Category Archives: CPAP Health and Cleaning

Learn about CPAP health and how to clean your CPAP machines, masks, and supplies.

Why Sleep Apnea is Hurting Your Heart

Picture this: You are sound asleep, dreaming of a beach paradise, when all a suddenly your partner is shaking you awake. You look at them through bloodshot eyes, and they explain -for the tenth time that night- that you have been snoring. You nod sleepily, change your position, and go back to bed…only to get up that next morning to worship your coffee like a god because it is the only thing that will keep you awake that day.

Sound familiar? Well you are not alone! According to the American Sleep Apnea Association 22 Million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and the American Heart Association states that 1 in 5 adults suffer from, at the very least, mild sleep apnea. Evidence of this can be seen in a variety of ways, as you would know from previous posts. Symptoms range from daytime fatigue, insomnia, snoring in the night, headaches, mood swings, and more. For those of us who are used to no sleep, however, this can seem like not a big deal.

“So what if I’m always tired,” we tell ourselves. “Lack of sleep won’t kill me!” The only problem with this mentality is the less sleep you have the more certain science has become that it will, in fact, effect your heart.

The American College of Cardiology, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and even the American Heart Association have all linked sleep apnea with heart conditions. The AHA even states on their site that sleep apnea has been linked to arrhythmia, high blood pressure, stroke, and even heart failure. In fact, another study confirmed that male adults age 30-70 were at an extremely high risk of having a stroke or heart attack if they already had obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring in particular is a great sign you have obstructive sleep apnea, yet snoring is not your only problem. Central sleep apnea (which in my personal opinion is far harder to detect and is more damaging) rarely even presents itself through snoring. In fact, while obstructive sleep apnea is more common among over weight individuals, central sleep apnea can present itself in all shapes and sizes, which is a problem.

Experts agree that sleep apnea begets high blood pressure, and vise versa. It becomes a never-ending cycle of health problems and brings one closer to ever serious heart complications. Statics even show that 30-50% of adults with high blood pressure will have sleep apnea. With this news it can be overwhelming! It can almost feel like if you won the unlucky cosmic lottery and now if you have sleep apnea, or high blood pressure, you are doomed to have a lifetime of health problems along with a shorter lifespan which begs the question: What am I left to do?

The solutions may not be easy, but thankfully they are simple.

  1. Exercise

I’ve heard it, you’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it! If I had a dime every time my physician told me I need to get physically active, I’d be rich…Unfortunately they are right.  Exercise is important for all aspects of your health and it is also very important for those with sleep apnea. Making sure you throw in cardio will also give you the double benefit of keeping your heart healthy, so get running!

  1. Limit Alcohol and Avoid Caffeine Before Bed

We all love our beer, but our beer does not love us. Same goes for that double-crossing coffee cup! If you are pulling a late night for work, or if you are wanting something to relax you when you get home from that same job you may want to reach for a cup of decaffeinated tea instead. It comes in a lot of great flavors, and chamomile may even give you the added benefit of helping you sleep later that night!

  1. Get a CPAP Machine

Out of all of these options, this may be the most important. CPAP machines, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines, really save lives by keeping you breathing at night and helping you stay asleep. The American College of Cardiology has even gone as far as to state that treatment lowers high blood pressure! You will need to talk to your doctor and schedule a sleep study, or take a home sleep test, which will let you know exactly what therapy is right for you. Once you have learned what type of sleep apnea you have and what type of machine you need, ask about what features you can get and determine what is right for you and your budget. And of course, those of us at Respshop.com are always here to help you with any questions you may have and can easily be reached at 866-936-3754.

 

It is almost a universal truth that sleep apnea is hard to live with. It makes us tired, it makes us cranky when we least expect it, and it can affect our health. However, it is manageable! Through proper life changes, open conversations with our doctors, and CPAPs we can take back control of our lives and our health. We can even make our hearts healthier one night’s sleep at a time.

Five Reasons Why CPAP Therapy Is Better Than Ever

AirCurveLike most fields of medicine, the study of sleep-disordered breathing is an ever-evolving field. We know much more about sleep disorders — including sleep apnea — than we did even ten years ago, and the the quality of treatment for these conditions has improved in lockstep. One of the major beneficiaries of this trend is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

Since CPAP was invented in the early 1980’s, the industry has undergone a number of transformations. Through it all, we’ve seen steady improvements in the quality of equipment and the odds that patients will increase their compliance with the therapy. This is important: sleep apnea is a debilitating condition, and as more and more people are diagnosed with OSA every year, an effective solution for treating the disease becomes increasingly important.

Fortunately, CPAP is in better shape than ever. Seemingly every year, we see new improvements to masks, machines, or other equipment. To put it simply, there have never been more people invested in making CPAP both comfortable and functional. Read on for five reasons why there’s never been a better time to wear a CPAP machine.

