Important Note

If symptoms persist while on CPAP therapy, talk to your health professional. Always read the instructions for use for your PAP therapy equipment to ensure it is used safely and as intended

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I am having trouble falling asleep while using CPAP therapy, what can I do to help?

Practice makes perfect! To help get used to wearing the mask during sleep, practice by wearing it during the day while sitting in a chair watching television or reading. This will distract your focus from the mask to a positive, familiar activity. CPAP use will become a habit and part of your routine.

Why am I still snoring with CPAP therapy?

Snoring, choking and gasping are eliminated during successful CPAP treatment. If this is not the case you may not be adequately treated. Please call your Sleep Therapy Consultant to help find a solution.

My eyes are swollen or irritated. What can I do?

This may be caused by air from your CPAP blowing into your eyes. No air should be directed up into the eye area with a properly sized and fitted mask. This may indicate a mask leak. Make sure the headgear is low and firm at the nape of the neck. The lower straps should sit low and firm. If these straps sit too high, they can pull the mask upwards on your face. If required, gently tighten the lower mask straps taking care not to over tighten. It may also be necessary to tighten the upper straps. Again, take care not to over tighten. Please call your Sleep Therapy Sleep Therapy Consultant to help you correctly fit your mask if these steps do not resolve this issue.

There is water in the tubing and sometimes it drips into my mask. How can I stop this?

Excess condensation can form in the CPAP tubing when the temperature of your bedroom is cooler than the air coming from your device. This is what is referred to as ‘rainout’ and does not usually occur when the humidity is set to automatic. This setting can be checked and changed if necessary in your device’s patient menu. If the problem persists the humidifier temperature may need to be adjusted. Please contact your Sleep Therapy Consultant for assistance. The problem can also be rectified by slightly incresing the room temperature until the ‘rainout’ no longer occurs.

How can I prevent a dry mouth, dry throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing after using CPAP?

Allowing a week with the device set to automatic temperature settings may be all that is needed to let your body adjust. Oral or nasal dryness is not usually a long term problem with CPAP therapy. To cope with the initial mouth dryness a mouth gel such as Biotene may be helpful while a nasal spray such as Nozoil may be helpful to reduce nasal lining dryness. A chin strap may also help relieve this issue as it will ensure the mouth remains closed throughout the night. Call your Sleep Therapy Consultant to discuss solutions.

Is CPAP therapy covered by Medicare and what is the cost to me?

Medicare does not subsidise the cost of CPAP devices. Check with your Sleep Physician to see if you qualify for other potential subsidies. It is recommended you check with your private health insurance provider to determine if you are eligible for a claim on any aspect of your CPAP therapy.

What is the drop off rate for people using CPAP therapy?

Studies show the compliance rate varies depending on a number of factors. Based on a 2016 systematic review of CPAP therapy adherence over a twenty year period, 34% of 3058 patients were non adherent to CPAP therapy. As the technology and equipment in this area continues to advance, this number is likely to decrease. 1

The results are okay, but I don't feel any different?

This may be due to a number of reasons but here are a few of the most common. It can be difficult to adjust to CPAP therapy, waking in the night may prompt removal of the mask. Many people take their mask off towards morning, convincing themselves that, without it, they can get some “good sleep.” Unfortunately, sleep apnea is often worsened in the last few hours of the night. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep occurs in the last third of the night. This stage of sleep is associated with vivid dreams and muscle relaxation, to prevent dream enactment. The muscles of the airway relax and this can worsen sleep apnea. By removing the mask in the night, it will reduce the benefits of the therapy and as a result may not feel any different in the morning. If you have mild sleep apnea, with only 10 events per hour, and that number of apneic events is reduced to 5 events per hour with therapy, you may not experience as much improvement. People may expect instant results from CPAP therapy, but this is rarely the case. If sleep apnea is very severe with significant symptoms prior to treatment, a dramatic improvement may occur. When it is more subtle, it may take longer to notice improvement. If you have only used the therapy for a few days, and especially if you have not been able to use it through the night, more time will be required to experience benefits. It may take several weeks before you notice an improvement. If you are not noticing a benefit from your CPAP treatment, speak with your Sleep Therapy Consultant or Sleep Physician about ways that your therapy may be optimized. 3


Can I add essential oils into my humidifier chamber?

