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MASKS

Q: Can I return my mask if I just try it on or use it one night and find I don’t like it? 

A: Once the packaging has been opened on the mask, we are unable to take it back and refund you. Please visit the
Buying Online page for our suggestion regarding purchasing sleep equipment on the internet. We are available by phone to answer any questions you may have about any product. 

Q: I use a nasal mask with my humidifier every night. Why is my mouth so dry when I wake in the morning? 

A: In most cases a dry mouth indicates that a person is breathing through their mouth while sleeping. Since a mouth-breather using only a nasal mask is not receiving adequate therapy, doctors attempt to remedy the problem by prescribing a chin strap to keep the mouth closed or a full face mask that covers the mouth and nose, allowing a person to continue to breathe through the mouth.

Q: My mask leaves red marks on my face. How can this be avoided?

A: Usually red marks cannot be completely avoided. However, if the marks are painful or become open sores, your mask is not a proper fit, or it is not adjusted correctly. Contact your physician or medical equipment provider for help fitting your mask. You may also visit the manufacturer website to obtain a printable fitting guide for your specific mask.

Q: How do I clean my mask and how often?

A: The cushion or pillows of your mask should be washed daily with a mild soap and water. It is important to remove the natural oil your skin leaves behind on your mask as it affects the quality of the seal. Please see the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning your specific mask.

Q: How often should I replace my mask?

A: We recommend replacing your mask at least every six months, since even the best mask will begin to show signs of wear by then.

Q: How do I know if it is time to replace my mask?

A: There are two major things to look for when deciding whether or not to replace your mask:
1. Does the headgear seem to be stretched out? Are you having to tighten it to maintain a proper seal?
2. Does the cushion or pillows seem to be too soft? Are you having difficulty getting a consistent seal? Are you having to tighten the headgear to maintain the seal?

If you can answer yes to either question, it is probably time to for a replacement. If your headgear is still in good condition, but your cushion or pillows have softened, just replace those.

Q: Can I use any mask with my CPAP or BiLevel?

A: Yes, every mask is compatible with every CPAP or BiLevel unit on the market.

Q: If I use nasal pillows, will they make my nostrils larger?

A: No.

Q: What is the difference between a nasal mask and a full face mask?

A: A nasal mask delivers air pressure through the nose only. A full face mask is designed to cover both the nose and mouth for those people who tend to breathe through the mouth while sleeping.

Q: How is a nasal pillow mask different from a regular mask that covers the nose?

A: A nasal pillow mask has two nasal inserts that rest just inside the nostrils to deliver the pressure. The nasal inserts are called pillows, and the mask resembles the cannula used to deliver oxygen. Cannulas are much smaller and do not seal the nostrils like a nasal pillows mask, however.

Q: What is an oral mask?

A: An oral mask delivers CPAP pressure just like any other mask; however it is worn in the mouth. It does not cover the nose at all. The benefit would be avoiding the irritation that nasal and full face masks can cause to the skin. However, you must breathe only through your mouth, and you must always use a humidifier to prevent dryness. The only oral mask available on the market right now is the Oracle™ by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

TUBING

Q: How often should I replace my tubing?

A: It is a good idea to replace tubing every 6-12 months to prevent sudden failures. To keep your tubing in good condition it is important to detach it from the machine every morning and let it air dry. Be sure to remove it by grasping the rubber ends, not the tubing itself.

Q: How do I know if I should replace my tubing?

A: The two places that tubing will generally wear out are the end connectors and the transparent portion of the tubing closest to the end connectors. The end connectors become stretched and loose and may not remain attached to the mask or machine when the person moves. The transparent part of the tubing twists and crinkles. Holes can develop, or the tubing can become twisted during sleep, cutting off air supply. 

Q: Is longer tubing available?

A: Yes. The standard length that comes with your unit is 6 ft. Replacement tubing does come in 8, 10, and 12 ft. lengths. You should not use tubing longer than 12 ft. since it decreases the amount of pressure reaching you.

Q: Is all CPAP tubing the same?

A: No. Please call us for more information if you are not sure which tubing you need for your machine.

CPAP /BILEVEL MACHINES

Q: There are so many different machines available. How do I know which one I should have?

A: The CPAP/Bilevel machines on the market today have a variety of functions ranging from a basic unit with no bells and whistles to units with various functions which may or may not be of benefit to you. Your physician will be able to guide you in choosing the best machine for you. If you would like to do some research yourself, see our product comparison chart and/or visit the websites for each manufacturer listed in the Resources page . You are welcome to call our staff for information as well.

