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Best CPAP Masks for Beard and Facial Hair

By and far, the vast majority of CPAP users tend to be men. While women can certainly develop obstructive sleep apnea, it’s a condition that strikes the male population more often than not. For many men, this not only changes their sleeping habits, it also affects their looks. Before their sleep apnea is treated, many men become overweight. But after treatment, they have a whole other aesthetic challenge: facial hair.

Beards and CPAP masks don’t always work well together. Facial hair can prevent the CPAP mask cushions from making direct contact with the skin, thus breaking the seal and allowing for leaks. That’s why CPAP Central is here to suggest the best CPAP masks for men with fuzzy faces:

 

Swift FX Nasal Pillows: Nasal Pillows tend to work best for facial hair, since they go directly into the nose, but could post a problem for those with especially fluffy mustaches. Because of its shape and the way it fits into your nasal passages, many men have found success with the Swift FX Nasal Pillows.

Mirage SoftGel Nasal Mask: If you prefer to use a nasal mask, we suggest this one. You can swap out nasal cushions between it and the Mirage Activa LT, making it versatile for any type of facial hair growth. One piece of advice we would give for wearing a CPAP nasal mask with a beard is that you clean the cushions every day. It’s very easy for a mustache to leave oily residue behind, and that can break the seal.

Amara Full Faced CPAP Mask: This CPAP mask offers two cushion styles in four sizes, giving you flexibility in your fit. Just remember that when you use a full-faced mask that you need to keep your beard trimmed short in order for it to fully work.

All of the above CPAP masks are currently available or are able to be ordered through CPAP Central If you have any questions or concerns about your CPAP mask fit, don’t hesitate to reach out to our in-house experts.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea? Take Our Quiz!

Sleep apnea affects an estimated 22 million Americans. Often, the first symptom is excessive or loud snoring. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and sleep apnea can have many other symptoms. The risk of having sleep apnea varies with someone’s age, height, weight and current health conditions. It occurs when the upper airway muscles in your throat becoming relaxed, which in return blocks the airway and your breathing.  While you sleep, your body will quickly wake up to start breathing again.  Waking up throughout the night is not a healthy solution to breathe.

Here at CPAP Central, we have come up with a quiz to help you determine if you or a loved one may be struggling with untreated sleep apnea:

Have you or your bed partner witnessed any gasping or choking during sleep?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Have you or your bed partner witnessed a stop or pause in breathing?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Do you have to sit upright to get better sleep?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Do you visit the bathroom frequently when you wake up at night?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Do you snore in any sleep position?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Have you or your bed partner seen an increase in weight?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Do you find yourself struggling to stay awake, even after a full night’s rest?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Do you struggle with depression?

  • Yes
  • No

 

 

If you have answered yes for four or more questions, please seek setting up an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to refer you to a local sleep test center to see if you suffer from sleep apnea.

 

For further questions about sleep apnea or CPAP masks and equipment, contact CPAP Central today! Our live chat is available Monday through Friday from 8:30-4:30, EST.

Getting Your Sleep Apnea Treatment During Severe Weather

Here on the East Coast, summer storm season is in full swing. Our customers are from all over the United States, but a quick check of the weather says many of you are experiencing inclement weather this time of the year as well. You’ve not doubt already had a few power outages as a result.

The problem comes when you use a medical device—such as a CPAP machine—to sleep at night. That’s why today, CPAP Central is going to offer you tips on how to continue your sleep apnea therapy even during stormy nights:

 

CPAP Batteries

The most common and most obvious solution to power outages is CPAP batteries.  Most CPAP machines today come with add-on options for an associated CPAP battery which can offer anywhere from 3 to 16 hours of backup CPAP power. The Z1 Unplugged Travel CPAP System comes with a battery that can run all night, along with a charger.

CPAP Battery Chargers

Don’t forget the CPAP battery chargers!  If power is going to be out for a few days, you’ll also want power adapters which will allow for CPAP battery charging from DC car power adapter cords.  Another option offered with the Transcend CPAP machines is the Transcend solar power battery charger.

