• Tell me more about Sleep Apnea

  • I need to order replacement supplies.

  • I am having trouble with my therapy.

General Replacement of PAP Supplies

One of the best things you can do to get the most out of your therapy is to clean and replace your supplies regularly. Medicare suggests* the following replacement schedule for PAP supplies

Replace twice a month

  • Cushions or pillows for a nasal mask
  • Cushions or pillows for a combination oral/nasal mask
  • Disposable filters
Replace once a month

  • Cushions for a full face mask
Replace every three months

  • Mask interface (full face, nasal or combination oral/nasal)
  • Tubing (heated or non-heated)
Replace every six months:

  • Headgear
  • Chinstrap
  • Water Chamber for your humidifier
  • Non-disposable filters (usually made out of foam)

*Source: DME MACs’ Determination of Reasonable and Necessary Replacement of CPAP Supplies: https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-07-12-00250.pdf


General Care of PAP Supplies

In addition to replacing your supplies, make sure you are keeping your supplies and equipment clean to prevent infection and skin irritation

  • Mask and water chamber can be cleaned with mild soap, rinse well and dry.
  • Refill water chamber with clean distilled water.
  • Wipe machine and humidifier unit with a soft dry cloth to keep dust away.
  • Gently wash headgear and chinstrap in mild soap and air dry.
  • Wash non-disposable foam filters in soapy water, rinse and air dry. Replace other filters every other week.
  • Soak tubing and water chamber to disinfect, rinse and dry.
As Needed
  • Clean all parts and change filters after any illness.

Tell me more about Sleep Apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is determined by pauses in breathing while you sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea – obstructive, central and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common and is characterized by a physical blockage of your airway or a collapsing of the airway during sleep. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is less common and harder to diagnose as there is no physical blockage as with OSA, but due to a lapse in breathing signals from the brain. Mixed is characterized by a blend of both OSA and CSA.

How do I find out if I have sleep apnea?

The best way to determine if you have sleep apnea is to have a sleep study, either in a sleep clinic or through a home-based test. The study, called a polysomnography, determines if you are having apneic breathing events and how often they are occurring. Discuss your testing options with your primary care physician or sleep specialist if you feel you may be having symptoms of sleep apnea, which can include extremely loud snoring, waking up short of breath, ongoing and excessive sleepiness during the day, and morning headaches.

What can I do to alleviate my sleep apnea symptoms?

Once you are diagnosed with either obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or another sleep-related breathing disorder, you will most likely be prescribed Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) as a management therapy. PAP therapy consists of a device and a mask interface that streams air into your airway while you sleep. This prevents the airway from collapsing, as is the signature of OSA. These collapses are called arousals, and they keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. Keeping the airway open using CPAP allows you to breathe more naturally, with less arousals, which results in a more rested feeling the next day.

I have heard about PAP, CPAP, and BiPAP. What is the difference?

CPAP as an acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, meaning there is one constant stream of air being administered throughout the therapy. BIPAP is also sometimes called Bi-level, and this type of machine uses two different pressures, one higher pressure on an inhale breath, and then a lower pressure to allow for an easier exhale. BIPAP therapy is prescribed to someone with OSA if they tried and could not tolerate the CPAP machine, or for people that have additional diagnoses that need a different type of therapy.

What are the different types of masks I can choose from?

With your PAP therapy, you have a choice of interface or mask to use. You can pick any of the styles based on your comfort preference, sleeping habits and recommendations from your doctor. Your options include a full face mask, a nasal mask or combination oral and nasal mask. A full face mask covers both your nose and your mouth completely. There are two types of nasal masks: one that covers your nose completely, or a cannula-style that rests on your nostrils. The combination-style mask is not as common, but usually features a cannula-style nasal interface plus a cushion that covers the mouth. All of the manufacturers of PAP supplies produce a few options in any of these three styles, and Verus carries all of them. Call us at 800-487-5566 to talk to one of our product specialists who can recommend an option for you to try.

Where can I go for more information about sleep apnea?

Sources for the above information and references for you to learn more about sleep apnea can be found:

American Sleep Apnea Association

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Sleep Education

We encourage you to learn as much as you can about healthy sleep and sleep apnea and for you to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about your sleep quality.

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