If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may be prescribed CPAP therapy to treat your symptoms. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and is defined as a single level of air pressure delivered through the nose and/or mouth. Pressure is needed is to prevent the upper airway from closing during sleep. If you have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you might have some questions about your new machine. We cover all the steps to CPAP setup to make the process quick and easy!
One of the major signs of sleep apnea is constant snoring or temporary stopping of the breath while sleeping. When breathing is interrupted, the upper airway tissue blocks air to the lungs, resulting in a drop in oxygen to your brain and other parts of your body. The CPAP is meant to be used at night while you sleep as well as any time you are going to take a nap.
Your doctor will prescribe the exact amount of pressure to be used in your CPAP. The air is delivered via the nasal passage and/or mouth via special tubing that is connected on one end to your CPAP machine. The opposite end of the tubing is connected to a mask. What your machine, tubing, and mask look like depends upon the CPAP device you decide to purchase. Aeroflow carries a variety of CPAP machines and different mask styles/sizes that will fit your sleeping habits.
Setting Up Your CPAP
In general, CPAP machine setup is not complicated. Once you have done it a few times, you will get used to the routine. Here are the basic four steps you can expect to go through once you get your CPAP machine in your home.
- Place your CPAP machine on a night table or dresser that is level and close to your bed.
- The machine must be placed at least 12 inches away from any objects or materials that may block the vents. This can include curtains, blankets, sheets, clothing, etc.
- It is important for the machine to be placed lower than your bed so that the accumulation of water will drain back to the machine and not your mask.
- The machine must be plugged into an outlet. It is not advisable to use extension cords when running the machine. However, if an extension cord is necessary, use a heavy duty extension cord.
Your CPAP machine will also come with a humidifier. Use of the humidifier is simple once you become used to the routine.
- Fill the humidifier with distilled water to the maximum fill line.
- Plug one end of the tubing to the humidifier and the other to the mask.
- Wash your humidifier with soap and water on a daily basis.
- Disinfect your machine weekly by soaking the reservoir in one part white vinegar and three parts water for 30 minutes. Rinse well.
It is important to remember to turn off your CPAP machine when it is not in use. Daily maintenance and cleaning your CPAP machine will become second nature once you become used to the schedule. If you are having problems with an ill-fitting mask or nasal cover, it is important to contact your doctor immediately so he may accommodate your needs.