Traveling with CPAP

It is one thing to snore noisily and bear poor sleeping conditions while at home, and another to experience this while traveling. The same goes with using your CPAP machine. You know this is the best treatment for sleep apnea at home, but how do you deal with it when going on a long flight or traveling long distances?

Better safe than sorry

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you probably have already been suffering from this condition for a while without getting the necessary treatment. You may be tempted to go one night without CPAP, but it is not advisable to do so, because it can bring back or even worsen your sleep apnea. This could even cause daytime discomforts resulting from having interrupted sleep.

The CPAP machine may be inconvenient to lug around in your travels, but know that you can still bring your sleep apnea therapy equipment with you without letting it get in the way of your lifestyle.

First things first: Do your homework

Before you hop on that plane ride overseas, make sure that you consult with your sleep clinic or CPAP machines supplier if your equipment is suitable for use in another country. The majority of machines these days work on different voltages, but it wouldn’t hurt to double check - and don’t forget to bring adaptor plugs for your machine.

In case your equipment cannot run on another voltage, consider either bringing a transformer or renting a CPAP machine in your destination, whichever is more convenient.

On average, CPAP machines are big and bulky. However, there are now available travel-size CPAP equipment that are practical enough to place on hotel bedside tables and light enough to pack in your luggage.  CPAP machines are relatively expensive, so buying yourself the smaller version of your equipment is only cost-effective if you are a frequent traveler.

Your To-Do and To-Bring Checklists

Here are a few suggestions of what to do before your trip:

  • Secure a travel letter from your physician or CPAP provider certifying your need for CPAP treatment.
  • Get approval from your airline’s medical services allowing you to use your machine in-flight.
  • Arrange for a seat near a power outlet in the aircraft, or consider bringing an extension power cord.
  • Confirm the type of power cord that you have to bring. If you choose to run your equipment on battery power, it is highly recommended to bring a spare battery or fuse when you travel. Choose a deep cycle battery, for this is more appropriate for recurrent discharge. If you travel to various areas frequently, it may also be wise to invest in an ACDC inverter, voltage converter, and universal travel adapter for your CPAP machine.

For your easier reference, ensure to have the following with you when traveling with your CPAP:

  • Your health insurance details
  • Your general practitioner information
  • Your mask type and size
  • Your treatment pressure
  • Your sleep specialist contact information.

Handling CPAP at the airport

At the airport security, your CPAP machine will need to be X-rayed, physically inspected and tested for explosives. You have the right to demand or request security personnel to handle your machine with clean testing equipment and utmost care.

It is a good idea to contact your airline to confirm whether any other particular restrictions apply. While CPAP machines are mostly allowed in aircrafts, you will not be allowed to use your humidifiers in-flight.

For a better travel experience, you can always contact your travel agency or transportation customer service to make and settle arrangements for your CPAP therapy needs.

Travelling with your CPAP may seem like a pain in the neck, but with proper foresight and planning, you can continue your much-needed treatment without compromising your traveling enjoyment.

Browse through our site for some products and CPAP accessories that can help you ensure worry-free travels for a long time.

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