Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

When your specialist recommends CPAP or another breathing machine to treat sleep apnea, Northwestern Medicine Durable Medical Equipment can help you get the equipment that is right for you.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is one option to treat apnea. It sends air down your windpipe. This keeps your airway open so you can breathe. CPAP can help people with sleep apnea breathe normally and get restful sleep.

If you have apnea and are treated with CPAP, you will be fitted with a mask to wear over your nose while you sleep. The specialists at Northwestern Medicine can help you learn to use CPAP. These general guidelines can also help you:

The specialists at Northwestern Medicine can help you learn to use CPAP successfully by following these general guidelines:

  • If you cannot get used to wearing your mask, ask about trying another style. There are several different types of masks.
  • Get comfortable when sleeping with CPAP. Use extra pillows, if needed.
  • If you have nasal stuffiness or dryness when you use your CPAP device, talk with your care team. They may offer helpful guidance, such as using a moistening nasal spray or a device with a humidifier.
  • Keep your mask clean. Wash it with soap and water. Be sure to rinse the mask and tubing well with water to remove any soap. Let them air dry completely before using.
  • You should use your CPAP all night, every night, during all naps and when you travel.

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