Patient Resources: Medical Equipment
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the most effective non-invasive treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Simply put, it is pressurized air holding open the airway during sleep.
How Does CPAP Work for Me?
Air from your bedroom is taken through a flow generator and pressurized. The pressurized air moves through tubing and a mask passing through your nose and into your throat where the slight pressure keeps your upper airway open. This helps you maintain a steady, healthy level of breathing through the night.
This low air pressure does not interfere with your breathing. For many people, the positive results of using CPAP are felt within the first few nights of using the device. Your initial night of using CPAP may feel like the first good night of sleep you have had in years.
It is not uncommon for it to take some time to get used to the sensation of positive airflow, but success with the treatment of CPAP means sleeping better and getting more out of your life.
Successful CPAP users report improvements in:
- Vitality and motivation
- Emotional stability
- Sexual drive and performance
- Quality of sleep
- Quality of life
If your sleep apnea goes untreated it could lead to high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, irregular heartbeat, memory problems, weight gain and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated.
Sound Sleep Health Presents CPAP 101
Device – a flow generator that pulls air though a filter and provides a prescribed pressure setting for the user.
Tubing – a standard air tube, which connects from the flow generator to the mask, delivering the pressurized air to the user.
Mask – provides the seal over the face to deliver the prescribed pressure to the airway. Nasal Masks and Full Faces masks come in many styles and sizes to accommodate the user.
- Nasal Mask – a triangularly-shaped chamber that fits around the nose ending just above the upper lip. The mask chamber usually has a forehead piece which sits just above the eyebrows. It is held in place with straps that wrap around the head and attach to the mask and lower part of the chamber.
- Nasal Pillow Mask – a small nasal pillow that fits around the edges of each nostril to create a seal. The pillow fits in a small mask piece that sits under the tip of the nose. The nasal pillow mask is usually held in place with one head strap and allows for the user’s line of sight to be clear.
- Full Face Mask – similar to the shape of the nasal mask, the full face mask covers the nose and the mouth alleviating any pressure loss through the mouth.
Humidifier – provides moisture to the prescribed air, thus decreasing nasal dryness and irritation.
Filters – filters the air passing though the flow generator, the tubing and mask.
Sound Sleep Health distributes a wide variety of the highest quality CPAP equipment. We receive our stock from medical manufactures such as Resmed, Philips Respironics, Fisher and Paykel, Covidien Puritan Bennett, DeVilbiss, Pro Basics and more. Our staff works closely with each patient to help achieve a comfortable and successful fit to provide you with the most effective CPAP therapy.
Should my CPAP equipment be replaced?
Yes, replacing your CPAP equipment is vital to maintaining effective CPAP therapy. Most mask cushions begin to deteriorate after about six months of use. The cushion becomes soft and unable to hold a seal. As the cushion loses structure the headgear straps must be tightened to get a seal. Air leaks from a deteriorated mask reduce the effectiveness of CPAP therapy and tightening the headgear may cause facial sores. It is recommended that you replace your CPAP mask, tubing and filters on a six months basis.
You may become eligible every six months to update supplies through your insurance company. Keep in mind, insurance coverage is based on your durable medical equipment (DME) coverage and is different for each insurance plan.
How should I clean my CPAP equipment?
Your CPAP mask, tubing and filters should be hand washed with warm water and a mild dish soap or baby shampoo. Do not use products containing alcohol, bleach, chlorine, aromatics, moisturizers, or scented oils. These solutions may lead to cracking in the mask, tubing or humidifier which can significantly shorten the lifespan of your equipment.
How often should I clean my CPAP equipment?
- Daily – The mask cushion, which creates the seal on your face, should be cleaned daily. Everyone has facial oils that can build up on the mask cushion reducing the effectiveness of the seal. Wash the cushion daily with warm water and a mild dish soap or baby shampoo. Let mask cushion air dry before use.
- Weekly – Disassemble all parts of the mask, including the headgear, and wash with warm water and a mild soap. Allow all parts to air dry before use.
- Weekly – Clean the tube with warm water and a mild soap allowing to air dry before use. If you use a humidifier with your CPAP we recommend you disconnect the tube from the CPAP and mask and hang it to dry during the day to avoid excessive condensation build-up.
- Weekly – Clean with warm water and mild soap and allow to air dry before putting back into the CPAP.
Ultra-Fine or Hypo Allergenic Filters
- Do not wash filter with soap and water. Check manufacturer’s guide. Most ultra fine filters are discarded after one month of use. Some hypo filters can be dusted out on a weekly basis and then replaced after one month of use.
- Daily – Fill the humidifier chamber with distilled water to the fill line. Distilled water is recommended to avoid mineral build up as well as to discourage nasal problems that can arise from chemicals used in tap water.
- Weekly – Disassemble all parts of the humidifier chamber and wash with warm water and a mild soap. Rinse and allow to air dry before use.
- Weekly – Wipe the surface of the CPAP using a damp cloth.