is not leaking. If it is six to nine months old and leaking, try replacing it. If it is new and leaking, we can help you get a better size.

If your mask is new and NOT leaking, try a chinstrap to keep your jaw up and mouth from dropping open during sleep. If a chinstrap doesn't solve the problem, try masks recommended for mouth breathers.

If you use a full face mask and have a dry mouth, try adding a heated humidifier to add moisture.

How do I stop mask leaks?

Air leaks are caused by masks that are too big, too old, or just the wrong style.

Air leaking into the eyes is usually an indication that the mask is too big (long or wide) as are leaks at the base of the nose. Leaks may also occur under the nose due to facial hair.

As the silicone in the mask cushion ages, it deteriorates and becomes too soft to hold a seal. For many masks, the cushion may be removed and replaced to extend the life of the mask. View our Replacement Part Finder to see if a replacement cushion is available for your mask.

When a cushion has softened to the point where it will no longer hold a seal, you may be able to tighten it enough to stop the leaking when you go to sleep, but during the night the seal will loosen and leak.

Mask leaks may also be caused by the pillow pushing against the mask and changing the position and seal of the mask. There are special CPAP pillows which are are designed to minimize the contact of the CPAP mask with the pillow, even when you are sleeping on your side.
Multi-Mask CPAP Pillow

Why do I wake up with dry eyes?

Air leaking from the mask at the bridge of the nose and over the eyes during sleep will cause the eyes to dry out. The most common reason for air leaking at the nose bridge is that the mask is too big or too long for the nose.

We would suggest you try our measurements for sizing your mask to be sure you have the best size. A mask that has an adjustment at the bridge may also be helpful in getting a good fit. Nasal pillow or nose cushion devices which do not rest on the nose are also an option.

It is not advisable to tighten the headgear to eliminate the air leak. Pressure from a mask that is too tight will cause bruises and even open sores if applied long enough.

Why do I wake up to find my mask is off?

People remove their mask during sleep because they are not getting enough air.

The CPAP pressure may be reduced if your mask is leaking. Your mask may be too big or too old. We would suggest you resize your mask to be sure you have the best size. If your mask fits you but is six to nine months old, it should be replaced. As the silicone in the mask cushion ages, it deteriorates and becomes too soft to hold a seal. For many masks, you can get a replacement cushion. See our Replacement Part Finder to see if your mask has a replaceable cushion.

If the CPAP air is being delivered effectively and without leaks, it may be that the pressure is set too low. Pressure settings may require change due to weight gain or loss and aging. You should speak to your doctor if you think your pressure may need to be adjusted.

Why is my nose so dried out?

The primary reason that nasal passages sometimes dry out from CPAP use is lack of adequate humidification.

CPAP air is an irritant - to one degree or another - to everyone. The irritation may cause the nasal passages to dry out and bleed, or the mucous membranes may try to protect the nasal passages by producing excess mucous and so congestion results. And the irritation can be cumulative; the problem may develop over time. Furthermore, dry, cracked or bleeding nasal passages are a breeding ground for infection.

Using a heated humidifier to add moisture to the CPAP air may reduce or eliminate the irritation. An unheated, passover humidifier may not offer enough additional moisture. If you are already using a heated humidifier, try turning it up to a higher setting. If that produces condensation in the six foot hose, you should try an insulating cover for the hose. You can also try using a nose lubricant to reduce the dryness.

What can I do for sinus and congestion relief?

A lot of new CPAP users report having an increase in sinus congestion after starting CPAP therapy. When treating your Obstructive Sleep Apnea, sinus congestion presents a roadblock to healthy breathing. CPAP air is an irritant - to one degree or another - to everyone. The irritation may cause the nasal passages to dry out and bleed, or the mucous membranes may try to protect the nasal passages by producing excess mucous and so congestion results.

