New CPAP User

    New User Basics

    If you suspect you have Sleep Apnea, speak with your general care doctor or sleep doctor. Your doctor may 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 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 insurance coverage to get equipment or to pay cash through an internet retailer. Generally, internet retailers offer more choices 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

     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.
     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 and a CPAP mask for effective CPAP therapy. Every CPAP machine comes with a power cord, filters, 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, extra filters, and comfort & cleaning accessories.
     Are prescriptions required for mask, machine, humidifier, and Provent purchases?
    Yes. Federal law requires we have a valid prescription on file before we ship your mask, machine, humidifier, or Provent.

    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: 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
    • Ask your doctor to fill out our prescription form. We have both a standard prescription form and a Provent prescription form.
    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, APAP, and BiPAP 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.

     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 do I wake up to find my mask is off?
    People tend to remove their masks 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 fit. If your mask fits, but it 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.

    An auto-adjusting CPAP machine (APAP) may be another solution. An APAP machine will provide the minimum amount of pressure required to keep your airway open on a breath-by-breath basis. With an APAP you can be sure your machine is always providing the correct amount of pressure needed.

    Here are some of the APAP machines we carry:

    Transcend Auto MiniCPAP Machine
    AirSense 10 AutoSet CPAP Machine
    PR System One REMStar 60 Series Auto
    + See More

     What travel tips should I know?
    CPAP therapy should be used every night. Your CPAP or BiPAP machine and equipment 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 machine. 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, filters) 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 offer a Medical Equipment Luggage Tag.
    • Carry a Medical Alert Card. When traveling or handling daily tasks, it is good to carry a medical alert card in your wallet. The card will inform emergency personnel that you have obstructive sleep apnea. We offer 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 have left their CPAP power cord behind. Check to make sure your cord is packed with your machine before you leave home and when heading back home.
    • Bring Spare Parts and Back Up Mask. Like the power cord, items get left behind or misplaced while on the road. Having spare parts and a back up mask will ensure 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 800.356.5221.
    Check out all of our travel accessories we carry that may help you on your travels with your CPAP.
     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 that can help with identifying your equipment.

    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.
     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.
     What are the benefits of using a humidifier?
    Many CPAP 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.

    Did You Know?, New User Basics

    • Apnea in Greek, literally translates to "without breath."
    • Sleep Apnea causes a desaturation of oxygen in blood. Oximeters can detect the oxygen saturation in your blood, and is a good indicator of how your therapy is going.
    • It is estimated eighteen million Americans have Sleep Apnea. That's one in eleven!
    • For sleep apnea concerns, visit our online forum, www.cpaptalk.com.

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