cpap, cpap, hooray
September 19, 2022 4:18 PM   Subscribe

I am the proud owner of a bouncing baby apap. I got it working and all, but I find myself with a lot of questions relating to how other folks handle it. you are cordially invited to tell me everything!

So I know I'm supposed to wash out the hose every day. What does that look like for you? What cleaning stuff do you use? How do you get it to dry without blasting a fan up it? Do you hang it up on the shower curtain bar, or is that potentially an issue because of proximity to a toilet? if there are some droplets left in it when you're getting ready for bed, is that okay?

Replacing water every day. Do y'all keep a turkey baster to get the water out, or do you unplug it, take it to the bathroom, dump the water, and let it air dry? Mix in some white vinegar and let it sit first?

If you have any bad cpap habits, how are those working for you? Sometimes I don't brush my teeth every night because mental illness. How much can I reasonably slack on cpap hygiene before inviting disaster? (I'm not intending to be terrible at it, just want to understand a safety margin (with a YMMV obviously) because it will be used.)

What about accessory replacements? Should I try to stick really closely to the schedule for each part?

Basically: tell me everything. You wake up, you manage your cpap. You prepare for bed, you manage your cpap. You have experiences adjusting to using it, I want to hear those too. I'm really looking for... all of the word of mouth, friends and family details to help make this make sense in my life. I'm really looking forward to feeling better. TIA!
posted by snerson to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Wash it every day? Try every week, if not longer. Refresh the humidity tank when it gets to a third full. A few drops left in the hose make no difference. Use distilled water in the tank; I haven’t seen any need for a vinegar solution yet.

I haven’t bought any replacement parts since I got the thing (Resmed Airsense 10) about a year ago. There’s no reason to if you don’t have any cracks, leaks, etc. CPAP replacements and supplies are a way of separating you from your money. Replace them when you think they need replacing.

It will take some time to get used to. I’m still taking 5mg of Ambien to force me to fall asleep with it on, and it’s still rare for me to keep it on more than 4 hours a night… I usually take it off without even waking up to know I’ve done so, even though the mask is comfortable and I almost can’t imagine trying to sleep without it.

Good luck! It’s a journey; be patient with yourself.
posted by lhauser at 5:01 PM on September 19, 2022 [6 favorites]

No vinegar! That will erode your gaskets. Do dump the water every day and let it air dry. You really don’t want to have something that pushes air into your lungs growing anything.
posted by Bottlecap at 5:14 PM on September 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

I stopped filling the reservoir with water and didn't notice any ill effects. I prefer this to worrying about whether my reservoir is clean enough (because no, I didn't dump the water out every night...).

I've had mine for long enough that I have extra hoses from getting my cpap supplies restocked. I swap out the hose on the machine for a clean one, then wash the used one in soapy water (usually Dr. Bronners liquid peppermint soap), rinse it well, and hang it over the shower curtain rod to dry. I swap out the hose when a) it starts smelling a little funky, or b) I realize it's been a week or so. If I were a perfect person, I'd try to rinse the hose every night, but I accept that I'm just not perfect.
posted by theotherdurassister at 5:20 PM on September 19, 2022

I will be honest and say I don't think I have ever washed the hose. Ever. I replace the hose every 3 months or so. I often wake up with water in the tube. I let it run out and then hang it over the headboard of my bed. Distilled water. My insurance sends me new supplies for free either every quarter or every six months. I replace the nose pad thingy. I just top off the water every night. I rarely dump the remainder. I guess if I saw an impurity or a floater I would dump it. About every six months I do take the time to use some q-tips and clean off the mold (?) or brown stuff that starts to accumulate in the corner of the water tank. Comes off easily.

I have had a cpap for about a decade or more. Never had any issues with my habits. I wear mine on average 5:50 per night (about 6 hours). I don't feel refreshed after wearing it, but I do feel like shit if I don't wear it. So, I wear it every night when I am home. I do not travel with it or with a travel unit. I do empty the water if I am going to be gone for more than a night.

I do all my managing of my cpap at night before bed. I fill the tank. That is pretty much it. When I wake up, I hang the head gear and the tube over the headboard.

For some reason, I do focus on the filter at the air intake on mine. I change that often because it starts out lilly white and turns dark grey quickly.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:23 PM on September 19, 2022

Allow me to introduce you to Tell Me No Lies’s House of Slovenly CPAP Use.

