If you have been diagnosed with CPAP or BiPAP, it is likely that you were given little instruction on what to do if you have problems or questions.
I will help you navigate your PAP treatment so that you get the most benefit and wake up from your sleep refreshed. Keep in mind, nobody is going to care about your Sleep Disorders Treatment more than you.
Know about your own treatment.
Using CPAP is a prescription treatment, just as medication is a prescription treatment. You should know everything about your own treatment. Don’t rely on others to keep track of this information for you.
•You should know:
1. The type of machine you’re using.
2. Pressure your machine is set at (measured in cmH20…centimeters of water pressure)
3. Type of mask(s) you are using
4. Name and phone number of your equipment company (People who actually gave you the equipment)
5. Name and phone number of the physician treating your sleep apnea.
6. Your diagnosis. (Mild-Severe OSA, Central Sleep Apnea, PLMS….etc)
•Know your diagnosis.
Get a copy of your sleep study report and look up the terms that you don’t know. You are entitled to a copy of your report. Call up your physician and ask for a copy of the report. (See the section Sleep Report Interpretation at this website for more information.)
What is your AHI?
What is your RDI?
These are terms that you should know and understand. You can find out about these terms at this website: Sleep Report Interpretation.
•Are you having some kind of problem with your CPAP treatment?
You need to be proactive and communicate with your physician. Have you resumed snoring? Do you feel unrefreshed when you wake up? Have you gained or lost 20 pounds? Is your mask leaking or uncomfortable?
These are all important issues that you need to communicate with your doctor. If you do nothing about it, nothing will happen.
•Get a support system.
Treatment with PAP (positive airway pressure) is difficult. You are going to need help.
Call up local sleep centers and ask if they offer an A.W.A.K.E. meeting. These are support groups that talk about problems and solutions to CPAP treatment. This is a great resource. Just like when starting programs of weight loss and exercise, it is invaluable to buddy up with a group of people who are going through the same thing you are and are going to keep you honest to your treatment. Or….just join our online support system. It’s FREE!!! Click here to sign up: Free CPAP Advice Forum
An online option is to visit a forum or interactive blog. If you don’t want to wait around for answers, this site you are on now offers a broad range of free information to help you with your CPAP and BiPAP treatment. We have quite a few reviews on CPAP masks at this website and on our YouTube Channel.
If you want information on something CPAP related that isn’t in one of our videos or webpages, email us and let us know that you’d like more information on _______. We are always looking to add more content to help you with your treatment.
•Know your equipment like your life depends on it…because it does.
Know how to fit your specific type of mask. Excessive mask leaking can cause your CPAP therapy to be ineffective. Remember…snug, but not tight. We offer videos on mask fitting of several masks.
Mouth-leaking can also cause your treatment to be ineffective. Using heated humidity, a chinstrap, or a full face mask is very helpful.
See the section Educational Videos for more information regarding some of these problems.
Contact your DME (durable medical equipment) company when you need anything equipment related. Know how often your insurance will pay for a new mask and get a new one as often as possible…even if your mask is in great condition. You never know when you may have a problem.