How To Upgrade Your CPAP

If you've been using the same old CPAP machine and mask for five years or more, it's time to consider an upgrade. CPAP technology has advanced a lot in the last few years, and there's no reason to settle for older, less effective equipment. Most insurance companies cover regular replacement of your mask, accessories and even the entire CPAP machine itself. It's really just a matter of getting online and following these easy suggestions:


1.  Add a humidifier. If your CPAP machine doesn't have one, you can easily add a heated or passive humidifier to it. The need for humidification is better understood today than it was a decade ago, and most insurance companies will readily approve a humidifier if you don't have one.

2.  Get a new mask. Ever year CPAP mask designs get lighter, more comfortable and more durable. If you've had yours for a number of years, its definitely time for a new one. Most manufacturers and insurance companies recommend replacing these every three months.

3.  Upgrade your tubing. Even if you have a heated humidifier, much heat can be lost as the air moves through the tubing between the machine and the mask. This can even cause condensation in the tubing, which leads to an annoying gurgling sound. You can now get tubing insulators that zip over your air tubing and keep the air warm until it reaches your mask.

4.  Get the latest firmware. Check with your respiratory therapist to see if your current CPAP machine uses firmware, and verify that you have the latest version. Sometimes the algorithms the machine uses to adjust air pressure have been improved since you got your equipment.

5.  Get a whole new machine. Insurance companies expect that you'll need a new machine every three to five years or so; check with your own carrier to find out. Generally the new machine will come with a built-in humidifier, new airway tubing and even a new mask if you need one.

When you're ready to buy a new CPAP machine, look into Activa Medical's CPAP exchange program , which allows you to trade in your old CPAP or BiPAP for significant credit toward a new CPAP machine purchase.