1) Your mask/tubing/machine is making a loud noise:
The noise is most likely caused by an air leak. Normally, air leaks come from the mask, but could also come from your tubing or water chamber. If you're able to sleep with a higher than normal air leak, then there is no problem. Your device is made to adjust itself to maintain the pressure that your doctor ordered. If the noise is keeping you or someone else awake, try these tips -
(a) If an air leak coming from your mask is waking you up, then you can try the following steps to get rid of it:
(i) Have you been adjusting the straps on your mask while lying flat? Your face changes shape when you lie down, so a mask that seems comfortable while sitting up may not be comfortable at all when you get into bed.
(ii) Have you been cleaning your mask cushion regularly? When the cushion isn’t cleaned regularly, the air from the machine will leak around the sides of it. An increased air leak makes you over tighten the mask and this makes the mask uncomfortable.
(iii) We recommend that any patient with a higher than normal air leak wash their cushion (the soft part of your mask that touches your face) every day or every other day with mild soap - for example, Ivory bar soap or baby shampoo. Only the cushion or pillow touches the face, so that’s the part that needs the most frequent cleaning.
(iv) Are you using a nasal pillow mask? If your mask only covers your nostrils - the Reveal or AirFit P10 are examples – and you notice an air leak around the pillow and/or have to reposition the pillow to keep it out of your nose, you can try the next size larger pillow. It’s very normal to be fitted for one size of nasal pillow and then switch to a larger size once you get more used to the mask. Going up a size may make you more comfortable, stop the air leaks, and keep you from having to readjust your mask throughout the night.
(v) If the next larger size pillow isn’t comfortable, it may be time to replace the pillow.
(vi) Is it time to replace your mask or cushions? Eventually, all masks need to be replaced. The good news is that most insurance companies cover 1 cushion or 2 nasal pillows a month, 1 strap every 6 months, and 1 replacement mask frame every 3 months.
(b) If the air leak is coming from your tubing, try the following tips:
(i) Have you tried tightening your tubing?
If you have a tube that locks into the device, check to be sure that it’s locked in. This turns the heated wire in the tubing on and the tube won’t disconnect from the device.
If you have tubing slides onto the machine, you should still make sure that the tube is firmly in place. It’s easy to bump the are where the tube connects to the device and jar it loose.
Does your tubing slide into place, but then slides off again easily? Tubing has to be washed in either mild soap and water or with half white vinegar and half water at least once a week. Oils can build up on a tube and make the end too slippery to stay in place.
(iii) Is it time to replace your tubing? If washing your tubing doesn’t help it to stay in place, or if it will not lock into place, it will need to be replaced. Normally, CPAP tubing is replaced every 3 months.
(c) If your water chamber is leaking air, you can try these tips:
(i) Are you using a DreamStation? If so -
Lift the lid over the water chamber by moving the lever on the top of your device and lifting the edge of the lid upwards.
Lift out your water chamber and look into the empty humidifier where it was seated. There is a small gasket that can get jarred out of place.
Push it back into place and replace the water chamber.
There is another gasket on the underside of the lid, please check to be sure that this is in place and seated correctly.
Close the lid, put your mask on, and turn the machine on.
If the air leak is still loud enough to notice, please click here to make an appointment with your local branch.
(ii) Are you using a ResMed A10? If so –
Remove the water chamber from your device and open it.
Check to be sure that the seal is in the chamber. It’s easy to forget to replace the seal after cleaning your water chamber. If the seal is not in the chamber, or is out of place, the chamber won’t close tightly and air can leak out. It only fits one way – the water chamber won’t close if it is seated incorrectly.
(iii) If you’ve tried these steps and the air leak is still loud, please click here to make an appointment with your local branch.
(iv) Is it time to replace your water chamber? Water chambers are normally replaced every 6 months.
(d) Is it time to get more supplies? Even if you’re washing your equipment regularly, it will eventually wear out. The good news is that MetroMed can send replacement supplies direct to you. Call 800-999-0333 to find out how frequently your replacement supplies are covered by your insurance company.