Why do I need to go for a sleep study to get a CPAP?
There are many reasons why you should go for a sleep study. The main reason is that you can't get a prescription for a CPAP unless you've been diagnosed with OSA by an Assistive Devices Program (ADP)-registered sleep physician. Also, without consulting with a sleep physician, you wouldn't know what therapeutic pressure you needed. Another reason is that you may be eligible for ADP funding for your CPAP therapy system but only if you have a valid and current prescription.
Do I need a prescription for a new CPAP mask?
No, you do not need a prescription for CPAP masks and accessories. You only need a prescription for the CPAP device.
Do I have a choice where I get my CPAP therapy?
Absolutely. CPAP Fit is an ADP-registered vendor that is authorized to sell respiratory equipment and can fill your prescription. If the prescription hasn't been filled yet, you can always request your sleep physician to fax the prescription to us and we will service you with a new CPAP system. Or you can request to take the prescription yourself and give it directly to us to fill your prescription. The Assistive Devices Program (ADP) clearly states that you have the right to choose any ADP-registered vendor to get your CPAP system.
Why can't I just buy a CPAP mask online?
You could buy a CPAP mask online but this wouldn't be recommended for first time users. Finding the right mask for you is integral to your success with CPAP therapy. It only works if you're willing to wear the mask.
Unfortunately, many people have failed with this treatment because they couldn't tolerate the mask that they chose. If you are new to CPAP therapy, it is strongly advised that you to rely on knowledgeable and experienced staff to help you find the right one for you.
However, if you are an experienced user of CPAP and want a replacement for your existing mask, there is certainly nothing wrong with purchasing online if it's the same mask you've been using. A word of caution though, make sure that you get the right mask size and a manufacturer's warranty with the purchase.
Why can't I make pressure changes to my own CPAP machine?
Your machine pressure has been prescribed by a sleep physician. Only authorized healthcare providers are allowed to change the pressure with a valid prescription. Although many blogs and forums give detailed instruction on how patients can change the pressure themselves, this is not advisable for a couple of reasons. One reason is that the prescribed pressure has been determined by the sleep physician for a reason. If set too low, OSA may not be adequately treated; if set too high, other complications may arise that affect the drive to breathe. Another reason is that the output pressure on your machine (measured with a manometer) may not match with the value displayed on your unit. For example, you may set your CPAP pressure to 8 cmH2O but the output pressure may read 11 cmH2O. This is more likely to occur with older CPAP units, which is a good reason to have your unit checked annually to ensure that the pressure hasn't drifted.
If you are not happy with your current pressure setting, it is always advisable to meet with you sleep physician to discuss it. Most sleep physicians are willing to work with you and find a reasonable solution.
Don't try to change the pressure on your own - you might make your sleep much worse.