If you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea it may become necessary to use an oxygen concentrator in addition to a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine is used for obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. This condition is when the muscles in your throat cannot support their own weight while you are sleeping. Often times, a first sign would be a sleeping partner mentioning or complaining about your snoring, a common symptom of sleep apnea. It’s also extremely common for the patient to feel restless and run-down when they wake up; often being accompanied by headaches and other signs of not receiving enough oxygen at night.
Sleep apnea is a very serious and potentially life threatening disorder. Weakened throat muscles, in those affected, tend to close up and breathing can stop for extended periods of time. If you believe you have sleep apnea, wake up feeling tired, or have a sleeping partner that has noticed you stop breathing at some points during the night — we recommend visiting your doctor. Your doctor can run a series of tests to help determine the safest and most effective sleep solution for you.
If you happen to suffer from COPD or other lung diseases that lower the blood-oxygen count dramatically, you may require oxygen therapy while you sleep as well! Luckily, you can easily connect your oxygen concentrator to your CPAP machine and use them simultaneously. Learn how below!
What You'll Need
In order to properly connect your CPAP device to an oxygen concentrator you’ll first need to evaluate the type of CPAP mask you have. Some masks feature an oxygen port; however, most masks do not and will require a small and inexpensive device called an Oxygen Bleed-In Adapter (pictured left).
TIP: If your mask has an oxygen port it may be covered with a small cap that you will be able to remove. Remove the cap by gently twisting and pulling until it pops off.
After locating your CPAP tubing and mask you'll want to connect the tubing to the tubing of your CPAP mask. Wiggle the rubber end of your tubing onto the plastic tube of your mask.
Make sure the rubber end is pushed forward until it reaches the first level indentation on the mask tube.
Next, you'll want to get your Bleed-In Adapter (See Step 1) and secure it to the opposite end of your CPAP tubing. Make sure you push the rubber portion of the tube as far forward as it comfortably allows.
After you've connected your mask, tubing, and adapter together you'll want to connect your cannula for your oxygen concentrator to the small end of the Bleed-In Adapter. After you've connected your mask, tubing, and adapter together you'll want to connect your cannula for your oxygen concentrator to the small end of the Bleed-In Adapter.
Push the end of your cannula firmly over the first nob until secure.
Lastly, connect everything to your CPAP machine. Not sure where to connect the tubing to your machine? Refer to your owners manual for individualized directions.
Important: Do not allow oxygen to flow into the CPAP machine if the CPAP machine is not running.
- When getting a CPAP mask fitted, make sure you have enough time and energy as the mask may need to be re-adjusted a few times before it sits comfortably on the face.
- Be aware of the location of your machine’s filter and be sure to replace it often. (Refer to your owners manual for unit specific information.)
- Make sure your mask is snug and not overly tight; tightness will cause soreness and temporary strap marks on the face.
- Use a mirror the first few times you place your mask on yourself; you’ll want to make sure it’s in the right place in order for it to function correctly.
- Replace your nasal pillow or cushion every 6 months for hygiene.
- Always turn ON your CPAP or BIPAP machine before turning ON your oxygen concentrator.
- Always turn OFF your oxygen concentrator before turning OFF the CPAP or BIPAP machine.
- Don’t worry about leaks in your tubing, many CPAP machines have leak sensors that will alert you and adequately increase pressure.
- Do not settle with an uncomfortable mask.
- Do not use alcohol or vinegar to clean your mask. Simply use a mixture of mild soap and water.
- If you sense any nasal dryness or a sore throat we recommend using a heated humidifier to moisten the air.