For whatever reason in both humid and dry climates I’ve never needed the humidifier so I don’t use it. It makes maintenance infinitely easier as I only worry about the mask on a regular basis. Very occasionally I change the air filter or run water through the hose (on which point, having it still have some drops of water when you go to bed is not a problem).

The mask I hand scrub once every month maybe, if I remember. Theoretically you’re supposed to change out the mask a lot more often than I do. I tend to wait until I’m getting noticeable leakage before I bother — I don’t have insurance covering them so I prefer to make them last.

One of the first things I did was learn how to read the data that is stored. Whenever I get feeling extra tired during the day I check it out and see if there have been recent changes in my pressure flow. Twice in the last twenty three years I’ve caught the device misbehaving, but it just needed to be power-cycled.

I love my CPAP and the only time I don’t use it is when I don’t have power, but the sort of meticulous daily maintenance that is suggested has been unnecessary for me. If I used the humidifier I would be more cautious — probably clean things once a week if I know me.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:36 PM on September 19, 2022 [4 favorites]

CPAP user for 2.5 years. I check my cpap filter once a month. If it looks dirty I change it. It usually does. I rinse the long term filter at the same time I check the other one. I don't use the water tank because I hate humid air, so that's not an issue for me. I never wash the hose--I just change it once every few months. I tried washing the hose once and it was annoying and took forever to dry, so I never did it again. I wash the fabric & velcro mask straps when they start looking grungy. I swap out the mask when it stops fitting well--otherwise I just give it a rinse when it looks funky.

I haven't yet gotten sick while being a CPAP user but my plan is to swap out the mask (I have dozens for some reason) and clean the hose thoroughly upon recovering. The only other thing I am really careful about my skin products--I make sure everything is soaked into my face before putting on my mask and I avoid using petrolatum around my nose or lips because I don't want to break down the mask materials.

My CPAP routine is as follows: The first of the month I check my filters. Everything else happens when I notice it. I give my CPAP a once over after I take it off in the morning and do whatever needs to happen--rinse the nasal pillows, toss the fabric straps in a bowl to soak in some oxy clean for 20 minutes while I get ready, etc. etc. Most of the time I do nothing but sling the hose and mask haphazardly over the top of the machine on the little bed shelfie I use to hold the machine.
posted by MagnificentVacuum at 5:43 PM on September 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

Whatever you do, don't buy an ozone-generating CPAP cleaner. They are damaging to the device, and not needed.

I don't ever clean the hose. I don't understand this idea of cleaning it every day. Mine stays clean, I check it to make sure. I have a heated hose to prevent rainout (which is a very disagreeable experience in which moisture condenses in the tube and then lands in your nose when you turn over at night). My supplier sends me a new hose every three or six months, I don't remember. My machine runs air through it for a few minutes after I disconnect it, to dry the hose. It's a great setup. As long as I replace my hose as recommended, I don't ever see any dirt or mold or anything. I get two new nasal pillows a month, new headgear every six months. I'm not a very oily person, so it doesn't get grimy. The headgear straps do get stretched out by the time I get a new one. My filters never get visibly dirty; I replace them frequently only because the supplier sends them to me, and my insurance covers it.

I pull the humidifier tank out every night and add distilled water to it; I don't always dump out what's left from the day before, and it never grows mold or anything. I understand not everyone is that lucky, and dumping out what's left in the morning so it can dry all day is a good idea. Vinegar is not needed if you use distilled water to prevent hard water encrustations. The humidifier keeps my nose from getting dried out and painful, so it's very important to me. I go through at least a gallon of distilled water every month. It costs a dollar a gallon.

Do you ever get power outages, from hurricanes or snowstorms? I have a deep-cycle marine battery, looks like a car battery but is much more suitable, with an inverter to plug my machine into it. I have used it only a few nights, but it was worth a lot to me to have it on those occasions.

Do you travel by air? DO NOT EVER CHECK YOUR CPAP! Carry it on the plane, and it will not count toward your limit of how many bags you carry on.

If you catch a cold and your nose gets completely clogged, you can't use the CPAP. I keep a nasal spray decongestant on hand in case things get desperate, sealed in its box for maximum shelf life. Don't use it for more than three days because you can become horribly addicted to it, but it's okay for just the acute stage of a cold.
posted by metonym at 5:54 PM on September 19, 2022 [3 favorites]

I'm lazy on CPAP cleaning and supply replacement, and it hasn't caused a problem in the 12+ years I've used it. I replace supplies probably half as often (use twice as long) as insurance covers, and clean things rarely (mask) to never (hose). Do what makes sense to you, and don't get stressed. It's really not a critical issue.

