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Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Obesity is a risk factor to sleep apnea. It is safe to assume that a healthier living will translate into a reduced risk of developing sleep apnea. This is also true if you’ve already been diagnosed. Eating healthy has been shown to help to reduce the severity of sleep apnea and increase the effectiveness of your CPAP therapy. CPAP Central wants you to understand why having a healthy diet, while diagnosed with sleep apnea, has many benefits.

 

CPAP therapy helps treat your sleep apnea.  You get in a usual routine every night of putting on and turning your equipment on and cleaning your equipment regularly.  Do you have a healthy routine for your diet?  Your health habits can factor in to the effectiveness of your CPAP treatment.

 

Eating the right things at the right times can also help your therapy. For example, eating spicy foods or other foods that trigger activity in your metabolism for dinner may keep you up, which doesn’t allow your therapy to work for as long. Also, avoiding foods with caffeine in them, like chocolate, or foods with neurostimulants in them, like bacon and cheese, will help you fall asleep faster at night.

 

You also need to pay attention to what you are drinking. Just like with food, anything with caffeine in it like coffee, tea, or soda should not be consumed in the hours leading up to going to bed. In addition, drinking alcohol before going to sleep poses two problems. First, it loosens the soft tissue in the airway more, increasing blockage. Second, your CPAP machine is set up for typical sleeping conditions. You breathe differently after consuming alcohol which doesn’t allow for ideal treatment conditions.

 

One thing to remember while eating and drinking as a sleep apnea patient is to determine if the food or drink you consume is healthy or not.  If you have to think about it, you should probably put it down!

 

At CPAPCentral.com we want everyone to experience better sleep, better health, and a better life, remember healthy eating and healthy sleep go hand in hand.

A CPAP Mask for Every Situation

Trying to find the right CPAP mask can be a challenge in addition to trying to get used to pressurized air being pushed through your airway. It has to fit your breathing style, whether you’re a mouth or nose breather. Then it has to have the right level of comfort, allowing you to fall asleep while staying in place and providing you with the air you need for your treatment. Combine that with trying to find the right tension for your straps so that your mask is neither pressing into your face nor falling off at night, and it may take awhile to find the right combination.

 

CPAP masks come in many different shapes, sizes, and fits.  CPAP Central offers several different types of masks for your sleep apnea therapy:  nasal, full face, nasal pillow and total face masks. Here’s a little bit more information about each mask:

 

  • Nasal CPAP Masks – Nasal Masks help users who primarily breathe through their nose. A chinstrap can be used to help keep your mouth closed in-case you breathe through your mouth too.  Nasal masks have a seal that goes around your nose shaped like a triangle.
  • Full Face CPAP Masks –A full face mask covers both your nose and your mouth with a triangle shaped seal. This is great for users who breathe through either or both their nose and mouth during their sleep.
  • Nasal Pillow CPAP Masks –This mask helps people who suffer from claustrophobia, but still allows them to receive CPAP therapy, breathing through their nose.
  • Total Face CPAP Masks—Many people have trouble getting their CPAP masks to fit because of facial hair, dental work, nose structure or dentures. These issues can be addressed through the use of a Total Face CPAP Mask.

 

It may take some time to find exactly the right CPAP mask for your situation. If you need help picking one out, contact the experts at CPAP Central. We’re available via live chat Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

Get Your Whole Family Checked for Sleep Apnea

September is Healthy Aging Month and it is a time to support people exercising and staying healthy as they grow older.  Part of staying healthy is getting regular checkups from your doctors or specialists. At CPAP Central, we encourage you and the rest of your family to get checked for sleep apnea, one of the leading causes of sleep deprivation and other health issues.  Not getting enough sleep is unhealthy and if you’re not sleeping well, you may have sleep apnea.

 

Men are more commonly diagnosed with sleep apnea than women are.  Most men, women and even children go through years living with sleep apnea undiagnosed and untreated.  Not diagnosing or treating your sleep apnea may be affecting you and the rest of your family without you even realizing it!  We know you may not be a fan of going to the doctor, but it may help you feel better.

 

Encourage your family members to get a sleep test ordered by their doctors.  Sleep tests are painless and require no preliminary tests.  Don’t worry, there are no needles involved and this is the only test you can actually sleep through! Could you use a sleep test too?  Check with your doctor to see if you can schedule yours at the same time of someone else in your family.

 

Healthy Aging Month is all about having a positive outlook on your health and starting habits that allow you to live longer. Help your family understand the importance of getting screened for sleep apnea.  Ask questions such as if they snore or wake up multiple times at night.  It may shock them how often they do it during the night, which may encourage them to get tested.

