When the machine is used every night, the user finds their sleeping pattern improves. A portable CPAP device makes traveling easier, but for those who have a more cumbersome device, there are ways to travel and have your CPAP too. Here are some tips to get you started for traveling with your CPAP machine.
On the Go with Your CPAP Machine
Always empty the humidifier component before packing a CPAP. When you arrive at your destination distilled water will be needed. There has been discussion on whether distilled water is a necessity for the CPAP machine. ResMed, one of the major manufacturers of CPAPs, recommends using distilled water for the maintenance and longevity of the machine. Tap water usually contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and lime which could build up over time and reduce the life of the water reservoir. Some prefer not to bother with the humidifier while away from home. If this is your plan adjust the machine and turn off the humidifier function.
Be certain all pieces are present: headgear, nose or face mask, tubing, and electrical cords. Bring an extra extension cord. This is useful should you have a hotel room where the power socket is not near the bed.
Battery packs are available for campers who will be in areas without electricity. Charge batteries ahead of time and have a backup plan. Check with the manufacturer for information regarding battery options and adaptors.
Traveling by Air
Expect the unexpected. Travel with a copy of your CPAP prescription should your machine stop working or is damaged while away from home.
While you may want to check your CPAP with your luggage it is advised to keep your machine as a carry-on. There is a small chance your checked bags could get delayed, lost or stolen Attach a medical equipment tag on the CPAP carry case and cover it with a plastic bag to prevent exposure to germs and chemicals when going through inspection at the airport.
Some CPAP devices are small enough to stow in a carry-on bag and be easily accessible for inspection at security checkpoints. If carrying in its own bag, CPAP machines are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act and not counted as a carry-on item.
TSA and Your CPAP
At TSA checkpoints the machine itself will need to be removed from the bag; however, the tubing and face mask may remain inside. TSA officers will swab the machine and tubing for traces of explosive material as a standard operating procedure.
You could be delayed a bit more if you are traveling with a CPAP machine. Your CPAP prescription confirms the purpose of carrying the medical equipment. The TSA website has more information about traveling with medical devices.
Using Your CPAP Outside the USA
If your destination is within the United States, there is no need to worry about electrical currency. Outside the USA many countries have different electrical systems. Purchase a power converter before leaving the States to avoid connection problems when using your CPAP machine in a foreign country. With a few modifications, you will be able to travel freely and have a good night’s rest with the use of your CPAP.
Retirement opens many doors for Seniors. Freedom to travel is one. Many Seniors also wish to downsize and leave the obligations of taking care of a home to someone else. If you are thinking about making a transition into a Retirement Community, contact Bridge to Better Living for guidance and resources. We help make the journey stress free and easy.