Travelling with your CPAP equipment

Whether you’re on a city break, a dream holiday or a business trip, you should take your PAP therapy equipment along for the ride. After all, sleep apnoea never takes time off! To help you enjoy a hassle-free, well-rested trip, we’ve pulled together our favourite advice and tips on travelling with CPAP. Frequent travellers might prefer to invest in a travel-specific, pocket-sized PAP device, but we think it’s possible to enjoy a positive experience with your normal PAP equipment too. Here are our suggestions for straightforward CPAP-friendly travel.

PAP travel by air

If you’re flying, make sure your PAP equipment is packed in your hand luggage: you don’t want it to get damaged in transit. You’re allowed to take your device through security control at the airport, although we do recommend taking a copy of the manufacturer’s FAA Air Travel Compliance Letter with you, just in case.

If you’re taking a long-haul flight, how about getting some sleep on the plane so you’re refreshed when you land? Here’s what to do:

  • Contact the airline at least two weeks in advance to ask for permission to use your PAP medical equipment during the flight. If you receive permission in writing, remember to take the letter or email with you when you fly.
  • If the airline requests additional information, send them a copy of the FAA Air Travel Compliance Letter for ResMed devices. This letter is a formal aviation authority statement that a device is suitable for use on aircraft.
  • Ahead of your flight, request a seat near a power socket. Ask which type of power cord or adaptor you’ll need to plug in your device on the plane (and remember to pack it before you leave!).

PAP travel by land

If you’re choosing to travel by train, bus or coach, contact the operating company in advance to ask if a suitable power source will be available. If there isn’t a fixed power supply, you can use one of the battery packs that ResMed recommends instead. Your device user guide contains information on compatible battery packs and your healthcare provider should also be able to advise you.

If you’re holidaying in a caravan or motor home, you should be able to use the vehicle battery to operate your device (just be careful you don’t drain it!). Before you leave, make sure the vehicle battery will have sufficient capacity and take a converter so you can connect up your device (check your user guide for more information).

PAP travel by boat

You’ll be able to use your PAP device on most cruise ships but do check with the tour operator before you leave. The power supply should be between 100–240V and 50–60Hz. Remember to pack a suitable power adapter as power sockets can differ between countries – if you don’t have one, you’ll be all at sea!

Spending time on a yacht? Get in touch with the marina or boat-hire company in advance to ask if a suitable power supply will be available. You might need a DC/DC converter to operate your device onboard.

PAP therapy at your destination

Using your therapy device at a hotel or rental property shouldn’t be too different from using it at home. It’s a good idea to take an extension lead in case the power sockets are far away from the bed, as well as a suitable adapter plug if you’re travelling abroad.

Camping or in mobile accommodation? It shouldn’t be a problem if your caravan site or campsite provides access to mains electricity. And if it doesn’t, remember that ResMed therapy devices can be powered from one of our recommended external battery packs or from a car, boat or other vehicle equipped with a 12V or 24V DC power source. If you’re powering your device from a vehicle, remember that you’ll need a DC/DC power converter and make sure you don’t accidentally drain the battery!

Most ResMed devices are designed to function at up to 2,591 metres above sea level. If you’ll be sleeping at a ski station or summer mountain resort at altitude, please check your device user guide for specific guidance or contact us for advice before you leave.

PAP on the move: our useful travel checklist

That might seem like a lot of information so here’s the digested version:

Take a copy of useful information

  • A letter from your healthcare practitioner certifying that you need PAP therapy.
  • A note of your treatment pressure, mask type and mask size, plus contact details for your healthcare practitioner, equipment supplier and care provider.
  • Health insurance details, including your policy number and the provider’s contact details.
  • ResMed’s FAA Air Travel Compliance Letter, so you’ll be able to carry your device through airport security and onto the plane.