The best option is to add a heated humidifier to add moisture to the CPAP air and reduce or eliminate the irritation. If you are already using a heated humidifier, try turning it up to a higher setting. If that produces condensation in the six foot hose, you should try an insulating cover for the hose. Other options are to:

  • Wait and See
  • Visit your the ear/nose/throat doctor, and let them know you are on CPAP therapy.
  • Try using a sinus rinse before going to bed and again once you wake in the morning to help clear your sinuses.
As a general rule, persons with Obstructive Sleep Apnea should avoid using sedating medicines. Sedating medicines relax the muscles of the air passage even more and can effect your apneas. You should consult your doctor before using these types of medicines.

Why do I have a headache when I wake up?

CPAP does not normally cause headaches unless there is a sinus related problem or some pressure from the machine acting where it should not be.

Sinus systems are extensive, extending behind your ears. If part of the sinus cavities are blocked, during CPAP use a situation can be created which causes a pressure differential between the sinuses. These pressure differences can sometimes be felt as a headache even though they are caused by sinus blockages. These can be treated using over the counter medications to open the sinuses. CPAP heated humidifiers can also open and maintain sinus systems. If you do not use a heated humidifier, we strongly suggest using one. If this does not correct the problem, visit your ENT.

How do I avoid red marks?

Most red marks on the face are caused by over tightening the CPAP mask. CPAP masks should only be tightened down enough to create a seal. To avoid over tightening your mask, you should work clockwise around the mask, making small adjustments to the headgear, until the mask is securely in place but not overly tight. You should avoid pulling too much on one side of the mask than then other.

By cleaning your mask cushion, nasal pillows, and nasal prongs on a daily basis, you ensure a better seal each time you put on your mask. If you know you have a mask that fits, and are cleaning it daily, and still have red marks, consider using mask straps pads which are soft covering for the headgear straps.

Swift LT Soft Wraps

Why is my face breaking out around my nose?

Sores, redness and bumps around your nose can be caused by one of three main reasons: facial oils are building up under the mask material; the mask is overly tight; or the mask material is causing an allergic reaction.

A breakout can occur from the facial oils building up under the mask at night. You can help minimize this by washing your face before putting on the mask at night and by cleaning the facial oils off the mask every morning. If you are still experiencing a breakout, you might consider Nasal Pillow masks which have less material that comes in contact with the skin.

Sores at the bridge of the nose or below the nose are usually due to tightening the headgear straps too much. The pressure will create soreness, then a bruise, and may eventually create an open sore if left untreated. Your mask should seal when worn comfortably. If you have to over tighten your mask to get a good seal, consider switching to another mask type. To avoid over tightening your mask, you should work clockwise around the mask, making small adjustments to the headgear, until the headgear is securely in place but not overly tight. You should avoid pulling too much on one side of the mask than then other.

Most masks are made of silicone, which is an inert substance. But silicone is manufactured in chemicals to which some people are allergic. The chemicals normally degrade and disperse over time, but may cause a reaction when first used. The solution is to remove surface chemicals before using the mask. Washing the mask will reduce or eliminate the problem. This process can be accelerated by long soaks in warm soapy water. This method can be used with all types of masks, and should also be applied to mask replacement parts. While soaking the mask will help remove the surface chemicals, it my reduce the life of the silicone.

Why is the bridge of my nose sore?

Sores at the bridge of the nose or below the nose are usually due to tightening the headgear straps too much. The pressure will create soreness, then a bruise, and may eventually create an open sore if left untreated.

Headgear is usually tightened too much to reduce or eliminate air leaks. A small degree of this may be necessary, but too much is an indication that the mask is too large, too old or just the wrong style.

If your mask is six to nine months old and the silicone is becoming too soft to hold a seal, try replacing it. Find the right replacement cushion for your mask using our Replacement Part Finder.

It is usually necessary to stop wearing a mask to allow these sores to heal. Nasal pillows are an option in the meantime.

Can I travel with my CPAP?

Yes. CPAP therapy should be used every night. In the USA, CPAP it is not counted as a carry on item for air travel. Some locations in Asia and Europe will count it as a carry on, but all will allow it.

Helpful Links:

Air Travel: Call your airline. Each airline has a different policy on whether or not you can use your CPAP while in flight, and if they have a power source available.


Cruise: Electrical outlets may not be available near the bed. Take an electrical extension cord along to ensure you can plug in the machine. Many cruise lines will provide distilled water. Call your cruise company for their specific policies and amenities regarding CPAP equipment.


