CPAP Therapy Journey

Welcome to getting started with CPAP Therapy and your journey to treating your sleep apnea (also spelt apnoea) which will positively impact your life by increasing your energy, alertness, and overall happiness. Begin a healthier, happier life with sleep therapy.

Our experienced Sleep Therapists will provide you with a wealth of knowledge, lots of support and a range of comfort options to ensure you get the best nights sleep with your CPAP Therapy.

Interested in getting a great night sleep and waking up feeling your best? But haven’t had any exposure to CPAP? If so, this is the right option for you. The trial pathway is designed in helping you decide if CPAP therapy is the right choice.

Your trial package will include the latest CPAP machine and two trial masks, as well as support from our friendly experienced Sleep Therapists. This is a great way to get to know CPAP, and to help you work out which mask and machine are going to be the best fit for you.

Answers to Questions you might have about CPAP Therapy

What is Sleep Apnea? How to read my Sleep Test Report?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night's sleep, you might have sleep apnea.

When you go to Sleep, your muscles relax, and they also relax at the back of your throat, causing the airway to narrow making it hard to breath. After 10 seconds, this also reduces the amount of oxygen getting in to your body through your lungs. Your body detects you have low amount of oxygen in your body and it tells the heart to beat faster (increased heart rate), which also increases your blood pressure (BP).

  • Throat closes up (minimum 10 seconds, some people can be longer or minutes)
  • Oxygen Levels Lower
  • Heart Rate Increases
  • Blood Pressure Increases

Your body then struggles to cope with the lack of oxygen and then tells the brain to wake up or go to a lighter stage of sleep. This is known as an arousal. Some people notice this cause they might wake gasping for air.

The whole process  can happen many many times a night. And lead to long term affects on your body, such as:

  • High Blood pressure,
  • Brain Issues, such as Stroke or Mental Health Issues (poor concentration, memory issues, mood disorders, tiredness etc)
  • Heart Problems (Arrhythmias, clots)
  • Unbalanced Hormone levels (such as unstable diabetes)
  • Kidney Problems (going to the toilet a lot at night)

The Sleep Breathing Disorders area characterised by the following events (types): (and yes, most people can experience all of them at some stage of the night, question is how many times is it happening?)

  • Snoring, where the soft muscle tissue at the back of the throat collapses about 5-10% of the airway, allowing the muscle tissue to vibrate and create a sound when air passes over them.
  • Hypopnea,  when the soft muscle tissue collapses 50%, causing the oxygen level to be affected.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax 100% and no oxygen can get into your body.
  • Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing (diaphragm), causing your airway to be open, though no air is being moved in and out of your lungs.

What is AHI?

AHI stands for Apnea Hyponea Index, and measures how many Obstructive Sleep Apnea (A) and Hyponex (H) happen per hour on average.

AHI can also be known as your Sleep Apnea Event Score.

How many times is your airway affected by Sleep Apnea?

AHI 0 - 5 = Normal
AHI 6 - 15 = Mild Sleep Apnea
AHI 16 - 30 = Moderate Sleep Apnea
AHI 31 - 60 = Severe Sleep Apnea
AHI 60+ = Very Severe Sleep Apnea

SpO2 / Oxygen Levels

How much Oxygen is in your body. Also know as SpO2 Level.

SpO2 Level 95% or higher is normal
SpO2 Level below 90% can affect your body.

Pre-cautions before starting CPAP. Please discuss any of these with your Sleep Doctor or Sleep Therapist prior to starting.

If you suffer from any of the following pre-existing conditions please consult your Sleep Doctor before using this device for advice:

  • severe bullous lung disease
  • pneumothorax
  • pathologically low blood pressure
  • dehydration
  • cerebrospinal fluid leak, recent cranial surgery, or trauma
  • heart failure
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • using opioids for chronic pain management

What is CPAP Therapy? Fixed vs Auto

There are several types of sleep therapy machines, but a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is the most common. A CPAP machine sends a constant flow of airway pressure to your throat to ensure that your airway stays open during sleep, effectively treating the spontaneous pauses in breath associated with sleep apnea.

APAP (Automatic CPAP) machines works the same way as CPAP but with the added benefit that the sleep apnea machine automatically adjusts the pressurised air through the CPAP mask, on a breath by breath basis, to blow the minimum pressure needed to keep your airway open during sleep. This provides you with the ideal pressure throughout the entire night. An added benefit to this is that the sleep apnea machine automatically adjusts its pressure to your changing needs. For example – if you lose weight or sleep on your back then change to your side.