For in-depth community knowledge from a large number of CPAP users, check out
posted by Snerd at 6:26 PM on September 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

If you catch a cold and your nose gets completely clogged, you can't use the CPAP.

I find that if I can get even the tiniest bit of air through it’s worth trying out the CPAP that night. The pressure and drier air often open up my sinuses the rest of the way and give me a good night’s rest.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:40 PM on September 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

I wash the hose....annually?

I was the mask daily.

I rinse the water tub daily. (But we have gross water here and this reddish stuff appears after a few days. Barf.)

I replace the mask "cushion" every few months and the head strap like once a year when it gets all stretched out and yucky.

Clean out the air filter every month or so if your machine sits on hardwood floors and collects dust.

Use the Oscar software to read your SD card, and join the online communities if you have questions. Your DME dealer has no idea how it works and cannot answer questions; same for your doctor, probably.

If your electrical power is dodgy, see about a UPS. Get on with a DC plug and buy the car adapter. You can also buy artery packs if you want to camp.

It takes some time to get used to, and parts of it you might never get used to. Be patient with yourself!!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:50 PM on September 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

If you live somewhere cold, get a fleece sleeve to go over your tube -- this should help prevent condensation in the line, called "rainout" by folks like me, who are woken up by bubbling.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:52 PM on September 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

Is your chosen mask the "nasal pillows" kind? If yes then here let me help you avoid some pain:

At bedtime put Vaseline inside your nose. INSIDE. not on the ring of the nostril, but inside where the edges of the pillows can rub up against your nasal tissues and cause OUCH. I sure wish I'd listened to the tech who told me to do this, but which I ignored. I still have a scar inside one nostril. Not kidding.

Remember, INSIDE. Do not try to lube the edge of the nostril to ease insertion of the pillow. if you do that, it'll slide in and out all night (because Vaseline) and you'll wake up to adjust the mask and then what the hell are you using a CPAP for? But at the points inside your nose where the thing contacts nasal tissue, put a wee bit of Vaseline there. Srsly, you only need a wee bit. But it is so, so much better than none.

As for cleaning the parts..... hahahaha. Yeah that's on my list. Always on my list. I do get the full allotment of replacements whenever I'm offered/eligible, but honestly if I rinsed the tank more, it would last a year or more. Oh, I don't use distilled water any more, I used Brita-filtered. probably the wrong thing to do but this brain sure ain't gonna remember to get distilled water.

Last: I get the headband with the mask assembly (Brevida) from F&P. I feel like those headbands are becoming of increasingly poor quality over time. As in, they stretch and become looser way more quickly or frequently than they used to when I first started using them -- same exact make and model -- many years ago. Sharing this only to let you know that if you find yourself having to adjust the thing more than you'd expect, or if it feels flimsy, it's not you, you're not crazy. Oh, reminds me of last thing: I have repeatedly had the experience where I have tightened the band in order to get the mask to fit more snugly, only to wake up with it not fitting well, and bothering me (into wakefulness). I think I've come to the conclusion that *almost loose* is better than *slightly tight*.

Sweet Dreams!!
posted by armoir from antproof case at 7:03 PM on September 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

An add on to armoir's advice: when I first acquired my ResMed AirSense 10 CPAP, the nasal pillow REALLY hurt. Going down one size has completely eliminated that problem. There were three sizes in the initial package, I believe, S, M, & L, but buying an XS was a great choice for me.
posted by kate4914 at 7:13 PM on September 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm another one who doesn't bother with all the regular cleaning, especially of the hose. I started out cleaning everything all the time, but honestly, it's a pain, and I'm going on 15 years with it now and am just over it. I have a full face mask and sleep with it all night every night.

I use distilled water and just add to the tank every night without dumping the old water, unless I see something floating in the water (generally cat hair, sigh). If something's floating, I clean and air dry the tank; if I have to use tap water for some reason, I definitely clean and air dry the tank.

I keep bottles of CPAP wipes around to do a quick cleanup of the face mask in the morning, which is generally sufficient. I swap out the mask every few months, or when it stops feeling right or sealing correctly.

