If you have obstructive sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder, traveling can be a hassle. Your doctor may recommend that you travel with your Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machine to help you breathe and sleep better.
Unfortunately, traveling with your standard BiPAP machine may not be possible as it might be too bulky. To make your trip hassle-free, we recommend that you invest in a portable travel BiPAP machine, you can find the list of mini BiPAP machines on our website.
A portable BiPAP machine for travel is lightweight, compact, and has extra features that make traveling by air or road easier. Besides, Philips BiPAP machines and other travel BiPAP machines are FAA-approved and TSA-friendly, which is perfect if you intend to travel by air.
If you’re currently shopping for travel BiPAP machines for sale or personal use, this guide will help you know the features to look out for, so you can make a wise choice.
Is the BiPAP Machine Necessary for Your Trip?
The simple answer to this question is yes, a BiPAP machine is necessary for your trip.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea or another sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty in breathing such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, an asthma flare-up, or congestive heart failure, then a BiPAP machine is necessary when going on a trip. The machine helps open up your lungs by pushing pressurized air into the lungs, enabling you to get the oxygen you need to breathe during sleep.
So, unless your sleep specialist says otherwise, we will advise you to carry your BiPAP machine along while traveling.
How to Choose a BiPAP Machine for Travel
The two important factors to consider when choosing a travel BiPAP machine are weight and size. You want a machine that you carry around in a carrier case or one that can fit in your carrier bag.
You’ll also want a modern travel BiPAP machine that has a long battery life, multiple power options, or one that can run on travel-sized power batteries. This allows you to continue getting the recommended hours of sleep even when you’re away from main power sources.
Besides, a machine that can run on a solar battery is excellent if you plan to go on a camping trip, or you intend to travel to locations with power outages.
What to Consider When Selecting a Travel BiPAP Machine
In addition to considering a BiPAP machine’s weight, size, and power options, here are additional factors to consider when shopping for your travel BiPAP machine.
1.Type of Machine
A BiPAP is a sleep therapy device that uses positive pressure to ease your breathing. BiPAP machines differ with the adjustable pressure settings. You can opt for a machine with IPAP or EPAP pressure adjustable rates. The EPAP delivers more exhalation pressure, and it’s lighter than the IPAP machine, which is for inhalation.
However, BiPAP machines aren’t the only machines used by people with breathing problems. The other commonly known sleep therapy machine is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. While the BiPAP delivers higher pressure as you breathe in, the CPAP machine. This device delivers the same amount of air pressure when you’re breathing in and out.
While it’s easy to find a portable CPAP machines in the market, the switch from a BiPAP to a CPAP machine should only be made under the instructions of your sleep specialist.
If your standard BiPAP machine works well, chances are the travel version from the same manufacturer is also a good product.
Further, you can get a quality machine from authorized medical equipment dealers, such as No Insurance Medical Supplies.
Also, consider if the machine of your choice is compatible with other BiPAP machine accessories.
For instance, if your sleep specialist has recommended the use of a particular nasal mask, you need to ensure that the machine you buy is compatible with this mask model. Test your nasal mask with the machine to ensure it is well-fitting and comfortable.
Notably, you should choose a machine that is compatible with a wide variety of accessories so that you don’t have to shop for extra accessories.
When using a BiPAP machine for long hours, your throat and mouth may dry up or become irritated. This is why it’s important to consider a machine that comes with a heated humidifier. The humidifier will provide moisture to the pressurized air you breathe during sleep.
While some machines have built-in humidifiers, others have them as an outside feature, and we also have those with waterless humidifiers.
When choosing a machine with a humidifier, we recommend you choose one with a large water reservoir, as you won’t need to keep refilling it.
A machine with a waterless humidifier is also convenient for travel as it doesn’t use water but the moisture from your breath to keep the air you breathe during sleep warm and moist.
5.Air Travel Use
If you intend to use your machine during air travel, ensure you buy a machine that is FAA-approved.
Additionally, call the airline before you travel to inquire about any other requirements you’re required to meet when traveling with your machine.
For instance, some airlines may request a letter of medical necessity from your doctor.
When choosing your travel BiPAP machine, consider getting one with low noise levels. You don’t want to have a machine that keeps you from getting restful sleep.
Fortunately, modern BiPAP machines are much quieter, but it’s always good to test the noise level of the machine before buying it.
It’s always advisable to buy a BiPAP machine with a repair and replacement warranty just in case it breaks down.
Fortunately, most travel BiPAP machines will have a 2 to 3 years warranty.
Another important factor to consider when shopping for a travel BiPAP machine is the cost.
Notably, BiPAP machines aren’t covered by health insurance. So, make sure you get one that fits your needs.
Also, travel BiPAP machines may be more expensive than the standard ones used for home use.
Key Features of a Travel BiPAP Machine
Some of the features a good travel BiPAP machine should include:
- An inbuilt or portable detachable heated humidifier
- Mask check feature
- Data collection capabilities
- Compact design and lightweight
- A long air hose connection that allows you to move around
- A range of pressure choices from 4-25 cm H2O
- Event detection
- CPAP tube to reduce rainout caused by condensation buildup
Helpful Tips for Traveling With Your BiPAP Machine
We wouldn’t want you to sacrifice a restful sleep just because you’re traveling. This is why we recommend taking your BiPAP machine with you during your travels.
However, traveling with your sleep therapy machine may need a little extra preparation. The good news is that we have just the right tips to make traveling with your BiPAP machine as smooth as possible.
Ensure your machine is in good condition before you travel – We recommend that you check your BiPAP machine to ensure that it’s in good working condition. Also, make sure all the BiPAP accessories you will need are also working. Don’t forget to empty your humidifier water chamber before you pack the machine to prevent the formation of molds
Check that you have the right power supply – If you’re traveling to a different country, make sure your power cord is compatible with the country’s power outlets. You can also carry a universal adapter, a backup battery pack, an extension cord, and other power supplies to avoid power issues.
Carry some bottled water – It’s always advisable to carry bottled water when traveling with a BiPAP machine, just in case you can’t find distilled water to use in your machine. Tap and spring water aren’t good for your BiPAP, as they contain minerals that can damage your device. Alternatively, you can invest in a travel BiPAP machine that uses waterless humidification
Keep your BiPAP documents with you – This includes the prescription for your machine or a letter of medical necessity from your doctor. You should also have a copy of the manufacturer’s FAA compliance notification if you’re traveling by air.
Pack your BiPAP machine in a carrying case – When flying with your BiPAP machine, pack it in a clear plastic bag and put it in its own travel bag. Also, keep it with you on the plane. This will protect it from damage, and it will also save you some extra space in your carry-on bag.
Call the airline ahead – When traveling via air, call the airline before your flight to confirm if they allow the use of the BiPAP machine during the flight. You can also request them to reserve you a seat that is next to a power outlet
You shouldn’t let obstructive sleep apnea or any other sleep-related disorder stop your travel plans. A portable travel BiPAP machine is your safe ticket when it comes to traveling with sleep apnea.
Hopefully, after reading this guide, you’re now ready to choose the right travel BiPAP machine.