No, only water can be used in the humidifier. If you are able to purchase distilled water, this will prolong the life of your chamber. See the User Manual for the F&P SleepStyle page 18 under section Water chamber and chamber seal which recommends the use of distilled water to reduce mineral deposits and stains.5

Do I need to use my CPAP device every night?

Unfortunately, CPAP therapy does not cure sleep apnea. All it does is keep the airway open to treat the symptoms. If you stop using CPAP device, your airway will once again repeatedly obstruct during sleep. Sometimes if you lose a lot of weight, you may need less pressure or even be able to do without CPAP therapy. But you should talk about that with your Sleep Physician. Almost as soon as you stop CPAP therapy, your sleep apnea will come back. You should use your CPAP device everytime you sleep, including if you take daytime naps. Some people find this hard, but you should try to use it all night, every night. One or two nights with no CPAP therapy (e.g. if you are on holidays) is not likely to be a big problem to you. Most people with sleep apnea have had it for years before they knew it and during this time they didn’t have any treatment. All your symptoms will likely return very quickly once you stop using your CPAP device. You will snore at night and feel tired during the day and you may need to adjust your lifestyle (e.g. not drive) if you are sleepy or tired during the day.7


What is the difference between CPAP therapy and oxygen therapy?

CPAP therapy is one of the most effective ways to treat sleep apnea. The equipment has three basic parts. The first is a machine containing an air pump. The second is a mask that covers the nostrils or nose and sometimes the mouth. The third is a tube which links the mask to the machine. During CPAP therapy, the machine draws in air from the room, filters it then gently pressurises it through the tube into the mask. The air pressure helps prevent obstruction of the airway to maintain regular breathing while asleep.

Oxygen therapy may be prescribed when you have a condition that causes your blood oxygen levels to be too low. Low blood oxygen may make you feel short of breath, tired and confused. Oxygen therapy is most often provided through an oxygen concentator. You may need oxygen therapy if you have one of the following conditions; serious respiratory infection, asthma, cystic fibrosis, COVID-19, pnemonia or heart failure. The concentrator provides >90% oxygen through a face mask or nasal cannula. This system does not require a tight seal of the nasal cannula or mask to the face because oxygen therapy is not reliant on maintaining a constant pressure in order to deliver effective therapy.

Why does the pressure feel so strong when I wake up?

Your pressure should be just enough to keep your airways unobstructed for a full night of sleep. When your pressure is too low, you can experience more apnea events than the normal 5 per hour. But, if the pressure is too high you can experience side effects like uncomfortable therapy, problems with your CPAP mask, nasal congestion, and interrupted sleep. If you are just beginning your therapy, you may not be used to the pressure change and therefore wake up when the higher treatment pressure is being applied. This is normal, most people will stop waking when the pressure increases after a few days of treatment. The most common reason for feeling a high pressure in the morning is due to an ineffective mask seal. If the mask is not sealed to the face effectively, the air will leak out and you may experience a higher pressure as a result of the device attempting to adjust to the mask leak. If you are ever concerned that your sleep apnea treatment settings are too high for your condition, please consult your sleep physician before making any changes to the settings.9

Is CPAP therapy the only way to treat sleep apnea?

Once a diagnosis of OSA is established, talk with your healthcare professional about the need for treatment and the options available for you. The circumstances often vary from person to person, since the underlying causes may be different.

Note: The treatment options provided below are general in nature and should not be relied upon to address your individual needs. Please consult with your healthcare professional to discuss your specific circumstances.

Weight loss – For anyone who is overweight, losing weight is recommended. While this may not necessarily cure the OSA, it usually improves snoring and OSA, and can help other treatments work more effectively. It also provides general health benefits.

Reduce alcohol consumption – Alcohol usually worsens snoring and OSA due to the throat muscles relaxing. For some people drinking alcohol makes their OSA worse. If this is the case for you then less or no alcohol may be a effecive treatment.

