Tag Archive for: How to’s

The mask is arguably the most important piece of equipment in your CPAP therapy arsenal.

There are lots of CPAP machines on the market.

All have different features and advantages, but without a well-fitted mask all the technology in the world won’t help your sleep therapy. Not only can the wrong mask cause minor annoyance with air leaks or chafing, but it can seriously get in the way of the therapy you’ve gone to the trouble of seeking out. In extreme cases, an ill-fitting mask can prove so irritating that patients will simply give up and hang up their hose for good.

But don’t give up – whatever your size, pressure needs or sleeping style there’s a perfect mask for you – it’s just a question of wading into the options and finding the right fit.

So how do you know which mask is right for you? Here’s a breakdown of pros and cons for different mask styles that’ll help you figure it out.


The classic – the nasal mask

This is far and away the most common style of mask in use, so we might as well start with the classic. The nasal mask goes right to the source of snoring and sleep apnea, keeping your nasal passages open while you sleep by providing positive air pressure through a mask that covers your entire nose, but not your mouth. There are different makes and models, but all nasal masks are made of rigid plastic, held in place with adjustable headgear using some form of cushion to provide a comfortable, leak-free fit on your face.

Side view of man wearing n20 mask


Pros and cons of Nasal masks

PROS:

  • Widely used, proven technology
  • Easy, intuitive fit and adjustments
  • Stays securely put even for more “active” sleepers

CONS:

  • Some patients can find a larger mask claustrophobic
  • Headgear attachments can impede line of sight
  • Not suitable for chronic mouth-breathers or those with very high pressure requirements

Man sleeping while wearing a Wisp nasal mask


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n20 mask for him

Shop AirFit N20

Masque Mirage FX de Resmed

Shop Mirage FX

Philips Respironics Wisp Nasal Mask with Fabric Frame

Shop the Wisp

ESON 2 CPAP mask from Fisher & Paykel

Shop ESON 2


The big guns – the full-face mask

No matter what the name sounds like, full-face masks don’t actually cover your whole face. Though some may be turned off by their larger size, full face masks actually have a lot of advantages and don’t have to feel like they’re in the way.

Just a little larger than common nasal masks, the full-face versions cover your nose and also dip down over your mouth with an airtight seal. These bad boys will stay in place no matter how high your pressure needs are, have a lower chance of shifting when you move, and will provide continuous pressure even if you’re in the habit of opening your mouth when you sleep. They’re also the only style of mask that works when your nose is congested from a cold or allergies, meaning you continue to get the best sleep you can, just when you need it the most.

They work so well in fact that many who prefer smaller masks will keep a full-face version around as an insurance policy for nights when they’re under the weather.

Side view of man wearing vitera mask


Pros and Cons of Full Face masks

PROS:

  • A workhorse that won’t let you down even if your apnea demands high pressure treatment
  • Will always stay in place and works perfectly for mouth-breathing sleepers
  • Keeps working at full efficiency even if your nose is completely blocked, helping you get over a cold faster

CONS:

  • They are bulkier than other types of mask
  • Those with claustrophobia may find them intimidating

Man sleeping comfortably while wearing a Dreamwear full face mask


Shop Full Face Masks

Airtouch F20 from Resmed

Shop Airtouch F20

Dreamwear Full Face mask from Respironics

Shop Dreamwear full face mask

Vitera full face CPAP mask from Fisher & Pakel

Shop Vitera

Mirage Quattro full face CPAP mask from ResMed

Shop Mirage Quattro


A spin on the original – under the nose masks

Under the nose masks are a relative newcomer to the field, and they aim to provide the same performance and comfort as the classic style but in a less cumbersome shape that allows more freedom and a clear line of sight.

Under the nose designs are available in nasal (covering the bottom of your nose but not your mouth) and full-face (covering mouth and nose) versions. These are technically much like their larger cousins, providing a seal around the nose alone or the mouth along with it, but in a smaller package that sits under the nose for a less bulky feel.

Side view of a man wearing the Dreamwear nasal mask


Pros and Cons of Under the nose masks

PROS:

  • A newer take on a proven design
  • Clear line of sight and a more open feel
  • No contact or chafing on the bridge of your nose

CONS:

  • Can be more challenging to securely fit than classic nasal or full-face masks
  • Some people who move a lot in their sleep may find them harder to keep in place

Man asleep in bed, wearing a Dreamwear nasal mask


Shop Under the nose Masks

Dreamwear nasal mask

Shop Dreamwear nasal


Minimalist’s dream – the nasal pillow mask

If you love the benefits of CPAP treatment, but can’t stand having a mask covering part of your face, a nasal pillow mask might be just the thing for you. The sleekest, most minimized design available, these masks have unobtrusive hose connections and deliver pressurized air through two little silicone pillows directly into your nostrils.

They leave your nose and mouth completely uncovered, and there are no straps or bars climbing into your field of view. There can be some challenges with these masks – the fit needs to be perfect or they can shift if you toss around at night, occasionally leading to discomfort from over-tightening of straps, and they may not always maintain a seal under extreme air pressure situations.

