Ask a CPAP Clinician About Your Equipment or Sleep Apnea is a one-stop online shop for CPAP Machines, CPAP Masks, CPAP Tubing, Supplies and Replacement Parts from trusted brands like ResMed, Respironics, Fisher and Paykel, Innomed, SoClean, Transcend and more. Our expert staff is here to help you find the right product at the lowest allowable prices.

Our team at CPAP Supplies includes multiple on-staff clinicians who are experts on everything related to obstructive sleep apnea including CPAP equipment, supplies and how to use them.

Looking for a quick answer? Read some recent Q&A inquiries from our 'Ask a CPAP Clinician' session with real customers. If you are still looking for answers, our team is always happy to help. Please don't hesitate to contact us for additional support.



Clinician Q & A


Question: Do you have a mask exchange policy? How does it work?

Answer: will accept returns of any unopened product within 30 days of the original ship date. Read more about our Return Policy here.


Question: Do you sell CPAP mask parts?

Answer: Yes, we sell all sorts of supplies, including mask parts. In fact, it's our specialty! If you navigate to our CPAP Supplies category you can use the filters to find the mask part you are looking for. You can also use the search bar at the top of our website header to search for your part. If you can't find the part you are looking for, you can always call us at 1-866-298-6482 and we can help.


Question: What does AHI mean?

Answer: AHI stands for Apnea Hypopnea Index and it is a numerical measure that counts the number of pauses in your breathing per hour of sleep. For more information about AHI and sleep therapy, visit our blog on AHI.


Question: What exactly causes someone to suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Answer: OSA is normally caused when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, causing your airway to narrow or even close as you breathe in. This does not let an adequate breath in and could lower the level of oxygen in your blood.


Question: What is C-Flex Technology?

Answer: C-Flex is a pressure relief technology that makes sleep therapy more comfortable. Pressure relief works by reducing pressure at the beginning of exhalation and returning to therapeutic pressure just before inhalation. The level of pressure relief varies based on the patient's expiratory flow and which of the three C-Flex settings has been selected. For more on the topic, visit our blog on C-Flex Comfort Settings.


Question: What is considered severe when they talk about AHI?

Answer: A severe AHI (apnea-hypopnea index) would be anything over 30 events (an event would be a pause in breathing greater than 10 seconds) per hour of sleep each night. CPAP therapy is highly recommended for anyone with a severe AHI.


Question: What is the difference between a nasal mask and a nasal pillow?

Answer: A nasal mask covers the entire nose from the nostrils up to the bridge of the nose. The nasal mask usually has a triangular cushion and it covers the region around the nose. A nasal pillow has small cushions that slide inside the nostrils; nothing covers the nose and nothing touches the bridge of the nose.


Question: Can I wash the filter on my CPAP machine?

Answer: Yes, you can wash your CPAP filter, and you should do so at least once per week using warm water. Your CPAP filter should also be replaced every six months. Read our guide on how to change your CPAP filter.


Question: Hey there. I just broke my CPAP mask elbow piece & need a replacement. I found the Fisher & Paykel Nasal Mask Exhalation Elbow on here that looks like mine but I'm not sure if it is the same. How can I be sure before I buy it, or can I return it if I receive it & find that it is not compatible with my current mask? Thank you.

Answer: The elbow you need is going to depend on the type of mask you have. Be sure to read the product information to ensure that this piece works with your mask. If you are still unsure, you can speak with one of our professionals to figure out which piece will be the correct fit. Give us a call at 1-866-298-6482 and we can help! If you happen to purchase the incorrect elbow, do not open it, and we will accept the return. We cannot accept opened items.


Question: How do you know which frame and nasal cushion to order?

Answer: A good rule of thumb is to start with the same size frame as the mask you currently wear. If you are unhappy with your current mask, or are unfamiliar with masks, we recommend the DreamWear Nasal Mask Fit pack, which includes all three frame sizes, and all four cushion sizes, so you can mix and match to get your best fit.


Question: I am currently on a CPAP machine but now they want to switch me to a BiPAP machine. Why?

Answer: Many CPAP users are switched to a BiPAP machine when their apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is not being controlled. Unlike the CPAP, a BiPAP machine has 2 different pressures, one when you inhale and another one when you exhale. These different pressures can help moderate your breathing and better meet your AHI goals.


Question: I am having a hard time adjusting to using my CPAP machine every night. Any suggestions?

Answer: Getting adjusted to sleeping with a CPAP at night can definitely be hard. We have suggested that new CPAP users start trying to use their machine at short times during the day just to get used to the air coming in. Then move up to using the machine while reading or watching TV and eventually use it to take a nap. Slowly increasing the time that you use the machine can help you get used to it and ultimately make it the norm for your sleeping pattern.


Question: I am having issues using my CPAP machine. I can tolerate it well the first part of the night but then I wake up around 2 am with leaks and discomfort. Any suggestions?

Answer: Your mask might not be fitting correctly if you are having leaks. I would recommend you call us at 1-866-298-6482 and make an appointment with a clinician to get re-fitted for a new mask that fits you better. We have a wide variety of masks that come in different sizes, fits, and styles. A better mask fit will ensure that you get the best sleep possible!


Question: I have problem. My CPAP is causing me to choke in my sleep. This causes me to take it off without noticing until the next morning. I prefer to have a nose one instead of the full face. I like the new noise mask, but I can't afford it because of my income and insurance. I need help.

Answer: If you would like to qualify for a more comfortable CPAP mask through insurance, you can fill out the form at our Qualify Through Insurance Page., and one of our representatives will verify your benefits and contact you with your options. We wish the very best for you and we are always here to help you troubleshoot these problems.


Question: I use a nasal mask for my CPAP machine but it looks like I am opening my mouth at night. Do I have to change the mask to a full face one or is there another possibility?

Answer: You don't necessarily need to get a new mask; first you can try a chin strap to hold your mouth closed at night while using your CPAP. It should work.


Question: If I am having mask leaks, do I necessarily need to get a new mask?

Answer: Not really, your mask might not be secured the way it is supposed to be. An improperly fitting mask could be a result of an old cushion that needs to be replaced. Sometimes yes, you might need to get a new mask, for example if you have a very high pressure and the mask is not made to withstand that pressure.


Question: Is a concentrator the same thing as a machine used to treat sleep apnea?

Answer: No, they are not the same. A concentrator is a machine used to create oxygen and is used for oxygen therapy. A CPAP machine is used to treat sleep apnea; a CPAP machine does not actually create oxygen, it just blows air to keep your airways open during the night.


Question: Is it necessary to always use the humidifier when using a CPAP machine?

Answer: It is not necessary, the humidifier is just an additional feature and an option that you have available in case the air that the machine is blowing gets too dry. If you are able to use the machine without the humidifier, that is completely fine.


Question: Is there a specific way I should be maintaining my CPAP machine?

Answer: Maintenance of a CPAP machine is pretty simple; make sure that you dust it off once in a while, and the most important thing is to make sure the filters are clean and that you replace them as needed. If you have a humidifier, make sure you empty it every morning and let it air dry throughout the day.


Question: What are the implications associated with untreated OSA?

Answer: Some of the risks associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, irregular heart beats, heart attacks and depression.


Question: What type of mask would you recommend if the bridge of my nose has been damaged several times? I am looking for something comfortable.

Answer: There are different options now for full face masks or nasal masks that do not touch the bridge. A full face mask such as Dreamwear Full Face or the F30i and nasal mask such as the ResMed N30i or Dreamwear Nasal Mask are good options.