One in every ten Americans suffers from some form of sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by repeatedly stopping and starting your breathing during the night, can have a significant impact on the quality of your rest and your general well-being.
While making long-term changes to your lifestyle can help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea, CPAP therapy is a popular treatment option among doctors. To keep your airways free and unobstructed while you sleep, CPAP therapy delivers pressure air to your nose and mouth.
A prescription from your doctor is required if you’re planning to acquire a CPAP machine for the first time. A CPAP prescription is required before you can buy one, and we’ll explain why, how to get one, and where to find CPAP equipment.
Do You Need a Prescription for a CPAP Machine?
Before you can purchase a CPAP machine, you’ll need a doctor’s prescription. To get started, you’ll need to see your doctor. CPAP therapy is safe and effective, but you’ll first require a visit to the doctor’s office.
Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms if you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea. CPAP therapy might be prescribed by your physician once a diagnosis has been made. You can start looking for the finest CPAP machine after you obtain a prescription for one.
Why a Prescription Is Necessary
Even though CPAP devices have a low risk of abuse, a prescription is required to ensure that your CPAP therapy is safe and tailored to your needs. CPAP machines were downgraded from Class III to Class II status by the FDA in late 2018.
FDA authorities thought that by making this adjustment, they may lower regulatory barriers, promote product innovation, and increase patient access. A prescription from your doctor is still required before you can purchase and begin CPAP therapy, even with the new designation.
Even though it may be inconvenient, patients benefit greatly from the requirement that a CPAP machine purchase be accompanied by a valid prescription. If you require a prescription, you’ll have to see your doctor to discuss your problems.
Before beginning CPAP therapy, you’ll have a better grasp of the following:
- It was determined that you have sleep apnea (there are different types).
- Which CPAP, BiPAP, or APAP machine is right for you?
- The most appropriate mask and delivery mechanism for your situation.
- The proper amount of pressure to alleviate your discomfort.
- After a few years of use.
The effectiveness of your treatment should be improved as a result of this medical professional’s oversight. CPAP therapy may be ineffective if it is not administered under the supervision of a medical professional. CPAP machines and other accessories can be reimbursed by your health insurance company if you have a prescription.
Don’t fall prey to any stores that offer CPAPs on the spot without a prescription. Some of the CPAP devices they’re selling may not be approved by the FDA.
How Do You Get a CPAP Prescription?
To obtain a prescription for a CPAP machine, you must first recognize the signs of sleep apnea and schedule an appointment with your physician. The most prevalent type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Among the signs and symptoms are:
- Snoring that is both frequent and loud.
- Breathing problems.
- Gasping or choking while waking up in the morning.
- Recurrent periods of waking.
- Restlessness at night.
- drowsiness in the daytime.
- Headaches in the morning.
- Mood shifts.
Central sleep apnea is a less prevalent type of sleep apnea (CSA). It can be difficult to identify CSA symptoms because the airway is not physically constricted as with OSA.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you’re suffering any of the symptoms of sleep apnea. First, see your primary care physician. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, they may be able to send you to an expert in sleep medicine.
CPAP therapy can be prescribed by any doctor, even your primary care physician. A sleep specialist, on the other hand, will be able to perform a comprehensive sleep study. Starting with self-reported symptoms is helpful, but sleep study data provide a more complete picture of your condition.
A polysomnography (commonly known as a sleep study) is an overnight clinical test. Polysomnography is often done at a sleep clinic, but some clinicians provide a reduced version that can be done at home.
As you sleep, your heart rate, breathing, oxygen levels, respiratory exertion and eye movement activity are all monitored by a polysomnography. Moreover, the electrical activity of the heart and brain are also monitored.
You’ll have your diagnosis and treatment plan determined by your sleep specialist after you’ve done your sleep study. A CPAP prescription is available if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Where Can You Purchase CPAP Equipment?
You can start looking for a CPAP machine and other CPAP supplies after you have a prescription for CPAP therapy. CPAP equipment is available from a variety of vendors, including:
- It is your insurance company.
