Traveling with a CPAP Machine
CPAP therapy is intended to help everyone who suffers from sleep apnea, whether they be a homebody, occasional traveler or frantic adventurer. Even so, sleep apnea patients who do find themselves frequently on the go have a different set of concerns, wants and needs when compared with more stationary patients. Highly mobile patients generally require smaller, more compact machines; they typically need batteries with wide compatibility; and they benefit from integrated humidification systems.
Below are two general tips which should be of use to every sleep apnea patient who travels frequently. Next is a series of tips which pertain specifically to taking your CPAP machine and other equipment when flying on an airplane. Lastly, three machines which are particularly “travel friendly” are examined to give mobile patients a sense of what’s currently available on the market.
All Purpose Tips for Traveling with a CPAP Machine
(1) Check your CPAP battery power level – only if your machine has a battery
Whether you’re getting ready to embark on a camping trip, business excursion or family vacation, you should always check the power level on your CPAP machine so you have a sense of how long it can function before it needs to be recharged.
(2) Prepare for the extra weight
CPAP machines and their associated accessories come in a wide range of sizes and weights. Although the CPAP machines designed specifically for travel are noted for their lightness, other machines will be significantly less convenient to carry around. If you’re taking an extended trip which requires that you regularly change cities and hotels, it’s important that you prepare for the additional stress that your CPAP equipment will bring about. Lugging around your CPAP machine from city to city could become tedious quickly, so it’s important that you prepare yourself accordingly.
Flying with Your CPAP System
(1) Always carry on your equipment
It’s strongly recommended that you carry on your CPAP equipment as opposed to checking it. Carrying on your CPAP equipment will give you greater control over the safety of your items: you won’t have to worry about your equipment becoming lost as occasionally happens when things are checked. What’s more, your CPAP equipment is much less likely to suffer damage if it’s carried on rather than checked. Before carrying on, however, make sure that you pack all of your equipment in a bag with something soft to cushion it throughout travel. Most CPAP items are relatively fragile – including the carrying case for your machine – and so it’s best to be extra cautious.
(2) Be conscious of your power compatibility
Flyers, particularly those flying overseas, need to be aware of the compatibility of their battery. Some batteries may function perfectly well anywhere in the United States, but might require an adapter to work internationally. You don’t want to be stuck without the means to charge your machine!
(3) Alert the airline beforehand
Before you travel on an airplane with your CPAP machine and accessories, it’s vitally important that you alert the airline that you’ll be bringing it along. Alerting the airline will enable your airline to make any necessary accommodations prior to your flight. Moreover, before flying you should acquire a sticker which should be placed on the bag containing your equipment so that others are aware of the contents.
Top Travel CPAP Machines
If you travel for business or pleasure frequently you have no reason to fret or panic: there are a variety of CPAP machines available which have been constructed specifically to meet your demands.
At just 10 ounces – with humidifier! – the Z1 Portable Travel CPAP
is presently the lightest machine on the market. It comes with Z-Breathe pressure relief technology and can be equipped with an integrated battery system (known as PowerShell).
The EZEX Pressure Relief Portable CPAP Machine by Transcend
is another travel friendly device which frequent flyers should take notice of. The EZEX by Transcend weighs just 15 ounces and comes with universal power adapters so patients will be able to power the machine in international settings. Transcend machines also have single and multi night battery options.
Finally, the XT Line from APEX Medical
are palm sized CPAP machines that make traveling with a CPAP easy. Machines in the XT Series are likewise very light in weight – just 1.76 pounds – and comes with an inbuilt power supply adds to its portability. The XT comes with a carrying case which makes it easier to bring along on flights; users who intend to travel internationally will need to procure a power outlet adapter to keep the device charged.