OSA is a condition in which a person stops breathing repeatedly through the night. Breathing stops because the throat or “airway” collapses and prevents air from getting into the lungs. Sleep patterns are disrupted, resulting in excessive sleepiness or fatigue during the day.

Extra tissue in the back of the airway, such as large tonsils, decrease in the tone of the muscles that hold the airway open, the tongue falling back and closing off the airway

Evaluation by a doctor specializing in sleep disorders is recommended. Have a sleep study done. A sleep study can provide the doctor with information about how you sleep and breathe. This information will help the doctor to determine your diagnosis and treatment options.

There is possible increased risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease and heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Fatigue-related motor vehicle and work accidents
  • Decreased quality of life

Most commonly, positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy is the treatment of choice for OSA. It is noninvasive and can alleviate the symptoms of OSA when used as prescribed. Less commonly, surgery or oral appliances are used, which may be effective in certain cases. Any treatment plan should include weight loss if needed, exercise, and avoidance of alcohol, sedatives, and hypnotics.


CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) treats OSA by providing a gentle flow of positive-pressure air through a facial mask to keep the airway open during sleep. As a result:

  • Breathing becomes regular during sleep
  • Snoring stops
  • Restful sleep is restored
  • Quality of life is improved
  • Risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and motor vehicle and work accidents is reduced
  • Loud or disruptive snoring
  • Witnessed pauses in breathing
  • Choking or gasping for air during sleep
  • Restless sleep
  • Frequent visits to the bathroom
  • Early morning headaches
  • Excessive daytime fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression or irritability
  • Falling asleep during routine activities
  • Overweight/Obesity
  • A large neck or tongue
  • Extra tissue or crowding in the airway

Most PAP users who remain committed to treatment enjoy:

  • Increased energy and attentiveness
  • Fewer morning headaches
  • Reduced irritability
  • Improved memory
  • Increased ability to exercise
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decreased risk of strokes and heart attacks
  • Increased effectiveness at home and at work
  • Improved overall quality of life

Most people begin to feel better within the first week of use, though for some people it may take a little longer.

Snoring while on CPAP should not occur. If it does, contact your doctor. Your pressure level might need to be adjusted.

You may need to have your CPAP pressure level adjusted. Contact your doctor.

Yes. Also, if you are having surgery, it is important to tell the surgeon and the anesthesiologist that you are using CPAP at home. You should also inform the doctor treating you for sleep apnea that you are going into the hospital.

Most people will adjust to CPAP in one to two weeks. Occasionally, it may take a little longer if, for example, you are very sensitive to the feel of the mask on your face or the sound of the device. Call your homecare provider or your prescribing physician if you continue to have problems beyond two weeks. Ask if you are eligible to try a bi-level or auto-adjusting device.

Humidifiers are designed to moisturize the air that is being delivered to you from the therapy device. There are two types of humidifiers—heated and unheated. Heated humidifiers do not “heat the air” but will increase the moisture content of the air delivered. Humidifiers can help to reduce some of the side-effects of therapy, such as dry nose.

The tubing is used to carry the air from the therapy device to the mask. You should clean and inspect your tubing at least once a week to make sure it is clean, pliable, and free of tears. If you think your tubing is ready for replacement, contact your homecare provider.

Therapy devices come with filters. Some devices come with one regular filter and others come with two—one regular filter and one ultra-fine filter. Consult your device manual for proper maintenance of your filters.

CPAP and BiPAPs are allowed through TSA security checkpoints once they have been screened. You will be required to remove device from its carrying case. Mask and tubing may remain in the carrying case. To know if your device can be used aboard aircraft, the bottom of your device will have a note stating that it is medical equipment and will have a picture of an airplane with a circle around it. If your device does not have this picture, you will not be permitted to use it on-board the aircraft. Please note that your medical device does not count towards your carry on. It is not recommended that you that you check your medical device through checked baggage as the carrying case is not designed to protect the device. It is always recommended that you bring a copy of your prescription with you in the event there are questions.

Condensation builds up because the air in the room may be cooler than the air coming from the machine. To prevent this condensation from forming, try placing the tubing under the covers to warm it. You may also ask your homecare provider for a hose cover .

This sensation may improve over time as you adapt to positive airway pressure therapy. Ask your physician about comfort features, such as pressure relief technology or bi-level therapy, which makes it easier to breathe out against pressure.

You can adjust the way your tubing is laying on your bed by placing it under the edge of your pillow where you will not lay on it and block the airflow. You can position the tubing up over the top of the headboard—or through the headboard if it has holes. If you have the Nuance or Wisp mask, there is a loop on the headgear that allows the tubing to be placed in an upward position instead of pointing down.

Check that the air from the therapy device is blowing. Then, check the air inlet and filter for obstruction or dust build-up. Inspect the hose for punctures. If you are still having problems, check with your homecare provider or doctor for assistance.

Check the power cord to be sure that it is firmly inserted into the back of the machine and the electrical outlet. If this is not the problem, contact your homecare provider. Do not attempt to repair the blower on your own.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices deliver a steady, gentle flow of air throughout the night and are very effective treatment for sleep apnea. Your doctor prescribes one therapy pressure to open your airway, which is what your device is set to deliver throughout the night. Devices are equipped with various features that can help make therapy more comfortable.

Bi-level therapy devices are set to deliver two levels of pressure during the night—a lower pressure when you breathe out (exhalation) and a higher level of pressure when you breathe in (inhalation). These devices are sometimes prescribed for patients who have trouble tolerating one constant pressure from a CPAP device. Most are equipped with various features that can help make therapy more comfortable.

Auto therapy devices sense your needs and provide variable pressures throughout the night. As with the other models, auto therapy devices are equipped with various features that can help make therapy more comfortable.

This gives you the opportunity to fall asleep on a low pressure. You can choose the period of time over which the pressure gradually increases until you reach your prescribed level of pressure.

Place the machine on a hard level surface close to where you sleep. Plug the machine into a standard, electrical outlet.

  • Check the air inlet filter to ensure it is in place and free of dust.
  • If using a humidifier, add distilled water to the water chamber not inserted into the device, then use according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Connect one end of the tubing (hose) to the airflow outlet on the machine and the other end to the mask (or valve). Turn the machine on, place the headgear over your head and the mask on your face. Verify that air is flowing continuously to the mask.
  • If the mask has been properly fitted under PAP pressure, you may not need to adjust it further. Air should not leak between your face and the mask. A small amount of air, however, will leak out from the mask where the exhalation ports are located and is considered to be normal. There should only be minimal pressure of the mask on the face. Adjusting the mask too tightly is not only uncomfortable, but can cause leaks.

When traveling internationally, you will not need a transformer or voltage converter for your S9 Series PAP device because it has an international power supply that adjusts to different voltages. You will more than likely have to purchase a plug adapter. Many countries have more than one configuration so there is often more than one adapter required. Electricity conversion charts are available on the internet to identify what adapter will be needed for the country that you are traveling to.

If you want to use your PAP device on the airplane, advance notification is required by the airlines. The airplane in-seat electrical power is available on a limited number of aircrafts so you will need to check with your airline and they will let you know of any requirements and restrictions that apply. If a power supply is available, you’ll have the ability to power your PAP machine on board the plane. The airline will let you know what type of power outlet is available in flight and you will be able to purchase the needed adapters if required.