When traveling away from home you want to keep up with your sleep apnea treatment. If prescribed with CPAP, just a single night without your machine could see a return of your sleep apnea symptoms. This can mean feeling fatigued and irritable while on vacation or on a business trip. However, packing a portable CPAP machine can help you avoid this situation.
What Is a Portable CPAP?
A portable travel CPAP is a smaller and lighter version of the standard machine you have at home. It is designed to make traveling with a machine to treat sleep apnea that much easier. As well as being more compact, a portable machine has some additional functions designed with travel in mind.
Consulting with your doctor or sleep specialist is key to help ensure you have a portable machine which provides the same treatment benefits as your standard machine. This involves ensuring the machine is set to the correct pressure range and that your mask is also compatible.
How/When Is it Used?
A travel-sized CPAP works on the same principle as the regular CPAP machine you use at home. Once your doctor has programmed the device to the correct pressure range, it will supply a steady stream of pressurized air through the mask you wear while you sleep.
You may be put off taking your standard device as it might take up too much room in your luggage or feel too bulky to carry. A compact CPAP machine solves this problem and can run off a power outlet or a battery when away from home. This removes the worry about interrupted sleep while away and the return of your sleep apnea symptoms.
6 Main Benefits of Using a Travel CPAP Machine
Size and Weight
A travel CPAP is smaller and lighter than a standard CPAP device. You can hold a machine designed for travel in the palm of your hand, and most machines weigh just 2 lbs or less. When you travel often and for a good period at a time, you are usually looking to pack as light as possible.
With a standard machine it can be tempting to leave it at home to save space and weight in your luggage. A more compact machine takes up less room and weighs very little, removing the temptation to risk a treatment-free trip.
The compact nature of a travel CPAP machine means it is highly portable. Whereas you may be weighing up taking a standard, bulkier machine against other items you might take with you, a travel CPAP solves this dilemma.
You can throw a portable CPAP into your luggage and it will take up minimal space. You will also not notice much additional weight. Not only does this make the machine portable, it frees up space for other items you might want to take.
Nobody wants a machine by the bed that makes more noise than the snoring. Today’s CPAP machines are much quieter than previous models. Travel-sized CPAPs tend to have noise levels of 30 decibels or less. This means they sound quieter than someone whispering or the hum of a soft fan.
Most travel-sized CPAPs have an integrated display to allow for data tracking. Your sleep data can be recorded on to a SD card or via Bluetooth if required. This data is important if your doctor or health insurers need to see you are adhering to your treatment plan.
Your doctor can also use the information to monitor progress and assess whether any adjustments are required. Some people will also like to monitor their own progress and check how well they are sleeping.
Safe to Take on Planes
If you fly a lot, you want a machine you can safely use on planes. Check to make sure your portable CPAP is FAA approved for in-flight use. Most CPAP machines designed for travel are. However, they also need to take the effects of altitude in to account.
The plane’s altitude can impact the machine’s pressure settings. Fortunately, most portable machines account for this and have an auto altitude adjustment function built-in. This removes the worry of having to make any adjustments yourself or using a machine with an inappropriate pressure range.
Flexible Power Options (100V vs 240V)
Some travel-sized CPAPs have flexible power options, switching between 100V and 240V. This is highly useful as it opens up the ability to use a range of power sources such as car chargers, battery packs and cigarette lighter outlets. This is ideal when traveling off-grid, for example when camping.
Doctors advise that it’s not worth the risk, traveling without CPAP. Your sleep apnea symptoms will certainly return, leaving you at your worst during your trip. And overall, you will setback your overall health and the progress you’ve made in resolving your sleep apnea. Packing a travel CPAP machine can help you avoid this risk – so you get the restorative sleep you need, without disruption.