Many patients with obstructive sleep apnea view continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) as a burden to use every night, but they know how effective it is in alleviating their symptoms. While they’re happy to deal with the treatment in the comfort of their own home, the hassle of traveling with a CPAP machine can bring on unwanted stress. How easy is it to travel with a CPAP machine? Do airlines allow you to carry on breathing equipment?
Don’t let the idea of traveling with your CPAP machine keep you from jet-setting on a weekend getaway — and don’t leave your breathing equipment at home while you head on vacation. To help you feel comfortable and confident traveling with your CPAP machine, ApneaMed has answered all your travel-related questions.
Can I Fly with a CPAP Machine?
Yes, federal law states that medical devices can be brought on airplanes. When booking your next flight, don’t stress about whether or not you are allowed to pack your CPAP machine. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) enforces this law and will enable individuals with disabilities or medical conditions to use medical devices to travel with them.
Should I Check My CPAP Machine?
Although you are allowed to check your CPAP machine, it isn’t recommended. Because your CPAP machine is a medical device that you need to help you breathe while you sleep, you want to have peace of mind knowing it’s going to end up where you need it to be. When checking your CPAP machine, you increase the risk of it being damaged or misplaced. Instead, keep your CPAP machine with you while you fly — which also allows you to use the device while in the air on long or overnight flights.
Does My CPAP Machine Count As a Carry On?
If you’re planning on traveling with your CPAP machine, you may be worried that it will count against your baggage allowance. Don’t worry. You aren’t going to be forced to choose between a personal item and your CPAP machine. Because it is considered a medical device, airlines cannot count your CPAP machine as a carry-on.
Keep in mind that bringing your CPAP machine as a carry-on means that it will need to be inspected at security. When traveling with a medical device, allow yourself extra time to get through security because TSA agents may pull it aside for additional testing and screening.
Do I Need My CPAP Prescription?
Although it’s not required for you to bring your prescription for your CPAP machine, it can help expedite the security screening process and avoid any potential headaches. Plus, if you find yourself dealing with a broken or damaged CPAP machine on your trip, you may need to use your prescription to get an emergency replacement. Having your prescription documentation (or at least a photo of it) can be extremely helpful.
Should I Pack Cleaning Supplies for My CPAP Machine?
As you know, regularly cleaning your CPAP machine is essential to ensure you’re breathing in clean air while you sleep. If your trip is going to last longer than a weekend, it is recommended that you pack supplies to clean your mask, chamber, and hose. By skipping your weekly cleaning, you increase the risk of breathing contaminated air and getting sick while on vacation.
ApneaMed Provides AutoPAP Machines for Sleep Apnea
Whether you suspect you’re suffering from sleep apnea or you’ve been diagnosed and are looking for treatment, you may be considering AutoPAP therapy. AutoPAP is an innovative positive airway pressure (PAP) machine that works by sensing the individual’s upper airway vibrations to detect any disturbances in their breathing. Using your new AutoPAP device each night, even when traveling, will help you get a good night’s sleep.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, take a home sleep apnea test to confirm your diagnosis. Once diagnosed, ApneaMed can provide the breathing equipment that you need. Contact ApneaMed with any questions.