They can also occasionally irritate the nostrils for new users who aren’t used to them, but using a nasal lubricant makes adapting to the new style much easier. Those minor issues aside, those who are well suited to the freedom of a minimalist nasal pillow mask swear by them.

Side view of man wearing an AirFit P10 mask


Pros and Cons of Nasal Pillow Masks

PROS:

  • Sleekest, least obtrusive design available
  • Clear sight-lines
  • Airy, open, almost not-even-there feel

CONS:

  • Some patients can find it difficult to maintain a secure seal
  • Care must be taken to avoid over-tightening adjustable straps
  • Not suitable for chronic mouth-breathers or those with very high pressure requirements
  • Can be irritating when you are not used to it, but with the help of a nasal lubricant, you may find it easier to adapt

Man sleeping in bed while wearing an AirFit P10 CPAP mask


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P10 nasal pillow mask from side view

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Dreamwear Silicon pillow mask

Shop Dreamwear Silicon

AirFit p30i CPAP mask from Resmed

Shop AirFit p30i

The Brevida Nasal Pillows Mask from Fisher & Paykel

Shop Brevida


Putting it all together

This outline gives a good overview of the different types of mask available, and finding the right one for you can make all the difference. On top of the different basic types, many masks come with various cushion sizes to adapt to any shape of face, and all have adjustable headgear to fine tune the fit.

Everyone is different, and style considerations aside, the key is finding the mask that works best for you. With the right mask, you’ll get the most benefit possible from your CPAP therapy and find yourself better rested and healthier for it.

If you’re still unsure which style is best for you, speak with one of our expert respiratory therapists – they’ll be happy to assess you and walk you through the options to make sure you find the mask of your dreams.

Man sleeping comfortably in bed, wearing a CPAP nasal pillow mask

Being advised to switch to a full face mask isn’t a sentence – in fact it can be incredibly liberating!

Don’t think it means you’re in for some bulky WWII-looking thing; full face masks today are comfortable and easy to wear, and for lots of people they work better than their more compact cousins.

Why short change your therapy if a full face mask will help you sleep and feel even better? Here are some reasons a bigger mask might be a fit for you…


You’re a mouth-breather

Don’t be insulted – we’re not name calling! But do you wake up with cottonmouth all the time? If so, it means you’re breathing through your mouth while you sleep and you definitely need a full face mask.

If you use a small nasal or nasal pillow mask but your mouth tends to fall open at night, the pressurized air will escape noisily from your mouth. Not only is that loud and disruptive, it renders your CPAP therapy way less effective.

man sleeping with his mouth open


It’s more humid outside than in

Does your pillow double as a drool-catcher? Come on, you know who you are! If this applies to you, even some of the time, you’re probably experiencing occasional dryness as well, either in your mouth or your nasal cavities.

But I have a humidifier you say? Well, humidifiers help a lot, but if your mouth is open with a nasal mask they don’t work nearly as well – the moist air comes in through your nose but blows right back out through your mouth, making the whole system less efficient.

Don’t be afraid to try a full face mask and enjoy the maximum benefit of your CPAP; your body (and your pillowcase) will thank you!

dry desert with dead trees


You’re under a lot of pressure

We’re not talking about stress, although a good night’s sleep with CPAP therapy can help with that too.

No, what we’re talking about is your pressure settings. If your respirologist says your therapy calls for a higher pressure, say a setting of higher than about 15cmH2O, a lightweight or nasal pillow mask might not cut it. A leaky seal at higher pressures is a common nuisance that’ll leave you steaming.

While a lighter mask may not seal under pressure, a full face mask will stay comfortably put no matter how high the pressure gets.

pressure gauge


You’re all stuffed up

Everyone gets congested from colds or allergies sometimes, some of us a lot of the time. When stuffiness strikes, breathing through your nose is like eating mashed potatoes with a straw, and your nasal mask quickly gets tossed.

Enter the full face mask! When the mask covers your nose and mouth, you get to breathe easier no matter how clogged your schnoz.

Full face masks are so effective at aiding sleep when you’re congested that a lot of patients keep one around as a ‘plan B’ when their nose gets too stuffed for their smaller mask to work. Why not? It isn’t like flu season or allergy season will stop coming, so if you know you’re going to be struck again, you might as well be prepared so you can get better sleep year round.

