Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Flying with your CPAP

I get asked about this regularly by my patients. This article is about traveling with a CPAP. Since using CPAP therapy with all sleep will maximize effectiveness, you should bring your CPAP with you when you travel. Of course, don't forget to bring all of the accessories, especially the power cord. Most CPAP machines these days come with a canvas bag to carry the device. I advise my patients to carry the device on board, not checking it as luggage. This is because the CPAP may be damaged during luggage handling or transportation in the plane, or your luggage may be lost. You will need to show the TSA agent the CPAP equipment. Nowadays, they will be used to it, and you will see many other travelers with their CPAPs. You may also need to bring a letter from your physician or a specialized luggage tag that says the CPAP is a medical device that has been prescribed for you.

Some travelers, especially on overnight flights, will want to use their CPAP's on the plane. You will need to check with the airline to see if their planes have power sources and if you can sit near enough to one to plug in your CPAP. Be sure to ask what kind of power source the plane has, as you may need an adapter. Some of my patients have gotten small travel CPAPs that operate on battery power.

If you use the humidifier chamber, don't try to bring distilled water on the plane. Best to buy it at your destination, if available.

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