Starting and Adjusting to CPAP therapy may seem intimidating and uncomfortable at first. This guide will help prepare you for what to expect and hopefully calm some of your anxiety.
Once your doctor has prescribed a CPAP device, you will be assigned to a home care company that will provide you with a CPAP mask and unit. Unless you have a preference, assignment to a home care company is generally done in rotation, but it also takes into consideration which company or companies accept your insurance plan.
Your home care company will then submit a claim to your insurance company. Once your insurance carrier has approved coverage for CPAP therapy, you will receive a call from your home care company. They will arrange a time for you to come in and get your CPAP unit and supplies. They will also teach you how to use and clean your equipment. Make sure to ask plenty of questions until you understand how to use and take care of your CPAP equipment.
Your CPAP unit will probably be about the size of a tissue box and produce a low level of noise. It should also come with a heated humidifier. Using the humidifier to add warm moisture to the forced air can make CPAP treatment more comfortable. You can adjust the level of humidification until you are most comfortable. You can prevent water condensation by covering the hose.
Your CPAP unit should also have tracking technology like a smartcard or modem. This tracking technology is important for your follow-up CPAP care. Card data can provide a lot of helpful information about how much you are using CPAP and how well it is working for you. Your sleep doctor can use this information to monitor your progress and give you feedback. When you receive your CPAP machine, be sure to have the company representative show you how to insert the smartcard into the CPAP machine.
Adjusting to CPAP Therapy
For most people, it takes some time to get used to sleeping with a CPAP machine. That’s OK! Be patient with yourself. You may not be able to sleep with a CPAP machine for the entire night at first, but most people find that it gets easier over time. The best way to adjust to CPAP is to keep using it every single night. Continue to increase your time on CPAP until you are using it for the entire time you are asleep.
Many people starting CPAP therapy find that they take their mask off in the middle of the night. This usually stops if you continue to put it back on when this happens.
If you are having specific problems with your CPAP therapy and you have already spoken with the DME company and still having issues, please contact the LUNA Sleep Center at 205-917-LUNA to make an appointment with your sleep doctor.