Whether full time or just when you need it, a full face mask is nothing to be shy about – it can make all the difference in your CPAP therapy. Talk to us today to see if a full face mask might be the right fit for you.

woman with allergies


The best fit for you

At Apnea Health, we’re all about making sure that your sleep therapy works for you. We carry many options for full face masks, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll find just the right fit.

man adjusting his full face mask


ResMed AirFit F20

  • Our best selling model, the F20 features a new InfinitySeal silicone cushion that moves with you and makes fitting easy
    It has easy-to-use magnetic clips for quick fitting
  • It has a comfortable, flexible fabric-lined frame
  • Available in a ‘for Her’ version tailored for a woman’s features
airfit f20

Shop the AitFit F20

 


ResMed AirTouch F20

  • Like the popular silicone version, but featuring an UltraSoft memory foam cushion that’s light and breathable
  • It has a new QuietAir diffuser that makes it quieter and gentler
  • It’s easy to maintain and clean and easy to replace
airtouch f20

Shop AirTouch F20


F&P Vitera

  • Features VentiCool breathable fabric headgear that allows 21 times more airflow to keep you cool and comfortable
  • The RollFit XT seal stays in place while you move and reduces pressure on the bridge of your nose
  • The dynamic stability bar keeps your mask secure all night
vitera ffm

Shop Vitera


ResMed AirFit F30

  • With its ultra-compact under-the-nose design, this mask leaves the bridge of your nose comfortable and mark free
  • Quiet diffused venting keeps noise to a minimum
  • It has easy-to-use magnetic clips for quick fitting
  • The F30’s clear field of vision makes it easy to read in bed, even with glasses on
F30 full face mask

Shop AirFit N30


Respironics DreamWear

  • The DreamWear’s unique design puts the hose above your head for total freedom of movement – no more nose hose!
  • Its soft silicone frame makes for a comfortable fit
  • The under-the-nose design means no red marks on the bridge of your nose, and a clear and open field of view
dreamwear

Shop Dreamwear

You may have heard that CPAP masks are universally compatible across machines.

Yes, it’s true! You really can use any CPAP mask with any CPAP or BiPAP machine, with one exception.

It’s common to think you need a certain kind of mask to fit your machine – but why is that? There are a few different issues that arise and leave people confused on mask compatibility.

We’ll go through all the ways you might have found yourself thinking masks are not universal, and the one scenario where you will need different supplies than usual.

Here are different ways masks connections can be confusing:

  1. Elbows are part of the mask, but can get stuck in tubes.
  2. Short tubes are part of the mask, not the CPAP tubing.
  3. Oxygen Adapters work with all masks but not all tubing.
  4. There is one special exception.
  5. Conclusion

1. Elbows are part of the mask, but can get stuck in tubes.

Elbow connectors are the L-shaped connector for full-face mask designs. They often have easy release options that leave part of the mask inside the tube, so it’s easy to think a new mask won’t fit. What is really happening is that part of the mask is still in the tube. If you forget part of the mask in an old tube, or if you get a new mask but there’s still a piece of the old one in the tube, you’ll think your mask and tube don’t connect!

If you lose or break the elbow, you’ll likely need to replace the whole mask. It’s also best to replace your mask and tubing regularly so that they don’t stretch out. Insurance providers cover CPAP tubes and mask frames every 3 months to ensure they have good seals.

tube connection


2. Short tubes are part of the mask, not the CPAP tubing.

Nasal pillow or nasal cushion masks usually have their own short tube, which is often mistaken as a replacement for the main CPAP tube. However, you’ll find they are much too short and don’t fit onto your CPAP. You’ll need to remove the short tube before inserting a new mask into your tubing.

If you like having the flexible short tube attachment, check out the brand new Evora from Fisher and Paykel

man in bed wearing the evora nasal mask


3. Oxygen Adapters work with all masks but not all tubing.

Oxygen adapters attach between the mask and tube, and allow folks to bleed oxygen into their CPAP therapy. They are universally compatible with all masks and standard tubing. However, if you have heated tubing, there may be restrictions on what style adapter you need.

ResMed’s AirSense has a special version of their heated tube that has an oxygen port built right in, as well as:

  • Auto-titration: Smart algorithm automatically adjusts your therapy pressure as your needs change
  • EPR: Expiratory Pressure Relief reduces pressure upon exhale, avoiding high pressure mask leaks
  • Humidification: 7 levels of humidity and a heated tube ensures you don’t dry out.

MaskFitsAllMachines


4. There is one special exception.

ResMed’s AirMini is the one exception that doesn’t use the universal connections that all other CPAP machines have. Because of its unique HumidX system for its nasal mask options, the travel CPAP has special connectors and tubing.

Forgoing the universal connections that other CPAPs have allows the AirMini to be as small as it is (just 0.66 lb!), as well as include the following features:

  • Powerful and quiet: Auto-titrating machine adjusts to your pressure needs as you sleep
  • Control in the palm of your hand: Smartphone app gives you complete control over your CPAP therapy
  • Mask included with machine: Choose from the AirFit P10, AirFit N20, AirFit F20, or AirFit F30

AirMini_Info


Conclusion

That covers the different connections for masks and CPAPs. If you’re having trouble connecting a CPAP mask and tube, make sure you have all parts of the mask. If you have a new mask (with its included connector) and it’s not connecting to your tubing, it may be that your tube is too old or loose.

Another common issue is that old elbows or parts of a connector remain in the tube when you try to disconnect the mask, making it impossible to put a new style mask into the tube.

If you’re having trouble connecting your mask and tube, check out the video we made to help you!

