Sleep Apnea Therapy FAQs

What health risk factors are associated with sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can be a life-threatening disorder. If untreated, you have a higher chance of serious health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.

High blood pressure

  • 1 in 3 people with high blood pressure also has sleep apnea.
  • In patients who take multiple medications to control their blood pressure, that number is much higher.
  • Treating sleep apnea may help lower your blood pressure and benefit your heart. 

Heart disease

  • Sleep apnea may place a patient at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • CPAP therapy is associated with a lowered risk of heart disease.


  • More than 1 in 2 people with type 2 diabetes also suffer from sleep apnea.
  • Studies show that sleep apnea may affect the body’s ability to use glucose and insulin.


  • Treating sleep apnea may help you in your efforts to reach a healthy weight.
  • Exercise is important in controlling your weight, but when you’re tired you have less energy to exercise.
  • Treating sleep apnea has been shown to improve a person’s overall quality of life and increase energy throughout the day.
  • The increased energy from treating sleep apnea may help you exercise, which can lead to weight loss.

Can I use supplemental oxygen with my CPAP device?

Yes, oxygen can be administered in conjunction with CPAP therapy.

If I get a cold or the flu, should I stop using my machine?

CPAP therapy is indicated for nightly use but we understand that is not always possible. If you have a severely blocked nose and are using a nasal mask it may be difficult and uncomfortable to breathe through your nose. If this is the case, you may wish to stop using your CPAP unit until you are able to breathe through your nose again or you may want to try a full face mask. If you are suffering from a chest infection or a blocked/sore ear, consult your doctor before recommencing treatment.

Are there alternatives to CPAP therapy?

Yes, there are other options such as positional therapy, oral appliances, and surgical options. Oral appliances may consist of a custom fitted oral appliance made by a qualified dentist. Indications for use are dependent on the severity and complexity of sleep apnea and should be discussed with your sleep medicine specialist. In some people, usually children, surgical options may be available. Most of the time this includes taking out adenoids and tonsils and sometimes the uvula, parts of the soft palate and other tissues at the back of the throat. Surgery is usually not indicated as a first line therapy except with children.

What is "ramp" and how does it work?

Ramp allows the pressure of the machine to be lowered for comfort while awake. Over a set period of time the pressure will gradually increase to the therapeutic pressure that the machine has been set to help keep your airway open. The amount the pressure is lowered by is proportional to the pressure at which your machine is set. It is useful to use this function if you find it difficult to get to sleep with the full pressure of your machine. Having the pressure reduced may allow you to get to sleep more easily.

Do I need to remove the water chamber from the CPAP device or humidifier when filling?

Yes, the water chamber should be removed for filling and then reinserted onto the humidifier heater-plate. It should also be removed for emptying. Remember: It is important to put fresh water in the chamber every day.

Do I need to use distilled water in the chamber?

It is strongly recommended that you use distilled water in the chamber as it is free of minerals and will prolong the life of the chamber. Using distilled water will also prevent mineral build-up on the inside of the chamber which can make it appear dirty. The use of normal tap water will not harm you but may cause the chamber to deteriorate at a rate faster than expected.

What is the recommended PAP Equipment Replacement Schedule?

Below you will find our Recommended Replacement Schedule for CPAP and BiPAP Supplies, based on information from Medicare and private insurance companies.

Please note: Masks, tubing, filters, and headgear are not designed to last extreme amounts of time, and using them past their recommended life span can actually jeopardize your CPAP therapy.

Everything CPAP will mail replacement supplies after receipt of verbal or written request. Supplies received in excess of the standard insurance replacement schedule (above) may not be eligible for benefit coverage. It is your responsibility to understand your insurance benefits.

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