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  • How do I know which CPAP machine I need?
    The specification of which CPAP Machine you require should be outlined on your prescription. Most commonly it will either read 'CPAP', 'BIPAP', "VPAP" or 'APAP'. There are some variations on these designations. If you have any questions, please feel free to
    contact us.
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  • What is a CPAP?
    CPAP is an acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A CPAP machine delivers a single, constant pressure. The pressure insures an open airway by displacing the soft tissue causing the obstruction.
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  • What is a CPAP with C-Flex?
    CFLEX is a technology patented by Respironics Corporation several years ago. CFLEX is a comfort option that can be turned on or off. If turned on, it will decrease pressure during exhalation, by up to 1, 2 or 3cm of water pressure. A setting of CFLEX translates, literally, to the amount of pressure decreased during exhalation - i.e. a CFLEX of 2 means the pressure given during inhalation will drop by approximately 2cm h20 during exhalation. This option is of great assistance to new users of CPAP therapy in particular. During the first couple weeks of therapy, it can be a challenge to adjust  to the sensation of a consistent pressure - CFLEX goes a long way in easing the CPAP user into this new way of breathing. The same technology in the ResMed product is called Expiratory Pressure Relief, or EPR.
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  • What is an APAP (Auto-Titrating CPAP)?
    An Auto titration CPAP machine will 'self adjust' to deliver the least amount of pressure required to keep the airway open, or 'patent'. It is most commonly used for individuals that cannot perform a formal polysomagraphy or individuals that are being reevaluated at some point after their initial study. An auto titration device is set using a maximum and minimum pressure 'window'. The machine will operate within these given parameters using an algorithm to deliver the least amount of pressure needed with any given breath. Many physicians will prescribe an auto titration device for those individuals that have all the clinical manifestations of obstructive sleep apnea, but are unable to perform a full polysomography for physical or financially reasons. Auto titration represents some the most advanced technology on the market today for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
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  • What is a BIPAP (Bi-level)?
    A BIPAP machine is fundamentally different then a CPAP machine. With a BIPAP machine, you set both an inspiratory and seperate, lesser expiratory pressure (in setting them both to the same pressure, you would have CPAP). BIPAP's are most commonly prescribed for individuals that have higher inspiratory pressure requirements or for those individuals that are having a hard time adjusting to CPAP therapy. It may also be noted that the sensation of breathing on a  BIPAP machine is much different than breathing on a CPAP machine. Many individuals find it much easier to breathe on a BIPAP machine because of the added feature of pressure support, and various other comfort options available exclusively to BIPAP machines. Generally speaking, this advanced technology is why you see higher pricing for BIPAP machines.
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  • What is a humidifier, and why do I need one?
    The use of a humidifier is subjective to the individual. Ideally a humidifier should be incorporated into your therapy regimen, in that it does, what the nose does not have time to do, when on CPAP/BIPAP. In other words, when you breathe in normally, without the use of a CPAP or BIPAP machine, the nose will slowly heat and humidify the air before it reaches the lung field. With the 'rush of air' experienced during CPAP/BIPAP, the nose does not have time to address the increased flow. That said, about 40-50% of the population that use CPAP and BIPAP do not use humidification - at least not full time, as it does require increase maintenance time. A humidifier should be emptied daily, and refilled nightly, prior to sleep with distilled or de-ionized water. It should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week with a (2:1) water and vinegar solution. You increase your susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infections if you do not keep up good maintenance on your humidifier reservoir.
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  • What type of mask systems are available?
    There are three basic nasal interface systems available. The most popular system is the [traditional] nasal mask. The nasal mask is an interface that completely covers your nose, and is held in place with headgear. You must be able to keep your mouth closed at all times to make this mask system work. A very popular, and less cumbersome system is the nasal pillow mask. This type of mask system is held in place by headgear, and the interface touches your nose only at the edge and/or just inside the nostrils. This works well for those individuals that like to read or watch TV prior to bed. It should be noted that when using an Auto titration machine, the use of nasal pillows is not recommended. The third nasal interface system is called the full face mask - which is a bit of a misnomer as the mask only covers your nose and mouth. This mask is most commonly used in those individuals that start to mouth breathe upon entering REM sleep, when your smooth muscles dilate. Many times the smooth muscle dilation of those muscles controlling your jaw will cause you to open your mouth, and allow air to leak through. If this happens, it largely renders your positive pressure therapy ineffective.
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  • Do all masks come with headgear?
    All masks are sold factory sealed, to include headgear.
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  • Which is better, a nasal pillow mask or a nasal mask?
    Deciding on what mask works best for you, is much like deciding on your favorite pair of shoes. It is a very individual decision. It is recommended that you start with a nasal mask system, and as you begin to settle into therapy, open your options to different types of interface systems. It is not uncommon to customize your mask, to fit just right for you. The manufacturers work hard to develop a one style mask fits all; but as a practical matter, most people will attempt at least some customization of their mask, to make it most comfortable for their sleep experience. The most important thing to remember when customizing your mask [fit] is not to block what are called the intentional leak ports. That port will be addressed later.