Finally, after the power is back on, don’t forget to recharge all of your CPAP batteries.  Some CPAP users have found success in keeping their CPAP batteries connected to a trickle charger which keeps batteries at full charge while not in use.

Backup Power Generator with Surge Protector

For CPAP users who want to keep the whole house running as usual, look into installing a backup power generator with surge protector.  Although it is the most expensive backup power option, it will offer complete peace-of-mind for those concerned with other home appliances that are powered by electricity.

At CPAP Central, we want to guarantee that you get a good night’s sleep, no matter what the weather is doing. That’s why we carry a full line of sleep apnea therapy products in our online catalog. For more hints and tips, visit our resource center.

Treatment, Not Cure: Understanding Sleep Apnea Therapy

It’s a common question to ask how long something is going to last, especially when it comes to rehabilitation or treatment of a medical condition. How long will the cast be on for? When can I start practicing again? How long will it take for the medicine to kick in? For doctors, these are normal questions that have a definite answer.

 

On the other hand, when patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and prescribed CPAP therapy to treat it ask the “how long?” question, doctors find themselves in a tricky situation.

 

That’s because CPAP therapy is not a “cure” for sleep apnea, but rather a support therapy that eases the symptoms of sleep apnea. In short, this means that those with sleep apnea will become CPAP users for life, which can be a daunting thing to think about.

 

However, to put it in perspective, think about the risk you take of not treating your sleep apnea. High blood pressure, increased risk of stroke or cancer and cardiovascular problems are all consequences of leaving sleep apnea untreated.

 

It may take you a little while to become used to your CPAP machine and your nightly therapy. If it has been a few months and you’re still struggling, be persistent and stick with it! The physical relief you’ll feel, as well as the health benefits you’ll receive when you finally get used to it are worth it.

 

Do whatever it takes to push yourself to put on your mask and turn on your machine every night. Use your partner and family members as a support team to help keep you honest, or feel free to reach out to CPAP Central for any tips and or advice. Whether it’s trying to find a better fitting mask or learning what sleep position is best, we are ready to help! Our live chat is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Importance of CPAP Hoses

When you’re looking at buying CPAP therapy equipment you’re more than likely not paying attention to the hoses. No, you’re more interested in the shiny new machines and all of the different shapes and brands and whether they’re CPAP, Bilevel PAP, APAP or something else. There are also masks to captivate your attention, and there a ton of those as well. Full face masks, nasal masks, nasal masks with pillows; the list goes on and on. Again, you’re probably not looking at the hoses.

 

However, having the proper hosing is essential to your sleep apnea treatment. Most hoses come in six or eight-foot lengths as these are industry standards that are recommended most often. If you need or desire a longer hose, longer lengths are available, though this means you will need to use a different setting on your CPAP machine since the air has to travel further to reach you.

 

While it may not seem important, having a good quality hose can make a world of difference for your treatment. Investing in a slightly more expensive hose can mean better airflow and better durability, especially if you travel a lot and have to assemble and disassemble your CPAP equipment often. Spending a little more initially on a good hose will keep you from having to replace it as often as a lower grade hose.

 

The right hose can also benefit your partner as well. Hoses with smaller ridges in the tubing (usually the higher quality hoses) make less noise as the air travels through them. This can allow for better sleep for both of you.

 

At CPAP Central, we carry a variety of hoses for your individual needs, as well as many other necessary CPAP accessories. Check out our online catalog if you need a new hose, mask, filter or anything else!

 

4 Benefits of a Nasal Pillow

Your CPAP mask is perhaps the most important piece of equipment you have as it relates to your therapy. It has to fit properly, be comfortable enough for you to sleep, keep a good seal against your skin and give you an overall good feeling. However, full face masks can feel big, bulky and restricting. Even nasal masks can give you a sense of claustrophobia. There is a different kind of nasal mask that promotes a less confining experience while still delivering your CPAP therapy efficiently: the nasal pillow mask.

