In order to stay healthy and avoid many of the complications of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it is vitally important to treat your sleep disorder consistently and correctly. For those who travel, including long-haul truck drivers and professional athletes, this means that managing your OSA has to happen on the road as well as at home.
5 Tips for Traveling With Sleep Apnea
Even if you have committed to the idea of consistently engaging in your sleep apnea treatment while away from home, it can still be difficult to follow through with your plan once your travel has begun. Below, we've shared five basic tips for treating your OSA while traveling for work or pleasure.
- Don't forget to pack what you need. First and foremost, bring everything you'll need to control your sleep apnea on the road. For many people, this includes your CPAP machine and its accessories. For others, this may include an oral device or a positional sleep therapy device. Although it can be inconvenient to travel with something as large as your CPAP device, treating your sleep apnea consistently is always worth the hassle.
- Call ahead. Whether you are staying at a hotel or a friend's or relative's house, you need to know what your sleeping arrangement will look like. For example, will there be a surface to place your CPAP machine and a plug nearby to use? How are the pillows? Will you be sharing the room with someone? Calling ahead can ensure that you know whether you'll need to pack extras, like extension cords, outlet converters, or personal pillows.
- Don't take a vacation from your routine. Even if you bring everything you need to continue your sleep apnea treatment away from home, it can be easy not to use it simply because you are away from your normal routine. Perhaps you are on vacation and staying out late each night – or you just want a vacation from your OSA therapy. Or perhaps you are on a work trip and your mind is preoccupied with your professional tasks. Do not let these distractions keep you from protecting your health and getting restful sleep.
- Pack some information, too. Beside any devices you may need for your OSA therapy, don't forget to pack any needed prescriptions as well as a letter of medical necessity written by your doctor. This letter should include your name, your diagnosis, your doctor's signature, and your doctor's information. The letter of necessity is especially important if you need to use your CPAP during travel, such as on a plane, train, or boat.
- Consider finding a permanent solution for your OSA. As you can see, it can be difficult and time-consuming to travel with a CPAP device or other OSA therapy device. This may be doubly true for people who travel often for business. At the Surgical Arts Centre, we want you to know that a significant number of people with sleep apnea may be able to shelve their CPAP devices, oral devices, and positional therapy devices through sleep apnea surgery. Learn more about our treatment model, and whether you may be a good candidate for OSA surgery, by calling us today: (406) 549-6600.