The best tips for traveling with sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep.

People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times, because the brain and the rest of the body may not be getting enough oxygen.

If you've been treated for obstructive sleep apnea, you probably have a CPAP machine.But this does not mean that your life will be more restricted than before.

This is a fairly common disorder, and if you have been diagnosed, try not to worry too much because you can still experience the joy of traveling, but you just need to make some preparations beforehand.

This article contains the exact steps you need to take and some top recommendations on how to make traveling with sleep apnea easier.

1.Talk to your airline in advance

Regardless of how you get to the destination country, each transportation company has its own rules and regulations that you must follow.

So contact the transportation company representative and ask them about the conditions for traveling with a CPAP machine.It is advisable to do this at least a week before your trip in advance so that you can make all the arrangements or buy additional accessories for your machine if it seems necessary.

Now, the good news for those traveling with the plan is:

Since CPAP machines are considered medical equipment, you can transport them as a separate piece of luggage regardless of the amount of luggage you already have.

"Many people like to use the apnea machine on the plane because the air in the cabin is usually dry and the CPAP machine can humidify it."

Note that for security reasons, it's still a good idea to bring it as carry-on luggage, even if you don't plan to use the device on board.This will protect it from possible damage during the flight.Plus, you won't have to worry about your therapy if your luggage gets lost or delayed.

2.Pack for your trip in advance

Packing your sleep apnea machine requires some preparation to make it safer to transport:

Attach the label "medical equipment" to it.This is optional, but better safe than sorry.If you're traveling by air, this tag also makes the airport check-in process a little easier.

Empty the humidifier container.You can always fill it later, right before use.But when you are not using the device, it is better to leave the container empty to avoid accidents.

Bring a clear bag with you.Again, if you're traveling by air, know that airport personnel may want to scan your CPAP machine with the X-ray conveyor belt.A clear plastic bag will prevent your device from getting dirty in this case.

Back yourself up with some batteries.You never know if the point of sale will be available during your trip.So 1-2 extra batteries may come in handy.

"Choose a hard, shock-resistant case to transport your apnea machine. Manufacturers of such cases often attach the "Medical Equipment" label directly, so you don't have to worry about stickers."

If you are a true travel enthusiast, you may also consider purchasing one of these travel CPAP machines.They usually do not have a humidifier section, so they are more compact and convenient to transport.But all other functions remain the same as in a normal machine.

3.Create a checklist

In addition to preparing your CPAP machine for travel, don't forget things that make it easier to use in your destination country, such as z. B.:

  • Adapters: Asia, Europe, America and the UK use different types of outlets.So be sure to find out what plug standard is used in your country of travel and purchase the necessary adapter.Or find a universal.
  • Cables: in addition to adapters, you must also find out about the mains voltage in the country of destination and select the appropriate cable.If you don't, you may have problems charging your device or the wrong voltage will burn its components.
  • Spare parts: Be sure to pack filters, tubing, cleaning kits and other important details in your luggage.This way you can be sure that your device won't let you down thousands of miles from home, and if something happens to one of the parts, you can quickly repair or replace it.

"You can also take an extension cord with you. This way, you can plug in your CPAP machine no matter where it is in your hotel room."

4 Copy your prescription and always have it with you

If you have a prescription from your therapist that says you need to use a CPAP machine, you can kill two birds with one stone:

If you don't have spare parts or your device suddenly stops performing its functions, you can get help with a prescription at any specialty store.

It is also useful at the Lost and Found counter – at the train station or airport – in case your luggage is lost or stolen.

5.Keep your sleep first

Traveling, especially by plane, and changing time zones are often perceived by our bodies as stressful events.And stress is one of the factors that can aggravate sleep apnea.

You can follow these tips to minimize the negative effects of the new environment on your sleep:

  • Use a sleep mask and earplugs: Yes, your hotel neighbors may be an intelligent older couple, but you never know.Also, the hotel itself might be in the center of the city with loud and bright nightlife.Therefore, make sure you have adequate insulation from disturbing external factors with a sleep mask and comfortable earplugs.
  • Mind your comfort: hotel pillows can often be uncomfortable for people with apnea.You can help yourself, however, if you get a small inflatable wedge pillow.It will help you sleep much more comfortably and does not take up much space in your luggage when empty.
  • Don't overload yourself: it's completely understandable that you want to gather maximum impressions from your vacation, but too much excitement can lead to fragmented and sensitive sleep.So better explore the new place in a low-key way and enjoy the tranquility.

Hopefully these tips will help give you the confidence that you can still travel abroad.If you suffer from sleep apnea and have recommendations for others, leave feedback in the comment section below.

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