 

While full face and nasal masks are larger and seal directly to your face, a nasal pillow mask has minimal surface contact, sealing only to your nostrils and held in place by headgear. There are several benefits to this design:

 

  1. Eliminates the risk of developing pressure sores like those you get from using a full face or nasal mask
  2. Allows for a clearer line of sight
  3. Achieves an easier seal because there is less surface area to seal to
  4. Allows for easier movement during sleep without the mask coming off or losing its seal

 

In short, a nasal pillow mask provides you with more freedom in your CPAP therapy. As we’ve discussed in the past, CPAP therapy can be a hard thing to become accustomed to, so anything that can make it easier is worth a shot.

 

We have a variety of nasal pillow mask models to help you adapt to your therapy. Manufactured by reputable companies like ResMed and Phillips Respironics, these masks could be just what you need to find comfort in your therapy. Check out our online catalog today and find relief with a nasal pillow mask.

What You Should Know About CPAP Humidity During the Warmer Months

You know what warmer temperatures mean; more moisture is now in the air and CPAP humidity is more affected with each night that we inch closer to summer.  With warmer nights on the horizon, are you adjusting your CPAP humidifier accordingly?  CPAP Central wants you to have the best experience possible, and during the warmer months, that means lowering your humidity. The only exceptions are these:

  1. You are mouth breathing or have a leak. This could be the cause of your higher humidity needs.  If you suspect a leak, contact us for troubleshooting help.
  2. You live in a dry desert-like region. Dry air means there is no humidity, which means you’ll need to crank your CPAP humidifier!
  3. Your body simply needs more moisture. Everyone is different and you may just require more humidity with your CPAP therapy than the average patient.
  4. Outside temperatures are colder than inside. Cool outside often means low humidity, in which case you’ll need to use that humidifier.

If you don’t currently use a CPAP humidifier, you may want to consider trying it out.  CPAP humidifiers are designed to deliver moisture in the air that is traveling through your CPAP, resulting in more comfortable therapy and healthier nasal passages. Currently, over 40 percent of CPAP users use a CPAP humidifier, with many of the latest CPAP machines including a built-in humidifier.

If you’d like to know more about the CPAP humidifiers offered at CPAP Central or would like to discuss how you should adjust your CPAP for those hot summer nights, reach out to our CPAP therapy experts today! We’re available via instant messenger on our website Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST

5 Things That Happen to You When You Sleep

Your body does some pretty fascinating things while you sleep to help you recharge physically and mentally.  At CPAP Central, we want to share some of these interesting facts about what’s really going on with your body while you snooze!

Your Brain Cleans House

The waste removal systems in the brain are more active while you sleep.  This allows your brain to clear toxic byproducts that cause problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.  Experts believe that your brain is also processing what happened during your day and filtering out the unimportant information while sorting out the significant details.  Getting a full night of sleep allows your body and brain to fully rejuvenate.

Your Blood Pressure Plummets

Having a lower blood pressure for an entire night’s sleep is extremely beneficial to your heart.  Sleep is the body’s most effective way of digesting excess stress hormones.  If you don’t get a good night’s rest, your stress hormones stay elevated and increase inflammation throughout your body which causes your arteries to narrow and even constrict.  This results in higher blood pressure and damage to the heart.

You’re Paralyzed

During REM sleep, your body cannot move a muscle.  Only your eye muscles (hence rapid eye movement sleep) and your breathing are not paralyzed.  This portion of your sleep is important because it’s when your brain is most active.  This is when a big portion of the cleaning house occurs because your immune system is at its best.  Your mind is so active during sleep, it can even make important decisions and discoveries.

Growth Hormones Emerge

Even if you aren’t getting taller, your body is still growing.  The growth hormones release into your bloodstream while you sleep, and they help repair and restore cells within your body.  They are an important part in maintaining healthy body tissue all through your life.

Hunger Hormones Regulate

People who don’t sleep well normally wake up wanting a higher-calorie food.  The hunger-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin can become unbalanced, along with an unregulated metabolism if your sleep schedule is suffering.

With sleep apnea, these beneficial things are less likely to occur, causing your body to not be its healthiest version.  CPAP Central can help your body regulate itself with our CPAP machines, so contact us today through our live chat Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.  We have a number of resources to help educate you about sleep apnea and its treatments!

