Our FAQ is different from general frequently asked questions. We aim to provide the public with practical and comprehensive information to help you make an informed decision when considering various treatment options.
What is CPAP?
What is the difference between automatic and fixed CPAP?
How can I try, rent or buy a CPAP machine?
Initially, most customers are not familiar with CPAP machine and sleep apnea. Therefore, we will personally invite them to our company to let them try our machines in a private bedroom. If the customer is pleased with the CPAP treatment, they can buy their own CPAP machine right away. However, if the customer is still unsure about the treatment, they can choose to rent a CPAP machine. This requires rental fees, deposit fees and a new set of accessories. Afterwards, they can bring home the CPAP machine and make the decision of purchasing their own later. For the first few weeks of renting or purchasing, we will keep in close touch and help when needed.
What if I am a civil servant purchasing a CPAP machine?
Purchasing a CPAP machine is included in the welfare of refundable medical expenses for working or retired civil servants in Hong Kong. An example would be a reimbursement of $5800 when purchasing a basic model in 2019. Civil servants need to complete an application form and provide a valid medical certificate and CPAP machine receipt. This needs to be sent to the department of health to receive the reimbursement. Furthermore, civil servants can request a government subsidy in purchasing CPAP’s accessories every year (e.g. nasal mask, tubing and filter). As an example, in 2019, the reimbursement for these consumables was $1900. You may download the application form on the civil servant bureau website or ask your medical suppliers for more information.
What is AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index)?
AHI is a scale used to indicate the severity of sleep apnea and is presented by the number of apnea and hypopnea events per hour of sleep. An AHI of 5-15 is classified as mild, 15-30 as moderate and 30+ as severe. If your AHI has been lowered to 5 or less after your CPAP treatment, this means you have successfully improved your sleep apnea.
How can I choose the right mask?
There are many types of masks on the market. They are classified as nasal masks, direct nasal masks and full-face masks. Masks depend on how the customer feels when they wear it, which is why we highly recommend customers to try on masks before buying it. According to our experience, more than 80% of customers prefer nasal masks because of its lightweight and adaptable design. If you dislike a restrictive design and have a low prescribed pressure, consider using a direct nasal mask. But note that this may cause a dry or bleeding nose if you have chronic nasal allergy. If you have a severely blocked nose or open your mouth when sleeping, consider using a full-face mask to prevent pressure leakage.
How do I properly put on the nasal mask?
Initially, we recommend you put on the nasal mask in front of a mirror. Firstly, place the headgear on your head and the cushioning between your nose and mouth. Finally, adjust the straps on your head. If the mask is too loose, air will leak out. If the mask is too tight, the customer may feel uncomfortable, which will affect the treatment and damage the nasal mask. Do note that you must use both hands when adjusting the straps. This prevents an imbalance in the left or right side, which leads to more air leakage.
How do I clean the CPAP accessories?
When do I need to change my nasal mask?
Do I have to change the CPAP machine’s filter regularly?
All CPAP machines have a vent hole which sucks in air to the machine. Along with the air, other fine particles may also go into the machine. This may not only damage the machine’s motor, it will also cause discomfort for the user. Therefore, a high-density filter is placed in front of the vent hole of the machine, protecting the motor and user. Over a period of time, the vent’s efficiency may decrease due to accumulation of dust particles in the filter. Hence, users should follow the guidelines of the manufacturer and regularly change their filter.
Why undergo an oximetry test after buying a CPAP machine?
Undergoing an oximetry test can confirm the effectiveness of the CPAP treatment, making sure there is enough oxygen in the blood for normal bodily function. Hong Kong medical professionals recommend patients to have a 95%-98% of blood oxygen saturation when using CPAP. If your blood oxygen saturation drops below 90%, check if your nasal mask is properly fitted and any excessive air leakage. If you are using a fixed CPAP machine, you may have to adjust the air pressure to ensure better treatment.
Does my CPAP machine need regular checkups?
The CPAP machine is a medical product, with a high specification compared to home appliances. Therefore, it must be constantly retained at a high quality to ensure patients are receiving the best treatment. Specialized instruments are used to see whether the air pressure is normal, whether the air flow volume will automatically adjust itself if there is a leak in the nasal mask, whether the CPAP startup, functioning noises and tremors are normal and whether the machine’s surface is damaged (e.g. screen, buttons, power cables). Hence, it is necessary to have regular checkups on your CPAP machine.
Common Reasons for Rejecting CPAP
How does a heated humidifier help with comfortability during the CPAP treatment?
A heated humidifier is an effective tool in CPAP treatment. Customers commonly complain about how the CPAP machine leads to sneezing, a dry mouth and a stuffy nose. These issues can be reduced by using a heated humidifier. When using a CPAP machine, it will extract the surrounding air and release it through the customer’s nasal mask and tubing. Most of the Hong Kong people have a habit of using air-conditioner during the summer and heater in the winter. Both appliances cause the surrounding air to become very dry, meaning the air released through the nasal mask is equally arid. A heated humidifier can adjust the surrounding air to a more comfortable humidity and temperature, lowering the customer’s oral and nasal discomfort.
What should I do when travelling with my CPAP machine?
When do I need to change my CPAP?
According to CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) in United States, CPAP machines should be changed every five years. This advice is further supported by many American medical insurance companies. The Hong Kong government allows civil servants to apply for a new CPAP machine every four years.
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