Got my first CPAP in 2003. Killed 2 in the first year- checked it in baggage as I flew. Big mistake
Since roughly 2004, I’ve been on the same device. I hand-carry it as I travel. I resent that more and more as time goes on and have been perusing the ads for newer auto-titrating CPAP machines for a while.
So, if it applies to you or your sleep partner, please do participate in the poll. And let me know the basics of why you are using what you are right now. Do you use a small modern machine? A 15 year-old leviathan? A coal-fired CPAP from 1927?
How does it do on battery backup? Can I go camping with it and have it last for say, 7 hours of good sleep? Anything to avoid in the new smaller models?
I’d keep Darth, as it is called around here, at home.
I switched to an ACAP, ResMed S-9 a few years ago. The prescribing doctor put limits on it based on the sleep study. I wanted the machine to make the adjustments. I was able to google and change the settings to a larger range.
I’ve been using a CPAP since October 2017. I’m still using the first machine I was prescribed, which is a ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet.
I was advised to never check my machine as baggage on an airline, but to instead hand-carry it. I was told that CPAPs that are checked are often damaged or go missing. Fortunately, because it is a medical device, the airlines do not count it as one your carry-ons (but sometimes you have to explain this to them).
I actually ran into my sleep doctor after getting off an airline flight for a layover in Chicago last winter! It turns out she was on the same flight, heading for a ski vacation like me. When I saw her, she was pleased to see my CPAP case in my hand.
My machine is one of the small, modern, auto-titrating devices. I will say that it is nearly silent, which is nice. I haven’t figured out battery backup yet. So far when camping (which I don’t do nearly as frequently as I used to) I’ve just suffered through without it. I’m actually a little worried about this, because I’m supposed to go on a 6-night canoe trip on the Allagash in August, and I haven’t been able to figure out how I’m going to manage this. Two of the nights will be in a campsite near my vehicle, so I guess I can get a battery backup for those nights, but the other four nights will be in the wilderness in a canoe with no way to recharge a battery. :dubious:
My sleep doctor suggested a mouthpiece for camping to push my tongue forward, but they are expensive and can mess up your bite.
I’ll probably just go without and hope for the best…unless anyone reading this has any better suggestions.
I had a ResMed for 5 years and it worked great, but then the heater died and my insurance paid for a new one. This ResMed seems to work similarly except it can preheat the water before use if you like, which is a nice feature that should have cost them almost nothing to add.
Both of these are self-adjusting in ways. Earlier in the history of these machines there were some clear distinctions between the degrees of automation, but from what I can tell there are too many new computerized automation features to neatly classify into different types.
I chose the last poll option because the two don’t seem different enough for the earlier options.
My CPAP is almost as old as dirt. Yet it works fine, so I use it. It is powered by a 12 Volt DC Wall Wart.
When I take it camping, I use an adapter so that it is powered with a 12 Volt deep cycle lead-acid battery. I always camp using a rig of some kind, so carrying a spare deep cycle battery for my CPAP is not an issue.
Canoeing might make packing a spare battery too much of a hassle for some. I have a large canoe, so I would just take the battery & its solar charger with me. It helps that I am a fairly large fellow. An extra 60 lbs is not a big deal to me.
The poll is a bit confusing. I’ve been on CPAP for around 20 years, but my current model is less than 10 years old, and I’m not interested in changing it. It is pretty small, roughly 5x5 by 4" tall. I don’t know what self-titrating means; I don’t use a humidifier with it, if that is related. I don’t have it set up for battery use, I don’t even know if it has that capability. I always pack it in my checked luggage, and I’ve never had a problem (if I were superstitious I would be knocking on wood now). Actually, correction, I did have a problem once about 15 years ago when my mask broke on a business trip (I found a supplier nearby and replaced it). Since then I make sure everything is packed in and protected by my clothes.
I’m satisfied with this unit as long as it keeps working. It’s quiet and I could change the settings if I wanted to.
