Starting Treatment

Starting Treatment

Now that you know you have sleep apnea, you're on the road to healthy sleep, and you’ll want to get the most out of your treatment.

Living with sleep apnea can be an adjustment. And if you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea but haven't yet begun therapy, you probably have some questions about how your life will change and how it may affect your day-to-day activities and relationships.

To help you along the way, we’ve provided some useful information.

Getting started

Most people who use positive airway pressure therapy agree that it takes a couple of weeks to get used to it. But they also say it’s worth it.

Like anything new, you’ve got to give it time. If it’s taking you longer than you expected to get used to it all, speak to your Resmed accredited outlet or your doctor about your concerns.

 

Setting up

Your clinician will have shown you how to connect your device and mask. If you’re having any problems, refer to your user guides, which have clear instructions on setting up. You can also contact your equipment provider for advice.

The benefits of therapy

In our experience, by starting and sticking with therapy, you’re on the way to better sleep, better relationships and a better quality of life—and you can start taking advantage of your new-found energy.

You may also find that you lose weight as your energy levels increase and you can take part in activities that you were previously too sleepy for.1

As long as you’re using your therapy equipment, you’re helping to manage your sleep apnea. It's been our experience that if you stop using it, you may return to your previous levels of snoring, sleep apnea and tiredness.

Finding the right mask

For best results, your mask must form a good seal against your face to maintain the air pressure being delivered. If air is leaking from your mask (‘mask leak’) or your mouth (‘mouth leak’) your therapy may be compromised.

Mouth leak may occur if you breathe through your mouth while using a nasal mask, which only covers the nose.

If you’re not getting the most out of your therapy, talk to your equipment provider about getting a chin restraint or trialing a different mask.

Using a humidifier

Using a humidifier can make a positive difference to your therapy comfort and experience.

It helps you avoid a dry nose or throat, and because it warms the air you’re breathing and moistens your airway, it can also help you keep your mouth closed while you sleep.

If you don’t have a humidifier, speak to your healthcare professional or equipment provider.

Breathing against the airflow

Some people report that it can take a while to get used to breathing out against the air pressure. They feel a need to push against the airflow when they breathe out, which is normal.

To help overcome this urge, practice breathing with your device in the daytime while you’re relaxing or watching television, for instance. You don’t need to worry about your exhalations when you’re sleeping; you will automatically breathe out against the flow of air.

If you continue to find it difficult, talk to your healthcare professional or equipment provider, who might suggest using:

  • a ResMed device with the Ramp feature, where the device pressure can be set to start lower and ‘ramp up’ to your full therapy pressure over about 45 minutes.

Caring for your equipment

Taking care of your therapy equipment will help maintain the quality of the treatment you receive.

Device care

To keep your device (and treatment) in good condition, we recommend you check the air filter every month for holes or dust build-up, as a blocked air filter may reduce the air pressure being delivered to you.Depending on how much dust there is in the environment, air filters should be changed every 4–6 months.

Mask care

Over time, facial oils can reduce the quality and performance of your seal and mask, and cause skin irritation. For this reason it’s best to wash your face with water to remove any excess facial oils before wearing your mask each night.

We also recommend that you do not apply moisturisers near areas where the mask will touch your face. This will help prevent oil build-up on your mask. Please refer to the user guide for instructions on cleaning and caring for your mask.

You can also find out more about the recommended frequency for replacing your mask and its parts in the FAQs section on the ResMed website.

Humidifier

We recommend washing out the water tub after each use. Wash in warm water, using a mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry away from direct sunlight.

Inspect the water tub once a month for wear and deterioration. Replace the tub if any component has cracked, become cloudy or pitted.

This cleaning information is a summary only. Please refer to your product user guide for more information.

Travelling with your device

Thanks to their universal power supply, most ResMed S9™ devices can be used across the globe and even on an aircraft. Here are some things to remember if you’re planning a getaway:

Make sure you get clearance from the airline to use your device during the flight.

  • You can use your device on the plane, but it’s best not to use your humidifier, as aircraft turbulence increases the risk of water spillage and damage to the device.
  • When travelling, always use distilled or bottled water to fill your humidifier tub.
  • Most ResMed devices can automatically adjust for changes in altitude and run on virtually any power supply in the world, with a suitable adapter. Don’t forget that power outlets differ from country to country, so you will need to have the correct adapter for the outlet.

Thanks to their universal power supply, most ResMed S9™ devices can be used across the globe and even on an aircraft. Here are some things to remember if you’re planning a getaway:

Make sure you get clearance from the airline to use your device during the flight.

  • You can use your device on the plane, but it’s best not to use your humidifier, as aircraft turbulence increases the risk of water spillage and damage to the device.

  • When travelling, always use distilled or bottled water to fill your humidifier tub.
  • Most ResMed devices can automatically adjust for changes in altitude and run on virtually any power supply in the world, with a suitable adapter. Don’t forget that power outlets differ from country to country, so you will need to have the correct adapter for the outlet.

While travelling, you should have the following information handy:

  • your therapy pressure
  •  your mask type and size
  •  contact details for your equipment provider/sleep specialist/GP

  •  your health insurance information

  •  a copy of the ResMed device travel letter, which you can get from sleepvantage.

Contact Us

1300 305 705 in Australia

0800 737 633 in New Zealand

Email  

For more information on travelling with your device, go to ResMed’s Travel FAQs.

Checking in

Most hotel rooms don’t have a power socket located near the bed head. It’s a good idea to pack an extension cord so that you can conveniently and comfortably position your device and mask.

When it’s time to pack, always remember to empty the water from your humidifier before disconnecting it from your therapy device.

So now there’s no reason why your treatment should keep you from the joy of travel–and a good night’s sleep!

Following up on your treatment

Once you have your equipment and are comfortable with using it, it’s important to follow up on your treatment progress. After some time, you may find that your treatment requirements have changed, which may mean changing your mask and/or your therapy device settings.

Some equipment providers and healthcare professionals have their own follow-up routines, but generally, it is good to follow up at least once a year. Regular progress updates help ensure that your treatment is on track, so you can help maintain the quality of your therapy.

If you stop feeling the benefits of treatment, even though you are using your equipment every night, please consult your Resmed accredited outlet or your doctor as soon as possible.

We hope that the information contained in this section helps you manage your equipment and treatment. If issues regarding your treatment remain unresolved, please consult your Resmed accredited outlet or your doctor as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Visit the ResMed website for treatment-related FAQs.

Important notes about treatment

The following side effects may arise during the course of therapy:

  • drying of the nose, mouth or throat
  • nosebleeds
  • bloating
  • ear or sinus discomfort
  • eye irritation
  • skin rashes

Please check your product user guide for more information.

If you have any concerns (or if your sleep apnea symptoms reappear) please consult your Resmed accredited outlet or your doctor. Always consult your Resmed accredited outlet or your doctor if you expect to be in a situation where you cannot use your therapy equipment for more than a few days. Do not stop your treatment without consulting your Resmed accredited outlet or your doctor.

Reference

  1. Becker HF, Jerrentrup A, Ploch T, Grote L,et al. Effect of nasal continuous positive airway pressure treatment on blood pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Circulation 2003; 107:68-73.