 

If you have sleep apnea and need to get started with your CPAP mask, tubing or comfort accessories, let CPAP Central help with you today with picking out the right equipment for your needs.

Introducing… the DreamStation Go!

In an earlier blog post, we talked about why people love the DreamStation by Phillips Respironics. And no wonder—it’s small, quiet, easy to use, and doesn’t look ugly or clunky sitting on your nightstand.

If you love the DreamStation, then we have good news for you! Respironics just unveiled the next generation in this CPAP machine line—the DreamStation Go!

Meant to be the travel version of this already-small PAP machine, the DreamStation Go has all the great features of the regular DreamStation but at half the size. It has a third fewer components than other travel CPAP machines, which makes it much less of a hassle to pack and unpack on trips.

Remember the last time you flew on an airplane? The DreamStation Go meets all the FAA requirements for travel, so you’ll be able to board your plane with ease. Because it has fewer component parts, you know you won’t have the headaches you had last time you tried to set up a CPAP machine mid-air. Plus, it has altitude compensation settings, so you’ll remain comfortable your entire flight.

Plan on camping or heading somewhere else off-the-grid? The DreamStation Go features an overnight battery that can operate at 10cm of pressure for up to 13 hours.

Just like with its bigger brother, the DreamStation Go can be used with all your smart devices. It’s compatible with the DreamMapper app, and can sync data from your tablet, smartphone or computer. No matter what platform you like to use, you’ll be able to track your sleep data with this new CPAP machine!

The new DreamStation Go uses a 12mm micro-flexible tubing that is light, small, and flexible. It diminishes the drag you sometimes feel on CPAP masks, allowing you greater freedom of movement during sleep. Its click connections located on both ends of the tube make it a snap to connect and disconnect.

If you’re looking for a new CPAP to go with you wherever life’s journey takes you, consider the DreamStation Go!

Hypertension and Sleep Apnea: Do You Know the Risks?

You’re probably well aware of the impact sleep apnea has had on your day-to-day life as well as on the day-to-day life of your bed partner. Today, CPAP Central would like to talk about some of the long-term consequences of leaving your sleep apnea untreated.

 

You may have heard about how neglecting to use your CPAP every night can lead to things such as obesity and depression, but did you know it could also raise your blood pressure? Known as hypertension, this condition can easily turn deadly.

 

High blood pressure is dangerous for a few reasons. It occurs as your arteries and channels narrow because of fat and other deposits clogging them. This means more and more pressure is being put on your heart and vascular system. This leads to strokes or heart attacks.

 

Sleep apnea and high blood pressure go hand in hand as sleep apnea is more common in those that are overweight and obese, and the same is true with high blood pressure. Atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries, shares some common physiological characteristics, suggesting that sleep apnea and hypertension are related to having cardiovascular disease.

 

A study completed by the Journal of Sleep Medicine observed 221 men with obstructive sleep apnea and took their diastolic and systolic blood pressures after three, six, nine and 12 months of CPAP therapy. Both of their numbers had decreased significantly after starting the therapy. Another study showed people with sleep apnea on average had higher blood pressure than those who did not.

 

One thing to take away from both studies is the importance of knowing the signs of sleep apnea and being diagnosed soon enough to take the appropriate action. Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. They can then prescribe a sleep study that will better determine a diagnosis.

 

Let the experts at CPAP Central assist you in finding the right equipment for you. We look forward to helping you via our contact form or through our live chat, which is available 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

 

 

Do You Know Which Humidifier is Right for You?

Ever feel dried out after waking up from a night of using your CPAP machine?  Sleep apnea therapy dries out your nasal passages and throat because pressurized air is pushed through the airway. A humidifier added to your CPAP treatment prevents these experiences by providing a little additional moisture to the air from your CPAP machine. Today, CPAP Central will discuss why humidifiers can help in your CPAP therapy and what the differences are.

 

There are three different kinds of humidifiers used for CPAP therapy:

 

  • Cool Passover Humidifiers – This machine uses room temperature air to pass over the room temperature water in the humidifier chamber.
  • Heated Humidifiers – This machine heats the water in the chamber as the air moves over it, picking up the humidity and heat, and then delivering it to your airway.
  • Waterless Humidifiers—Right now, this can only be found with the ResMed AirMini Travel CPAP machine. It captures the heat and moisture from exhaled air and uses it to humidify therapy air.

