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Frequently Asked Questions

CPAP Frequently Asked Questions

Oxygen Frequently Asked Questions


Q. I have been prescribed a CPAP, what is the benefit of using one?

A. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices maintain open airways in patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea by providing airflow at prescribed pressures during sleep. Most patients receiving CPAP therapy report better quality sleep, increased alertness, more energy, and improved cognitive function. In order for treatment modalities to be effective, patients must be compliant with their prescription. Medical Necessities will work closely with you to maximize compliance through follow-up monitoring and careful instruction.


Q. How often do I need to clean my mask? How often does it need to be replaced?

A. It is very important to clean your mask, headgear, tubing, and humidifier on a regular basis. If maintained properly, your mask and headgear should last approximately 3-6 months. 

On a daily basis, wash the mask or pillows with a soft cloth with a solution of warm water and a mild, liquid detergent. Rinse thoroughly and allow the mask or pillows to air dry. If you have a humidifier, empty the water out daily and replace with distilled water.

Twice weekly, with a soft cloth, wash the swivel connector and tubing in a solution of warm water and a mild liquid detergent. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.

Weekly, if you have a humidifier, use one cup of vinegar to a sink full of water and soak the humidifier.


Q. My CPAP mask sometimes leaks air. Is this normal?

A. Make sure your CPAP is turned on before applying the mask. For the best fit, position the straps on your headgear while lying down. Overtightening the headgear can worsen mask leaks which can cause redness or sores on the skin. A small leak at the sides or bottom of the mask is acceptable, but air should not leak into the eyes to avoid dry eyes.


Q. How do I call to order CPAP supplies?

A. You can call Medical Necessities at 1-800-680-8008 or you can email us through the form located on our contact us page.


Q. Do I need to use my CPAP every night?

A. Your CPAP has been prescribed by your doctor and should be used every night for maximum effectiveness. In the beginning, you may not be able to use your CPAP all night long. You may need to get used to it by wearing it a few hours more each night until you are able to use it all night long.


Q. I have heard that oxygen is addictive, is this true?

A. No, oxygen is not addictive.


Q. Is it dangerous to be on oxygen?

A. When used properly, oxygen is not dangerous. Oxygen is not flammable but it does support combustion. Oxygen needs to be kept away from sparks or open flames.


Q. How long will I have to be on oxygen?

A. Oxygen is prescribed by your doctor, for many diagnoses. Some diagnoses will only require short-term oxygen therapy, while others require long-term oxygen therapy. Your doctor is the final authority on how long you will need oxygen therapy.


Q. How much will I have to pay to be on oxygen?

A. This is dependent upon your insurance. Medicare covers 80% of the Medicare allowable, as long as the oxygen is considered medically necessary by your doctor and certain criteria are met. Insurance companies differ on the amount of coverage they offer.


Q. Can I turn up the liter flow on my oxygen?

A. No, your doctor has prescribed a liter flow specifically for you. If you feel like you're not getting enough oxygen, you need to call your doctor.


Q. Can I still travel with oxygen?

A. Yes, you need to make arrangements with Medical Necessities at least two weeks in advance to ensure you have all the oxygen you need during your travels.