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Frequently Asked Questions: Equipment

PAP MACHINE

How does PAP work?

PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) is a simple machine that keeps the airway open by maintaining continuous air pressure. It prevents the airway from closing by blowing air in through the nose and into the upper airways. The pressure is applied continuously throughout the night allowing for a more restful night's sleep.

How long will it take for PAP to work?

PAP begins working immediately. Some patients may notice an improvement in their daytime sleepiness and other activities right away. Others may find that it takes a while to get used to PAP and to gain the maximum benefit from it. Most people adjust to PAP in one to two weeks. Occasionally, it may take a little longer. Remember not to give up.

How long do I need to use PAP?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a long-term condition for which there is presently no known cure. PAP therapy will effectively control your sleep apnea as long as you continue to use it. Unless your circumstances change, PAP will need to be used the rest of your life. If you do not, you will return to your previous level of snoring, sleep apnea, and daytime tiredness.

How often should I use my PAP?

PAP is designed to help you in controlling your sleep apnea. You will need to use your treatment anytime you sleep, even when taking a nap. If PAP is not being used, then it is not effective. A few nights without PAP are not likely to cause a problem. However, you should always remember that all symptoms will return if PAP is not used.

Is my PAP equipment able to travel with me?

PAP treatment should not greatly interfere with your lifestyle. Most PAP devices are fully portable so you can take them with you when you travel. The Department of Transportation has noted that the limit of one carry-on bag does not apply to medical supplies and/or devices. It is not advised to check it as luggage as it may be lost or damaged. Some airlines have approved the use of PAP on long haul aircraft; check with your airline before travel.

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.

MASK

Do I have to take off my mask & headgear if I need to get up at night?

No, the best way to ensure that you will continue your therapy when you return to bed is to leave the mask on. Simply disconnect the hose from the PAP while leaving the mask on, and reconnect when you return to bed.

Cleaning & maintenance:

You should regularly carry out the cleaning and maintenance described in the User's Manual for your particular mask type. For hygienic reasons and to ensure proper performance of the equipment, the mask, tubing, and filters should be replaced every 3 months.