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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Long-term CPAP therapy

Whakarauoratanga CPAP karioi

If your CPAP trial goes well, you'll keep the CPAP machine to use long term.

How often to use CPAP

You should use CPAP every time you sleep. You'll need to agree to this to keep the CPAP machine. If you aren't using your machine, Sleep Health Services will ask you to return the equipment.

You should take your CPAP machine with you on holiday and if you're admitted to hospital.

Some people need to have a medical review that follows NZTA or CAA guidelines. If you need this, you'll have been given a cloud-compliant CPAP machine. You'll also have been asked to download a monitoring App for your Apple or Android device. You should take the information from the monitoring App to your review appointment with your general practice team to assess your usage.

If the power goes off

You should be able to go without your CPAP machine for a couple of days without significant risk. But you may start to feel tired due to a disturbed sleep.


Do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery if you're sleepy.

CPAP machine maintenance

You'll need to look after your machine so it keeps working properly. There is some regular maintenance that you need to do.

Avoid using water that is too hot. Also, avoid harsh chemicals and sunlight. These can damage the rubber seals and plastic. Keep your mask away from children and pets.

Only Sleep Health Services should adjust the CPAP machine's air pressure.

Daily maintenance

Wash the seal of your mask with warm soapy water. Dishwashing detergent is best. Rinse the humidifier chamber each day and replace the water. Make sure you remove the chamber from the machine to do this.

Weekly maintenance

Water chamber: Wash the humidifier's water chamber with warm soapy water. Rinse it well and leave it to dry. Soak it in a white vinegar solution for one hour to lift mineral deposits. Use one part white vinegar to four parts warm water.

Hose: Rinse the hose and leave it to dry.

Head straps: Can be cleaned in the washing machine. Place in a wash bag or pillowcase first.

Monthly maintenance

Filter: The filter needs to be kept dust free. Check it each month.

Replacement masks

If you have hospital-funded CPAP therapy, you'll be eligible for a replacement mask every year. If you need replacement masks more often than this, you may need to pay for them yourself. You can buy masks from USL Medical, Cansleep or Sleep Well Clinic. See below for their contact details.


Troubleshooting problems with your humidifier



Water is building up in your tube or mask.

Reduce your machine's humidity a bit at a time.

You're waking with a dry nose or mouth.

Increase your machine's humidity a bit at a time or switch to using a full-face mask.

Your machine is blowing cold air.

Increase the temperature of your room.

Troubleshooting problems with your therapy



Your mask is leaking around its seal.

Refit your mask and adjust the straps if you need to. You may need to practise putting the mask on and off in front of the mirror. Check that your mask is clean.

The hose is making noise.

It's most likely that air is escaping. Check that the hose has no holes. Also check it's connected to your machine and mask properly.

You're getting sore eyes.

Check the position of your mask and aim to have as little air leak into your eyes as possible.

The pressure is too high to get to sleep.

Use the ramp feature on your machine if your machine has this feature. Read the instruction manual if you're unsure.

You're snoring even when you sleep with CPAP.

Your machine's air pressure may need to be changed.

  • If you've been discharged from Sleep Health Services, contact USL Medical.
  • If you have not been discharged, contact Sleep Health Services.

Troubleshooting problems with your machine



Your machine is not working.

Check the power is on at the wall. Check that the power cable is connected to the machine properly and is in good condition. Make sure the filter is clean.

  • If you've been discharged from Sleep Health Services, contact USL Medical.
  • If you have not been discharged, contact Sleep Health Services.

USL Medical contact details

Phone: 0800‑875‑2727


Cansleep contact details

Phone: (03) 356‑0086


Address: 1st Floor Milford Chambers, 249 Papanui Rd, Christchurch

Sleep Well Clinic contact details

Phone: (03) 341‑8900 or 0800‑476‑673


Address: 6/10 Acheron Dr, Christchurch

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Mask fitting for CPAP therapy

Written by Sleep Unit, Canterbury DHB. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed October 2022.


See also:


Page reference: 267571

Review key: HIOSA-12505