Frequently Asked Questions
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and refers to a form of therapy used to treat sleep apnoea. This is achieved through the use of a machine that pumps a continuous flow of air through a mask as a person sleeps, allowing them to breathe comfortably and consistently throughout the night.
To learn more about CPAP and sleep apnoea, check out our resources page.
Sleep apnoea (or sleep apnea) is a sleep disorder that affects the breathing of a person throughout sleep. There are two main forms of sleep apnoea, known as obstructive sleep apnoea, and central sleep apnoea.
Many complications can arise as a result of untreated sleep apnoea, including (but not limited to) brain and heart implications, as well as fatigue and risk of type 2 diabetes.
Whilst CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, APAP stands for Automatic Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP therapy utilises a continuous, unchanging air pressure that is prescribed by a sleep specialist. APAP, on the other hand, automatically changes the air pressure to suit the needs of the user throughout the night.
There are pros and cons to both forms of sleep apnoea therapy, and the recommendation of an appropriate choice of machine will come down to the individual.
CPAP therapy involves a continuous flow of air, through a tube and mask, to a person's airway. This allows a person to sleep with unobstructed breathing throughout the night, creating pressure in the airway to avoid collapse.
A doctor or sleep specialist will help you decide the most appropriate equipment and settings for your therapy - a great way to decide whether CPAP therapy is useful for you is to complete our online screening test. Depending on your result, you can then try a home sleep test.
There are a wide range of masks and machines available to choose from - your preference will come down to a range of factors.
These factors include your personal preferences, sleeping position and habits, face shape, and the choice recommended by your doctor or sleep specialist.
CPAP Online Australia has various resources that can help you to decide, including mask sizing guides, machine reviews, and more.
With a wide range of CPAP machines available, they will differ in various ways, including machine size, customisability options, humidifier, technology used, interface, and more.
A great way to determine what features you are looking for is to check out our machine reviews - these give in-depth insights into general machine features, as well as specific pros and cons of each machine.
CPAP masks can differ in various ways - these include mask shape, strap type, and more. For example, full face masks differ greatly from nasal pillow and nasal masks.
it is important that you make the right choice in order to ensure that your sleeping patterns are uninterrupted, and that mask leaking is prevented. To do this, have a look at our mask sizing guide, or speak to a sleep specialist.
Throughout CPAP therapy, it is important that you take steps to ensure you do not skip it, even for just a night. Whilst it may be tempting, there are numerous risks that can come as a result.
These include fatigue, heart problems, and closing of airways. Having the most appropriate and comfortable equipment, as well as looking into owning a travel CPAP machine will help to avoid missing a night of therapy.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnoea, or just want to be sure, there are many ways you can find out whether you would benefit from CPAP therapy. Firstly, consider the main symptoms of sleep apnoea; fatigue, snoring, waking up with a sore throat, and morning headaches are a few.
Secondly, to gain a better understanding of whether you may be affected, take our online test. This will run through various questions and scenarios, and will come to a conclusion regarding whether you are likely to have sleep apnoea.
Following this, you may have the option to perform a home sleep test - the results of this will be sent to our sleep specialists, who will then provide you with a diagnosis.
With a correctly calibrated air pressure, CPAP therapy should reduce or eliminate snoring.
CPAP Online Australia Questions
CPAP Equipment Questions
There are a number of actions you can take to ensure that your mask won't leak. Firstly, the type mask that you purchase should be based on your facial structure, sleeping position, and sleeping habits. For example, a full face mask may not be appropriate if you have facial hair. On the other hand, if you breathe through your mouth during sleep, a nasal mask might not be appropriate.
Following a home sleep test, our sleep specialists will be able to calibrate your machine to fit your needs. They will also provide you with information surrounding your calibration needs, so that you can perform the process yourself.
It is also important to set up the machine as per the manufacturer guidelines, in order to ensure that it is working as intended.
Particularly in the colder months, you may find that condensation forms within the tubing of your CPAP machine. The most effective way to avoid condensation is to use a heated tube.
If this is not an option, there are numerous other measures you can take to reduce hose moisture. These include keeping the room warm and placing the CPAP machine below your bed.
If your mask is coming off due to you taking it off in your sleep, this can be a result of factors such as an uncomfortable and improperly fitting mask, a dry mouth due to no humidifier, the wrong pressure settings, claustrophobia, or just not being accustomed to using a CPAP machine.
Your CPAP mask may also be falling off by itself. In this case, the type and fit of the mask and strap will be at fault.
In order to minimise this occurrence, it is important to ensure that you are using correctly fitted and calibrated equipment. This includes mask type and size, use of a humidifier, and properly calibrated air pressure settings. If you are not used to using a CPAP machine, give yourself the time to become accustomed to it - otherwise, changing mask type is often useful in fixing this.
You can find any machine documentation and manuals in our resources section, as well as on the relevant product page. If no documentation is available, get in touch and we will make sure to address the problem.
A great way to address this problem is to use a heated humidifier with your CPAP machine, which will help to reduce throat and mouth dryness. Another useful tip is to use a mask that has a chin strap, which will keep your mouth closed throughout the night.
Most manufacturers will recommend to use distilled water in your CPAP machine humidifier. When in doubt, be sure to check the relevant documentation for your CPAP machine.
CPAP machine warranties can cover as long as five years. With good cleaning and maintenance habits, your machine could last even longer.
On the other hand, CPAP masks are recommended to be replaced yearly, and headgear and cushion components should be replaced two - three times a year.
For more specific information regarding product lifespan, have a look at the relevant product manual.
Whilst we recommend CPAP therapy as the most effective method of addressing sleep apnoea, there are alternatives. These include positional therapy, weight loss, surgery, or using an oral appliance.
If you are only experiencing snoring symptoms, anti snoring products such as a snoring mouthpiece can be a great alternative.
When you get your new CPAP machine, an important step is figuring out the best placement within your bedroom. There are a few things to keep in mind.
Firstly, make sure it is placed in an area that has a small amount of space around it - for example, not up against a wall. Secondly, optimal placement will be level to your bed, so that the tubing can work as intended. You should also make sure the machine is level, and in a spot where it will not be knocked over.