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Should CPAP users worry if they lose power to their machines?

Kristen Havens

Winter is coming, and so is the weather that comes with it: high winds, heavy ran, snow, and ice, all of which can cause the power grid to go down during the night. Blackouts are an inconvenience for everyone, but they're particularly worrisome for people who rely on electricity to run their medical equipment.

CPAP users fall into this category. Without a steady source of power or a ready backup option (like a battery pack), your CPAP machine will stop running when the power goes out. You'll be getting by without treatment for your apnea until the grid comes back online. 

Similarly, if you're traveling and you don't have a reliable source of compatible electric current for your machine, you won't be able to comply with your therapy. (For example, if you're in a country with different outlets, or if you're camping or residing in a temporary shelter.)

No power to your CPAP machine means you'll be living with untreated apnea and snoring until electricity becomes available again. Anyone who's lived with obstructive sleep apnea knows what that means.

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CPAP mask problems: Is it just a bad fit or time for a replacement?

Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

Critical to using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the way your mask fits.

A leaking CPAP mask compromises the quality of your treatment; optimal therapy depends on a secure seal between the mask and the face.

Leaks out of the tops, the sides, or the bottoms of masks can make the pressurized air treatment provided by CPAP machines (commonly called sleep apnea machines) less effective or even ineffective.

(Remember, a leak around the vent where the hose attaches to the mask is actually supposed to occur; this is where your exhaled carbon dioxide is released from the mask). 

If your CPAP mask leaks, it could be for a number of reasons. In some cases, adjustments can improve fit. In other cases, you may need to replace your current mask with a new one. 

Check out the following CPAP tips to uncover causes and solutions for poor-fitting CPAP masks.

 

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Does Insurance Pay for a CPAP Machine? (Coverage and Cost)

Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

Just as with the costs associated with sleep studies, patients are equally concerned about the costs of buying and using positive airway pressure (PAP) therapies like CPAP, BiPAP, and ASV. Insurance can play a large part in this.

Insurance plans will cover a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or other PAP device if it is medically necessary. Whether or not a PAP device is medically necessary is determined by a patient's clinical symptoms, physical exam, and sleep testing results. The guidelines for medical necessity vary by insurance but typically follow the same rules.

Knowing ahead of time how much your health plan offers in the way of PAP device insurance coverage, and what you need to do to maintain that coverage, can help you make the best decisions about what to rent or buy, and how frequently you need to replenish your supplies.

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When To Get New CPAP Supplies (Masks, Tubing, Filters & Machine)

Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

Once you receive and begin to use your CPAP equipment, you will need to take good care to maintain it. You will also need to check it on a regular basis to make sure it’s not broken, leaking, or worn out.

Most elements of your CPAP setup are fairly durable, but they will wear out over time. Once they are worn out, they become less effective for delivering the therapy that you need.

Here’s a quick replacement schedule to keep on hand and some tips for ensuring your CPAP equipment is always in great working order.

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