Sleep Therapy FAQ's
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition In which the patient's breathing passage doses during sleep. This causes the patient to stop breathing. The word Apnea is Greek for "without breath." The body then responds to the lack of oxygen by arousing or awakening the patient from sleep. This causes the patient to be unable to get restful sleep which leads to constant fatigue, difficulty focusing, irritability, etc.
If Sleep Apnea goes untreated, it can be fatal and often results in heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
How does CPAP therapy help?
A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine provides a constant airflow that keeps the airway open so that uninterrupted breathing is maintained during sleep. This helps to eliminate sleep apenas which, in turn, allows the patient to get a night of restful sleep. Click here for more info.
What is the difference between CPAP and BiPAP therapy?
A CPAP machine provides one constant airflow pressure. A BiPAP machine alternates blowing two set pressures: a higher pressure for inhalation and a lower pressure for exhalation.
How do I change the pressure setting of my CPAP/BiPAP?
When a physician orders a pressure change, you may bring your CPAP/BiPAP unit, along with the physician's prescription, to any Monitor Medical location, and the technician will change the pressure setting on your machine.
What is a nasal mask?
A nasal mask seals around the entire nose and is held in place with straps, or headgear.
What is a full face mask?
A full face mask seals around both the nose and mouth and is held in place with straps, or headgear.
If you are a mouth breather, this mask is a good choice. Some people have the tendency to open their mouth, unknowingly, during sleep. This allows the treatment pressure blowing through the nose, via a nasal mask, to escape. CPAP therapy is then ineffective as the pressure intended to hold the airway open, instead flows out of the patient's mouth. The full face mask equalizes pressure between the nose and mouth allowing the patient to receive the proper treatment pressure at all times. Patients with nasal blockage from the common cold or those who have nasal congestion due to illness or allergies may also benefit from a full face mask.
What is a nasal pillow mask?
A nasal pillow mask seals against the outside edge of each nostril rather than around the entire nose. The pillows open just into the nostril and form a seal. This mask is helpful for people who sleep on their side or stomach, or for those with facial hair.
How should I clean and care for my mask?
Your mask cushion/pillows should be cleaned daily with a mild, non-antibacterial soap that does not contain lanolin. Low odor white vinegar and water or Woolite soap are good alternatives. Make sure to rinse the cushion/pillows well to eliminate all odors. This helps prevent chafing, reduces the incidence of skin infection, and improves the mask fit.
We also offer a variety of Accessories to help you with your pap therapy. Like the unscented White Wipes or Citrus Kit which can be used to wipe or spray to remove dirt, oils, dust, or other particulate matter, and let it dry for a few seconds!
How often should I replace my mask?
Medicare allows for a mask replacement every 3 months. To see the full replacement schedule click here.
Mask cushions and pillows should be replaced as soon as they start to soften. Air leaks may reduce the effectiveness of CPAP therapy, and headgear that is too tight (tightened to reduce leaks) my cane headaches and sores at pressure points on the face.
For PAP Therapy Tips click here. For more information or to order replacement supplies please, call our Customer Service at (866) 637-0177.