Hello, kowlooner. Welcome to the Apnea Board forum.
I got my CPAP machine and first mask from a local supplier a few months ago. A respiratory therapist went through how to use the machine and how to assemble, clean, and put on the mask with me.
In my opinion, changing the settings on the machine is very easy. It's simpler than most of the consumer electronic gadgets we use now.
You can get recommendations from this forum if you need them about settings for the humidifier, ramp time, and exhale pressure comfort settings.
I would feel comfortable buying a CPAP machine from one of the suppliers on this forum's supplier list.
I know that the chances of my getting a machine that didn't work and needed to be exchanged wouldn't be zero, but it wouldn't be like buying a tablet or laptop computer from some of those ebay drop-ship sellers that I've heard about.
I think it's worthwhile to form a relationship with a local supplier of CPAP masks when you're first starting out because that allows you to try on masks before you buy one.
If you do decide to buy a machine from an online supplier, they will tell you what you need to give them in the way of a doctor's prescription and if it needs to say "auto-adjusting CPAP" if that's the type you want to buy.
The machine I have is not auto-adjusting. I got it before I found this forum. If I was planning to buy one right now, though, I would buy an auto-adjusting one if possible.
An APAP machine can be run either in auto-adjusting mode or at a fixed pressure. A plain CPAP machine only gives you the option of running it at a fixed pressure.
I probably should say that one of the reasons I'd be happy to buy a machine online is that I, like many people in the US, deal with an equipment supplier that won't help me even though I got my machine from them.
"Pay lots more, but get terrific customer service for your money" is not an option in the area where I live.
(04-23-2016, 08:55 AM)kowlooner Wrote: Actually, two questions.
First, some quick background. Did the sleep study. Follow up in a few months. Prescription says simply “CPAP 13 cm ramp 30 minutes”. Live in Hong Kong where prices are significantly higher for the major brands, have already visited one reseller just to look at the machine and got to try on nasal masks while there. So here are the questions.
I’m obviously new to this and considering buying my first CPAP machine online rather than from the local distributors. Is that a good idea? The reason I ask that is because of the initial setup of the machine and all.
The second question is about durability. I’m also afraid of the machine breaking and needing to take it back in a short period of time. I understand masks last about 6 months (is that right?) and hoses about the same, but how about the machines themselves? How long have your machines lasted before biting the dust?