How to Manage Sleep Apnea While Traveling

man with cpap machine

When you start planning for a trip, whether it is just an overnight escape or a week away, there are always logistics that need to be navigated. For nearly 22 million Americans that suffer from sleep apnea, they will need to figure out how to travel with any of their equipment or medication that helps to improve their symptoms. Most diagnosed sleep apnea sufferers use a CPAP machine to help keep their airways open at night. Traveling with a CPAP machine may seem like it could be a headache, but the trade off of leaving the machine at home is not worth it.

Here are some simple tips for traveling with your CPAP.

Carry it on

Since a CPAP machine is a medical device, you don’t have to include it in your carry-on count. A letter from your prescribing physician explaining why the device is medically necessary may help to ensure you have no issues with the airline or TSA. Bring your CPAP is a plastic bag to take it through security to ensure every part remains sanitized.

Make it portable

If you are a frequent flier, you may want to invest in a portable CPAP machine. It’s a smaller version of a regular CPAP without a humidifier. Some are battery-operated, so check with your airline to see if they allow extra batteries to be included in a carry-on. Notify TSA of both the CPAP and batteries before going through security.

In the details

To ward off all what ifs, pack your own extension cord, unless your CPAP runs on batteries. If you’re going overseas, make sure you have the appropriate adapter for your plug. If you have a favorite pillow that provides the right amount of support for your sleep apnea, consider bringing it with you if you have room in your bag.

Sources:

https://www.sleepapnea.org/learn/sleep-apnea-information-clinicians/

https://www.sleep.org/articles/travel-easily-sleep-apnea-2/

 

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