How to Travel With Sleep Apnea January 27, 2015 By Cait Hartwyk 2 Comments Sleep apnea is a relatively common sleep disorder. People with sleep apnea may have one or more pauses in breathing or take very shallow breaths while sleeping. As a result of this, the quality of sleep is usually poor, resulting in tired days and daytime sleepiness. Luckily, CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy helps to provide a solution for this sleep disorder. Unfortunately, though, most cpap machines are fairly bulky, involving hoses, masks, and nose pieces. These bulky devices can make travel difficult for people who suffer from sleep apnea. However, by following a few travel tips and using the latest in CPAP technology, many of these woes can be avoided, and sleep apnea need not limit your travels any longer! Plan ahead: The largest problem inherent in traveling with sleep apnea can be figuring out in which destinations your machine will function properly. Many machines require the use of distilled water. In most developed nations, acquiring distilled water should not be a problem, as most grocery stores stock this item, and pharmacies are also known to carry it. However, traveling with your own water can be difficult if you are not certain it will be available in your destination. If you are going to a zone where distilled water may not be available, be sure to check it in your luggage! Another issue can be powering the machine. Many CPAP machines do not have external battery power and will require either a power inverter (like those used in a vehicle) or an actual power outlet of some sort. As a result, be sure you are traveling to an area where you will have power, or consider purchasing a machine like the HDM Z1. The Z1: The Human Design Medical Z1 CPAP machine is a CPAP machine that has been designed for travel and travelers. It weighs just 10 ounces, and is extremely quiet at only 26 dBA, considered exceptionally quiet by industry standards. What makes it even more convenient for travelers is the PowerShell battery pack which will give users a full night’s sleep, cord free, on a fully-charged battery. If you plan on being away from power for a longer period of time, you can even purchase additional batteries to swap out. This battery power means travel plans no longer need to be limited by the availability of power sources!. Going through Security: Passing through security can be a trying experience when you are carrying additional equipment. However, with a little preparation, you and your CPAP machine can whiz right through. The TSA suggests removing the machine from your carry-on bag and placing it in a bin to be x-rayed (you might want to have it pre-placed in a clear plastic bag so it can stay sterile in the bin). After the x-ray, the TSA officials may perform an Explosive Trace Detection test on the machine. If they do, be sure to ask that they use a fresh swab and a fresh set of gloves to ensure your machine remains sterile. If your machine requires sterile water, be sure to check any amount over the standard TSA allowance of 3.4 ounces, as you will not be allowed to take more through security. Have a backup plan: Be sure to bring your prescription and most recent sleep study with you on your trip just in case of loss, theft, or malfunction of your machine. Another tip is to bring any oral therapies you might have in case something goes wrong and you are for some reason unable to acquire a new machine. What has been your experience with sleep apnea and travel? Do you have any additional tips that you would like to share? Feel free to leave your advice in our comments section below.