Here is a letter from Resmed on the topic:

ResMed Travel Letter

Will my CPAP operate overseas?

An adapter may be required to plug a US power cord into a wall outlet in a foreign country. CPAP.com sells an assortment pack of World Traveler Power Adapter Plugs, which allow CPAP machines to plug into different types of wall sockets found in different countries.
All the models CPAP.com sell contain power converters that enable the machine to operate on any AC current from 100 to 240 volts without any adjustment. Check with your dealer or manufacturer to see if your machine needs an external converter that lowers the voltage from 240 to 120 VAC.

What travel tips should I know?

CPAP therapy should be used every night. Your CPAP should go with you on trips. There are some tips to help with your travel:

  • Remove Water From The Humidifier. If you are going to take your CPAP humidifier with you, remove ALL water from the humidifier chamber. Water left in the humidifier chamber can be tipped into your machine and cause damage.
  • Accompany Your CPAP Through Security. Stay with your CPAP. When going through security, security agents will usually need to inspect the CPAP separately. Ask to stay with the CPAP. This way you can watch them handle the CPAP machine, and you can make sure all of your parts (cords, masks, chambers) get back into the bag.
  • Plan Your Power Needs. Know what type of power your CPAP requires. If you are going to use a battery, make sure you have all the parts needed to safely run the CPAP on battery power. If you are traveling abroad make sure you have an international adapter plug. Check out the Power Solutions section of the FAQ for more information.
  • Identify Your CPAP as Medical Equipment. To help move through security easier, put a Medical Equipment tag on your CPAP bag. We have a Medical Equipment Luggage Tag.
  • Carry a Medical Alert Card. Although this is good to have when traveling, it is also good to always carry a Medical Alert card in your wallet that lets emergency personnel know that you have obstructive sleep apnea. We have a Medical Alert card.
  • Pack Your Power Cord. Just like people commonly leave cell phone chargers at home or in the hotel, we frequently get calls from travelers who left their CPAP power cord. Check to make sure your cord is packed with your machine.
  • Bring Spare Parts and Back Up Mask. Like the power cord, items get left behind or misplaced while on the road. Having backup parts and a back up mask will make sure that you are not caught without equipment.
  • Call Us If You Leave Something. CPAP.com delivers all over the US and to most international destinations. This includes to hotels and resorts. We also have expedited shipping options. If you are in a bind, give us a call 1-800-356-5221.

How do I prepare for plane travel with CPAP?

Your CPAP does NOT count against your carry on limits. Allow for an additional 10-20 minutes in security, not likely but it happens. If airport personnel ask about the CPAP, let them know politely that it is a medical device (a CPAP unit). Most of them understand what it is and that it is an exception to the normal rules. We provide a luggage tag for CPAP systems: http://www.cpap.com/productpage/medical-identification-luggage-tag-cpap-equipment.html

You can use your CPAP on board, just use batteries or make sure you're seated by a power outlet. You can call or reserve one of these seats online with most airlines.

Be sure to bring spare parts and a back up mask. If you're in a bind, CPAP.com delivers all over the US and to most international destinations.

How do I prepare for international travel with CPAP?

To prepare for your international travel, be sure to:

  • Check the voltage of your destination. You may need a plug adapter for your machine.
  • Go ahead and pack spare parts to your equipment, CPAP.com can ship to most destinations around the world, but you may not want to additional wait and cost when you know you have a spare mask sitting at home.
  • Review the general travel tips above.

Why is there a $1 or $0 charge showing on my account statement?

When a credit card is used to pay for a CPAP.com order, our credit card processor Stripe.com will send over a request to your issuing bank for either a $0 or $1 authorization. The amount is based on what your bank permits.

This process is done to verify that the issued card can be authorized. Regardless of whether or not the authorization is declined, the authorization request is immediately reversed. Depending on your bank and card issuer, you may see that $0 or $1 authorization appear on your listed transactions. Take note, that this is not a charge and it will be removed from your statement in anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks depending on your bank's policy.

For more information, please visit the Stripe.com FAQ on this topic.