1. Machine Comfort Features

Most premier machines — including the 60 series from Respironics as well as the AirSense and S9 lines from ResMed — come with several comfort features that either delay the onset of pressure until you’re fast asleep or reduce the amount of pressure upon exhalation. These features help you adjust to therapy by limiting some of the more unpleasant features inherent in CPAP.

2. Advancements in Humidification 

While CPAP humidifiers are nothing new, they are smaller and more effective than ever. Once much clunkier than the machines themselves, humidifiers are now small and transportable enough to fit on travel CPAP machines. As a bonus, patients who use their humidifier in conjunction with a heated breathing tube can experience all of the benefits of humidity without having to deal with rainout.

3. Lighter CPAP Masks

Naturally, CPAP masks will get lighter over time, and it’d be silly to think that we’ll never see anything lighter than the Pico or the AirFit. But both are extremely lightweight masks and each has been designed to seal effectively. In 1990, your CPAP mask may have looked like a football helmet; the AirFit’s and Pico’s of today, however, weigh less than a pound.

4. Hygienic CPAP

It’s never been easier to clean your equipment and ensure a sanitary therapy experience every single night. Water chambers and tubes are often robust enough to withstand the dishwasher, and masks are made from waterproof material that allows you to simply give it a scrub in the shower. Between that and items like the SoClean — which cleans your equipment with oxygen — it’s never been quicker or easier to clean your CPAP gear.

5. Aesthetic Improvements 

While this may not seem all that important, it’s worth mentioning just how much better CPAP equipment looks than it used to. Gone are the days of the Bane masks and ugly devices: the AirSense 10 (pictured above) looks more like an iPod docking station than a CPAP machine!

If you’re a CPAP patient, or if you’ve tried it before but found it ineffective, take heart from these five reasons why CPAP is better than ever. CPAP compliance has never been easier: if you’ve given up your CPAP therapy before, hopefully these developments will inspire you to give it one more shot.

Comfort and Cleaning Supplies

CPAP-Hose-Lift-Stand-Alone-respshopAt RespShop we have a number of comfort and cleaning supplies that can enhance the quality of your sleep apnea therapy. Some of our products can make it easier to fall asleep while our line of cleaning supplies can help you keep your therapy hygienic. Read on for a list of some of our most popular comfort and cleaning products.

Hose Lift

The hose lift (pictured up top) is one of our most popular comfort solutions. Meant to be placed behind the bed, the hose lift has a small strap placed on the top of the lift: you can thread your hose through the strap and once erected, the lift will allow you to comfortably lift your CPAP hose above your head. This is ideal placement for tossers and turners who don’t want to roll onto their hose at night.

Made of hollow aluminum, the hose lift is lightweight and portable. It folds up easily, and can fit into most suitcases, making it ideal for patients who travel frequently. The lift can be attached to suit any sized bed: if you like to hang your hose above your head, this is for you.

Tube Brush

Stainless_stem_CPAP_Tube_Cleaning_Brush-respshopHave you ever tried to clean your CPAP tubing but just can’t reach everything in the hose? If you have, our line of tube brushes might be perfect for you.

We carry two thin stainless steel CPAP tube brushes — one 3.5 feet, one 5 feet long. The brushes feature long bristles on the end of the brush, which can be pushed deep inside the tube to clean the hardest to clean spots. The bristles can be run through a dishwasher, making it one of the most convenient cleaning supplies you can use. Users who clean their equipment regularly love being able to clean their tubing quickly and thoroughly with the tube brush.

Nasal Soft CPAP Cushion

77915B28654B0BA5E7F1CE786AC412489A9A73E8-respshopThe Nasal Soft CPAP Cushion prevents skin irritation, nasal bridge soreness, and potential mask leaks. It comes with a padded cushion that is designed to rest between your nose and the CPAP mask cushion. The cushion is compatible with faces of all sizes and shapes and it works well with all full face and nasal CPAP masks. For patients who often wake up with stretch marks and facial blemishes from their CPAP mask, the nasal soft CPAP cushion can provide welcome relief.

Citrus Mask Cleanser

citrus-II-cpap-mask-cleaner-1-respshopIf you want to clean your mask and have it smell great too, consider using our Citrus Mask Cleanser. It comes in a spray bottle and can be used to clean your CPAP mask quickly and easily. Simply spray the cleanser and wipe with a paper towel or a soft cloth for a hygienic and great smelling mask. The spray bottle comes in two different sizes: 1.5 and eight ounces. The smaller size can be brought aboard a plane and is great for traveling.

These are just some of the comfort and cleaning supplies we carry at RespShop. If you’re looking for just the right item to augment your CPAP therapy, give this section a browse today!

Cleaning CPAP Machines

The SoClean can help sanitize your CPAP equipment.

The SoClean can help sanitize your CPAP equipment.Proper Ways of Cleaning CPAP Machines

Cleaning CPAP Machines daily is one of the most important things you can do. Not only does it extend the life of your equipment and save you money, but it greatly benefits your overall health. Sleep apnea is a serious health disorder, and getting treatment is not only important to healthy living, but it can affect your ability to perform at work, school, or any other important area of life. Treating sleeping disorders has become more relevant in the last decade, as the community starts to realize that sleep apnea is a serious condition, and CPAP machines are the primary way of treating both safely and effectively.