Body position during sleep – Snoring and OSA are usually worse when lying on your back. This is because of the effects of gravity on the tongue. Avoiding sleep in this position can improve OSA. In some people it can completely control the problem. This is best achieved by wearing a device that makes it uncomfortable to sleep on your back. Some such devices can be purchased or it can be as simple as sleeping with a tennis ball sewn into a pocket on the back of your pyjamas.

Managing blocked nose – A blocked nose causes mouth breathing, which can lead to snoring and OSA. The blocked nose can be due to different problems, such as allergies, sinus disease, and a deviated septum. Your doctor can assess and provide treatment, depending on the problem. This may involve the use of nasal sprays to relieve congestion. Sometimes surgery is required to correct anatomical problems.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airways Pressure) therapy – This is generally considered to be the most effective way to treat OSA. It involves the use of a special device during sleep, connected to a nose or face mask via tubing. The device gently increases air pressure in your throat holding it open, thus preventing snoring and OSA. Click Here for more info

Oral Devices/ Appliances – These are specially made dental plates that are worn during sleep. They push your lower jaw forwards so that your throat opens up, reducing the risk that it will vibrate (snore) or obstruct. The appliances have various names such as Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) or Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) or Mandibular Repositioning Appliances (MRA) – Your suitability for this form of treatment is best discussed with your healthcare professional, who can then refer you to a trained dentist. Click Here for more info

Surgery – Surgery may help in cases of OSA caused by a discrete blockage of some part of the nose or throat. There are many types of operations depending on where in your nose and/or throat the problem lies. The decision about whether surgery is right for you may require the expert input of an ENT surgeon. The risks and benefits need to be weighed up in each case. In adults, surgery is often the last resort, after other treatments have been tried first. Nasal surgery may be useful to help CPAP treatment by allowing nasal masks once the nasal blockage is repaired. In children with OSA, surgery to remove tonsils and adenoids is quite commonly done and is often very helpful.11

I have been experiencing sore or dry nasal passages, what should I do?

Sore or dry nasal passages can be due to different problems, such as inadequate humidity, mask leakage, allergies, sinus disease or a deviated septum to name a few. A common solution for airways drying or a stuffy or runny nose is with a humidifier which fits onto the CPAP device. The humidifier is filled with water. When the CPAP device operates, the water heats up and warms and moistens the air that is fed to your airways. Some people may find the use of a humidifier helpful only during cold weather. Others may find it beneficial every night. If sore and dry nasal passages persists, you should consult your healthcare professional to assess your specific situation and recommend suitable treatment options.13

How often will i need to replace my mask?

Your mask is arguably the most important piece of equipment in your CPAP setup. Like other regularly used personal health products, such as a toothbrush or razor/shaver, your mask becomes less effective and more unhygienic over time. The best way to know when it’s time for your mask (or any of its parts) to be replaced is to make it a habit of regularly inspecting it for wear and tear. Some mask parts will wear out sooner than you think! Mask cushions, for instance, rest against your face every night and can build up quickly with dirt, oil and bacteria. Without proper care, they can deteriorate leading to leaks and discomfort – even skin irritation. How often you replace your mask cushion depends on the kind you have. Silicone cushions are designed to be replaced every 6 months, whereas memory foam cushions are designed to be replaced monthly. Mask frames are more durable than mask cushions and their lifespan will depend on well you look after them. If they ever get damaged, cracked or discoloured, you should look to replace them. Mask headgear will lose elasticity and stretch out over time, leading to a bad mask fit. A common sign that your headgear needs to be replaced is when you’re starting to overtighten your headgear to achieve a secure seal. We suggest you replace headgear every 8 months or so to ensure your mask is always sealing as secure as it can without the need to overtighten it. Refer to your mask user instructions for further information.15

How come Medicare covers the home based sleep study but not for the CPAP therapy?

Medicare provides a rebate for home based sleep studies (HBSS) if the patient is shown to be moderite-high risk based on their answers to the screening questionnaires. We recommended you speak with your doctor to check if you are eligible to have your CPAP device covered by Medicare. Please note that public funding of CPAP equipment differs between states, with each state also having different criteria for funding eligibility.

