Whether you’re going on a business trip or taking a vacation with your family, one thing remains certain: If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, it’s important to continue treatment while you’re away from home. For many individuals, this means having to lug a CPAP machine around with you, which can pose a bit of a challenge – especially during air travel.
Planning ahead is key, so before you arrive at the airport, here’s what you’ll want to do to prepare for traveling with a CPAP:
- Know your rights. A CPAP machine is considered a medical device under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which means you’re permitted to bring it with you into the plane cabin and it does not count as a carry-on item. (You can pack your CPAP in your checked luggage if you want, but this is risky in the event that your luggage is lost or delayed.)
- Bring documents from your doctor. This isn’t a TSA rule, but it can help you get through security more easily. Plus, this way you’ll have official documentation stating that your CPAP is a necessary medical device in case you run into any problems with TSA agents or the flight crew.
- Prepare your CPAP. Empty out the humidifier and pack your CPAP in its carrying case. Make sure you have all the adapters and supplies you need. In fact, it’s a good idea to pack extra supplies just in case. Better safe than sorry.
- Make pre-flight arrangements if necessary. If you’re taking an overnight flight, you’ll want to speak with an airline representative well in advance to receive permission for using your CPAP while you’re in the air and to ensure that you’re seated near a power outlet.
- Keep your CPAP clean and sanitized. It’s all too easy to pick up germs while you’re traveling – especially considering your CPAP will need to be x-rayed at the airport and possibly handled by a TSA agent. No one likes getting sick while they’re traveling, so keep your CPAP clean. One simple way to do this is with the SoClean 2 Go, the world’s first portable CPAP cleaning device.
You may be away from home, but you should never take a vacation from CPAP therapy. Be sure to follow these tips for traveling with a CPAP to ensure that you have a good trip.