While wearing a CPAP mask can dramatically change your life for the better, it can come with some unfortunate side effects to your skin: redness, rashes, sores and chafing are unsightly or even painful problems that sometimes go with the territory.

CPAP users, particularly those new to the treatment, can fall victim to air leaks and rubbing that cause skin irritation. Even seasoned veterans will tell you it can happen from time to time, especially to those with more sensitive skin.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to avoid these irritations and get on with enjoying better sleep.

Read on for some helpful tips…


Size matters.

A mask that’s too big or too small can cause skin irritations.

If your mask is too tight, it’ll leave indents on your face. If it’s too loose, it can leak air – this makes your mask shift around and rub against your skin, sometimes causing pretty painful sores. Adjusting the tightness of the straps on your CPAP mask at home can help customize your fit.

If strap adjustment isn’t enough to fix the problem, you could try a new mask with a different fit. There are masks out there with minimalist designs and reduced contact points; good ones include the AirFit P10, the Swift Fx, the Brevida, the DreamWear, the AirFit N30i and the AirFit P30i.

If you need the coverage of a full face mask but your skin is sensitive, a good option is the Airtouch F20 – instead of silicone, it has an UltraSoft memory foam cushion that’s uniquely comfortable.

It can be tough to tell just which mask you need when you’re new at it – but Apnea Health will help you figure that out.

sizing


Don’t go to sleep with an oily face.

Your face can get pretty oily in the course of a day.

Be sure to wash your face with soap and water before putting on your mask, because clean skin will prevent your cushion from sliding around. A mask that moves too much while you sleep will leave red chafing marks on your cheeks. If you can, it’s ideal to do your washing an hour before bed, to avoid transferring products to your mask.

washing face


Avoid heavy moisturizing at bedtime.

If you need to moisturize your face, Aeromate moisturizer and mask sealer helps alleviate chafing. Its non-petroleum, aloe-based formula soothes sensitive skin while providing a seal around the mask.

If it’s the bridge of your nose that tends to get irritated, try putting a nasal pad under your mask. The Gecko Nasal Pad is a comfortable, soft strip that goes across the nose to reduce irritation and leaks.

aero mate

Shop Aeromate gel

gecko nose

Shop the Gecko nasal pad


Keep your equipment clean.

Cleaning your CPAP mask is important. It helps eliminate bacteria that can cause irritation or infection, and it’s actually easy to do – you can watch Jess’s video to learn best practices for CPAP cleaning.

You should avoid scented soaps, and never use alcohol, vinegar, bleach, or over-the-counter antibacterial agents for cleaning, because they’ll dry out your mask. Remember to think of the mask as delicate, like your skin, even if you’re a pretty tough person.

We recommend you clean your mask daily, and give your headgear a wash once a week.

We’ve put together useful cleaning kits to give your CPAP equipment the proper care:

cleaning kit grapefruit

Grapefruit Cleaning Kit

cleaning kit mint

Mint and Green Tea Cleaning Kit

If you want to be certain your mask is rid of bacteria, the Lumin is your answer. It uses UV light to kill 99.9% of all bacteria, viruses, and other agents that may cause skin infections.

Whichever means you decide to use, remember that maintenance and cleaning are critical ways to avoid skin issues.


Time for a new mask?

If your mask used to fit perfectly, but lately not so much, there’s a good chance it’s time for a replacement. Mask materials wear with time, and just like your toothbrush, it’s important to replace them regularly.

Clear signs that it’s time for a new mask include cracking, dryness or stiffness on the mask or the cushion. Any yellow discolouration on the cushion also means it’s time to go. Generally, if you notice a lot of leaking that wasn’t there when the mask was new, you should probably look into replacement.

Did you know that most insurers cover 1-2 replacement masks a year? Apnea Health recommends replacing your mask, or at a minimum replacing the cushion, at least once every 9-12 months.

If you start to see signs of wear and tear, it’s important you get a new mask right away.

homme qui dort avec son nouveau masque nasal de Resmed


Shop CPAP Masks

P10 nasal pillow mask from side view

AirFit P10

The Brevida Nasal Pillows Mask from Fisher & Paykel

Brevida

Nasal CPAP Mask

AirFit N20

Airfit F20 for him and her

AirFit F20


If you’re having trouble with skin irritation or mask leaks, Apnea Health is here to help!

now two ways en

Ever wake up feeling like there’s a tornado in your stomach?

Or when you use your CPAP, do you notice…

  • Stomachache or bloating
  • Burping or flatulence
  • Heartburn or acid reflux

These are all symptoms of aerophagia, or air eating, which is a common CPAP side effect. Aerophagia occurs when air flows into your stomach and intestines instead of your airways during the night. As air builds up, it can cause discomfort in your belly and bowels.


What causes this bloating and how can I fix it?