Can I use different manufacturer masks with my CPAP device?

Where possible, it is recommended you use a mask that is from the same brand as your CPAP device. In most cases though, most masks are interchangeable between devices. It is recommenmded you check your CPAP device user manual for more information as in some circumstances there may be compatability issues (e.g. travel CPAP devices).

How do I know if I am a mouth breather?

People who breathe through their mouth at night may have the following symptoms: snoring, dry mouth, bad breath (halitosis), hoarseness, waking up tired and, irritable, chronic fatigue, brain fog or dark circles under the eyes.17

How much is the therapy equipment?

The cost of CPAP therapy equipment varies depending on what brand and model you are looking at. It’s best to speak to your Sleep Therapy Consultant to find out more about our CPAP package offers and which one is most suitable for you. We also offer CPAP device rentals and interest free plans if you have difficulties in meeting the up front costs.

Will my private health insurance cover my sleep study or CPAP device?

This is specific to your own level of cover, we recommend you check with your private health fund directly. If you have extras cover, your private health insurance provider may pay a rebate towards the cost of your CPAP device. The rebate amount may vary between funds and also may depend on your level of extras cover. Some private health insurance funds may also cover part of the cost of the mask. Some private health insurance funds may require a letter of recommendation from your doctor. For those that provide a rebate, an eligible tax invoice will be required.19

How long will it take me to get used to CPAP therapy?

Some people may experience instant results from CPAP therapy, but this is rarely the case. If sleep apnea is very severe with significant symptoms prior to treatment, a dramatic improvement may occur. When it is more subtle, it may take longer to notice improvement. If you have only used the therapy for a short period (i.e. a few days or so), and especially if you have not been able to use it through the night, then this is typicaly not long eneough to start seeing improvements. You should persevere and give it more time. It may take several weeks before you start to experience an improvement. If you are not noticing a benefit with your treatment, you can speak with our Sleep Therapy Consultant. If this persists and does not improve, see with your Sleep Physician to determine possible causes for this and what you may need to make to start achieving these benefits.21

Is the CPAP device loud?

Treatment should not be louder than a whisper. The noise of the device may fluctuate between inhalation and exhalation, but should mimic that of a soft breathing sound. If your equipment is making loud noises, some of the parts might not be connected properly or it may need to be repaired. If you are hearing a hissing noise, check that all your equipment is connected properly and that there are no holes or deformities.23

You can try placing a mouse pad under the device to reduce noise vibrations. The Philips Beside Organiser offers a noise reducing pad to sit your device on and has a pocket for safe daily storage of mask and tubing as well. Click Here For more info on Philips Bedside Organiser 24

DreamStation – User Manual

AirSense 10 – AutoSet – Clinical Guide

SleepStyle – User Manual

BMC- User Manual

How much is it to rent a CPAP device?

We have different rental options to suit your needs. Speak to your Sleep Therapy Consultant to find out about our 1 month, 6 month and 18 month rental programs.

How many hours per night should CPAP therapy be used?

The CPAP device needs to be used througout the entire night while you are asleep. Almost as soon as you stop CPAP your sleep apnoea will come back. You should use your CPAP whenever you sleep, including if you take daytime naps. Some people find this hard, but you should try to use it all night, every night. Remember that if you don’t use it, it does not work.27

How long will I stay on the Therapy Partnership Program?

There is no set timeframe for your Therapy Partnership Program Introduction. Some patients adjust to CPAP therapy quite quickly and purchase their own device after 2 weeks while others can take up to 4-6 weeks.

How do I know what mask is best?

There are variations in each size and style of mask, but the main differences are concerned with the areas of the face are they cover. A nasal pillows mask rests at the entrance of the nostrils, a nasal mask covers the nose and a full face mask covers the nose and mouth. The mask type that best suits you depends greatly on personal needs and preferences. Some things that you may want to take into consideration when deciding what mask type is right for you is your facial anatomy, degree of facial hair, whether or not you’re claustrophobic, and if you have any sinus or nasal issues. Each mask has its own benefits and we recommend you see your Sleep Therapy Consultant or Sleep Physician if you are unsure.29

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