By the way, I was able to buy this unit online without a prescription, which was good because it had been several years since my last sleep test and that sleep lab was long gone, who knows where that prescription is, and I didn’t want to do another one. They didn’t give me a copy of my prescription because they wanted me to use a particular supplier, a business I hate that seemed to be doing its best to gouge me every time I dealt with them. So screw them and good for the internet for making this possible.
Used one probably 5 years now. Philips Responics system one. I don’t use the humidifier side. A couple years later I got a smaller ResMed (I think?) when eligible for insurance to pay for it, and use this for travel.
I always use hand carry, but make sure I warn the security folks as half the time if I don’t, it has to have a special security check.
I think it was on these boards when it was suggested that Goodwill and thrift shops often have cpap machines.
Is auto-titrating where the air pressure adjusts automatically with your breathing? I don’t have one of those, so no comment.
CPAP makers sure seem to have good lobbiests, I’m not quite sure why these are prescribed? I saw my sleep doctor on Friday by coincidence, but only to get a new ambien prescription (which I primarily take for jet lag).
Old Remstar M series. 7 or 8 years now (not sure).
I assume it’s one of the basics models, I have no idea what auto-titrating is. It works great, and since I don’t fix things that aren’t broken, never felt the need to upgrade. As mentioned above, I have an adapter to use it on the house batteries of the RV or boat when spending the night away. I don’t fly unless I’m at the controls, so there’s no need for a portable carryon version.
Assuming failure will happen at some point, I started looking around for a replacement. The newer versions I found wanted to connect to wifi and send information about me while I slept – which is about as creepy as having an Alexa, or inviting strangers into my room to watch me sleep. This falls into the “ain’t gonna happen” category of course, so I had to find an alternative. A few hours online produced an exact match of my machine with only 18 hours on it. It’s set to my Hg level and is on the shelf awaiting it’s call to duty.
…less than two years old, and I have no idea what “self-titrating” means, or whether or not I have a “modern smaller one” or not. I live in a country with universal healthcare, I got diagnosed with a sleep disorder so they gave me a CPAP and I use it. That’s the extent of my knowledge.
Brianiac has been using the Resmed airmini for travel - they sell a battery unit for it, it travels easy, Self titrating, works great. He still uses his big unit for home. He’s going to log in a post rather than me playing secretary, He can travel a lot and using the big unit and dealing with airplanes and distilled water (not easy to get internationally all the time) is a pain in the butt.
A bit more data… I have a Philips Respironics unit that I’ve used pretty much every day for about 7 years. I tried the mouthpiece to adjust my jaw forward as an option for travel, and I don’t know if it worked for apnea, but it really screwed up my bite, so I stopped using it.
The Resmed Airmini is awesome. I got it for travel, but I’ve started using it at home. It’s not a true CPAP, since it adjusts pressure as you breathe, and that took a bit of getting used to, but it works very well. It’s also tiny; take 4 or 5 cell phones and stack them up and you’ll have the device. It’s much, much smaller than my previous device.
I picked up the travel case for it, but haven’t bothered to use it. The Airmini comes with a hardshell case for the CPAP itself and a bag for the hose and mask that also fits the (cased) device.
I had lost my CPAP prescription, but fortunately the online store I was buying through (Lofta) has an online consultation and prescription service. There’s a charge for it, but they gave me a gift certificate to the store, so it worked out.
The only downside to the Airmini is that the self-titration feature uses cartridges that cost about $10 (IIRC) and last 30 days. And, of course, the fact that the unit itself is something like $800 or $900, which could be an issue if your insurance isn’t covering it.
Add me to the “I’m old and don’t know what auto-tritating means” or at least I didn’t before I googled it. My Resmed S9 works fine for me other than one of the knobs fell off. I don’t use the humidifier anymore because I never could get it to stop raining in my tube.