- It’s a sleep center in the neighborhood.
- Vendors who operate exclusively online.
- Retailers of medical equipment with physical locations.
If you decide to use your insurance to cover a CPAP machine, keep in mind that some companies will only let you rent a machine. Brick-and-mortar stores, on the other hand, sometimes have a less assortment than online retailers.
In general, online retailers provide a wider range of products at lower costs. If you’re not happy with your purchase, there are several internet retailers who provide generous return policies.
Keep in mind that even if you buy your CPAP equipment online, you will still need a prescription. Most online CPAP equipment suppliers make the process simple. You can normally provide a copy of your prescription through email, upload, or fax. A CPAP prescription is required for the purchase of numerous CPAP equipment, like as masks and humidifiers.
Can I Get A CPAP Without Prescription?
Don’t use a CPAP that you find on the internet or that a friend has stored. With used CPAP devices, there are numerous concerns.
- CPAP therapy becomes less effective when the plastic and other materials degrade, resulting in fractures and leaks.
- CPAP devices gather a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and skin cells. It is possible that you are inhaling the pathogens that were present in the prior user.
- A CPAP is not the correct treatment if you are in need of a BiPAP.
- An old CPAP machine doesn’t tell you how often it was used or whether it functions properly. Every five years, a new CPAP machine is required.
Who Can Write A CPAP Prescription?
CPAP prescriptions can be written by a variety of healthcare providers, including yours:
- A doctor of medicine.
- Osteopath. Licensed practitioner.
- An aide of a physician.
- Nurse Practitioners
- Doctor of Naturopathy.
How Do I Buy My CPAP Online?
- It’s possible to buy CPAP equipment online from an established distributor such as CPAP Supplies, which sells high-quality CPAP machines and supplies made by industry leaders.
- You’ll also want to be sure that the pharmacy has your prescription information on hand when you’re making a purchase.
- Finally, be sure to follow the checkout process.
What does the prescription need to have?
A prescription for PAP equipment must include the following information:
- The doctor’s phone number and email address
- The signature of a doctor.
- The entire name of the patient.
- Detection (obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, mixed sleep apnea)
- Longevity (most CPAP prescriptions come with a lifetime prescription)
- Machine type (CPAP, APAP, BiPAP, ASV, etc.)
- Setting the machine’s pressure (fixed or range depending on machine type).
- If the prescription includes a humidifier,
- Disposable/delivery method (usually indicates that patient can choose a preference of mask)
- Replacement masks, parts, and accessories should be replaced on a regular basis.
Different sorts of machines will necessitate varying amounts of data.
- A single pressure setting will be required for the CPAP machine.
- APAPs will feature a range of pressures with two options for each one (minimum pressure and maximum pressure)
- IPAP (inspiratory) pressure will be higher than EPAP (expiratory) pressure in biPAPs
- The maximum IPAP and lowest EPAP for BIPAP automobiles will be specified.
- A breath rate sensor will be included in BiPAP S/T.
- There will be a maximum IPAP, minimum and maximum EPAP, minimum and maximum pressure support (PS), as well as a breath rate, in a BiPAP ASV system.
How long is my prescription good for?
It is up to the prescribing physician how long a prescription should be valid for. Almost all PAP prescriptions are renewed for life.
Refill prescriptions are only valid for as long as they state how many times they can be filled.
Prescriptions with an expiration date are only good until that date, unless otherwise stated.
A new sleep study is required to receive a new CPAP prescription if the previous one has expired.
How do I get my CPAP equipment if I have a prescription?
You must first pick where to buy your CPAP supplies. If you’re not sure where to obtain your CPAP supplies, take a look at our page for some helpful hints.
The prescription must be sent to your equipment provider before your order can be filled. A prescription can either be sent directly to an equipment provider by the prescribing physician or you can give the provider’s contact information and have them get a hold of it.
Contact the Alaska Sleep Clinic if you live in Alaska and need a sleep study to diagnose and cure your sleep apnea. An expert sleep educator will give you a free 10-minute phone consultation to help you decide whether a sleep study is the best option for you.