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Positive air pressure therapy, or PAP therapy, is used to treat sleep apnea, a condition that causes sleepers to temporarily lose breath during the night; sleep apnea is also associated with heavy snoring. Common types of PAP therapy include continuous positive air pressure (CPAP), bi-level positive air pressure (BiPAP), and automatic positive air pressure (or AutoPAP or APAP).
PAP therapy involves delivering pressurized air to users. A portable generator (also known as the PAP machine) sucks in outside air using an electric fan, then pressurizes and humidifies the air before delivering it to the sleeper through a breathing mask.
PAP hoses, or PAP tubing, are essential to PAP therapy because they link the airflow generator to the face mask (which may be nasal or full face). Most PAP hoses are at least six feet in length, and are made from polyethylene and/or rubber.
In addition to standard PAP hoses, some models come equipped with certain modifications, such as heated climate control and sensory lines. And unlike other PAP therapy components — such as the airflow generators, humidifiers, and face masks — PAP hoses do not require a doctor’s prescription.
This guide will explore common designs for PAP tubing, discuss cleaning and replacement procedures, share some tips for first-time buyers, and list our picks for the top PAP hoses sold today.
PAP hoses attach to the airflow generator and user’s face mask using detachable ends known as ‘connector cuffs.’ While models vary somewhat, standard PAP hoses generally share the following characteristics:
In addition to standard PAP hoses, shoppers may opt for models with the following customizations; please note that some tubing options may feature more than one of these customizations.
The table below illustrates the differences and similarities between these PAP hose types.
|Hose Type||Description||Dimensions||Average Price Range||Poduct Notes|
|Standard||Connects CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP machines with face masks||$10 to $25||Widely available and compatible with most face masks|
|Heated||Standard PAP hose embedded with heating copper wires that increase the overall temperature||$35 to $60||Moderately available and compatible with most face masks|
|Sensor Line||Standard PAP hose with built-in adaptor to adjust pressurization settings based on user’s breathing activity||$15 to $30||Limited availability and compatibility|
|Short Tube||Shortened PAP hose used to connect directly with standalone humidifiers||$5 to $20||Limited availability and compatible with some (but not all) masks|
|Collapsible||Standard PAP hoses that can be broken down and easily stored for travel||$30 to $45||Limited availability, but compatible with most face masks|
Please note: many PAP hoses are sold as ‘CPAP hoses’ or ‘CPAP tubing.’ However, most are also compatible with BiPAP and APAP machines. Check the product information for any restrictions.
Properly caring for and maintaining a PAP hose can significantly extend the product’s overall lifespan. To ensure maximum durability, be sure to address the following issues.
Water may accumulate in the PAP hose if the user’s bedroom is excessively cold compared to the interior of the hose. This problem may also occur due to defects with the humidifier that generate too much moisture.
Address this problem with the following steps:
‘Rainout’ refers to the buildup of water in the hose when warm, moist air condenses between the generator and the face mask. Rainout may be due to a defective humidifier and/or excessively low bedroom temperatures. In either case, the air in the tube releases moisture as the tube itself cools down; this results in condensation.
To reduce or prevent rainout, please follow these steps:
For best results, detach and hang the PAP hose the morning after every use. Hang-drying the hose will reduce the spread of bacteria that can cause health issues for users. The best-practice method for daily detaching and hang-drying is as follows:
PAP hoses generally last one year with proper maintenance, but users should replace them if they develop one or more of the following problems:
Tangles are usually due to hose and/or PAP machine placement in relation to the sleeper’s position. The hose can become tangles if it wraps around certain areas of the bed, as well. Tangling can cause early wear and tear, and also poses safety risks for sleepers. The following workarounds may help reduce hose tangling:
When shopping for a new PAP hose and comparing different brands and models, here are a few key factors to consider:
For more information about CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP machines and accessories, please visit the following guides on Tuck.com.