CPAP masks, CPAP machines, nasal pillows, or a BIPAP machine: If you?re in the market for sleep related medical equipment, here are some tips on how to sort out the junk from the real value:
Know the Market
About 18 million people in the United States have sleep apnea, which means there?s a lot of choice in sleep related medical equipment: not just new, but also used. You?re liable to find machines and masks at yard sales, in classified ads on websites, and through a wide variety of companies that offer both new and used CPAP supplies. That?s a lot of choice, but also a lot of potential confusion.
Think About The Options
The best CPAP machine is the one that works for you. You know a new machine will work, of course, but it?s also the most expensive option. You could also try renting a machine, which allows you to trade it in right away for a working machine should it break. However, even with health insurance lots of CPAP machines renters will still have to pay something out of pocket. Finally, there?s used sleep related medical equipment. It?s possible to get some great deals buying used, but it?s also possible to get a lemon.
Resist the Yard Sale
However cheap that CPAP machine looks, try to resist the urge to buy it. CPAP machines can be finicky, and you know nothing about what the machine has been through if you’re buying from an individual. If you?re going to get used CPAP equipment, go with a reputable company that specializes in CPAP machine supplies. And make sure your used machine has a brand new bacterial and viral filter on both the intake and outtake.
Don?t Forget Cleanliness
Used machines or CPAP nasal pillows can be full of bacteria and viruses, and not just the parts that touch a person?s face. If a machine has been sitting long enough, it might also have mold, mildew, and dust. A private seller may bother with cleaning a CPAP machine, but they may not. You can try to do it yourself, but it would be better to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that a good sleep related medical equipment seller certainly did clean it properly.
Make Sure You Have the Right Mask
Trial and error is really the only way to ensure you get the mask you need. About half of people who have CPAP machines stop using them less than a month after they start, and nearly 80% of people who say they use them don?t use them enough. Mask discomfort is one the main reasons people won?t use their machines, so conduct some trial and error to see which is least objectionable to you. Then you can invest in a high quality CPAP mask of the type that you prefer.
If you?re looking for sleep related medical equipment, be sure that in your hunt for a good price you don?t end up with something that will break on you after just a few uses; and make sure you get the machine you?ll actually use and the mask you?ll actually wear.