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FAQ’S

Here you can find a list of commonly asked questions

General |

General

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)  is an increasingly common medical condition where the muscles in control of your upper airways relax too much during sleep. This leads to narrowing and sometimes, complete closure of your airways blocking off oxygen to your lungs for up to 2 minutes. To overcome this, your brain will “wake” to kick start our normal breathing. This can occur upwards of 30 times an hour and the resulting restless sleep negatively impacts your alertness and productivity during the day. Left untreated, OSA has been linked to stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression and motor vehicle accidents. 

Fortunately, therapy is available. Though other options exist, CPAP has long been referred to as the ‘gold standard’ of treatment and is effective on a majority of sufferers. Contact your sleep physician or one of our consultants to speak about alternative therapy options. 

What is a CPAP machine and how does it work?

- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy (CPAP) or Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP) uses a machine to help a person suffering from Sleep Apnea breathe easier during sleep. 

- CPAP therapy uses pressurized air to keep a patient's airways from narrowing significantly or closing while asleep. The machine delivers the air via a pump attached to a mask that covers your nose, nostrils, or sometimes the mouth.

- Our consultants will help you choose the mask most suited your face shape and sleeping position to maximise the effectiveness of treatment

What is an Auto CPAP machine?

Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP) machines are a modern alternative to traditional machines. Whilst CPAP machines stay on the same constant pressure through the night, APAPs are able to automatically adjust the pressure to meet your needs based on your breathing patterns, sleep position and which stage of the sleep cycle you are in. The pressure will fluctuate within a present range set by your physician. APAP devices can also be set to a constant pressure so they essentially function as a CPAP machine, if that is your preference.   

What is a BiPAP or VPAP machine?

BiPAP/VPAP/BiLevel machines are all short for BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure. Similar in function and design to APAP machines, the BiLevel is able to produce a different pressure for inspiration as opposed to exhalation. This allows much higher pressures to be prescribed an such are used to treat severe sleep apnea patients and are more expensive than traditional CPAP and APAP devices. 

Who makes CPAP machines?

ResMed, Fisher & Paykel, and Philips Respironics are three of the major manufacturers of CPAP machines. Air Liquide Healthcare stocks the latest equipment and accessories from all 3 companies.

Are CPAP machines covered by Medicare Australia or private health insurance?

-          It’s recommended that you speak with your doctor to determine eligibility for a government funded machine.

-       Many insurance policies will reimburse you for a percentage of your machine and/or mask cost but this will vary based on your insurer and your level of cover.

Do I need a CPAP machine?

If you have already been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), CPAP devices are referred to as the gold-standard treatment option. 

If you are having trouble sleeping at night due to your snoring or waking up feeling exhausted, please consult with your doctor who can make a professional assessment as to whether you need an in-lab or at home sleep study done.

Our studies are conducted by qualified technicians and all reports are reviewed by independent sleep physicians for your peace of mind. 

How can I buy a CPAP machine?

Never used CPAP?

-          To purchase a CPAP machine, you must be able to provide us with a written prescription from a physician or sleep technician. 

-       Most physicians recommend a sleep study to demonstrate that you suffer from Sleep Apnea and require a CPAP machine.

-       Having the study completed by one of our sleep technicians allows a seamless flow from diagnosis to treatment should you need it.

 

Upgrading to a newer model?

Bring in your existing CPAP machine and our consultants can transfer the prescription and comfort settings across to your new machine making the transition a very seamless one. 

Which CPAP machine is best for me?

We stock a wide range of CPAP machines and your choice will be dependent on a number of factors including:

-          Functionality

-          Ease of maintenance

-          Portability

-          Availability of compatible accessories

-          Severity of apneas

-          Automatic or manual pressure adjustment.

Our experienced consultants will be able to talk you through the options to help you choose the correct machine, mask and accessories to best suit your needs. To make an appointment, call us on 1300 360 202

What comes included with my CPAP machine?

All CPAP machines come with the the machine, heated tubing, power supply unit, some filters and a user manual. Most also come with a humidifier and a carry bag for your convenience. 

How do you use a CPAP machine?

The different machines have slightly different methods of setup but the general principles remain the same.

1. Fill the humidification chamber to the maximum water level using distilled or demineralised water.*

2. Connect your heated tubing ensuring a secure connection with no leaks

3. If you are using a chinstrap, put this on first before your mask. Once the mask is on, connect your tubing and you are ready to begin therapy.

4. In the morning, wipe down the soft cushion of your mask, empty out the water chamber and give it a quick rinse.

* In the event that you can not access distilled water, tap water will work but a more rigorous cleaning procedure will be necessary to maintain the equipment.

Are CPAP machines loud?

The latest machines stocked Air Liquide Australia are extremely quiet. Some of the travel machines are slightly louder and can be compared to the white noise levels of an air conditioner allowing you to get a decent night’s sleep. 

Do I need a humidifier with my CPAP machine?

A humidifier allows for an additional comfort setting originally for those experiencing dry mouth when using a CPAP device. Today, most machines come with a humidifier as a part of the initial package and the patient can chose not to use it in order to conserve power. 

How do you clean and maintain a CPAP machine?

Disinfecting your CPAP machine is an essential practice that ensures healthy sleep  with minimal chance of infections. Following the steps below will ensure that your machine is functioning optimally.



Daily:

-       Wipe down the soft silicone component of your mask with ResMed CPAP Mask Wipes or low irritant wet wipes.

-       Empty the water chamber every morning and give it a quick rinse with warm soapy water. Leave it to air dry and it should be ready to use by that night.

Reusing the same water night after night could lead to a buildup of harmful bacteria in the water chamber.



Weekly:

Mask and Tubing

-       All parts of your mask and tubing including the headgear must be hand washed in warm soapy water once a week

-       Ensure the inside of the heated tubing is also targeted by use of a Monacco Slimline Tubing Brush

-       All parts of your mask and tubing should be air dried indoors away from direct sunlight

Humidifier

-       Your humidifier chamber should be dismantled and soaked in diluted vinegar (1 part vinegar to 9 parts water) for a few hours.

-       Scrub the interior of the chamber and any part of the chamber you can reach with a bottle brush or a soft scourer.

Filter

-       Check your filter for dust buildup. Ensure the filter is not rotated when re-inserted into your machine. This could lead to dust and debris  being sucked into your motor.

 



Monthly:

Mask and Tubing

Check the fit of your mask and the shape of your cushion.

-       This can be done by putting the mask on and briefly running the machine. Any hissing noises indicate a leak in the mask or tubing.

Check for leaks from your tubing.

-       This can be done by holding the tubing upright and running soapy water through the length of your tubing. Any point of leakage will be indicated by bubbles/foaming.



Yearly:

Get your machine checked and calibrated by your nearest Air Liquide Healthcare clinician. These are done free of charge for customers who have purchased the machine from us. Book an appointment today by calling your local clinic or contacting us on 1300 360 202.

Can I travel with a CPAP machine?

You should definitely be travelling with your CPAP machine. With the large number of compact machines on the market, travelling with your device has never been easier. Many machines now run on 12, 110 and 120 volt power sources. We also stock the preferred battery or backup power source as specified by the manufacturers of your machines so you can even take your machine camping without a worry. You should never feel the need to compromise on your vacation due to CPAP therapy. Speak to one of our consultants about our range of portable CPAP options that will work best for you.

Are CPAP machines allowed on airplanes?

In most cases, CPAP machines are classified as medical devices and are not counted towards your normal carry-on allowance. We advise that you check with your airline in advance but many are able to seat you near a power source so you may use the machine during the flight. This is especially true for long haul night flights.