Q: How often should I change the filter in my machine?

A: The filter should be changed whenever it becomes discolored or at least once a month. If your machine uses a non-disposable sponge-like filter, you may wash it with soap and water whenever it appears soiled. However, all other types of filters should be discarded when soiled.

Q: Why am I not allowed to change the pressure setting myself?

A: The pressure ordered by your physician was chosen based on your test results or individual needs for the best therapeutic results. Positive airway pressure requires a prescription just as any other medical product or drug does. Therefore, a medical equipment supplier cannot show a patient how to change the prescription without a physician’s order to do so.

Q: Can I use a rechargeable battery to power my machine?

A: Yes. 

Q: Where can I buy a rechargeable battery?

A: Any battery supplier should be able to help you find the right battery to fit your power needs.You will need to provide information regarding the electrical specifications of your machine. It is important to check with the manufacturer of your particular machine first.

Q: Do any machines come with a battery?

A: There are a few machines on the market that do come with a battery pack. We do not carry these products at this time.

Q: Can I use a cigarette lighter adaptor to power my machine from the car battery?

A: Yes. Most manufacturers make an adaptor for their machines.

Q: Can I use my machine if I travel out of the country?

A: Yes. Some machines are made to handle 100 to 240 volts. Those that do not have this dual capability will need a converter. Keep in mind that you will require an adaptor which will allow you to use a US power cord in an overseas outlet.

Q: Do I have to take my machine with me when I travel?

A: The answer is almost always yes. Check with your doctor to determine if traveling without your CPAP is safe.

Q: What is “auto altitude adjust”?

A: If your CPAP has the feature of auto altitude adjust, it has the ability to adjust your pressure automatically whenever you change elevations. Atmospheric pressure changes at different elevations, so the CPAP must be able to adjust accordingly to provide the correct pressure. Some CPAP models do not adjust automatically but must be changed manually.

HUMIDIFIERS

Q: What is the purpose of a humidifier?

A: The humidifier moistens the air that you are breathing through your CPAP. The moisture is important for the comfort and health of your nasal passages and airway. However, the amount or temperature of the moisture is subjective to each person. People who have hayfever/allergies, chronic congestion, or dry nasal/sinus passages, and people who live in very dry climates, benefit from using a humidifier.

Q: Do I have to take the humidifier when I travel?

A: No. All of the machines we carry can operate separately from the humidifier.

Q: Why do I have to use distilled water in my humidifier? I have a water filtration system in my home.

A: Water filtration systems do not remove all of the minerals naturally present in the water. The minerals will damage the metal portion of the humidifier reservoir. Distilled water is recommended because of its lack of minerals.

Q: I use the humidifier every night. Why is my mouth dry in the morning?

A: In most cases a dry mouth indicates that a person is breathing through their mouth while sleeping. Since a mouth-breather using only a nasal mask is not receiving adequate therapy, doctors attempt to remedy the problem by prescribing a chin strap to keep the mouth closed or a full face mask that covers the mouth and nose, allowing a person to continue to breathe through the mouth.

Q: I use the humidifier every night. Why is my nose still dry and irritated in the morning?

A: You may need more humidity. Check your humidifier setting. If it is set low, increase to a higher temperature. The increased temperature should increase the amount of humidity you are receiving. If the dryness persists, contact your physician for other suggestions.

Q: Can I get the humidifier at a later time if I opt not to get it now?

A: It depends on the device model.  Some models have a separately attached humidifier while others have an integrated design.

GENERAL

Q: Why do I wake up with abdominal bloating or belching after using my CPAP?

A: Waking with abdominal bloating may be a sign that you are swallowing air while using the CPAP. For some people this can be alleviated by adjusting your sleeping position. There is no correct position, so you may need to experiment a little. If changing positions does not help, contact your physician. He/she may want to decrease your pressure a little to see if the bloating or belching stops.

Q: Why do I sometimes wake in the morning and find that my I am no longer wearing my mask?

A: There are several reasons why people might remove their masks while sleeping. We suspect that the most common reasons involve the pressure setting and inadequate air supply. For instance, if the pressure is set too low or the mask is leaking significantly, air supply may be diminished. If the pressure is too high, it may be too difficult to exhale against it or may cause the mask to leak. If you find your mask off frequently, talk to your physician.

Call us with your questions!  

480-614-5281

Frequently Asked Questions

Ironwood Square
10277 N 92nd St., Ste 102
Scottsdale, AZ 85258