When you begin sleep apnea treatment, you’ll receive a series of instructions on how best to use your oral appliance or CPAP machine. Following the necessary routine is easy enough at home, but what happens when you need to travel? How can you make sure that you’ll be able to remain compliant with your treatment once you arrive at your destination? Here are 4 tips to help you plan your next trip and take some of the stress out of traveling with sleep apnea.
1. Be Aware of Airline Guidelines
Generally speaking, there should be no problem taking your oral appliance or CPAP onto an airplane. However, each carrier has its own specific rules and regulations about what you can take through security. Make sure that you review the available guidelines at least two weeks ahead of time; this will give you ample warning to make any arrangements that might be necessary to ensure that you can take your sleep apnea treatment with you.
2. Carry Your Prescription with You
The best way to make sure that your oral appliance or CPAP machine won’t be lost on the way to your destination is to keep it on you at all times. For oral appliances, you can use your purse or carry-on bag for storage. (Make sure it stays inside its protective case at all times.) For a CPAP machine, you can put in a piece of carry-on luggage. As a side benefit, keeping your prescription with you means you can safely nap on the plane if you need to.
3. Make Sure You Have Your Cleaning Products
Oral appliances and CPAP equipment need to be cleaned on a regular basis; you don’t want to risk a bacterial buildup that could potentially harm your teeth and gums during the night. You should be able to take the necessary cleaning products with you, but there are certain requirements regarding the size and quantities that you can bring with you. Be sure to research ahead of time if distilled water and electricity is required for your CPAP equipment. Luckily with an oral appliance, daily soap and water and a toothbrush is easy to find. Make sure you’re aware of the rules and prepare appropriately.
4. Take Care When Packing
Regardless of where you choose to store your oral appliance or CPAP machine, it’s vital that you exercise great care when packing it. You don’t want to discover that it has been damaged by the time you’re getting ready for bed at your destination. Take the extra time to make sure that your sleep apnea prescription has been packed safely, and always be careful when handling it.
You can talk to your sleep dentist if you have any additional concerns about how to handle your sleep apnea treatment while you’re on the go. You’ll get the absolute most out of your vacation if you do everything you can to make sure you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep once you arrive.
About the Author
Dr. Mitch Conditt began as a general and restorative dentist after graduating in 1985. Eventually, he decided to pursue advanced training to help patients suffering from TMJ issues as well as sleeping problems. Today, he helps his Fort Worth patients overcome sleep apnea with comfortable, conservative sleep appliances. If you have concerns about your sleep apnea treatment when travelling, you can set up a consultation with him by visiting his website or calling (817) 527-8500.