The one piece I pay most attention to is the air filter - the fine filter gets grody faster than you'd think, and if you have your windows open, it's even faster. Even so, I'm not on a schedule with it; if I notice that the air I'm breathing is starting to have a smell, I check the filter and 95% of the time it needs to be changed. The other 5% of the time I harrumph a bit and swap out the hose for one of my spares.

I order a new set of supplies every 6-12 months, when I'm tired of deleting the voicemails from the supply company. This satisfies my prepper urge to have extra supplies on hand in case I lose my job or whatever, because I'm not giving up my CPAP. If you get yours free-ish, there's no reason not to stock up if you have room; if you have a high deductible like mine, dial that way back.

The fleece sleeve for the hose is awesome (I call it a hose cozy) - I got it to keep my kitten from biting holes in my hose a decade ago, at which is it very effective! I don't get a lot of rainout, either, and I don't have cold plastic draped across me, which is a definite plus.

I use the CPAP when I have a cold or allergies with no real problem. It's particularly good with allergies, IMO - slightly warm, damp air moving through my nose does a good job of keeping things clear, and in the winter with the humidified air I'm less likely to get the sort of stuffiness that is actually just dried out, swollen nasal passages.

Anyway. Use distilled water, wash or wipe the mask every couple of days, change the filter and possibly the hose if things start to smell odd. And order more supplies before you need them, so you're not sitting there desperate for a new mask and having to wait.
posted by current resident at 7:33 PM on September 19, 2022 [3 favorites]

Joining in on the "I don't wash the hose" (I do use distilled water in the humidifier, but my take is that the thing is running distilled water, filtered air, and from a closed container, we're starting with reasonably clean here in terms of the hose.) I keep an eye out for anything visible or weird smells, but don't fuss about it otherwise. I replace the headgear when it stretches out.

I have a nasal pillow mask, and I do sometimes get skin irritation and crusty bits around the edge of my nostrils. I feel these more than see them, so when I feel them (or generally think I need to) I run a pre-moistened CPAP wipe and clean them, and have a place by my bed where I can stash the old wipes until I dump them in the trash.

I do like to keep a complete set of replacements on hand - I have had one weird time when the humidifier failed damply, and one where the hose failed (in going on 4 years) and having a replacement on hand.)

In general, stuff that helped:
- Gently using medical tape to tape my mouth shut until I retrained myself not to breathe through my mouth (tolerance varies here, but it helped a lot - did it for a few weeks at the start, then stopped. Doing it again right now because waking up with a super dry mouth is not fun.)

- Lanolin for irritation on the inside of my nostrils. (I prefer this to vaseline.)

- A flannel cover for my hose (means snuggling plastic is not a weird texture in the middle of the night

- Fleece covers for the cheek pieces on my head gear (less impressions on my face in the morning.)

- Playing with the size of nasal pillows (mostly I'm a medium, every so often I have to swap a S in for a few days because I've got an irritation somewhere.)
posted by jenettsilver at 7:36 PM on September 19, 2022

Nthing the never-wash-the-hose plan. I've been CPAP'ing for 5 years and never in that time have I washed the hose. My washing schedule:

- Nasal pillows: 2-3x/week, just soap and warm water by hand in the sink
- Head strap: once a week, in the regular wash with my clothes. The heat in the dryer tightens the strap back up a bit for a while (that effect doesn't last forever, but it does happen)
- Reservoir: when it gets crusty (about once every two weeks), I throw it in the dishwasher (top shelf) and it comes out looking brand new. I don't change the water every night, but I do fill it up to the FILL HERE line every night.

That's it!

I use Aquaphor for nasal irritation, which isn't a regular thing for me - I maybe need it once every couple weeks or so, or if I go a few extra days without washing the nasal pillows.

The other tip that I was given once that I love: even if you get one free/with copay every few months, buy extra head straps and rotate them every week. I own four and they all last about a year if I change them out weekly. Don't buy knockoffs, buy the real thing, but it's worth doing just to extend the life of your straps.

Otherwise, yeah, stick as close to the schedule as possible for accessory replacement - particularly filters. I'm not sure what your insurance (if you are using insurance for this) looks like, but my provider works with a supplier that lets me set reminders, or for certain parts automatically reminds me based on last order date, when it's time to re-order, and that's been super helpful.
posted by pdb at 8:56 PM on September 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

For the record, I use sink water in my tank -- which, in this house tastes like "hose water" -- because...distilled water? Really, in this economy?
posted by wenestvedt at 5:46 AM on September 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

When you do choose to wash your hose, take it out in the back yard and swing it around your head, stretched out full length, to dry it out.

