Getting Set Up with Your CPAP
A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is designed to provide a constant flow of air into your airway. It is a soft and steady stream of air that helps keep your airway open throughout the night. Many people suffering from sleep apnea have found great benefits from using a CPAP machine, but the process of getting set up can take some time, effort, research, and trial and error.
This guide is meant to help you navigate the process, so you can rest easier each night. For more information, contact one of our in-store Sleep Specialists at your local Wellwise By Shoppers location.
Where to start
Visit your healthcare provider
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, visit your doctor to get a referral for a specialist.
See a specialist
A “somnologist”, or sleep doctor, will be able to run the appropriate tests to determine the severity of your sleep apnea and propose a treatment program.
Get your prescription
Once you have your CPAP prescription, you can visit any of our stores and one of our Sleep Therapy specialists will assist you in filling it.
Choose the proper equipment
It’s important to choose the correct CPAP products for your prescription that will also be comfortable as you sleep through the night.
What you will need
At its most basic, your CPAP system will require a machine, tube, and a mask to provide the proper airflow. But there are also a variety of CPAP accessories and hygiene products that can greatly improve your experience.
With a variety of machines, mask, and accessory combinations to choose from, we encourage you to work with one of our in-store Sleep Specialists, who would be happy to help you find the right fit.
The CPAP machine produces the air that is meant to keep your airway open, and there are a variety of brands to choose from.
The mask stays over your nose or mouth throughout the night to provide a steady stream of air through your airway. They also come in a variety of styles suited to your comfort preferences.
The CPAP tube connects the machine to the mask and will need to be replaced from time to time depending on the brand and style you choose.
CPAP Accessories & Sanitization
Keeping your CPAP machine, mask, and tubes clean and in good working order is an important part of managing sleep apnea. There are a variety of products designed to help you get the most from every night’s rest.
Getting a good night’s sleep
Once you have the equipment you need, you are close to getting a better sleep and some relief from your sleep apnea symptoms. But to let you get the most out of your 40 winks, here are some tips that can help you rest easier.
Clean your mask every day
Keep your mask sanitary by cleaning with CPAP cleaning products or soap and warm water.
Wash headgear and tubes every week
Don’t forget to show your tubes and headgear some love as well, though a little less often than the mask.
Use a humidifier (if necessary)
A CPAP humidifier can help to prevent dry or stuffy nose throughout the night.
Keep adjusting if necessary
If you find your mask is leaving red marks or irritating your skin, you may need to adjust its tightness.
It is normal to occasionally knock your mask off in the night. If you move a lot in your sleep, you may consider getting a chin strap to help.
Change the filter every 2 months, or as needed
CPAP machines come with a filter which should be changed. Check your product guide and with your healthcare provider or one of our Sleep Specialists on what’s best for you and your machine.
Give it time
Getting used to your CPAP machine is an adjustment. For some people, it can take up to 6 weeks to return to your normal sleeping habits. Just don’t give up!
Check in every so often
It is possible that the pressure level required for your sleep apnea could change under certain conditions, like with major weight loss or gains. Check in with your doctor every once in a while to ensure you are still getting proper treatment.
Watch out for water
If you do use a humidifier, be careful that water does not spill from it onto your machine. Water can damage your CPAP machine.