Make sure you’ll have power

  • At least two weeks before you fly, ask the airline for permission to use your device on a flight. If they give permission in writing, take a copy of the letter/email with you.
  • If you’ll be travelling overnight, contact the tour operator or travel company in advance to ask if you’ll be able to plug in your therapy device.
  • Pack a power adapter if you’ll need to use your device on a plane or other mode of transport.
  • Pack a mains plug adapter suitable for your destination country.
  • Pack an extension cord so you can use your device comfortably if the power socket is in an awkward location.
  • Consider taking a recommended battery pack if you’re not sure that a suitable power supply will be available.

Last but not least, check that your device is working properly before you leave and remember to pack suitable spares and accessories, especially if you’re taking a longer trip. That includes mask cleaning equipment, an extra cushion or two and some spare wipes.

Bon voyage!
We hope we’ve convinced you that travelling with your PAP equipment can be simple and makes good sense. And we really hope that continuing your sleep apnoea treatment during your travels will help you to have a marvellous time. For more details about travelling with sleep apnoea treatment, take a look at our dedicated e-book on the subject. Enjoy your trip!

Feel good about travel and socialising with sleep apnoea and CPAP

How do you feel about travelling or socialising with your CPAP device? Happy that you’ll feel well-rested and able to make the most of your time away? Or anxious that you’ll end up snoring and your travel companions will ask awkward questions about your equipment? We hope the answer is ‘happy’ but if it’s ‘anxious’, you’re definitely not alone. So, what could you do to feel more positive about bringing your CPAP equipment along for travel and social occasions?

What are the challenges?

You might have concerns about the practical aspects of travelling with CPAP equipment, such as finding a suitable place to plug in your device at night. You might dread the interpersonal aspect: being teased or having to fend off questions and unwanted advice from well-meaning friends and relatives. Maybe events that sound like fun – a weekend away with friends, a city break with a new partner or a family trip with shared accommodation – feel like your worst nightmare. How do you handle it? Ask for your own room and worry that everyone thinks you’re being precious and aloof? Agree to share and then lie awake half the night in case you snore and wake your roommates or your bed partner? Pretend you have a prior engagement and stay at home alone instead?

Your CPAP device should feel like a lifeline, not an anchor. It should give you the energy to do the things you want to do, not hold you back from enjoying other people’s company or being spontaneous and adventurous. There’s plenty of advice out there to help you handle practicalities, like this travel checklist, but there’s not so much on how to handle your family and friends, the person beside you on the plane or the cute guy from accounts. So here are our suggestions; we hope they will help.

Find ways to talk confidently about CPAP

First, remind yourself why you use a CPAP device and what it brings to your life. Without CPAP treatment, you’d be at higher risk of suffering serious illnesses like hypertension1, stroke2 or type 2 diabetes3. With it, you probably have more daytime energy4 and are less affected by symptoms like headaches5, low mood6, weight gain7, fatigue5 and night sweats8. It’s probably safe to say that CPAP is a positive force in your life.

Second, feel proud: establishing a regular CPAP habit is a real achievement. Most people find it difficult to start therapy and stick with it over the long-term but you have, so well done. You’ve taken an important step to improve your health and you’ve persevered, even when it wasn’t the easy option.

Third, try putting those thoughts together in words and saying them out loud (try practising in the shower!). Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • “I use a CPAP device because I have sleep apnoea. Without therapy, I’d be exhausted all the time. Therapy isn’t my favourite thing, but I love that it gives me energy to enjoy life and time with friends.”
  • “I have sleep apnoea and I need to use CPAP therapy to sleep well and stay healthy. I need to sleep now so I’m going to put on my mask and switch on my device. Goodnight!”
  • “This is my CPAP device and my mask. I was diagnosed with sleep apnoea a few years ago and CPAP therapy has made a huge difference to my daily life. Do you remember how tired and grumpy I used to be? That’s because I would stop breathing dozens of times a night! I found it hard at first but I’ve got used to it now. Starting therapy was the right decision for my health and I’m pleased that I’ve stuck with it.”