  1. Pressure is set too high: Your CPAP pressure could be set too high or higher than you need. The extra air you get has no place to go, but to your esophagus and then belly.
  2. Pressure is set too low: You may have your pressure set too low where it’s too inadequate to resolve your apnea episodes. As you’re trying to obtain more air in your lungs, you end up quickly gulping air which is then forced into your esophagus.
  3. Exhalation problems: You might be having trouble exhaling over the consistent air pressure CPAP delivers. This is particularly hard for individuals using mid- to high-CPAP pressures. When you inhale high pressures, it might be simple, but exhaling might cause panic, anxiety and a feeling of choking or suffocation. When this occurs, you might fall out of your natural breathing rhythm and start hyperventilating. This may lead to quickly gulping or sucking in the air, forcing it into your esophagus instead of your lungs.

cloud


How to fix your aerophagia when pressure too high or low:

  1. Enable advanced comfort settings in your device.

    If you’re having trouble exhaling but your pressure level is already matching your needs, then we can enable settings such as EPR, which stands for Expiratory Pressure Relief. EPR is a standard feature on ResMed’s Airsense 10 AutoSet that reduces the pressure of your therapy only when you exhale. The AirSense has other advanced comfort settings, such as:

    • Auto-titration: Smart algorithm automatically adjusts your therapy pressure as your needs change
    • Humidification: 8 levels of humidity and an optional heated tube ensures you don’t dry out
    • AutoRamp: Starts your sleep therapy at a low pressure to ensure you fall asleep more comfortably

    woman adjusts settings on her CPAP machine
    The Respironics Dreamstation also has a new revolutionary exhalation release feature called P-FLEX technology, auto-titration, auto-amp and 5 humidification.

    P-Flex technology: is a unique comfort feature that applies exhalation pressure relief in proportion to pressure. P-Flex is designed to enhance comfort by reducing exhalation pressure. But unlike other versions of Flex algorithm, P-Flex applies increased amounts of pressure relief as therapy pressure increases. The higher the pressure, the greater the pressure support. This results in a more comfortable and effective therapy experience.

    dreamstation 2

    The SleepStyle also has a special advanced comfort setting: 
    SensAwake: With this function, the device quickly decreases the pressure to the lowest and most comfortable level when you wake up during the night. It thus facilitates the return to sleep and allows effective resumption of treatment. You are less likely to wake up in a panic with high pressure and open your mouth which would cause aerophagia. We did a clinical experiment. We offered a trial of the Sleep Style to some of our patients who suffered from aerophagia. In all cases, the patients saw great improvement and even disappearance of their aerophagia problem. It seems that the intelligent Sleep Style algorithm is ideal for patients afflicted with this problem.

    sleepstyle 2

  2. Use a CPAP that adjusts your pressure throughout the night.

    If the pressure levels aren’t tailored to your needs, then your chance of swallowing air accidentally in the night increases. The best solution is upgrading to an auto CPAP. An auto CPAP will automatically titrate, or adjust, the pressure, so you always get the correct pressure night after night. It can even adjust to your sleeping position or how tired you are that evening.

    These machines are programmed with a sophisticated algorithm that monitors your breathing in order to determine the most comfortable and effective settings for you at any given moment. The constant adjustments of the auto CPAP are essential to ensure that you continue to get the most out of your CPAP therapy.

    Resmed Auto CPAP AirSense S10 for him

    Learn about the Airsense


Other possible causes are nasal congestion and mouth breathing, both of which have the same solution.

Nasal congestion

You could have nasal congestion from allergies, a cold or the flu. When you have a stuffy nose, you might not be able to get the right CPAP air pressure you require, therefore you gulp in the air by mouth, leading it down into your esophagus.

Mouth Breather

You might be a mouth breather and wear a traditional nasal mask. When your mouth opens up while you’re sleeping, the CPAP machine may not be able to deliver the air to your lungs, but rather the air escapes through your mouth. Your apnea episodes aren’t being corrected, therefore in your unconscious panic; you could suddenly experience a choking sensation and gulp the air in rapidly, forcing it into your esophagus.

Woman lying in bed, rubbing her blocked sinuses caused by allergies


How to fix your aerophagia for congestion or mouth breathing?

It’s very simple: make sure you are using the right mask!

If you have a nasal cushion mask but your mouth opens during the night, you can end up gulping air as the therapy escapes out your mouth. Similarly, nasal pillow masks with blocked exhale ports can have the same problem, forcing your mouth open during the night. A full face mask, such as ResMed’s AirFit F30i, will enable you to breathe out through your mouth instead of swallowing the air. The AirFit F30i features:

  • Under-the-nose full face cushion: Reduces red marks and irritation on the nasal bridge
  • QuietAir technology: Makes for a quieter experience for you and your bed partner
  • Quick-release elbow and universal headgear: Makes taking your mask on and off easier than ever
right mask

Shop AirFit F30i


Shop other options of Full Face Masks

Airfit F20 for him and her

Airfit F20 for him and her

airift f10 cpap mask for men and women

Shop Airift F10

Mirage Quattro full face CPAP mask from ResMed

Shop Mirage Quattro

Dreamwear Full Face mask from Respironics

Shop Dreamwear


Takeaway

The most common culprit is your exhaled air not escaping the CPAP system when you breathe out. Pressure problems (both too high and too low), sinus blockage, and mask issues can all lead to aerophagia.

