Frequently Asked Questions about Non-Invasive Ventilation


When should I use my Non-Invasive Ventilation?

You normally use your unit when you sleep but you can use it whenever you are resting to rest the muscles as well.


How many hours a day should I use the device?

You should use the device every night and for as many hours as you sleep.  It may take as much as 3-6 weeks to become completely comfortable using the device and you may never feel 100% comfortable using the device.



When will I get my device from Ventilator Equipment Pool (VEP)?

It normally takes 4-6 weeks to receive equipment from the VEP once the form has been submitted.


How will I know when the device is coming from VEP?

The VEP will call you the day before sending the unit to your house to confirm someone will be home.  Purolator sends the device so it will arrive the next business day.


Will it be the same machine I was tried on?

The VEP will send whatever device they have available.  The VEP will send a Respiratory Therapist to your house within 10 business days to set up the device and do some teaching with you.


What if I have problems with the VEP device?

The VEP has a 1-800 # with a Respiratory Therapist on call 24/7.  This number will be on a sticker on the top of the equipment for your convenience.


How do I get a more comfortable mask?

Another ADP form will be started today and you will take it home with you.  You should take this form with you to a home respiratory company in your area and the respiratory therapist will fit you with a more comfortable mask.  ADP will cover 75% of the cost of this mask.


Why does it feel hard to breathe out?  Will anything make it easier?

Remember it is normal to feel uncomfortable at first.  Since you are breathing out against a pressure it will feel more difficult.  Relax and take slow deep breaths.


My eyes are red and sore in the morning or wake me up because they hurt, what should I do?

This can be caused by air leaking around the mask and into your eyes.  You should solve this problem quickly to avoid further injury to your eyes. 

Start by reapplying the mask and adjusting the straps on the headgear.  If you have an adjustable forehead rest on your mask adjust it until the air is not leaking into your eyes.  Make sure not to over tighten your mask.  If your mask is pressing hard on the skin by your eyes it can also make your eyes sore.

If these steps do not solve your problem then try some different masks.  You will need to call your respiratory homecare vendor to discuss your options.


My face is red where the mask touches it, what should I do?

Try loosening your mask.  As long as it is not leaking severely, or leaking into your eyes there isn’t a need to have it really tight.  In fact over tightening your mask can cause it to leak more.

Try a different mask.  Not all masks are the same shape so a different one may not irritate your skin or put pressure in the same places.  You will need to call your respiratory homecare vendor to discuss your options. 

Because the mask is pushing against your skin it can cause irritation.  Sometimes using a barrier or cushioning the bridge of the nose with a product like moleskin can help.  Ask your respiratory homecare vendor about these products.

It is also possible you are allergic to the mask material or the cleaning agent.  Please be certain the soap you are using is not anti-bacterial.  Try using a hypoallergenic soap.


Why is my nose runny when I put on my mask?

This is a reaction to the airflow.  Start by increasing the setting of your heated humidifier.  Moist air should not irritate your nose as much.  If this does not work then please book an appointment to see your doctor.  It is possible that you will need to use a nasal medication.


Why is my nose stuffy when I put on my mask?

The first thing to check is the filter on the back of the ventilator.  If it is clogged with dust then it is likely dust is being blown through your device and into your mask. This not only makes your nose stuffy but is hard on the motor of your device.  

This can be another reaction to the airflow as well.  Adjust your heated humidifier to a higher setting.  As long as water is not collecting in your tubing it is OK to turn up the heater.  If the stuffy nose lasts more then a week consult your doctor.


It feels like the machine is puffing the air faster than I am breathing. What should I do?

Try to relax and see if you can get used to this different way of breathing.  If your breathing rate was fast when you first started therapy it may slow down once you've been using it regularly.  You may need some adjustment made to your unit.


My nose is dry and burning inside. What can I do?

Use a heated humidifier as dry air can cause this feeling.  If you are already using one then adjust it to a higher setting


My throat is dry when I wake up. What can I do?

You need to increase the setting on your humidifier because the current setting is not high enough and the blowing air is drying out your throat.


I turned up my heated humidifier and now get woken up by a popping or thumping sound from my tubing, What can I do to prevent this?

This sound is caused by water collecting in the tubing.  This can happen because the air around the tubing cools the warm, moist air as it leaves the heated humidifier.  Cooler air cannot hold as much moisture so some of the water drops out into your tubing.

Make sure there is no air blowing on the tubing such as from a fan or open window.  This will cool the tubing and cause more water to develop in the hose.  You may try to keep the hose under the sheets if possible.  You should call the VEP for possible solutions to this problem.

Empty the water from the tubing but do not attempt to empty the water back into the humidifier.