FAQ - CPAP - Medigas Manitoba
My doctor gave me an prescription for oxygen, what do I do now?
Your first step is to call Medigas and make an appointment. You can either come to the office or we can visit your home. Based on your Rx, you will be instructed on the safe use on an appropriate delivery system.
What is a Home Sleep Study?
An HSS or Level 3 study is a diagnostic test for Obstructive Sleep Apnea that is done in your home. To have this test performed, we require a requisition (we provide this) from your doctor. We will call you for an appointment in our office and shown how to apply the equipment. At home you will perform the overnight test. This device is returned to our office the next day for downloading. The results are interpreted by a sleep physician and your doctor will receive a copy of the interpretation. Based on the results and interpretation, you may require CPAP.
What is CPAP?
CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP is commonly used to treat sleep disorders, i.e., Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It is applied by using a mask, such as a nasal mask. The amount of pressure is determined by your sleep study or auto-titrating CPAP trial.
When should I start feeling better after beginning to use my CPAP device?
Most patients begin feeling better within two to four weeks, though some people may take a little longer.
I have a mustache or a beard. Which mask is best to use?
Ask your homecare provider which mask will work best for you.
What if I still snore while using the CPAP device?
Snoring while on CPAP should not occur. If it does, contact your doctor. Your pressure level may need to be adjusted.
What if I lose or gain weight or my old symptoms reappear?
You may need to have your CPAP pressure level adjusted. Contact your doctor.
As I continue to use my CPAP device on a regular basis, will my medications need to be adjusted?
You should consult your doctor regarding this topic.
If I need to be hospitalized for any reason, should I take my device with me and use it at night?
Yes. Also, if you are having surgery, it is important to tell the surgeon and the anesthetist that you are using CPAP at home. You should also inform the doctor treating you for sleep apnea that you are going into the hospital.
I travel frequently. Should I use my CPAP device when I travel?
- It is important that you use your CPAP every night. Purchasing travel accessories will make it more convenient for you to travel.
- Because of increased security measures at airports, it may be easier to travel if you have a copy of your prescription for your CPAP machine with you. It also is suggested that you call your airline ahead of time and ask if there is a special screening procedure required to carry on or check your CPAP device.
My skin seems irritated, even bruised, or I have marks on my face
- Your mask may be too tight. If your mask has a forehead arm or adjustment feature try readjusting that first. Then, if necessary, readjust the headgear straps.
- You may have the wrong mask size. Consult your homecare provider for a mask fitting. Nasal pillow or a full-face mask may provide a better fit.
How can I tell when my mask is worn out?
- Because masks are disposable, periodic replacement is needed when the mask shows signs of wear and tear.
- Inspect your mask for stiffness, cracks or tears.
My mask seems to be leaking
- It is normal for a mask to leak near the connection of the tubing. If a mask leak is occurring around your eyes or mouth, follow these steps to fix it:
- Check all the connections
- If your mask has a forehead arm or adjustment feature, try readjusting that first to correct the leak.
- If there is no improvement with the above steps, readjust the headgear straps. The mask should be as loose as possible while still creating a seal. A mask that is too tight against the face can cause leaks to occur by creating folds in the material.
- Try another mask size or type if necessary.
My mask seems to be dirty
- Wash your mask daily.
- Wash your face nightly before putting on the mask.
- Avoid using skin lotions before putting on your mask.
It doesn’t seem as though enough air is flowing to me
- Check that air from the machine is blowing.
- Check the air inlet and filter for obstruction or dust buildup.
- Check the hose for punctures.
- If you are still having problems, check with your homecare provider or doctor for assistance.
My nose and throat are dry, my nose is congested, or I have nosebleeds
- Try adding humidification. (You will need to ask your doctor for a prescription). You may change the temperature setting on the humidifier if you are using a heated humidifier.
- This condition may improve over time.
- Consult your doctor if symptoms persist.
My mouth is dry
- You may be sleeping with your mouth open. Try a chin strap.
- If a chin strap is not helpful, a full-face mask may be considered or you should consult with your doctor about added heated humidification.
My eyes are sore, dry, irritated, or swollen
- The mask may be leaking into your eyes. Use the forehead adjustor, if applicable, to reduce leaks. Try pulling the mask away from your face and repositioning it.
- The mask may be too tight. Readjust headgear straps.
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.
I have trouble falling asleep on my therapy or I feel uncomfortable when I first apply the air pressure at night
- Ask your provider if your CPAP therapy has a ramp feature. If so, use it to slowly rise to your prescribed pressure setting.
I feel gassy and bloated when I wake up in the morning
- Try sleeping with your head elevated.
- Try using a chin strap to prevent mouth breathing.
- This condition may improve over time.
- You may benefit from a comfort feature, such as flex pressure relief technology or auto adjust bi-level therapy, which may lower the risk of that gassy or bloated feeling.
It is hard to breathe out against the constant air flow
- This sensation may improve over time as you adapt to positive airway pressure therapy.
- Ask your physician about comfort features, such as pressure relief technology or bi-level therapy, which makes it easier to breathe out against pressure.
My machine does not seem to be working
- Check the power cord to be sure it is firmly inserted into the back of the machine and the electrical outlet.
- Contact your homecare provider if you have any problems you are unable to correct; do not attempt to repair the bower unit yourself.
I just can’t seem to adjust to using CPAP
- Most people will adjust to CPAP in two to four weeks. Occasionally, it may take a little longer due to changing your behavior and becoming comfortable with the device while you sleep, or readjusting your body to having a normal sleep pattern versus your previous pattern.
- Call your homecare provider or prescribing physician if you are having problems adjusting to the treatment.
- Ask your homecare provider or doctor if you are eligible to try bi-level or auto-CPAP therapy, which are available.