What to Expect with your First CPAP
So, you were just diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and your doctor has prescribed you with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed, but don’t worry. With this diagnosis, you are one step closer to a more restful, healthy night sleep.
If you have sleep apnea, you have trouble keeping the airway open for normal breathing during the night, which disrupts your breathing and deprives your body of necessary oxygen (and sleep). The CPAP is a small, portable piece of equipment that pumps a continuous flow of air through a hose and into a mask, and is designed to promote stable breathing, uninterrupted sleep, and improved quality of life.
But what happens after you leave your doctor’s office with your CPAP prescription? We’re here to walk you through what to expect as you begin your sleep therapy with a CPAP machine.
A Seamless Set-Up
Before anything else, the key to success when beginning a sleep therapy program is proper setup of your CPAP machine. A CPAP is made up of a few component parts, including the CPAP unit, a CPAP mask, a hose, a filter, and in some cases a humidifier. A proper fit is crucial – insecure tubing, an ill-fitting mask, and other setup problems can cause an air leak, which means you aren’t getting the proper treatment. A Respiratory Therapist will walk you through the basic machine mechanics, set up of your machine, and will help you fit the device to your comfort. You will also get to test out the system to make sure it works. Armed with all the information you need and correctly fitted equipment, you’re ready to start using your CPAP.
Regular Use of Your Mask
Adherence to your sleep apnea therapy is critical to seeing results. Experts recommend that patients use their CPAP machines at least six hours per night in order to reduce the long-term health risks of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea that is not sufficiently treated can increase the risk of high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and can also cause drowsiness when driving, which increases the risk of a crash. Insurance providers also have rules for compliance in order to have your sleep therapy covered.
Your CPAP is designed to improve your breathing and sleep, but a dirty CPAP could be compromising your health. Compliance with your sleep therapy is achieved not only by use of your CPAP machine, but by regular cleaning of it. The many elements of your CPAP machine, if not cleaned, can put your body in direct contact with bacteria and mold. Regular cleaning can ensure you’re breathing in fresh, clean air, and will reduce wear and tear on your machine as well.
Support of Sleep Experts
When you work with Reliable, we take the guesswork out of your sleep apnea treatment. From your initial CPAP setup by a Respiratory Therapist to the 24/7 availability of our customer service representatives ready for your questions, we’re here for you along your sleep apnea therapy journey. As a technology-driven provider of home medical equipment, we not only provide state-of-the-art sleep therapy equipment, but our expert team of Sleep Coaches also use the latest remote technology to monitor and manage patient health.
At Reliable, we’re more than technicians and DME distributors; we are your sleep therapist, your educator, your data specialist, and your coach. Whatever you need along the way, we’re here for you.
Need a CPAP, or want to learn more? Contact us today for information on how we can help you with your sleep therapy needs.