Figuring out what’s causing your aerophagia is essential to resolve it. Extreme air swallowing can be very uncomfortable, particularly if your CPAP settings aren’t optimized. Be sure to talk with your respiratory therapist at Apnée Santé about this problem to help determine the causes and solutions unique to you.

You can also call your local clinic or fill out the form below and we will follow up with you:

At Apnea Health we always go the extra mile.

Because we know that private health insurance coverage can be confusing and tricky, as experts in sleep medicine, we offer our patients assistance with insurance benefits. Read on to hear how it works.


When you visit our clinic, together we can contact your insurer to verify your insurance benefits and coverage for both rentals and purchases

We’ll also find out the terms of the rental or purchase and we can provide you with an estimate of your expected financial responsibility at the time of set-up and monthly for the term of your rental.

If you’re comfortable asking your CPAP provider on your own, we will supply you with the necessary equipment estimate and your prescription or sleep results for those who were seen in our sleep clinic. Get direct access to your insurer contact details here.

In general, Apnea Health is unable to bill your private health insurer directly, but we are able to help people like yourself by providing you with quick turnaround, affordable prices, and dependable custom service.

Delson clinic employee talking to patient


Insurance Claims FAQs

What is covered by Health Insurance Benefits?

Health Benefits plans offered by employers often cover the full or partial cost of CPAP machines (typically 80% of cost) and CPAP supplies, such as masks, tubing, filters etc. Coverage may vary, so we recommend confirming your coverage with your Insurance Provider. A contact list of common Canadian Insurance providers can be found below.

How can I obtain a quote or estimate for supplies?

If you need a quote or estimate for your Insurance Provider to confirm coverage prior to purchasing, you can either call us directly (1-800-727-8748) and we’ll be happy to assist your or you can do it yourself at shop.apneesante.com through the following steps:

How do I submit for reimbursement after purchase?

If you’re eligible for reimbursement for your CPAP equipment, you will likely need to submit your receipt for reimbursement. When you purchase from Apnea Health online or in our clinic, you’ll receive a hard copy and soft copy (pdf by email) of your paid invoice.

replacement schedule en 1


What’s NOT covered by insurance provider

CPAP Cleaning Products:

PURDOUX CPAP wipes – Aloe Vera (unscented)

CPAP Premium 2 in 1 Hose Brush

Lumin CPAP cleaning and disinfecting machine

purdoux soap

 

CPAP Comfort Products:

CY K8405 E 1 BCP 900508 contourPillow 1 e1587749383883KG 5590 E 1


Insurance Claim Forms and Contact information

Great West Life:

BlueCross:

SunLife:

MÉDIC Construction:

Desjardins:

Manulife:

Industrielle Alliance:

Standard Life:

Greenshield:

The Co-operators:

Equitable Life:

RWAM Extended Healthcare:

If you’re a CPAP user, waking up with water on your face can be a truly disturbing experience.

Half awake, you start worrying that something is wrong with your CPAP. Don’t be alarmed. This is a fairly common problem known as rainout.


What is rainout?

Rainout is something that only occurs when CPAP users have a humidifier attached to their CPAP machine. When the temperature of the room is colder than the temperature of the humidified air traveling through your CPAP tube, water condensation builds up on the sides of the tube. The water will then drip onto the user as it exits the tube—essentially raining on you.

Man asleep with condensation on the window behind him


What are the consequences of rainout?

First and foremost, rainout can wake you up when dripping on your face, but it also has other consequences as well. These include:

  • Noisy sleep therapy: The moisture in the tube can cause a variety of unusual noises during the night, from gurgling to banging as the air pressure flows down the tube full of droplets.
  • Mold growth on CPAP supplies: Your supplies become less sanitary if not dried out properly after your CPAP session ends, as the waiting moisture is a breeding ground for germs and molds.
  • Shortened lifespan of equipment: Moisture leftover from rainout can even lead to your supplies degrading faster, contributing to small holes in your tubing that are hard to notice.


How can you deal with rainout?

  1. Customize your humidification settings.

    The main cause of rainout is the difference in the temperature of your room and the temperature in your tubing. The ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet, Respironics DreamStation and F&P Sleep Style prevent rainout with their climate control functions:

    • Automated Climate Control: Adjusts the humidity level of your water chamber and the temperature of your heated hose to match your room’s climate
    • Heated Tubing: Controls the the moisture levels and the air temperature in your tube
    • Tube Drier: After using your CPAP, a snowflake symbol will flash and the machine will dry out any moisture that remains in your hose

  2. Upgrade to a heated tube.

    If you don’t already have a heated tube or yours is defective, consider also purchasing a new one. The heating function will keep water droplets from forming inside the tube and prevent rainout from happening. Find your tube here.

    When CPAP supplies don’t function as well as they used to, replacing them is the quickest and most effective solution. Private health insurance covers replenishment parts yearly.