APAP machines can do dual modes (Fixed or Automatic Pressure range). A fixed pressure is a constant pressure value all night (e.g. 10cmH20 all night), an automatic pressure range can have a minimum and a maximum value and the machine works out which pressure you need at that time of the night.

Benefit of CPAP Therapy

CPAP improvements include:

  • Breathing and snoring issues are reduced / eliminated
  • Improved quality of sleep, not waking as much during the night.
  • Reduced daytime drowsiness and tiredness, especially in mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.
  • Improvement in health conditions like cardiovascular problems.
  • Improve blood pressure both during daytime and night.
  • Increased attention, and better concentration during day.
  • Less trips to the toilet at night.
  • Improved overall health and general well being.

What pressure do I need?

Traditionally you would stay overnight at a hospital and a Sleep Technician would connect you to a cpap machine and increase and decrease the pressure through the night, till they found what pressure level you needed to keep your airway open. This was done as there was no Automatic Adjusting CPAP machines invented at this time. All cpap machines initially where a single fixed pressure machine.

The current modern practice is to use an   machine for a few nights to allow the Sleep Therapist to work out a 95% pressure for you, and then set the machine to the fixed pressure. Some patients are able to tolerate a fixed pressure, though many find it uncomfortable, opting to stay on the Automatic pressure with a personalised tailored pressure range.

E.g. Mr. Johns uses an Automatic machine initially with a minimum 4cmH2O and max 20cmH2O, then after a few days, the Sleep Therapist adjusts the pressures to suit Mr John to increase his comfort level.

Which mask do I need?

There are a range of masks available. The right mask is all about being comfortable and a great seal.

Masks are much like shoes. They come in a range of shapes, sizes and styles. Like new shoes, you have to break them in to get use to them. Acclimatising to wearing a mask could be as soon as the next morning, a few days or even a few weeks.

To be honest, no Sleep Doctor or Sleep Therapist or other CPAP User will know which mask is 100% perfect first time, though we are close with 95% of the time. Since you are the person wearing the mask, we suggest trying 2-3 masks first week, to help find a good comfortable fit for you.  CPAP Therapy is all about tailoring the therapy to suit you!

Though there are some Golden Rules to help finding the right mask for you:

  • Try nasal pillow or nasal mask first. Sleep Doctors usually recommend a Full Face Mask first, if you have severe nasal airflow obstruction and unable to breathe through your nose at all.  Your partner might advise that you breathe through your mouth at night, though unless you have a blocked nasal passage, a nasal mask can work well. It is also less to wear, and quicker to get comfortable with. With Sleep Apnea, if you can't get the air into your lungs, your body will  at times open your mouth to help try get more air in.
  • Try it for at least 2 nights.  Usually the first night is to get use to wearing a mask and adjust for any leaks. The second night allows you to evaluate the comfort better.
  • Ask your Sleep Therapist for guidance.  If you are unsure at any stage about your mask or the fitting, ask your Sleep Therapist as they are an encyclopdia of knowledge and handy tips to get a better seal and comfort from your mask, or guide you on a better fitting mask.

Things to remember while using a CPAP machine

  • Mask size/style: CPAP masks are available in a wide range of sizes and style, depending on individual needs. Find the perfect fit and style for you, to feel comfortable. Some people might feel claustrophobic in masks that cover the full face, and thus may opt for nasal pillows, as they cover less of your face. Also, different styles may have different size charts, so it is always good to check the fitting, before buying the product.
  • Tolerance for forced air: Beginners may find difficulty in getting used to the forced air from a CPAP device. In such cases, it is advised to switch to the ‘ramp’ feature, as this setting has low pressure air to make you tolerant to the technique.
  • Stuffy nose: This can be due to a leaking or broken mask, so make sure you test your device properly.
  • Dry mouth: This is a result of breathing through your mouth which can worsen while using a CPAP machine. In such cases, a chin strap helps in keeping your mouth closed, and reduce leakage of air while you use a nasal mask.
  • A noisy CPAP machine: The newer CPAP machines are comparatively a lot less noisy. However, if you find the sound irritating, it can be due to a jammed filter. Always check that the filter is clean, and nothing is blocking the path of air in it, that might contribute to the sound.

What is the benefit of trying before buying?

The only benefit is to allow you to test drive the equipment to find the right machine and mask before you commit to buying.