Do you need a prescription for one of these things since the machine is deciding what to do? IIRC, the prescription was for the amount of airflow to set.
If you want your health insurance to cover it, you need a prescription for a CPAP/APAP, whether it is continuous pressure or automatic. For an automatic or self-titrating machine, the prescribing doctor sets the pressure range instead of a fixed pressure.
I’m not sure how it works if you try to buy a machine without a prescription.
I’ve considered buying a ResMed AirMini for travel, and because it draws a lot less power if you are on a battery. My doctor says that no medical insurance that she is aware of will cover it, though, and it is very expensive ($800-900). I believe she would be willing to write me a script for it if I wanted to pay for it out-of-pocket, though.
Thanks for the feedback on the mouthpiece and AirMini, Brainiac4. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and get the mini unit for travel and camping.
It sounds like auto-titrating has been defined up above.
Yeah, the cost is steep. But I know my unit’s old, it gets knocked around just being put in and out of cars, the floor/ chairs at airports, overhead bins and security checks. The allure of zero scrip is high. At least in the USA, I am seeing CPAP hoses and a fair selection of masks for sale in the large chain drug stores. If I had a mask crack, I’d probably be good to go before nightfall on the day.
No getting around the $ 800-900 USD cost for a second unit. My last sleep study was about 5 years ago. My current Primary would order one, I’d have to go and do it, etc etc- and no knowing what my out of pocket would be ANYWAY.
Started using CPAP a week ago. Philips Respironics Dreamstation. No experience with other units, but this one seems nice. Quiet, features automatic pressure adjustments. Bluetooth communication with app on your phone, so you can see data on how long you used it each night, and what your apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is. the humidifier section can be separated from the pump section, which gives you more packing options for travel; you can even leave the humidifier section at home if you feel like you can get by without it.
My only complaint is the on/off button, which features a loud click. I try to be quiet for my wife when I get up in the middle/end of the night, and that is a step in the wrong direction; I wish they would have used a soft rubber button like you find on a TV remote.
OK, one other complaint. The display is super bright, and it lights up for about 20 seconds when you turn the unit on/off. I covered it with paper, so not a big deal, but it just seems like another oversight for something that’s supposed to improve sleep quality.
^ I have the same unit, been on it about a year. When I get up in the middle of the night, I leave the machine running and stick the mask under my pillow, which muffles the hiss. My wife is a light sleeper, but this doesn’t wake her up. I suspect the button and the light would.
My main unit is a ResMed S9 Elite, probably 10 years old or so. It still works great and I have no issues with it. I travel a lot for work and always bring it with me, usually as a separate carry-on from my laptop or it is in my suitcase. Even when in my suitcase, it is inside the bag it came with so everything is well protected/padded. I’ve never had a problem with airlines when carrying on nor have I every had an issue with it being damaged when in my suitcase.
Last year my wife and I did a trip to Italy and since it involved an overnight flight I purchased (out of pocket, insurance wouldn’t cover it) a “travel CPAP”. It is an HDM Z2 CPAP. For the trip I rented a battery pack from my sleep doctor’s office which was cheaper than buying that component to use one time only. My intention was to use the battery on the overnight flight and then just use standard power while in Italy. For the most part it worked just fine but I honestly don’t like the HDM Z2 all that much. I’ll use it if I have to but even now for regular business travel in the U.S. I take my full-size ResMed unit even though the HDM is easier to pack, smaller and lighter, etc. The HDM Z2 is too noisy and I really miss the lack of humidifier of the ResMed. The HDM Z2 leaves my nose and sinuses painfully dry.
At my last annual visit with my sleep doctor I asked if it was time to upgrade my ResMed to a newer machine and possibly an auto-titrating model. His response was basically “Is the old one not working? Do you have any complaints?” Mine works just great and I don’t have any complaints so I’m still using it. If it dies, my wife has one she only used when pregnant so I have a spare - plus the HDM Z2 if I’m really, really in a pinch.