    If you already have a heated tube but you’re still experiencing rainout, you probably need to manually adjust the settings. Below find out how to adjust for each CPAP machine we carry:

    woman wearing a cpap mask, using an ipad and thinking about CPAP heated tubing accessories

    Shop heated tubing

  3. Insulate your tube with a tube cover.

    If you don’t have a CPAP machine compatible with a heated hose yet, then a tube cover can help lower the amount of rainout that occurs. Tube covers provide an extra layer of protection between the temperature in your room and the temperature in your tube. This helps keep rainout down by insulating your tube from your room’s cool air that would otherwise condense the water vapour in your tube back into droplets.

    sleeping man wearing a CPAP mask, with a cover on his CPAP tubing

    Shop tube covers

  4. Make sure you’re cleaning your CPAP.

    Water buildup can restrict airflow from your CPAP, but rainout isn’t just a problem that prevents you from having a peaceful night’s sleep. If you aren’t cleaning your supplies every day, the moisture buildup can allow bacteria and mold to grow in your CPAP tube. The Lumin CPAP Cleaner will sanitize your equipment and prevent you from breathing in those harmful particles.

    • One-click cleaning: Just press a button and let the Lumin do the rest
    • Completely compatible: No adapter needed to use with any mask and machine

    Lumin CPAP cleaning and disinfecting machine

    Shop the Lumin


Related links and products

Why should you replace your CPAP supplies regularly?

  • Necessary for hygiene: ensures the safety of your sleep therapy and minimizes chance of getting sick.
  • Decreases common problems: mask leaks, build up of calcium in water chamber, growth of bacteria in both water chamber and tube.
  • Protect your CPAP and you: filters, filters, filters! We can’t overstate the importance of filters.
  • Filters for the CPAP: if you don’t want to wind up with a noisy CPAP after a couple or years, you must change your filters regularly. The filters protect the CPAP’s motor!
  • Filters for you: protects you from dust and particles in the air.

cpap replacement schedule square 2022 en


Did you know?

Did you know that your insurance covers 1-2 masks per year and all CPAP maintenance items, such as filters, tube and water tubs?

Need help with your insurance? Contact us for assistance!

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Easy-to-choose replacement kits

 

air10 en

Shop Airsense 10 replacement kit

s9 en

Shop S9 Series replacement kit

ds en

Shop Dreamstation replacement kit

SS en

Shop SleepStyle replacement kit


Related links

If you want success with your CPAP treatment, the number one concern is comfort.

And if you’re suffering from a dry mouth or water in your tube, you’re not setting yourself up for success. Besides choosing the right mask, you need to know how to use your CPAP humidifier to enjoy maximum comfort.


At Apnée Santé, all our CPAP include a heated humidifier and a heated tube. When you begin treatment with us, we set the humidity to Climate Control Auto.

Normally, the Climate Control Auto settings provide the best protection against rain-out (an uncomfortable condition in which humidified air cools too quickly and condenses in your mask, becoming water droplets that dampen your face).

But some nights, it helps to have more control over your humidification to meet your individual needs. To be able to adjust the humidity yourself, you can set your CPAP to Climate Control Manual mode.

woman adjusting the settings on her Resmed Airsense


How do I find the Climate Control Manual mode?

Resmed AirSense users: You can access the Climate Control Manual setting anytime. From your machine’s Home screen:

  1. Select My Options
  2. Select Climate Ctrl
  3. Change default “Auto” setting to Manual
  4. Select Humidity Level and turn the dial to change the humidity (1–8; default setting is 4)
  5. Select Tube Temp and turn the dial to set the ClimateLine/ClimateLineAir heated tube to the temperature you find most comfortable (60–86⁰F; default setting is 81⁰F).

For more details, see your ClimateLineAir user guide.

resmed airsense 10 cpap machine 1


S9 users: Your equipment supplier must turn on your Climate Control Manual setting for you if they haven’t already.

From your machine’s Home screen:

  1. For humidity: Turn the dial to highlight the water drop icon; push the dial, turning the background yellow. Then turn the dial again to set the humidity (1–6, default setting is 3). Push the dial once more to set the new humidity level.
  2. For tube temperature: Turn the dial to highlight the thermometer icon; push the dial, turning that background yellow. Then turn the dial again to set the ClimateLine/ClimateLineAir tube temperature (15–30⁰ C, default setting is 27⁰ C). Push the dial once more to set the new temp.

(Watch this helpful S9 video.)

resmed s9 autoset with h5i profile


When should I change the temp in my humidifier and in my heated tube?

Most patients find cooler air easier to breathe while trying to sleep, especially those who are new to CPAP, wear a full face CPAP mask, and women experiencing hot flashes at bedtime. However, warmer air provides the best humidity and helps reduce nasal irritation since your nose doesn’t have to warm all that CPAP air on its own. It generally helps to increase:

  • Humidity if dry air is causing you to wake up with dry mouth, an uncomfortable side effect that 40% of CPAP users experience. If you want more humidity, try manually adjusting it and the temperature one notch at a time. If you reach the highest levels and still feel dry, please contact your respiratory therapist at Apnée Santé. There may be other factors causing your dryness. (You should also check for mask leak if you wake up to find your humidifier’s water chamber empty.)
  • Tube temperature if you’re experiencing dryness despite increasing the humidity. Consider increasing your tube temperature by just 1⁰C to see if that provides the best comfort.


