For most sleep apnea patients, their treatment plan includes using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The device is highly effective and can drastically improve symptoms. However, many people find that traveling with a CPAP can be challenging if you aren’t prepared.
Whether you’re driving an hour away or flying to a different country, it is important that you give yourself the best chance to sleep well and truly enjoy your trip. Leaving your CPAP machine at home may be tempting but will ultimately put your health at risk. Luckily, traveling with sleep apnea doesn’t have to be a challenge.
Traveling With a CPAP Machine
Before any trip away from home, ask your doctor for a prescription for essential sleep apnea devices and accessories, including a CPAP machine, humidifier, mask, filters, and tubing. Keep the prescription with you in case you need to buy any equipment while you’re away.
As for packing, the most valuable item to remember is an extension cord. You never know where a plug will be in a new place, and hotel rooms often have limited outlets or space to plug in more electronics. Many hotels will provide an extension cord if you ask, but we recommend playing it safe by bringing your own.
Your pillow is also a packing essential. While the idea of a luxurious, fluffy hotel pillow does sound great, they are typically less-than-ideal for people with sleep apnea. If you have a supportive or specialty sleep apnea pillow at home, bring it with you! You’ll sleep better on a pillow that can accommodate your CPAP mask and keep you comfortable.
If traveling by air, it’s best to carry on your CPAP. CPAP machines are medical devices, meaning you can carry them in addition to the standard number of bags that you can take on a plane. To ensure you don’t run into any issues, get a doctor’s note explaining that the device is medically necessary. However, be sure to check your airline’s policy as well.
If you own one, then you know that traditional CPAP machines are not tiny. Instead, they’re bulky, awkward, and difficult to pack or carry, especially when flying. Fortunately, travel CPAP machines were created to make traveling with sleep apnea much more convenient.
Travel CPAP machines function with all the features and effectiveness of your home device, but they’re designed to slip comfortably into carry-on luggage and help you get through airport security more quickly.
At Advanced Homecare, we offer the TravelPAP for frequent travelers who need an alternative to their full-sized CPAP machine. The TravelPAP weighs less than a pound and is just as effective as a traditional CPAP. Contact us today to learn more. If you are a TriCare Active Duty Member, diagnosed with sleep apnea, and you travel on official business or are deployed, you may qualify for a FREE TravelPAP machine. For those paying out of pocket, we also have options. Fill out the form below to get in touch.