Things to Ask Your Doctor About Sleep Apnea and Your CPAP Machine

Things to Ask Your Doctor About Sleep Apnea and Your CPAP Machine

A diagnosis of OSA can be both frightening and confusing. Knowing what questions to ask their primary physician is very important. It will calm any fears and provide a pathway to quality sleep therapy and better health.

Diagnosis of sleep apnea can conjure up strong emotions as well as many questions. Of course, we assume the person has found a doctor that is compatible with their own personality. And, the hope is that they develop an open doctor/patient relationship. While the patient will have many questions that come to mind that the doctor can answer, the following list may fill in some important gaps to get the patient on the right path.

The physician is likely to first send the patient to a specialist. They may also send them directly to a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis. A sleep study, a polysomnogram, is an overnight test in which a number of bodily activities are simultaneously recorded during sleep. This test helps determine the cause of a sleeping problem. In fact, many tests are sent directly to the patient's home for them to do themselves. This helps to alleviate any anxiousness about the test itself.

Even before the sleep study, the patient should ask their physician a number of questions about sleep apnea Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy and the CPAP machines. Knowledge about the diagnosis and its equipment is especially useful when determining types of treatment.  Questions may include a full explanation of sleep apnea and its various effect’s on the body and health. They should also ask about the options open to them for treatment.

The doctor or medical equipment provider should be able to answer any questions about the CPAP Machine. This will include how they work, potential costs, how to choose the right one for their needs, what type of CPAP mask they should get, and how to deal with potential challenges in adjusting to the CPAP machine. This may also lead to questions regarding insurance and Medicaid eligibility or an outright purchase of the CPAP machine.

Once diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), patients may want to visit an ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) doctor, pulmonologist, cardiologist, or other specialists to learn more about their health conditions. The physician is always the first line of defense in answering these questions. However, a specialist, sleep study professional, or equipment provider like The CPAP Shop can often provide additional detail and specificity.

Patients should become familiar with terms such as Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI). This is a measure of the total number of times they stop breathing or experience shallow breathing divided by total hours slept. The AHI should be included in the sleep study document. Additional questions which will be helpful to understand for proper sleep therapy include if mask trials and fittings are available, return policy, and a number of options available. Online providers such as The CPAP Shop offer all the latest and most advanced therapy solutions on the market.  Although The CPAP Shop does not accept insurance, it could prove to be less expensive and less frustrating than typical medical equipment channels.  Regardless, by staying informed of options, people with sleep apnea can take control of their health and their lives.

The CPAP Shop icommits to enhancing the lives of people with sleep apnea through information and high-quality therapeutic products.  If you have questions about CPAP mask or CPAP machines or any products, please call (866) 414-9700. You can also contact us through our website at

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.