This makes a delightfully spooky noise, like a bullroarer, so you can pretend it's a solemn ritual to the god of sleep, and not some dumb, boring chore you gotta do.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:51 AM on September 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

Most important thing: get comfortable with the machine so you can use it every night. A lot of people have a hard time getting used to CPAP. But if you can, it very likely will be a huge help.

Like everyone says, you can be sloppy on the cleaning regimen. But don't ignore it; you definitely don't want to be breathing mold. I focus on cleaning the mask itself. The parts in contact with my face get oily and sometimes breathing out / drooling all night makes the mask gross.

Water / etc left behind in the hose is not a big deal but if you accidentally breathe in a drop it's uncomfortable. The "mask fit" mode on the CPAP is useful for blowing out water. I never get it fully dry after washing the hose and it's OK. The risk of breathing stuff in is a big part of why vinegar, bleach, etc is not recommended.

The #1 thing you can do for yourself is find a mask style that you like. Resmed now has 12 masks but really only the nine with 20 or 30 in the name are new. And those are three groups of three: full face, nasal mask, and nasal pillow. I use the F30i, the hose coming out the top of your head is an improvement.

Tap water is OK; it's being distilled when you breathe it, so it's not a health issue. But tap water will leave residue behind in the tank you need to clean out. Distilled water won't.

Seconding wenestvedt's recommendation to get a cover for the hose. There's a bunch on Etsy. I'm not sure keeping the hose warm really matters so much if you have a heated hose. But it also cuts down on the noise if the hose rubs against the bed.

Last advice: do try to brush your teeth every night if you can, particularly if you're using a full face mask. One risk with CPAP is it can dry out your mouth at night, which leaves your teeth more susceptible to decay. You said that's a challenge for you, don't stress about it, but it's a good idea.
posted by Nelson at 7:39 AM on September 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have a resmed machine. It uses a heated hose to prevent rain-out, and also runs a tiny flow of air through after shutting it off to keep it dry after use. I have never needed to wash out the hose.

The humidifier/water container on mine is detachable. I usually dump out the previous nights water when I am getting ready for bed. I use tap water. Ours is really hard, so every week or two on the weekend I need to do some descaling. This consists of pouring 'a splash' of vinegar in and filling to "max" with hot water and letting it sit for an hour or two. I have some small bottle brushes I bought as part of an assortment from amazon that helps get the scale loose, but the vinegar does most of the work. You can also use citric acid if you have it, which is a little milder on seals (it's used in a lot of coffee maker descaling solutions). Once I tried CLR, but it really wasn't any faster than vinegar, and was more expensive.

I use a nasal mask. I clean that and the silicone frame with (Dawn) dish soap once a week because they get oily. The frames have been replaced on the schedule from my equipment provider because they get stretched out and cause leaks.

one tip: Tighter is not necessarily better for reducing leaks. you want the straps just tight enough to stop leaks, which might feel too loose at first.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:22 AM on September 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

I don't wash the hose daily (or at all, really; I just swap it out for new ones on schedule) but when I used to, I would soak it in soapy water for a while and just hang it up on a hook or our dishrack to dry. Once in a while there would still be a little bit of water in it at bedtime that would make a sort of rattling noise; I found that just blasting air through the mask for a few seconds while it wasn't attached to my face would usually clear it out enough to be fine.

I only use the humidifier in the winter, and then I fill it partway and don't fuss about whether that water goes two or three days, and whenever I notice it's empty I refill and carry on.

I use a cloth liner over the mask itself, mostly because I find it cuts down on leaks, but it also means I don't have to wipe down the face-touching parts of the mask so much because they're not actually touching my face. I nominally swap out the liner weekly and wipe the inside of the mask down while I'm at it, but some weeks I don't get around to it and that's fine too.

I get the supplies on whatever schedule the medical supply house sends them. I haven't found that a hose cover makes any difference to me but I know some people swear by it. My backup battery has let me sleep peacefully through a few power outages.