Find a way to tell your CPAP story, because CPAP is part of your story and you should be proud of what you’ve achieved. And if someone asks more questions than you’re comfortable with, always remember that “No.” is a full sentence too!

myAir: Troubleshooting, FAQs, top tips and more

So, you’ve signed up to myAir to track and monitor your CPAP therapy, but you’re still getting to grips with the details? You’ve come to the right place! Right now, you might be asking yourself: can I use myAir while I travel, when will I receive my sleep score and how many days’ data can I see? In this article, we’ll be answering common questions just like these.

For any new users out there, let’s begin with a quick recap. myAir is an online coaching tool that helps you stay on track with your CPAP therapy by delivering tailored motivational messages, a daily sleep score and simple fixes for common issues, like mask fit or how to connect a CPAP humidifier. Starting and sticking with sleep apnoea therapy can be a challenge at times, so myAir acts as your personal coach, keeping you motivated to use your therapy at night and reaping the benefits the morning after.

Read on to discover the answers to common myAir queries. 

myAir: logging in, new account registration and troubleshooting tips

Getting used to CPAP therapy can be difficult for some. To help you settle in and achieve long-term success, myAir lets you track and monitor your CPAP therapy. By signing up, you’ll receive handy tips tailored to you, plus a daily sleep score to give you an idea of how you’re doing on therapy and a goal to aim towards.
New technology isn’t everyone’s strong suit, and a little reminder doesn’t hurt, even if you’re a confirmed techie! In this article, you’ll find a helpful list of myAir troubleshooting tips to get you set up, logged in and on the road to CPAP therapy success!

AirFit P30i: Which size for you?

The Covid-19 pandemic has spelled challenges for care services throughout the world. As a result, some CPAP users might be experiencing some changes when it comes to accessing their healthcare provider or doctor for in-person setup advice. It might mean that you’re finding yourself collaborating online with your physician, or you could be looking to make use of virtual resources to help you choose your mask after receiving a prescription for CPAP therapy. If that sounds like you, read on for some fitting tips for the ResMed AirFit P30i nasal pillows mask.

AirFit P30i, at a glance

If you’re a nasal pillows mask user, or your doctor has prescribed a nasal pillows mask, the AirFit P30i gives you the freedom to sleep in a natural way. This tube-up design (where the mask vents are placed on top of the head and on the cushion) is geared towards simplicity and discretion, allowing you to read or get close to your bed partner. Plus, as the P30i features a nasal pillows cushion, we offer a starter pack which suits the needs of the majority of patients so sizing for your mask doesn’t have to be complicated.

Starter packs for AirFit P30i

In our online shop you’ll find AirFit P30i starter packs in Small and Medium. The sizes refer to the size of mask frame, not the cushion.

Generally, women can opt for Small while men can find an effective fit with Medium. All P30i frames are SpringFit™ which self-adjust to the size of your head. Headgear can be easily adjusted too, helping you achieve a comfortable fit throughout your therapy.

Measuring for a mask at home: AirFit N30i

For many of us, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact with doctors and healthcare professionals. If you’re a CPAP therapy user, you might be using more online methods and virtual resources to consider – in partnership with your physician   – which mask works for you.

If you’ve received a prescription for CPAP therapy, then read on to see how you can take measurements from home for the AirFit™ N30i and use these to select your mask.

First off, choosing a mask that suits your needs and sleeping style is important because a comfortable therapy experience could help you stay on track and lead to more quality sleep. The ResMed AirFit N30i is a tube-up CPAP mask with an adjustable frame. The top-of-the-head tube is designed to give you freedom of movement, while an under-the-nose cushion helps eliminate marks on the nasal bridge.

Watch the following two videos, then take a look below to find out how to use our sizing template and discover handy tips for achieving a good fit with the N30i.

