Sleep Apnea Machines from Campbelltown, Liverpool and around Sydney
At Sleep Remedy we understand that having the information to treat sleep apnea is one of your strongest tools. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the more frequently asked questions about the products we provide, to assist in caring for yourself and for your products. If you have any other enquires about our products feel free to contact our friendly team.
Q: How long will I have to use a CPAP machine for?
A: CPAP therapy is a treatment only, i.e. it will only control your sleep apnea when you are actually using it. Because of this your doctor will expect you to use it every night. Weight gain is often a contributing factor to sleep apnea and weight loss would assist you in these circumstances. The physical structure (size & shape) of your airway may be the cause of your condition. As this is something you cannot normally change CPAP therapy would be a life time treatment.
Q: How long will it take for me to notice an improvement in my daytime sleepiness?
A: This is an individual thing and will depend on a number of factors. Some people adjust to treatment very quickly and notice an instant improvement in their day time sleepiness. Other people find it may take a few weeks as they deal with adjusting to sleeping with the equipment.
Q: Which is the best machine Auto or Set Pressure?
A: Set Pressure Machines provides a continuous flow of pressure at a specific rate that will provide the splint required to keep your airway open. An Auto machine is self-regulating and will adjust the pressure according to what you need. When you are in a deep sleep or lying on your back you may require more pressure - the Auto will adjust to these changes. Some people manage better on a set pressure and some people prefer the Auto machine. If you have been prescribed a Set Pressure machine and are considering an Auto machine you should speak to your doctor. You may also trial it first to see if it is suitable for you.
Q: Can I change the pressure on my machine?
A: Your machine has been set to a pressure that will keep your airway open during sleep. If you change the pressure you are not getting your required pressure support. If you are not tolerating your pressure, or feel you should be getting more pressure, you should contact your Sleep Apnea supplier and have your machine downloaded to see what is happening with your treatment. Comfort features can be adjusted to assist your needs. The download may give some insight into why you are having problems. You may be advised to arrange an appointment with your Sleep Physician.
Q: Should I have my machine serviced?
A: Servicing is not required. ResMed suggests a general service after 5 years. It is, however, important to change your filters regularly - every three months should be enough unless you live in a high pollutant area. Sleep Remedy suggests that once a year you have your machine downloaded and mask checked to ensure that your equipment is in good working order, and that your treatment is continuing to be effective. This is a FREE service if you have purchased your equipment from us.
Q: Which is the best mask for me?
A: Sleep Apnea sufferers today have a large range of masks to choose from. If you have had an overnight sleep study done the technician would have assessed your needs and prescribed the appropriate mask. At Sleep Remedy we encourage clients to trial the mask for one week to ensure that the mask is fitting well and that you are comfortable with it before purchasing.
There are 3 types of masks; direct nasal pillows masks, nasal masks, and full face masks. The direct nasal pillows and nasal mask can be used if you can comfortably breathe in and out through your nose and keep your mouth closed. If you cannot keep your mouth closed the pressure will escape from your mouth and not splint your airway. This is uncomfortable and your treatment will not be effective. A full face mask would be the mask of choice in this situation. All masks come in different brands, and each brand may have more than one option for each style of mask. At Sleep Remedy we can assist you in choosing the best fitting mask for your needs.
Q: My mask did fit well but now it doesn’t ?
A: Masks are consumable items and do deteriorate over time. The natural oils of your skin can build up on your mask and affect the seal of the mask. The head straps stretch over time and/or the Velcro loses its grip. When you start over-tightening your mask it can sometimes cause more leak. Daily cleaning will prolong the life of the mask. You will need to replace your cushion and/or head gear every 12 months.
Q: Can any brand of mask be used on any brand of machine?
A: Yes. Just because you have a certain brand of machine does not mean you have to have the same brand of mask. Each mask has a universal connection that will fit into any machine's tubing. Standard (non-heated) tubing is also universal, as is the SleepZone heated tubing. Most modern machines come with heated tubing integrated into the machine, which is specific to the brand (and model) of the machine it connects to.