 

Any of these options eliminate the sore throats and dry noses that you have experienced in the past.  Humidifiers can also resolve congestion issues as well as decrease the amount of nasal resistance that lead to mouth breathing and leaks.

 

A CPAP humidifier can be built-in, integrated or a standalone machine. Some of the differences include:

 

  • Built-in humidifier – This component is designed to be a part of the CPAP machine and cannot be removed or separated.
  • Integrated humidifier – This component fits onto a CPAP machine, eliminating the need for a second hose and in some heated humidifiers, a second cord.
  • Standalone humidifier – This component will work with any CPAP machine and doesn’t attach to the machine. It uses its own power cord and typically a short hose connected to the CPAP machine.

 

If you’re still feeling dried-out even after using a CPAP humidifier, check out the blog we posted earlier this month—it has all kinds of hints on how to cope in a CPAP desert! If you’re still using sleep apnea therapy without a humidifier, head over to our online store and pick out a humidifier today!

Sleeping in a CPAP Desert? Here Are 4 Things You Can Do

Allergy season is still in full swing.  Dryness doesn’t help when you are constantly sneezing or rubbing your eyes from seasonal allergies. But, do you consistently wake up in the mornings with your mouth feeling dryer than a desert from your CPAP therapy?

Many CPAP users report dry throat, nasal passages or mouth the morning after they use their machine. However, you don’t have to settle for that unpleasant feeling. CPAP Central is here to offer four things you can do when you find yourself waking up feeling like a dried-out prune:

  1. CPAP Humidifier

The first thing you can do is talk to your doctor about using a humidifier with your CPAP machine. Humidifiers help add moisture to the air that is passing through your nasal passage or mouth. Irritation from the air drying your airways out may cause swelling that narrows the airway, affecting the pressure of the air from your machine. Humidifiers help to minimize the irritation.

  1. Different CPAP Mask

If you use a nasal mask and your mouth is drying out, that means that you’re a mouth breather. The pressurized air is leaking out through your mouth, drying it out. You may need to switch to a CPAP mask suitable for mouth breathers.

  1. Stay hydrated throughout the day.

Make sure you’re getting your eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Avoid things such as coffee and soda, which can not only dry you out, they can also keep you from getting a good night’s rest.

  1. Talk to Your Doctor

If none of these solutions work, you may have an underlying chronic problem. In that case, head to your doctor and have a conversation about them prescribing you a nasal steroid spray.

If you have any questions regarding this or any of our other products, feel free to contact CPAP Central or talk to us via our live chat, which is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Are These 4 Things Keeping you from Sleeping?

Do you find yourself yawning throughout the day? Struggling to stay awake, no matter what the activity? Reaching for a cup of Joe at 3 PM? Obviously, you’re not getting enough sleep.

But wait, you say, I went to bed at a decent time! I fell asleep nine hours before I had to get up. Even if this is the case for you, there are some things that can interrupt your sleep or make it so you don’t get enough. Here are the top sleep interruptions:

 

  • Alcohol

Although this depressant makes you drowsy, it does not provide a restful night’s sleep.  When you’re looking for quality sleep after a few drinks, keep in mind that you should stick to only two or three drinks and stop drinking around three hours before bedtime!

  • Heartburn

Is heartburn leaving a bad taste in your mouth?  Heartburn (acid reflux or GERD) is stomach acids that travel into your esophagus which cause pain and discomfort.  If you have this condition, you know it worsens as you lay flat.  Fortunately, heartburn or GERD can often be treated by over-the-counter antacids, but certainly see your doctor if the problem continues as it can lead to more serious health conditions.

  • Pets

It’s time to choose; is it you or your pet that deserves a better night’s sleep?  A recent survey revealed that over 50 percent of Americans that sleep with their pets suffer from some form of sleep disruption caused by their pet.  The best cure for these disruptions is to train your pet to sleep completely outside of your bedroom so you are not awakened by your pet’s unpredictable sleep patterns.

  • Untreated Sleep Apnea

Finally, if you don’t drink (much), don’t suffer from GERD and don’t have pets in your bed, but still get poor sleep, you may have sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea typically includes loud snoring and then moments of silence which is actually periods when you’ve stopped breathing.  When you stop breathing, your body usually responds by waking you up.  Sleep apnea is easily treated with CPAP therapy, but if left untreated, can lead to many serious health conditions.

Many of those things on the list can be taken care of by lifestyle changes or visits to the doctor. If number 4 is a problem for you, CPAP Central can help! We carry a large variety of sleep apnea therapy products and can make sure that you get a complete night’s rest.

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.