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  • How do I know which size mask to buy?
    For the traditional Respironics nasal masks, we offer free downloadable sizing templates on our site at the following location: There are other sizing templates available on our mask page.
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  • How do you keep dust from entering your mask?
    Every unit comes with a filter or filters. Some systems come with a washable foam style filter that traps most dust and pollen. You can rinse this type of filter regularly and use it for many months. A paper filter is available for some models for patients with allergy problems. This type of filter is commonly called an "ultra-fine filter" and traps much smaller particles.
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  • How long does it take to get use to CPAP/BIPAP Therapy?
    On average, it takes about 1-3 weeks before you are sleeping all night with the mask on. Some people will take to therapy without a period of acclimation; Although they are the exception to the rule - the point is that the length of time varies from person to person. The important thing to remember is that, as with anything else, after a short time, it really does become second nature - As much a part of your sleep routine as the way you fold your pillow.
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  • How do I breathe when I have a cold or plugged nose?
    There are various ways to address this issue. The most common way is to use a Breathe-Right nasal Strip or nasal decongestant spray. Having a full face mask on stand by is also a good idea. If you experience any discomfort when wearing your CPAP machine or BIPAP during a period of time of sinus congestion, ear infection, etc, it is recommended to cease use of the machine, until you have consulted with
    your doctor.

  • How loud is a CPAP Machine?
    Most manufacturers list the noise output level of a standard CPAP machine is between 25- 30 decibels. Formally, 30 decibels is considered "almost total silence". The sound a machine outputs does vary on the make and model, and smaller does not always mean louder. If looking to purchase one machine over another, I would suggest looking at various CPAP chat rooms and blogs to see what users have to say.
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  • What is an Intentional Leak Port?
    Yes, every mask system requires exhalation ports. This is a way to remove your exhaled air from the mask system. Some masks have holes to vent the carbon dioxide, some vent at the elbow, and some vent in a swivel. So when you put on your new mask you will be able to determine where the vent ports are located.
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  • How long will my CPAP last?
    The average life expectancy of a CPAP or BIPAP machine is approximately 20,000 hours, or about seven to eight years full time use. That said, many times, if properly cared for, these devices will last much longer. Many properly maintained machines will last upwards of 50,000 hours.
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  • Why should I buy a used machine?
    Every machine we sell is pressure tested prior to resale to insure that your device is pressure-accurate. By the time we are finished cleaning the used cpap or used bipap machines we offer, they are as clean as if they just left the manufacturer. The inside of the machines are cleaned with a combination of Ozone, and UV-C light; The same sterilizing techniques used for surgical equipment, and in dentist offices around the country. Externally, we clean the devices with a biodegradable solution that is used in hospitals across the country to provide a completely sanitized surface. We pride ourselves on providing a clean, quality used cpap/bipap machine.
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  • Do I need a prescription to order a CPAP
    All CPAP/BIPAP machines are considered Class II medical devices and require a 'doctor's note'. If you already use a CPAP Machine and are looking for a replacement, back up etc, please call us. We have created a "
    Physician Authorization Form" to assist you in getting your doctor to sign off on your new or used CPAP machine. Many times, your doctor's office will assist you without requiring an office visit; They understand that you need replacement equipment and in many cases your insurance company does not cover the equipment. We can help you facilitate this process, as there are several options available to you. The bottom line is we will be happy to work with you to get the machine you need. Please
    give us a call or email us.
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  • If I don't like my cpap, can I return it?
    All sales are final. Please refer to our
    return policy if you need more information with regard to warranty returns, or contact us with any questions you may have.
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  • How do you sell items so cheap?
    The markup placed on new CPAP/BIPAP equipment is set at the Federal level by Medicare reimbursement schedules. That pricing is consistent with what most DME suppliers charge. Subsequently, the secondary market yields much lower pricing. What is most important when buying a previously used device, is that the device has been properly cleaned, and tested before it is offered in the secondary market. We have made our reputation by setting our standards very high in the machines we offer. 
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  • Are you open on weekends?
    Our hours are Monday-Friday 9:00a.m.-5:00p.m. Central. If you desire a consultation with our Respiratory Therapist after hours, we will do our best to set an appointment time that meets your needs.
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  • What is the benefit of buying from
    Secondwind CPAP was created in 2005 to assist those who find themselves in a position of having to pay out of pocket for CPAP or BIPAP equipment. We are a small business, located in a small town (Tracy, MN) in Southwestern, Minnesota. We are truly family owned and operated, and as such, we look upon the business as a member of our family in many ways. We take great pride in providing an excellent product, and knowledgeable, personalized customer service. When you call, we take as much time as YOU need to get all your questions answered. We have been registered with the Minnesota/North Dakota Better Business Bureau since our inception in 2005, and have never had a complaint logged against us. We have worked hard for our reputation, and look forward to working with you to fulfill your CPAP or BIPAP needs.
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