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CPAP Equipment and Supplies

CPAP EquipmentCPAP equipment and supplies purchases can be a little confusing to consumers who have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea. I know I was confused and wondering if I would be able to tolerate wearing a mask every night. Also weather I would sleep or not with this thing on my head. Well the short answer is that I slept very well the first night and almost every night since them. I guess I was so tired that just being able to breathe properly made the difference.  I had my first good night in many years.

You can purchase the CPAP equipment online and pretty much find everything you need. The big difference for me when I purchased my CPAP machine was the support that I received from the nurse practitioner who worked at the medical supply store. She was able to answer all of my questions and fitted a mask for me that I was comfortable with. She adjusted the straps to ensure that the mask was being held properly in the correct place all night long. It is also important to purchase a mask that is the right size for your face and nose. She helped with this also.

CPAP Equipment – Adjusting the Air Pressure

Based on the initial sleep apnea testing that took place in a sleep lab, the doctor prescribed a CPAP machine for me. He recommended the appropriate air pressure for the severity of sleep apnea that I apparently have. The medical store set me up with everything I needed. They set the air pressure according to the prescription given by the doctor.

All of the modern machines come with memory cards that record a tremendous amount of information about you as you are sleeping. If the air pressure is set properly, the body will respond to this air pressure and the brain will adjust the bodies breathing system to breath with a pressurized machine. Prior to being diagnosed, the brain is also dealing with sleep apnea and adjusting your breathing accordingly. I was waking up or having a sleep interruption 37 times on average every hour. It takes a while to recover from this. Your machines memory chip will record how you are breathing with the machine and improving night after night.

After one month the medical store personnel review all of this information and based on the data suggested making one adjustment to lower the air pressure by one point. I have been using the CPAP machine for the past four months and I am totally satisfied with it, so much so that I would never be without it.

Why Purchase from a Medical Store vs. Online

The reason for the comments in the last several paragraphs was to illustrate just how important it is to have some kind of service and support for the purchase of a medical device like the CPAP machine. I could have purchased it online; however it would be impossible to have the kind of medical support that I received from an online store.

Now that I have my CPAP equipment, I may purchase my supplies i.e. my CPAP accessories online. If they are cheaper taking into account taxes and shipping costs. This is important in my mind since saving or reducing my cost is a priority for us. On the other hand if it is only a few dollars difference, I will stick with the medical equipment store that I purchased the equipment from in the first place.

How Often Does the CPAP equipment and Supplies Need to be Replaced

We were told by the personnel at the medical store that the equipment should last at least 5 years if not longer. The hoses, the mask and the straps should last approximately one year if they are properly cleaned each week. The mask may not last quite as long depending on cleaning every day. The amount of body oils it comes in contact with from your skin. It should be cleaned with mild soap every day. Since all of these items are relatively expensive, most consumers who use a CPAP machine will take good care of them.

As time goes on we will learn more about the use of this equipment. We will write about it on our posts. If you have just been diagnosed to need one of these, do not hesitate. Once you are set up and sleeping with your CPAP, you will have the best sleep you probably have had in years. For more information about CPAP supplies, click here.

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