Sleep Apnea Therapy
Sleep Apnea Therapy
Introduced over 30 years ago as the only non-surgical treatment for OSA, PAP devices have become smaller, quieter and provide many more features to enhance compliance. Referred to as the gold standard since its introduction, PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) is the most common and effective method of sleep apnea treatment. PAP devices have multiple components; to use the device, a small comfortable mask or nasal pillows are fitted over the nose leaving the mouth uncovered. Patients must sleep with their mouths closed, aided by a chin strap or a full face mask that covers both the nose and mouth, while the device gently blows air into the nose at a pressure slightly higher than the surrounding air pressure. The first form of PAP therapy was CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and when introduced these devices were bulky and awkward.
Today, PAP devices are smaller, quieter, and more comfortable. While there were once only two types of masks to choose from, today there are 40, meaning with proper assistance patients are sure to find a mask that fits comfortably and securely on their faces, one of our main priorities is to match patients with appropriate PAP devices and masks. We provide each patient with an advanced featured Auto PAP device that can be set to CPAP mode but is more comfortable in the Auto mode where it responds to snoring and flow limitation on a breath by breath basis to treat a majority of the forms of obstructive sleep apnea. We offer a 30-day guarantee on all masks.
CPAP “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”. CPAP has been proven to be the most effective treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. A CPAP machine will blow a steady, single fixed pressure of air that keeps obstruction from causing apnea events. An Auto CPAP is set to have a range of pressures with a minimal pressure and a maximum pressure that will fluctuate. Your doctor will determine your CPAP pressures after a Sleep Study is completed. The purpose of the CPAP machine is to eliminate your sleep disordered breathing events.
One of the most important components of CPAP therapy is finding the proper CPAP mask. Our trained sleep technician will show you a variety of options to make sure you feel comfortable and feel the benefit of your CPAP therapy.
Auto CPAP is set to have a range of pressures with a minimal pressure and a maximum pressure that will fluctuate. Your doctor will determine your CPAP pressures after a Sleep Study is completed.
BiLevel is a positive pressure airway device that offers two separate pressure settings. The first pressure is the inspiratory pressure and the other is called the expiratory pressure.
ASV “Adaptive Servo Ventilation”. This type of device is a non-invasive ventilator treatment option created specifically for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
One of the most important components of PAP therapy is finding the proper mask. Our trained CPAP specialist will show you a variety of options to make sure you feel comfortable to feel the benefit of your PAP therapy. Guardian Sleep Medical offers a 30 day mask exchange program to help make sure you are comfortable and compliant with your therapy.
When Should I Replace My CPAP?
It may seem wasteful to replace your CPAP supplies when the equipment looks perfectly fine, but new equipment helps keep the device clean and functioning at its best. How often should you replace your CPAP supplies? Though this may be determined in part by your insurance company, there are some general guidelines that can be followed.
Guardian Sleep Medical will keep you on schedule for replacement of your supplies. It is recommended that you replace the parts as often as insurance is willing to pay for these replacements. However, in your effort to become a well-informed patient, it is also important to understand the anticipated lifespan of your equipment and how often certain items need to be replaced.
If you use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel to treat your sleep apnea, you may need to replace:
- The mask
- Tubing (heated or standard)
- Filters (disposable or reusable)
- Humidifier water chamber
- CPAP device
If you are in need of ordering supplies, call (877) 507-9599
Your CPAP Mask
Replace your mask every 3 months.
The mask is the harder plastic portion of your interface. Replace the softer plastic cushion insert or pillows that actually touch your skin more often.
Your CPAP Mask Cushion and Pillows
Replace the mask cushion or nasal pillows as often as 2 times per month.
This is the part of the mask that actually touches your face. If it is a piece you can separate from the rest of the mask’s harder plastic framework, chances are you will replace it independently. If you have a full-face mask, plan to replace this cushion once per month.
Your CPAP Headgear
In general, replace headgear every 6 months.
Neoprene is the stretchy material that helps to accommodate the shape of your head to ensure an optimal mask. As it repeatedly stretches, it may start to give too much and not keep a proper seal. In addition, oils from your skin or hair may also accumulate. If the headgear appears discolored or no longer holds a seal, it is time to replace it.
Your CPAP Chinstrap
Replace your chinstrap every 6 months.
Much like the headgear that keeps the CPAP mask in place, a chinstrap may gradually weaken and become overly stretched. The Velcro may also become less effective over time.
Your CPAP Tubing
Replace CPAP tubing, whether it is heated or standard, every 3 months.
Tubing gets dirty over time, with condensation increasing the risk of contaminants that could enter your lungs. Small holes that form as the plastic of the tubing breaks down reduces the treatment’s efficacy.
Your CPAP Filters
Your CPAP machine may have two types of filters, both of which require regular replacement. Keeping these relatively inexpensive components as clean as possible will ensure the purity of the air you breathe as well as the long-term functionality of your device.
The older Respironics machines have a gray foam filter you should rinse often and replace every 6 months. Beneath it, there is a white paper filter you replace every 2 weeks. The newer DreamStation has two integrated filters that can be replaced with this same frequency.
The ResMed AirSense™ machines have a white-colored filter you replace every 2 weeks.
Your CPAP Humidifier Water Chamber
Replace the water tank that functions as the humidifier every 6 months.
If your CPAP has an integrated or attached heated humidifier, clean and occasionally replace the water chamber. Not using distilled water may lead to further problems with keeping the water reservoir clean.
Your CPAP or Bilevel Device
Insurance allows a new CPAP machine every 5 years. If you change insurance or pay out of pocket, you may be able to replace the unit sooner. If there are problems within the first 2 to 3 years, it may be replaced or repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty. A malfunction that occurs between the third and fifth year of use may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by your supplier.
There may be some variability in how often you are eligible for supply replacement, so speak with your durable medical equipment provider, board-certified sleep medicine physician, or insurance company to clarify your schedule as needed.