If you travel enough, a travel CPAP might be worth thinking about at some point. They're less bulky to haul around on the road, which is nice. (On the downside, they're louder, or at least the one I have is, maybe the more recent versions have improved - but if I'm travelling I'm sleeping alone so it doesn't really matter for my purposes.)
posted by Stacey at 8:51 AM on September 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Long time CPAP user. You're being proactive about this, which is good. There can be a lot of adjusting to CPAP so the more you know in advance, the better. Remember that one size does not fit all. Some tips just didn't work for me. The key is to keep trying different things until you find what's right.

Nthing that the intake air filter is important to replace regularly. How regularly depends on how dusty/smoky your environment is. You do not want to have the filter so clogged that it reduces air intake. Bad for your lungs, hard on the motor, reduces the life of the unit. As soon as you see a buildup of grey, swap it out. (TIP: Check non-Amazon sites for the air filters, e.g., If you're having trouble finding ones exactly the size for your machine, buy bigger and cut them down to size.)

I keep the silicone seals on the mask clean with a bar of laundry soap that has lasted five years so far. A tiny bit on the fingers is enough to get rid of the oils on the seals. The first year I had CPAP I did not do this, and had flareups on my skin. Laundry soap was chosen because it has no additives or perfumes that might break down the silicone. Masks last longer when cleaned regularly.

I wash the hose every other week with heavily diluted Dr. Bronner's soap. No additives, won't break down the seals. True, it's not likely to be a place where bacteria grow, but I've found hoses last longer when I do this. Hose covers prevent condensation, especially if your setup has the hose close to a cold outside wall. Not fun waking up to a gurgling hose pushing water droplets at you.

If you use the humidifier, Clean. The. Tank. Every two weeks, at least. It doesn't take long for mold to grow there. If you ever see reddish buildup in the corners or seams, you've got growth. It is Not Good to be breathing that in. Again, a bit of laundry soap does the trick. Take the reservoir out, dump the water, and use an old toothbrush with a bit of soap to scrub its surfaces. Get into all the corners. For the twisty hose openings, coat your pinky finger and rub as much of the insides as you can reach. Rinse well. (TIP: An electric toothbrush makes all of this super fast to do.)

If you have reflux or find that the added air pressure is giving you heartburn, elevate the head of your bed. Or make a pillow pile that props up your whole torso. This will save you a lot of frustration and discomfort.

The province I'm in no longer pays for supplies, so I'm motivated to give everything a longer life. Maintenance pays off and keeps you healthier.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:31 AM on September 20, 2022

Forgot to add: Quick hose cleaning method; takes two minutes. Grab each hose end, run under the tap for a few seconds, add a few drops of diluted Dr. Bronner soap, slosh back and forth for a minute, then empty and rinse. Hang over the shower rod to drip dry.

Hoses last a good long time. Longer than masks if cared for. Only replace when damaged or discolored. Don't try to repair cracks; it just creates places where nasty stuff can accumulate.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:54 AM on September 20, 2022

20 year user here. I rarely clean my hose. Never have used the water tank. I would suggest that you try going without the tank and see if you get dry mouth problems. If not forget the tank, it is a pain to use - my wife uses one and it takes a lot of care. Two tips here: if you have problems with leaks around the mask, wash the cushion and your face before bed - oil can build up on your face during the day causing leaks. I find that this happens more at certain times of the year. Regarding air travel, definitely take you cpap on board with you. Medical equipment does not count as take-on luggage and rides for free. Good luck, and give yourself a couple of weeks to get used to the thing, your body will adjust and will sleep great.
posted by charlesminus at 10:22 AM on September 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

The complement to knowing that there are a lot of tips is, you also just have to wear the damned thing for like three weeks to Get Used To It. Mulish persistence outweighs technique in the first few weeks.

Later on you can refine things, but for now just strap the machine to your head each night and hit the hay.

If, like me, you wear a full-face mask and have a fairly narrow head, you might have trouble with air leaking out around the mask cushion. The fabric mask liners (which someone else mentioned upthread) really do help, though some nights even scraps of tissue worked. One manufacturer is RemZZZs, and I think they even send out a sample pack if you want to try them. (Or, you know, you can cut up a few old t-shirts yourself. *shrug*)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:16 PM on September 20, 2022

charlesminus: Regarding air travel, definitely take you cpap on board with you. Medical equipment does not count as take-on luggage and rides for free.

Look around the airport next time you fly, and you will see the small, soft-sided, gray travel-cases of ResMed AirSenses all over the place.

posted by wenestvedt at 12:17 PM on September 20, 2022 [7 favorites]

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