There are multiple steps to beginning CPAP treatment, getting a sleep test done, getting a prescription from your doctor, researching the best possible machine for your need, maybe trying out the different types of CPAP masks, whether its full face or nasal, and purchasing your set up and getting started. While many users have gone through these steps and are now undergoing treatment, what some don’t realize is the important of taking care of your equipment can not only save you money, it can really improve your therapy and your overall health.

We’re treating a health disorder that millions suffer from, and these machines and masks are touching your face and being breathed into every night that you use it. As with any type of medical equipment, sanitizing is extremely important to ensure that your mask and tube are thoroughly cleaned from any types of bacteria or facial oils. One of the biggest complains or concerns we get from customers is leaks from their CPAP mask, and while a lot of time that may have to do with proper fitting or the right type of mask, it can also be caused by your cushion or headgear breaking down. A CPAP mask is going to sit on your face throughout the night, and the oils from your skin can cause your cushion to break down faster than standard wear and tear if not properly cleaned.

So how do you clean a mask properly? First, warm water and a mild detergent every morning after use is the bare minimum, as a user myself, I recommend going beyond that, whether it’s with CPAP mask cleansing wipes or a CPAP mask spray. The video that we made for you below will give you a basic outline of how to use these products, but in general they’re pretty simple. The wipes are like any typical household wipe, albeit with much different products in them, and they can be used to clean your mask and should be disposed of. The spray on the other hand is sprayed directly onto the mask, and then you should wash it off with warm water.

Masks are just one part of cleaning CPAP equipment, possibly the most important piece to clean on your set up is the hardest to thoroughly do. The CPAP tube will build up bacteria over consistent use, and while washing it out with water and soap and hanging to air dry may work, it’s not guarantee to remove everything inside. This tube brush has been one of the most beneficial things I ever purchased for my set up. While I use the standard 6 foot tube, this brush is also available in a 5 foot length, and as you see in the video, you should clean out both sides to make sure you get all the way through the tube.

Finally we come to CPAP humidifiers, I use one with my machine, but not everybody does. For those who do, they know how comfortable they can be, but do they know that the water chamber can get filled with bacteria or minerals from tap water use? Replacing the water every morning after use is important, and cleaning it out (not in the dishwasher!!) will make sure that you scrub away any of the bad. While tap filter will work, distilled water is recommended as it is cleaner and safer, and will make improve the therapy you receive from your CPAP equipment.

Listen, I am realistic, it’s a chore to always be cleaning CPAP machines, but it’s one that is necessary, if not for the health, at least the money! I know I prefer saving 40 or 50 dollars every few weeks on cushion replacements by just taking a wipe and making sure I take proper care of my set up. We are all in this to treat our sleep disorders, and knowing that sleep apnea is a serious medical condition, we should strive hard to educate each other on how we work to clean our equipment. Leave me some comments to let me know what you guys think, and hopefully this was a good outline for some of the important basics to CPAP maintenance!

Cleaning Your CPAP Equipment

Sleep Apnea and Obesity

Recently, we discussed the link between diabetes and sleep apnea. Studies have shown that prolonged apneas can, over time, trigger the onset of Type-II Diabetes in some patients. Cursory research suggests that the connection may run even deeper, and that a patient’s weight could be intricately linked to their sleep apnea condition.

Scientists in Finland recently conducted a study that linked weight with sleep apnea, and worsening sleep apnea symptoms. The study found that patients who lost just 5 percent of their body weight saw significant improvement in their condition.

Lead researcher Dr. Henri Tuomilehto, a visiting professor at the University of Montreal, also noted that being just moderately overweight made people susceptible to sleep apnea: “Being overweight is considered the most important risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea,” Dr. Tuomilehto said, adding that “around 70 percent of all patients with obstructive sleep apnea are obese.”

When a person is obese, fatty tissue accumulates throughout their body. One spot particularly prone to getting a significant increase of fatty tissue is the neck, which is where diabetes and sleep apnea collide. The tissue growth at the neck can eventually narrow a person’s airway, making their neck more susceptible to obstruction during sleep.

While weight management should be part of any therapy that seeks to reduce complications from sleep apnea, a balanced diet and regular exercise aren’t enough to combat the disease. Regular use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask can further mitigate sleep apnea symptoms, even in people who are not obese or who are not in the process of losing weight.

For patients who are obese, a CPAP mask is even more crucial. CPAP machines and masks continuously pump air at a standard pressure, allowing patients to get the oxygen they need throughout the night. This infusion of air is especially important for people who may naturally have compromised airflow.

Ultimately, CPAP machines are a vital part of sleep apnea therapy for all patients with sleep apnea, and are particularly vital for obese patients, or for people who want to lose weight. Regular use of a CPAP mask, along with diet and exercise, can lead to fewer symptoms, a higher quality sleep, and a better life.