CPAP Machine: FSA Eligibility
Under IRC 213(d)(1), "medical care includes amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body." This includes medical equipment, supplies and devices.
What is a CPAP machine?
Continuous positive airway pressure, also known as CPAP, is a series of treatments used to treat breathing problems like sleep apnea by utilizing mild air pressure to keep airways open and alleviate the difficulty that is associated with common respiratory problems. The primary means of treatment for these issues is the CPAP machine, which is a mask that covers the nose and mouth (nose-only devices are called Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (NCPAP)), and is worn each night to open airways to improve sleep and breathing quality.
The CPAP machine is designed to deliver continuous airflow to improve breathing during the sleep cycle to treat the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, and users can also consider accessories that to help improve its efficacy and overall comfort during sleep. First, most modern CPAP machines contain a humidifier system that is designed to cut down on morning dry mouth and prevent the nasal passageways from drying out and becoming irritated. This humidifier lies along the same line as the CPAP air pump and filters, which provides continuous airflow by taking air from the room and gently pressurizing it, and this air will keep the throat open during sleep (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute).
Finally, the component that is most often associated with a CPAP machine is the mask that is worn during sleep, which is made of hard plastic and is affixed with a small tube that channels air into the respiratory system. If the mask fits snugly without any air leaks, the air pump should run quietly without disturbing the sleep of the wearer or the partner. In addition to the CPAP machine, wearers should also consider CPAP cleaning supplies to extend the lifespan and maximize the efficiency of the device, a CPAP hose holder to hold the hose in place above the head, or a CPAP pillow to elevate the head to optimize air flow and improve the sleep cycle (American Sleep Association).
Studies have shown that individuals who use CPAP machines to treat moderate to severe sleep apnea will experience decreased daytime sleepiness, as well as lower blood pressure during the day and night. CPAP machines have proven to be the best nonsurgical option to treat sleep apnea and even as a method to treat frequent snoring, which can provide dramatic improvements in sleep quality for wearers and their partners.