A few important things to note

There are no right or wrong settings with the humidifier. You need to adjust your CPAP according to your individual needs throughout the year. You may sleep with the windows open during the winter and require more heat in your tube to reduce condensation.

In the summer, when it’s hot and humid in Quebec, you’ll certainly need to turn down the level in your humidifier and you may even turn off the Climate Line heated tube. Trial and error is the best.

And, if you’re still experiencing difficulty please contact your local Apnée Santé clinic. Our clinicians will be happy to help you!

Related blog: Do you really need a humidifier with your CPAP?

Apnée Santé Team


Helpful videos from Resmed, Philips and Fisher & Paykel

Resmed:

Philips Respironics:

Fisher & Paykel:

Yes! Did you know that patients who use CPAP and don’t regularly clean their equipment are 32 percent more likely to get pneumonia?

CPAP cleaning can present a real challenge to some CPAP users. Sometimes understanding the REASON behind the recommended maintenance, along with some simple guidelines, can go a long way to making the process less of a chore. The proper maintenance of your CPAP unit and accessories plays a significant role in success of the treatment of your obstructive sleep apnea. A proper hygiene of the equipment will avoid complications such as leaks, bacterial and fungal growth and further health complications.


germ icon Reasons to clean your CPAP

  1. Oil, sweat and dead skin cells can accumulate in the CPAP mask every time it’s used.
    The mask accumulates oil, sweat, dead skin cells and dirt which are absorbed by our skin and can lead to irritation. If you are waking up with acne, soreness or skin peeling, this is an indication that your mask is due for a good wash.
  2. The water in the machine and the moisture in the mask and hose are potential breeding grounds for bacteria and germs.
    A study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found 2,000+ bacteria counts evident after just 48 hours on 48 percent of samples from CPAP masks they collected. By implementing a cleaning regimen, you’ll be reducing the risks of infection and disease. Your equipment will also smell and look better and be more effective, which will contribute to the longevity of use of your CPAP.

kills 99% of viruses similar to coronavirus


note icon What you need to clean your CPAP

  • CPAP mask wipes or a damp cloth
  • Warm water
  • CPAP soap or dishwashing soap

If you opt for dishwashing soap, it is important to select a soap that is neither antibacterial or hydrating. The alcohol in an antibacterial soap will cause the cushion of your mask to dry out and break sooner than expected. Avoid hydrating soap as the hydrating agent in the soap will leave a greasy residue on your equipment. If you want to ensure that you are eliminating all bacteria in your mask or if you’re not cleaning your mask daily because of the inconvenience, we recommend the Lumin to sterilize your mask, water chamber.

cleaning kit grapefruit

Shop Cleaning Kit – Grapefruit

cleaning kit mint

Shop Cleaning Kit – Mint and Green Tea

Lumin UVC sterilizer from Kego

Shop Lumin UV-C Sterilizer

CPAP Premium 2 in 1 Hose Brush

Shop CPAP Premium in 1 pipe brush


calendar icon How and when to clean your CPAP and accessories

daily

Daily

Wipe down your mask

Use soap and warm water to wipe down your mask, especially the cushion which comes in contact with your skin, and allow to air dry. This will remove any oily residue, sweat and dead skin cells. For faster cleaning, pre-moistened wipes made specifically for CPAP masks are available .

Rinse and refill your water chamber

Empty the chamber, rinse with tap water and allow to air dry. Then refill with distilled water right before bedtime. Do not allow water to sit in your chamber all day as it is a good environment for bacteria and mold to thrive.

weekly

Weekly

Wash your mask

Fill your sink with warm, soapy water and gently wash your mask, including the headgear. Ideally, this should be scheduled early in the morning to allow your equipment to air dry.

Wash your air hose

Fill your tube with warm, soapy water and gently swirl the liquid back and forth. Run clean water through to rinse, and hang to air dry. Special brushes exist to help with the scrubbing inside the air hose.

Wash and sanitize your water chamber

Gently scrub the inside with soapy water then properly rinse it. Next, pour in a mixture of one-part vinegar and two-parts water, let sit for 30 minutes, then properly rinse and air dry. This will sanitize and decalcify your water chamber.

yearly

Every 3 Months

Replace your filter

By replacing your filter, you limit the deposit of dust and impurities in the compressor of your CPAP. It is important to replace the air filter of your CPAP once every three months especially if you have allergies.

Annually

Replace the mask, air hose and water chamber

This recommendation is widely known so most insurance company cover a certain percentage of the cost. With the proper upkeep of your CPAP device, your CPAP will continue to work optimally, you will be breathing clean air and be able achieve your goal of better night’s sleep.

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