Patient FAQ

Below are some frequently-asked questions and answers from OSA patients. Please visit this page again, as we plan to provide updates and useful information.

Question/Problem Solution
I have an M Series therapy device. How do I order a new water chamber for my humidifier? You should contact your homecare provider and identify the correct chamber that is compatible with your humidifier.
Click here to reference a document that identifies the chamber you require.
When should I start feeling better after beginning to use my CPAP? Most patients begin feeling better within the first week, though some people may take a little longer.
I have a mustache/beard. Which mask is best to use? Ask your homecare provider which mask will work best for you.
What if I still snore on CPAP? Snoring while on CPAP should not occur. If it does, contact your doctor. Your pressure level may need to be adjusted.
What if I lose or gain weight or my old symptoms reappear? You may need to have your CPAP pressure level adjusted. Contact your doctor.
As I continue to use my CPAP on a regular basis, will my medications need to be adjusted? Please do not alter your medications without consulting your doctor.
If I need to be hospitalized for any reason, should I take my device with me and use it at night? Yes. Also, if you are having surgery, it is important to tell the surgeon and the anesthetist that you are using CPAP at home. You should also inform the doctor treating you for sleep apnea that you are going into the hospital.
I travel frequently. Should I use my CPAP when I travel? It is important that you use your CPAP every night. Purchasing travel accessories will make it more convenient for you to travel with your CPAP. Because of increased security measures at airports, it may be easier to travel if you have a copy of your prescription for your CPAP machine with you. It also is suggested that you call your airline ahead of time and ask if there is a special screening procedure required to carry on or check your CPAP device.
My skin seems irritated, even bruised, or I have marks on my face. Your mask may be too tight. If your mask has a forehead arm or adjustment feature try readjusting that first. Then, if necessary, readjust the headgear straps.You may have the wrong mask size. Consult your homecare provider for a mask fitting. Nasal pillows or a full face mask may provide a better fit.
How can I tell when my mask is worn out? Because masks are disposable, periodic replacement is needed when the mask shows signs of wear and tear. Inspect your mask for stiffness, cracks, or tears.
My mask seems to be leaking. • Check all the connections.
• If your mask has a forehead arm or adjustment feature, try readjusting that first to correct the leak.
• If there is no improvement with the above steps, readjust the headgear straps. The mask should be as loose as possible while still creating a seal. A mask that is too tight against the face can cause leaks to occur by creating folds in the material.
• Try another mask size or type if necessary.
My mask seems dirty. • Wash your mask daily.
• Wash your face nightly before putting on the mask.
• Avoid using skin lotions before putting on your mask.
It doesn’t seem as though enough air is flowing to me. • Check that air from the machine is blowing.
• Check the air inlet and filter for obstruction or dust buildup.
• Check the hose for punctures.
• If you are still having problems, check with your homecare provider or doctor for assistance.
My nose and throat are dry, my nose is congested, or I have nosebleeds. • Try adding heated humidification. (You will need to ask your doctor for a prescription.) You may change the temperature setting on the humidifier.
• Try nasal saline spray before bedtime and upon awakening.
• This condition may improve over time.
• Consult your doctor if symptoms persist.
My mouth is dry. • You may be sleeping with your mouth open. Try a chin strap.
• If a chin strap is not helpful, a full face mask may be considered or you should consult with your doctor about adding heated humidification.
My eyes are sore, dry, irritated, or swollen. • The mask may be leaking into your eyes. Use the forehead adjuster, if applicable, to reduce leaks. Try pulling the mask away from your face and repositioning it.
• The mask may be too tight. Readjust headgear straps.
My hose fills up with water at night. • Condensation builds up because the air in the room may be cooler than the air coming from the machine. To prevent this condensation from forming, try placing the tubing under the covers to warm it. You may also ask your homecare provider for a hose cover made of fleece.
I have trouble falling asleep on CPAP or I feel uncomfortable when I first apply the air pressure at night. • If the ramp feature is available on your CPAP device, use this feature to slowly rise to your prescribed pressure setting.
I feel gassy and bloated when I wake up in the morning. • Try sleeping with your head elevated.
• Try using a chin strap to prevent mouth breathing.
• This condition may improve over time.
It is hard to breathe out against the air flow. • This sensation may improve over time as you adapt to therapy.
• You may benefit from a comfort feature such as C-Flex™ or from Bi-Level therapy, which makes it easier to breathe out against pressure.
My machine does not seem to be working. • Check the power cord to be sure it is firmly inserted into the back of the machine and the electrical outlet.
• Contact your homecare provider if you have any problems you are unable to correct.
• Do not attempt to repair the blower unit yourself.
I just can’t seem to adjust to using CPAP. • Most people will adjust to CPAP in one or two weeks. Occasionally, it may take a little longer if, for example, you are very sensitive to the feel of the mask on your face or the sound of the device.
• Call your homecare provider or prescribing physician if you are having problems adjusting to the treatment.
• Ask your homecare provider or doctor if you are eligible to try Bi-level or auto-adjust CPAP, which are available.
• Attending a patient support group, such as A.W.A.K.E. (Alert, Well, And Keeping Energetic), may provide helpful information to improve your CPAP comfort and use. A.W.A.K.E. groups can be found by calling the American Sleep Apnea Association at 1-202-293-3650 or visiting www.sleepapnea.org. Additional information also can be found on-line at the Web sites listed on the next page.
To learn more: Your homecare provider can give you a copy of Inside OSA, an educational video from Respironics, that will help you understand your treatment. Additional information about sleep apnea, its causes and treatments can be found on several Web sites:
• National Sleep Foundation: www.sleepfoundation.org
• American Sleep Apnea Association: www.sleepapnea.org
• SleepApneaInfo.com - Sleep Well. Be Healthy: www.SleepApneaInfo.com
• Sleep and Health Education Program www.UnderstandingSleep.org
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