CPAP INSTRUCTIONS AND DIRECTIONS
Care of the device and accessories
Care of CPAP equipment is simple and requires
a minimal amount of time to maintain
properly. It may help to think of the care
as on a ‘once a day, once a week, once a
month and as needed’ schedule. This
information will also be discussed with you
when the equipment is delivered.
- Wash the CPAP
mask daily in warm water and a mild soap.
Pat dry with a clean towel.
- Wash the tubing once weekly by taking it
in the shower with you and letting a good
amount of water run through it. Hang it to
- There is a filter in the CPAP machine.
This filter will either be disposable or
washable, depending on the machine delivered
to you. You should check the condition of
the filter once monthly and either replace,
or wash it, if it is dirty. You should be
supplied with replacement filters if your
machine has the disposable filter type.
- The headgear may be washed in mild soap
and warm water on an as needed basis.
- We do not recommend soaking the mask or
tubing, as this can result in swelling of
the plastic and distortion of shape.
- Wash your mask and tubing daily if you
have a cold.
Adapting to the CPAP device
We recognize that getting used to
wearing a mask on your face while sleeping
is not an easy task for many people. There
is a great degree of variability in the ease
with which people adapt to CPAP. Try not to
put an undue amount of pressure on yourself
to immediately bond with the device. We
expect that this will be a process, not an
immediate result! If you are only able to
wear it a brief period of time at first,
that’s a start. You will become increasingly
more used to it with time. Some suggestions:
We understand that the psychological battle
of adapting to sleeping with a mask and CPAP
device is often greater than any
difficulties encountered physically
adjusting. Remember: Your bed partner is
interested in your health and wants you to
use this device. Your bed partner will be
grateful for a quiet’s night sleep. No one
cares what you look like while you are
sleeping (except you)!
It is best to have the equipment lower than
the bed level so that secretions or humidity
that may condense in the tube can run
downhill away from you. Many people like the
machine positioned at the head of the bed.
This can allow for more easily turning side
to side. You can, however, have it at the
side of the bed—whatever works for you.
Air leaks from the mask reduce the treatment
pressure and may lead to inadequate
treatment of the sleep apnea. Repositioning
of the mask on the face and adjustment of
headgear is the first step in dealing with
this. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you
may need an alternative mask or a different
size. Approximately 20% of the patients
require a change from the mask that they
were originally studied with. You may call
the office to arrange a mask re-fitting
session with our daytime technologist or
call the homecare company that provided your
equipment. Remember that the mask should
feel snug, but not tight. Over tightening the
mask may aggravate leakage. If there is a
white plug on the mask, it should be closed
unless you are instructed otherwise. (It is
a port for oxygen delivery, which is not
needed in most patients.)
If you have any persistent pink/red marks on
your face from the mask, please let us know
as soon as possible. If you continue to wear
your mask with this degree of irritation,
you may end up with an ulcer/scab/scar on
your face that could have been prevented
with a mask adjustment or refitting. Our
daytime sleep technician, Joel, is very
skilled at mask adjusting and is quite
available to address this issue, should it
While we try to get you comfortable with a
given mask the night of your titration
study, changes in mask type are sometimes
made, depending on your comfort and
experience at home.
If you feel you are not making progress
within the first 2 weeks towards being able
to use the CPAP device for the entire night,
please call and arrange a CPAP mask
re-fitting/ desensitization session with our
daytime techs so that the problems can be
addressed BEFORE you throw the equipment out
the window. Early intervention is critical
if you are not adapting.