There are several very good reasons why you need a prescription to acquire CPAP equipment, including a sleep apnea mask. Other sleep conditions can mimic the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. If this is the case, CPAP may not be an effective treatment. Getting a diagnosis of sleep apnea from a licensed physician ensures that CPAP is the correct treatment method.
Another reason to require a prescription for CPAP equipment is safety. The FDA classifies CPAP machines and accessories as Class II medical devices. This means that they pose a moderate risk to users. Requiring a prescription to obtain a P10 CPAP mask and other equipment helps ensure that you receive the proper instruction on how to use it, minimizing the risk. Here are some steps involved in getting a prescription for a CPAP machine and a mask.
Take the Home Sleep Test
There are actually two assessments used to diagnose sleep apnea. The first is an overnight sleep study that takes place in a hospital or clinic, and the other is a home sleep test. While a monitored overnight sleep study is considered more accurate, there may be reasons why you cannot take it. Perhaps the cost is prohibitive or you have difficulty sleeping in a strange location, which can affect the test results. A home sleep test is a more convenient, less invasive study that allows you to administer it yourself in the comfort of your own bedroom.
A home sleep apnea test doesn’t measure the stages or depth of sleep you are receiving. It only measures how you breathe when you sleep. There are three different parts of a home sleep test to take three different measures of your breathing. An oximeter finger probe measures the level of oxygen in your blood when attached to your fingertip. Elastic bands placed around your abdomen and chest measure respiratory effort, i.e., how hard your body is working to breathe. A sensor by your nose and mouth measures airflow. The sensor may look like an oxygen cannula or a thin wire.
You may need to repeat the test for up to three nights to gather enough data for the diagnosis. When you have completed the test, the next step is to return it to a diagnostic service provider so the data can be downloaded and processed. You will be instructed where to return the device.
Talk to Your Doctor
Your doctor will receive the results of your sleep test and make an appointment with you to explain what they mean. Based on the results of the test, he or she will make treatment recommendations which may include starting CPAP therapy.
You need a prescription to purchase both the CPAP machine and the mask, but they are usually sold separately from one another. While this may seem inconvenient at first, it allows you to choose the mask that is most effective for you based on factors such as your sleeping habits, underlying health conditions, and personal preferences.
Once you receive your prescription, it is a relatively simple matter to purchase your CPAP machine, AirFit P10 mask, and any other necessary equipment from a reputable online deale