Data Collection and CPAP Machines

Just as more people are using smart phone apps and fitness trackers such as Fitbit to record their health data, the major manufacturers of sleep apnea therapy equipment are finding ways to track data from your PAP machine. Today we’re going to look at the benefits of tracking sleep apnea data, and some of the unique ways different PAP machines do so:

CPAP Machine Data Benefits

Data collected by most of these smart CPAP machines typically includes the hours of use, leak rate, and other information that indicates how severe your sleep apnea is or how many apnea events you have while you sleep.  All of this data helps your doctor make adjustments to your CPAP therapy to make it more effective.

The CPAP machine data collected will also help create more advanced, effective CPAP machines in the future.  Some examples include myAir™ by ResMed, a feature incorporated into the AirSense10 AutoSet APAP Machine, or Nightlog, a feature used by the Z1 Travel CPAP machine.

What is myAir™?

myAir™ is an online support system and app that uses the Cloud to monitor and send compliance data to you and your doctor, and even allows your doctor to make changes to your machine remotely.  The myAir™ system will encourage you or provide you with valuable advice through text or email if you ask it to!

What is Nightlog?

Nightlog is an app for both Android and Apple that syncs with the Z1 Travel CPAP machine, and offers helpful graphs to show you what your sleep patterns are during a given night. It also allows you to share this information via email, so you and your doctor can discuss the results.

What do SD cards do?

The SD card, such as what is found in the System One REMstar 60 Series BiPAP AutoSV Advanced Machine also collects Apnea/Hypopnea Index, leak rate, and average pressure readings over 7 and 30 days. The information is then stored in in both its smart SD card as well as the on-board memory system, and is wired, wireless, or broadband modem capable.

Because of the CPAP therapy data collected, machines such as the AirSense 10, the System One REMstar and the Z1 Travel will continually provide some of the most customized CPAP therapy available.  CPAP Central is here to answer any of your questions regarding CPAP data or other features of these CPAP machines.

Do You Know and Love a Woman with Sleep Apnea? There Are Masks Just for Her!

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, your mom is probably on your mind. We’ve been thinking about our moms too, especially how unique and special they are. That’s when we started thinking about the various CPAP masks that are made “for her.” Just like our moms, these CPAP masks are unique to women and made with women’s special needs in mind. Some of them include:

AirFit N10 For Her Nasal CPAP Mask

This ResMed nasal CPAP mask offers smaller cushions and lots of pink trim, in addition to convenient magnetic attachment clips, dual-walled cushions, minimal facial contact points and a low profile that is completely out of the line of sight!

Mirage FX For Her Nasal CPAP Mask

The Mirage FX For Her comes with smaller, pink headgear and is extremely lightweight.  Similar to the standard Mirage FX, this mask offers minimal pressure points and balanced pressure allocation.

Swift FX Nano For Her Nasal CPAP Mask

Noticeably the most transparent CPAP mask, the Swift FX Nano For Her nasal CPAP mask features a clear line of sight, adjustable silicone headgear and light pink soft wrap to maximize comfort.

Swift FX For Her Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

This sleek nasal pillow CPAP mask comes in petite sizes and female-friendly colors.  Many women enjoy the tiny frame and ergonomic feel of the mask, from the silicone headgear to the dual-wall flaps for increased support.

Quattro FX For Her Full Face CPAP Mask

What makes this full face CPAP mask different is the pink headgear that is designed to sit lower on the back of the head to allow for easy use with pony tails.  Although the Quattro FX is a full face mask, the mask actually covers less of the face and is perfect for side sleepers.

Quattro Air For Her Full Face CPAP Mask

Lightweight and easy to use are the main features of the Quattro Air For Her full face CPAP mask.  This mask is actually 45 percent lighter than the original Mirage Quattro!

This Mother’s Day, go a step beyond buying your Mom flowers, and get her a CPAP mask that will allow her to sleep with comfort and ease! CPAP Central is your one-stop source for all things related to sleep apnea therapy, and our experts are available via life chat Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.