AirFit F30i: Measuring for your mask at home

A comfortable CPAP experience could help you stay on track with therapy and lead to better sleep, so choosing a mask that helps you achieve this is important. With the Covid-19 pandemic changing the way healthcare is accessed and more appointments happening online, how can you go about choosing the right mask once you’ve received a CPAP prescription from your doctor and discussed mask options? To help out, we have some resources to support you in your size choice and achieve an effective fit from home.

In this article, we’ll focus on the AirFit F30i, a tube-up full face CPAP mask designed with natural sleep in mind. The top-of-the-head tube allows you to move freely and sleep in any position[i] – even on your belly! – while an under-the-nose cushion eliminates the risk of red marks on the nasal bridge and gives you the opportunity to read in bed or watch a movie while wearing your mask. If this sounds like the mask for you, check with your healthcare professional to make sure it meets your therapy needs, then read on to find out how to use our sizing template and discover handy tips for achieving a good fit.

Measuring for your AirFit F30i mask cushion

A fitting template for the Airfit F30i CPAP mask is available as a download here. Once downloaded, it can be printed out in either colour or black and white, so don’t worry if you don’t have a colour printer.

F30i-mask-cushion-size-guide-resmed-uk

Using the template:
1. Ensure the template is printed to scale – you can check this using the ruler image on the right of the printout
2. Cut along the dotted line using a pair of scissors
3. Now, line up one of the size reference images (labelled S, M, SW, W) below your nose. The paper should be touching the skin of your upper lip and the image facing upwards as shown on the template
4. The sides of your nostrils and tip of your nose should not exceed the dotted lines of the sizing area. If they do, you’ll need the next size up, so try aligning your nose with a different sizing area until you find one in which your nose can comfortably fit.
Cushions in sizes S, M and W are available as part of a starter pack in our online shop. If you find that a SW cushion suits you best you will need to order your cushion as a spare part.

Measuring for your mask frame

Getting the right fit for your frame is essential in order to achieve effective mask seal – and a restful night’s sleep! To help you decide whether you need a Small, Medium or Large frame you can use our AirFit F30i fitting guidelines. Accurate measurement is important, so you’ll need a flexible tape measure on-hand.

How-to-measure-for-F30i-CPAP-mask-headgear

Although we offer AirFit F30i starter packs for hassle-free buying, you may wish to mix and match your cushion and frame size, particularly if you need a Large frame. In this case, it’s best to order your frame as a spare part.
Once you received your mask, make sure you read the user guide for full product information and usage instructions.

What’s next?
Now that you’ve chosen your mask cushion and frame size, you’re ready to order! Use your measurements to buy online or share this information with your healthcare professional to discuss. If you need further advice, just get in touch with our customer services team who are more than happy to help. Sweet dreams!

It’s World Diabetes Day!

Today is World Diabetes Day. It’s an annual event held on the 14th of November that aims to spread the word about the importance of tackling diabetes and recognising it as a critical global health issue.

Why the 14th November? Well, it’s a significant date: the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting who, in 1922, co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. It has since grown to become a globally celebrated event and an official United Nations (UN) awareness day. It is now the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign.

November 2019 marks the second year of a two-year theme dedicated to “The Family and Diabetes”. Research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) revealed that many parents would struggle to spot the warning signs of diabetes in their own children.

According the NHS1 you, or a family member, should see your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes which can include:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • blurred vision

Diabetes and Sleep Apnoea

Diabetes and sleep apnoea are strongly associated with one another. Clinical research shows that as many as 48% of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have also been diagnosed with sleep apnoea.2 Even more striking, researchers believe that 86% of obese type 2 diabetic patients suffer from sleep apnoea.3 For more information see our article “Diabetes and Sleep Apnoea

Useful diabetes resources

More Than 936 Million Have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Worldwide

If you have obstructive sleep apnoea, you’re definitely not alone. According to the latest scientific research1more than 936 million people around the world are affected.