Q: How do I clean my mask?
A: When you purchase your mask it will come with cleaning instructions. Each day you should clean your mask cushion either with mask wipes, or detach the cushion and wash it with warm soapy water (mild dishwashing liquid is acceptable). Once a week the mask should be completely disassembled and washed in warm soapy water, rinsed and allowed to dry out of direct sunlight. This includes the headgear. ResMed has created mask wipes that have been specifically designed for mask cleaning.
Q: Cold air for my mask is blowing onto my partner - can I cover the holes?
A: No. The exhalation port (or vent holes) removes carbon dioxide from your mask. If you cover the vent holes you will re-breathe too much of this air and feel like you are suffocating. For some people this could also cause a serious medical emergency. You can try repositioning the tubing to change the direction of the air flow. Different brands deal with airflow from the vent differently, by designing circular or diffusing holes or vent covers. You may find a trying a new (or different brand) of mask may reduce this breeze from causing partner disturbance . Fisher and Paykel have a direct nasal pillows mask (Pilairo) and a nasal mask (Eson) with a special designed filter that reduces the exhalation flow quite dramatically.
Q: Why would I need a Humidifier?
A: Humidification is a comfort feature. Every time you take a breath, your nose and upper airway warm and humidify the air so that it enters your lungs at the right temperature and humidity (approximately 36.5 degrees Celcius with 100% humidity). Your nose is responsible for about two-thirds of this process. When you breathe out your nose conserves some of the water present in each exhaled breath. That moisture is then used to assist in the humidification of your next breath.
CPAP treatment can cause your nose and throat to become dry and irritated. Your nose may become tender, and more mucus may be produced causing a very runny nose, sometimes with excessive sneezing. Your nose may even become blocked, causing your mouth to open. You may sometimes experience a bleeding nose if the lining of your nose becomes very dry.
Most people need to use humidification all year round but some people only need humidification during the winter months when the air is colder and dryer. There are also some people who don’t use humidification at all.
Q: Does it help to use a humidifier with my CPAP machine?
A: Humidification is helpful in assisting people to tolerate CPAP as the air already contains moisture so feels more comfortable to breathe. A humidifier can prevent and even reverse the symptoms mentioned above by treating the air before it even reaches the nose. It is important to note that not all systems supply the same amount of heat and/or humidification.
Q: Does mouth breathing impact on the body's own humidification process?
A: If you breathe through your mouth, you may develop a dry mouth and throat. By breathing through your mouth you bypass your nose, which is responsible for around two-thirds of your body's natural humidification process. If you add CPAP on top of that you may start to experience even more problems. Even with a humidifier you may still have some mouth dryness if you have a full face mask and breathe continually through your mouth. The only way to reduce (or prevent) mouth dryness is not to allow air to pass through your mouth. A nasal mask with a chin strap may help with this.
A 1997 study found that nasal symptoms (dryness/congestion) cause mouth breathing and that mouth breathing causes nasal symptoms. Because one symptom causes another, a vicious cycle can develop. For example, mild congestion leads to mild mouth breathing that can worsen the congestion that then causes more severe mouth breathing.
Q Why have I got water in my mask/tubing?
A: In older machines, condensation / water in the tubing can occur when the temperature in the tubing becomes much greater than the room temperature. This can be overcome by:
- Decreasing the humidifier temperature.
- Insulating /covering the tubing with material and /or putting the tube under your bedcovers.
- Increasing the room temperature.
- Have the machine lower than your bed to allow water to drain back to the water chamber.
- Hanging up the tubing daily to allow any water to drain out.
- Using heated tubing (some brands have their own heated tube, if not, a SleepZone heated tube can be used on any brand machine).
Most current model machines now come with heated hoses as a standard feature.