Your therapy basics
An overview of your therapy and equipment
Your therapy system is most likely made up of a mask, tubing, therapy device and humidifier.
Take a look at your therapy system to see if you can identify all the parts.
How therapy works
Your device produces a regulated flow of pressurized air at a setting that suits your particular needs. This consistent flow of air keeps your airways open so that you don’t stop breathing at night (or have an "apnea").
The air travels through the tubing and is delivered to a mask that you wear around your nose and/or mouth, where you breathe it in.
(Note: this is the general description of positive airway pressure for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The delivery is the same for other conditions but the aim is not only to keep the airway open.)
Setting yourself up for success
Knowing what to do (and what not to do) when setting up your equipment can make all the difference to your treatment. Find out how to get the right setup. Setting up your equipment
Most masks fall into one of these categories:
- Nasal mask (covers your nose)
- Nasal pillows (sit at your nostrils)
- Full face mask (covers your mouth and nose)
Can you identify which one you have?
All vented masks are designed with a vent that allows some air to escape so that the carbon dioxide you exhale doesn’t build up inside your mask and you do not breathe it back in.
If you put your hand near the vent, you can feel the air flow. You should never block the vent in any way.
Humidifiers help prevent some of the side effects sometimes associated with positive airway pressure therapy, such as:
- A dry mouth and/or nose
- A blocked nose
- Breathing through your mouth rather than your nose
Humidifiers help by moistening and warming the air that’s fed into your mask, so that it’s easier and more comfortable to breathe in. If you don’t have a humidifier, talk to your care provider about getting one.
Tubing comes in different diameters and lengths, and may be heated or non-heated, depending on your system.
Your tubing should make it easy for you to move around freely in your sleep. ResMed’s SlimLine™ tube is narrow and light, so gives you a lot of freedom to move.
Heated tubing, like ResMed’s ClimateLineAir™, can make using a humidifier even more comfortable, because air is kept warm as it travels from the device to your mask.
Your device filter
Your device has a filter (usually located at the back of the device) that needs changing from time to time.
Check your User Guide for instructions on when and how to change the filter.
Your SD card stores details about your therapy usage, so that your care provider can assess how you are going with it, and if the therapy settings are treating your condition effectively.
If you have an S9 device, your SD card is located just above the filter.
For all other devices, please refer to your user guide or SD protective folder for instructions on how to insert/remove the SD card.