How to Use a CPAP Machine

By | February 7, 2016

How Do You Optimize The Use Of Your CPAP Machine?

Well, it’s been confirmed that you have sleep apnea and you’ve been told you need to use a CPAP machine. You’re not alone. Sleep apnea affects millions of people, men, women and children. So what’s involved with a CPAP machine? The CPAP machine uses a mask which is attached to a hose, can help you breathe better at night and get the rest you need. It can take some getting used to, but people who use a CPAP machine say they feel better and are healthier because they are sleeping better.

Setup and Care for Your CPAP machine

  1. The travel bag should contain the CPAP machine, the water tank, a breathing tube, a CPAP mask, and the power cord
  2. Open the bag and take out the two pieces, the CPAP machine and the water tank and connect the two pieces together
  3. Connect one end of the breathing tube to the CPAP machine and the other end to the CPAP mask
  4. Connect the power cord to the back of the machine and the other end into a wall outlet
  5. There’s a button on the top of the machine to turn it on or off
  6. Turning the button takes you to a number of different options, but the default is the therapy setting. One of the other options is setting, but this should be setup by the sleep specialist. It represents the base setting for the amount of air pressure that your machine should be set to
  7. The water tank should be filled up to the line on the tank, using distilled water. In the morning, dump out any excess water and rinse the water tank with regular water and leave it to dry. Using distilled water extends the life of the water tank
  8. The mask and hose should also be cleaned with a mild detergent, such as Dawn, at least once a week
  9. Many CPAP devices today have a heated humidifier. It ensures that you are breathing warm, moist air through your mask. One of the options on your device allows you to adjust the humidity settings

When it’s Time to Go to Sleep

  1. The device should be placed on a shelf that is lower than your sleeping height. The height is important as it prevents water from the water tank entering the breathing tube
  2. Wash your face. This will prevent the mask from getting dirty and also provide a good seal against your face
  3. Put the mask on and make sure the straps go around your head and then attach the connectors to the mask. Adjust the straps but make sure the mask is not too tight against your face. The most common problems with CPAP occur when the mask does not fit properly
  4. Turn the machine on and you should feel the air flow into the mask
  5. If you hear a loud noise, it usually means that there is an air leak and that the mask is not fitting properly against your face.
  6. Enjoy a good night’s sleep
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2 thoughts on “How to Use a CPAP Machine

  1. Axel Dejean

    Nice and simple user guide here Shawn. I’ve been having some problems myself getting to and maintaining sleep. Perhaps this tool and a checkup would help me.
    Is there anything else you would recommend?
    Always appreciate a short & concise article.
    All the best, Axel!

    1. Shawn

      Hi Axel,
      Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it! Before I got tested for sleep apnea, I was trying a mouth guard. Unfortunately that didn’t work and I found it uncomfortable to wear at night. Then a tried a chin strap which did absolutely nothing for me. It didn’t prevent me from snoring, at least that’s what my wife said!! As soon as I started using a CPAP machine, my wife noticed on the first night that I had stopped snoring and I felt refreshed and alert, even after the first night wearing one. You may want to talk to your doctor to see about getting tested. Good luck to you.


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