If you've chosen CPAP therapy to manage your sleep disorder, we will set you up with a machine and mask that is right for you. We will walk you through exactly how to use and maintain your new equipment.
Here are a few tips to help you maintain your CPAP device and better manage your sleep disorder:
- Remove the humidifier chamber from the device heater to prevent the accidental spilling of water into the device. Manufacturer's recommendations are to empty and clean daily, air dry and always use distilled water.
- Never move your device with water in the humidifier chamber. If you need to bring your device to the office, make sure to empty out all the water before transporting it.
- Put your device on a bedside table that is lower than the head of your bed. Do not place directly onto carpeting or wood floors. Have a waterproof hard surfaced barrier for the device to rest on.
- If your machine is leaking air or water, check all connections and gasket placement. Most humidifier problems are noticed after washing and reassembling. Something didn't get placed in the right spot. Try reassembling again to correct leaks.
- Power sources vary by machine. All of the CPAP and Bi-level devices that Sleep Well provides have 12-volt power capability. Some units need a 450 watt "sine wave" inverter, a cable made specifically for the device, and all need a deep cycle marine battery. Call the office for details.
- Condensation in the tubing is more of a problem in the winter due to cold air passing over the warm water and back out through the tubing. The humid air will condensate into droplets and cause water to run into the mask. To avoid this, keep the device lower than the head of your bed, allowing the water to drain back into the water chamber. In the winter, a thermal cover, "Hose Cozy" of fleece or knitted hose sock keeps the tubing more uniformly warm, preventing the condensation. Newer devices may have the optional heated hose as well. Call us to find out if your CPAP is compatible for a heated hose.
- If you're experiencing nasal irritation while using your device, try an over the counter remedy such as Cann-ease, Ayr Gel (salt water gel), Saline Spray, or petroleum jelly to act as a friction barrier. We offer a variety of products in our office including Cann-ease. Your physician may occasionally need to prescribe medication if the condition persists.
- If you're experiencing skin irritation while using your device, wash the mask prior to use with a mild soap you are not sensitive to. Use a thin barrier of petroleum jelly or Ayr Gel to reduce friction between your skin and the mask. Prevent pressure sores by not over tightening the mask. Red marks should not persist throughout the day. Call the office for additional help.
- To check for mask or device leaks, fit your mask at your prescribed pressure, then activate the "Ramp" feature, if appropriate. Check the tubing where it connects into the mask and onto the humidifier. Most leaks and problems occur after the weekly cleaning and reassembling. Check the connection between the water chamber and the device itself. It's best to be sure that "All systems are working properly prior to bedtime when you're tired and not in the mood for fixing things!"