CPAP Frequently Asked Questions

CPAP machines may stop snoring if they are utilized regularly and the pressure is adjusted correctly.

Great advances in technology have now made CPAP machines and therapy much more comfortable. The CPAP machines today are ultra quiet, have an integrated heated humidifier, provide smoother airflow, and have many internal “comfort” adjustments.

The most important part of therapy is to choose someone with experience and the largest selection of masks. Our West Care Medical Clinicians will:

  • Help determine your facial profile and which mask will be the most comfortable
  • Educate you about Sleep Apnea and how treatment will help you, including possible side effects that may occur and how to find a solution
  • Show you our large selection of products and masks so that the solution can be designed for your particular needs
  • Provide a custom mask fit; each mask has many adjustments and features that need to be customized for you
  • Next, each CPAP Machine has comfort features that can change and adjust the flow of air to your body (example: pressure reduction during exhalation); these features need to be adjusted by experienced clinicians
  • Finally, there are many accessories that will make your life with CPAP more comfortable and effective. Examples of such accessories include:
    • Heated wire tubing (for providing high humidity)
    • Chin straps
    • Specialty masks
    • Nasal pillows
    • Hose guards
    • Travel invertors and cases

YES. CPAP does not “cure” Sleep Apnea, it only treats the condition. You will need to use your CPAP every night and every time that you sleep, including naps.

No one can argue that sleeping with a mask on takes a bit of time to adjust to. The key is getting used to CPAP therapy and staying on CPAP therapy.

Studies show that use within the first 7 days is a good indication of effective long term use. Be sure to contact your West Care Medical Professional with any questions or problems.

Most people get used to CPAP therapy within a few weeks. There may be some side effects (nasal congestion, mask leaks, skin irritation) however there are solutions to most of these side effects.

OSA is a chronic condition. It does not go away with CPAP therapy, it simply gets treated with the therapy so you are getting the proper rest and oxygen in your body every night.

Once you are feeling the benefits of CPAP therapy, it is easy to stop using your mask and machine, as you feel that you are cured. But this is not the case. Like any chronic condition you will benefit from ongoing assessment, coaching and product education in order to help you enjoy the long term health and quality of life benefits of CPAP.

West Care Medical has many follow programs that will help you stay on track with CPAP and get the maximum long term impact on your life.

Care of your CPAP

Proper care of your CPAP device and mask system helps ensure that you receive optimal therapy. In many circumstances, your insurance provider may cover the replacement costs of the parts.

Cleaning and Maintenance

CPAP Device

Your CPAP device does not require regular servicing. However, to increase the life of your machine and ensure that it continues to work well, air filters should be changed regularly. Contact West Care Medical if you feel there has been a change in the pressure you are receiving or if you find the pressure intolerable. West Care Medical can test the pressure delivered by your CPAP device to make sure that it still matches your physician’s prescription.

Air Tubing

Air tubing should be cleaned weekly. Use warm, soapy water to wash the tubing. Dry the tubing out of direct sunlight. Replace the tubing if you notice any signs of deterioration.

Mask System

The mask frame, cushion and headgear should be kept clean so that the mask continues to provide a quality seal. Wash your face each night to remove excess facial oils and minimize the build-up on your mask between cleanings. The mask cushion should be wiped daily and every few days; the mask and headgear should be hand-washed in lukewarm, soapy water.

Humidifier

Empty and rinse the humidifier chamber daily, wash the humidifier chamber weekly in warm soapy water and soak in a solution of one part vinegar and three parts water for 30 minutes. Rinse well and add fresh water.

Replacement

The soft seal on the masks and nasal pillows may begin to harden within 6 – 12 months and they should be replaced on a regular basis. Filters should be replaced every 3 months and most insurance companies will provide reimbursement towards a new CPAP unit every 5 years.

Other Tips:

  • Always use distilled water in the humidifier.
  • West Care Medical hosts regular CPAP Clinics and will contact you from time to time. Phone West Care Medical if your therapy becomes uncomfortable or less effective.
  • Use pure soaps; do NOT use oils, bleach, moisturizing or anti-bacterial soaps or any chlorine compounds to wash mask components.
  • Contact West Care Medical if you notice any signs of deterioration in your mask system. It is important to maintain a leak-free fit.
  • If traveling with your CPAP, always disconnect the humidifier chamber from the CPAP unit to avoid getting water into the unit.

CPAP does not cure Obstructive Sleep Apnea; it is a treatment which must be used whenever you sleep to prevent disruptive apneas. At West Care Medical ongoing care packages provide the necessary products and clinical services to effectively treat your condition.

Your CPAP machine needs to be kept clean and filters replaced on a regular basis. The silicone masks seals harden and the masks may become uncomfortable to use. They also become more difficult to sterilize properly.

Your mask should be replaced at least every year.

Your medical condition may change (lose/gain weight, high blood pressure, diabetes) and therefore a review of your therapy may be necessary along with checking the pressure of your CPAP machine.

Treatment Optimization Program Includes:

ANNUAL

  • Clinical Consultation
  • Clinical outcome review
  • Download and interpretation of data
  • Mask assessment (fit, comfort, leaks)
  • Device pressure verification and cleaning
  • Provide a clinical report to you and your physician
  • Medical device assessment for the purpose of insurance replacement
  • Free loaner device in the event device fails
  • Discount on device assessment fee
  • Discount on repair when manufacturer’s warranty expires
  • Environmental disposal of medical device
  • Discount on purchase of replacement medical device
  • Discount on heated wire tubing
  • Hygiene Kit
  • Place the CPAP device on a firm, flat surface somewhere within easy reach of where you will use it. Make sure the filter area on the back of the device is not blocked by bedding, curtains, or other items. Air must flow freely around the device for the system to work properly. Make sure the device is away from any heating or cooling equipment (e.g., forced air vents, radiators, air conditioners).
  • The unit must be plugged directly to an electrical outlet. The use of an extension cord is not recommended. If there are no alternatives, the extension cord and/or power bar must be CSA approved with surge protection.
  • Always use distilled water in the humidifier.
  • Use pure soaps; do NOT use oils, bleach, moisturizing or anti-bacterial soaps or any chlorine compounds to wash mask components.
  • Follow the recommended West Care Medical Cleaning Instructions to prevent infections and protect your health.

YES, it likely will:

Researchers showed photos of CPAP users before and after starting CPAP therapy to 22 “raters”

For the 20 subjects, on average just over two-thirds of the 22 raters “correctly” identified the post-CPAP photograph rather than the pre-CPAP photograph as having a more alert appearance. (i.e. less tired)

Journal: Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Vol. 9, No. 9, 20

YES, it may do so.

A recent article concluded that: Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea with CPAP Therapy enhanced performance in golfers with this condition.

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Vol. 9, No. 12, 2013

Look at our catalogue for Compressed Gas / Oxygen Conserving Devices