Regardless if you rent or buy a cpap machine, your first time using a cpap machine, you will still need at least a week of personalised Sleep Therapist support to tailor the machine settings and help you finding the right mask fit to make your therapy comfortable.

Though with modern technology in CPAP machines today, the top of the range CPAP machines and masks manufactured by ResMed and Fisher&Paykel.

CPAP Buyer beware! Things you should know before buying illegal imports from overseas

CPAP Buyer beware! Things you should know before buying illegal imports from overseas cpap suppliers.

  • When an overseas entity has no ABN and is ineligible for a ‘.com.au’ website.
  • Your private health fund will NOT pay out any benefit on machines bought through overseas websites.
  • ResMed machines shipped from overseas are made in Singapore NOT Australia, and are different models to those sold in Australia.
  • None of these models from overseas have Therapeutics Goods of Australia (TGA) approval here in Australia.
  • There are no Australian manufacturers warranties on these devices. Meaning you are not covered if anything goes wrong with your machine through the Australian supplies.
  • The communications and remote monitoring services (Wifi) also don’t work.

Sleep apnoea is serious & support is vital for maintaining quality of life.

Make sure you are getting the right machine, as some might seem cheaper, cause they lack some features. CPAP Machines are like cars, they come in a range of models from a base model (fixed pressure) to the standard model (Auto) to the sports model (Deluxe).

You will probably find that it is cheaper for you to buy locally and get your health fund rebate, than it is to buy an illegal offshore import with no warranty or support whilst forfeiting your right to make a claim with your health fund.

What are my options if I want to buy or rent longer?

Lullaby Sleep provide a range of solutions to help you.

  • Short & Long term rental options
  • No Interests Payment Plans (e.g. HummmShop, Afterpay, OpenPay)

Ask our Sleep Therapists for more details about any of rental and purchase options.

Am I eligible and how can I claim my Private Health Insurance Rebates

Firstly, you will need to contact your Private Health Fund directly and check if your Health Insurance covers CPAP equipment.
There is no specific code for CPAP, though advise your health fund to check this is under your ancillary extras plan.

If you are eligible, then you will need the following information. Which we can help you with.

  • Sleep Test Report
  • Sleep Doctor Insurance Approval Letter
  • Paid Invoice for your CPAP Equipment

What other cost savings can I claim

Depending on the State you live in and your Electricity company, you may be eligible for the life support rebate program. Which provides a daily discount on your electricity bill.

Once you have your purchased your own CPAP machine, please ask our Sleep Therapists to assist filling in the paperwork for you.

I am ready to start my CPAP Trial. What do I need to do, and what will happen during my first week of CPAP Therapy?

If you decided to Rent initially, we will send you an email, requesting you to:

  1. Read and sign the Equipment Hire Agreement.
  2. Provide Security Details for hiring the cpap equipment.
  3. Pay for your CPAP Trial.

If you decided to purchase your equipment from us initially and need some masks to trial, let us know by calling 1300 375 384.

Once we receive all the above information, your equipment will be posted to your address or ready for you to pick up.

Once you have your equipment you will also receive a welcome email, showing you how to set up your equipment and how to fit your masks. Remember if you need help or get stuck on anything, contact us (phone or email, even carrier pigeon or smoke signals) so we can help!

Our Sleep Therapists will contact you the next day (either phone call, or sms or email) to see how you are going with your CPAP therapy, so we can make any adjustments as needed to tailor the therapy to you. They will contact you a few times over the week.

If you need assistance at any stage, please call us on 1300 375 384 during business hours or email us at therapist@lullabysleep.com.au

Once we have tailored the CPAP Therapy to suit you (e.g. worked out which mask fits and comfortable and have the right pressure settings) Then you are ready to continue with your CPAP Therapy long term. (If you are renting, talk to us about purchase options or long term rental options).

Tailoring the CPAP Therapy to suit you, can take a few days, to a few weeks. Most people find their grove within a week or two.

My Hire Equipment was posted to me. How do I send it back if need?

We will provide you with a return large pre-paid post bag for you to put all the loan equipment in.

We also provided you with a smaller pre-paid post bag, to return any extra masks you don't use if you hold onto the machine for longer than a week.

We are approved by Sleep Health Foundation

We support all private health fund rebates (please check with your PHF if you are eligible for a rebate on your CPAP).

CPAP clients are reliable for electricity rebates. Please contact us to find out more.