With Easter just around the corner, you might be one of many people planning to take a well-deserved holiday. Whether you’re travelling in the UK or abroad - regardless of the length of your trip, it’s important to continue your CPAP treatment as usual.
Don’t be tempted to skip your therapy for a few days and hope you’ll be fine. Your CPAP machine only works when you use it. Evidence shows that when people stop using CPAP, symptoms of sleep apnoea and reported sleepiness return within days.
So, while it is not unusual to abandon healthy routines with the justification of being ‘on holiday’ your CPAP therapy shouldn’t be one of things you let slide this Easter. (However, we’ll allow the excess chocolate consumption!)
It may feel like a hassle to travel with your CPAP machine, especially if you’re flying further afield, but don’t worry – we’re going to give you some practical tips to make holidaying with your CPAP a breeze.
Before you travel
Planning ahead is key. Here’s what you’ll want to do to prepare for travelling with a CPAP:
Before you travel
· Prepare your CPAP. Empty out the humidifier and pack your CPAP in its carrying case. Make sure you have all supplies you need.
· Clean your CPAP machine thoroughly before you travel, and don’t forget to pack cleaning equipment.
· Pack extra supplies. Depending on the length of your trip you may want to pack an extra mask and mask cushions, tubing, another power source, and a backup portable battery if you have one. And don’t forget your travel adapter if you’re going abroad!
Travelling by air
There are specific things to consider if you are taking an aeroplane:
· Know your rights. Airlines are required by law to allow passengers to carry on medical devices, like a CPAP machine, into the plane cabin (this won’t affect your luggage allowance – just carry your CPAP machine in its carrying case). Of course, you can pack your CPAP in your checked luggage if you want, but this can be risky in case your luggage is lost or delayed.
· Ask your doctor for a letter in case there are any questions at security.
· If you’re taking an overnight flight, it’s a good idea to contact your airline before you travel to inform them that you need to use your CPAP while you’re in the air. They may need to make special seating arrangements for you, such as allocating you a seat near a power outlet.
· Pack your machine in a clear plastic bag to keep it clean as it passes through security.
· After you land: planes are notorious germ zones. Make sure you clean your machine once you’re settled in your accommodation, ideally before you use it again.
· Bear in mind you may need to purchase distilled water for your machine after you land.
Happy travelling, and happy Easter.
 Study by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Society of Pneumology