This remarkable figure, which was published in the world’s leading respiratory health journal, is nearly 10 times greater than the World Health Organisation’s 2007 estimate of over 100 million. It’s led to new calls for physicians to step up their efforts to screen, diagnose and prescribe treatment for this manageable disorder.

More than 85 percent of [obstructive] sleep apnoea patients are undiagnosed,” explains Carlos M. Nunez, M.D., a study co-author and ResMed’s chief medical officer. “This raises their risk of workplace and road accidents, and can contribute to other significant health problems, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or even poor glucose control for diabetic patients. We know the risks and now we know the size of the problem. Addressing it starts with screening patients we know to be high-risk.”

Undiagnosed sleep apnoea and risk ResMed blog UK

Why is obstructive sleep apnoea mostly undiagnosed?

With over 85% of obstructive sleep apnoea cases currently undiagnosed, there are millions of people who don’t know they’re affected. They’ll repeatedly stop breathing for 10 seconds or more throughout the night, jerking awake to avoid suffocation before the cycle starts again. The disruptive cycle causes chronic sleep deprivation but most people don’t remember waking up. Instead, they assume they’re tired because they’re stressed or getting older. Or they end up being misdiagnosed with insomnia, migraines, chronic fatigue or other conditions.

Who is at risk for obstructive sleep apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea can affect anyone, including children. Snoring is the number one indicator of sleep apnoea in men and women, though not everyone who snores has it… and not everyone who has it snores.

Other common risk factors include: being overweight, being older than 40 and having a large neck circumference, a family history of sleep apnoea and various other physical characteristics, like nasal polyps. Smoking, drinking alcohol and taking certain sedative medicines increases the risk. More than half of all people with obesity, heart failure, stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), atrial fibrillation or type 2 diabetes have sleep apnoea, according to leading research2. And it’s worth noting that women account for 40 percent of newly diagnosed sleep apnoea patients3.

How can I tell if I’m affected?

Common signs of obstructive sleep apnoea include snoring and gasping or choking during sleep, sleepiness, forgetfulness, poor concentration and lack of energy during the day, frequent urination at night, sexual dysfunction, morning headaches, night sweats, weight gain and a depressed mood.

The bottom line is: If you’re constantly tired or have other conditions linked to sleep apnoea, it never hurts to ask your doctor about it,” says Nunez. “Don’t settle for being tired all the time. You may improve your sleep, your mood, your relationships at work and home, your health, perhaps even other medical conditions you’re managing. But first, you have to find out.”

AirFit P30i & N30i CPAP masks earn good design awards!

We’ve had some great news recently: two of our latest CPAP masks, the AirFit™ N30i nasal cradle mask and the AirFit P30i nasal pillows mask, both received Good Design Australia Awards in the Product Design category for achieving the highest level of design and innovation.

Selected from among nearly 700 entries, the nasal AirFit N30i and nasal pillows AirFit P30i are the first ResMed masks with a tube-up connection, allowing wearers to move and sleep in any position. Both masks fit at least 90 percent of wearers with only two frame sizes each.

Overall, this is a robust piece of design that has been perfectly executed,” said the Good Design Awards Jury. “Care and detail were taken in the material selection for comfort and ease of fitment. They’re good examples of the understanding of the user in the context, and a very sophisticated tooling technique for the spring hinge that accommodates different head shapes, and also the soft nose piece.”

The 30 Series masks are just the latest of ResMed’s Good Design winners; in 2017, ResMed earned four awards for its AirFit N20 nasal maskAirFit F20 full face mask, and AirTouch™ F20 full face mask with memory foam cushion, plus AirMini™, the world’s smallest CPAP machine1.

We’re honoured that Good Design Australia has once again chosen ResMed products as the standard for medical device design,” said Mark Buckley, ResMed’s Vice President of sleep product development. “We continue to redefine that standard for the sake of patients’ comfort and overall health, as well as the efficiency of ResMed’s distribution partners. Their continued trust in ResMed is our greatest reward.”