CPAP

graphic which shows CPAP mask used at night in bed

You have CPAP to help to keep your chest healthy. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP helps your breathing when you sleep. It works by blowing air gently into your lungs to keep your airway open. This should help you to sleep better and feel less tired during the day.

The CPAP resource page has been developed in collaboration with Leeds Sleep and Complex Ventilation Service.

How to use your CPAP machine
  • Plug the lead into the back of the machine.
  • The tubing slots onto the connector, and then the connector slots into the back of machine.
  • Attach your mask onto the end of the tubing.  Your mask may look different to the one shown here.
  • To put your mask on, put the straps over your head.
  • Some masks go over your nose, some masks go over your nose and mouth.
  • You can attach the straps either side of the mask.
  • The mask can be adjusted at the top and the bottom using the straps.
  • Be careful not to make them too tight.
  • It should be snug against your face so that no air can escape from the sides.
  • Press the button on top of the machine to switch on.
  • The machine will start blowing gently and will slowly increase whilst you sleep.
  • The machine will be set up just for you, you won’t need to change any settings.
  • After a few minutes the screen will go dark so that you don’t have light in your room whilst you sleep.
  • In the morning press the button again and you will see how long you have used the machine for.
  • It will also tell you how good your mask fit was overnight.
  • To remove your mask, unfasten the bottom straps and lift the mask over your head.
  • Use your CPAP whenever you are sleeping during the day or night.
  • Leave the machine plugged in at all times.
  • This means that information on how you are using your machine can be collected.
  • If you have any problems with your CPAP, you can call the number on the machine or speak to the person who gave you it, to ask for help.
Cleaning and maintaining your CPAP machine
  • Check and wipe your mask with a clean damp cloth and a small amount of washing up liquid every day. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.
  • Every week wash the tubing and mask with warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.
  • Every 6 months you should change the filter. A message will flash on your machine to remind you.
  • Open the door on the side of the machine. Remove the old filter and replace it with the new filter.
  • When you have changed your filter press the big round button on the side of the machine to clear the message.

Top Tips

  • Your machine may look a little different to the one in the video but it will work the same. 
  • Refer to the manual that came with your machine if needed.    
  • It can feel strange when you first start to use your machine.  The more you use it the more comfortable it will feel. 
  • Try practicing using your CPAP during the day if you need to.
  • Try not to go to bed until you are tired and ready for sleep.
  • Try listening to relaxing music, talking books or meditation to help you to relax.
  • To check your mask is fitting well, go to the ‘my options’ menu on your machine. Scroll down to run mask fit.
  • A green smiley face means that your mask is fitting well.
  • A red, sad face means that your mask is not fitting well. Try adjusting or cleaning your mask
  • If you see red marks on your face that don’t go away after 30 minutes try adjusting your mask.
  • If you need to go into hospital remember to take your CPAP with you.
  • It is important that you continue to use your CPAP.