Monthly Archives: December 2014

Travel CPAP Machines and Bags

rp_transcend-travel-cpap-ii.jpgTravel CPAP Machines 

Traveling with a CPAP machine can be difficult. The machines generally aren’t light, packing a humidifier takes up precious space, and nobody wants to think about having their machine handled and tossed around by the TSA or airport loading personnel. Recent regulations now allow patients to take their equipment on the plane with them more conveniently than before, but the fact of the matter remains that CPAP machines don’t make great travel companions.

Well, some don’t anyway.

At RespShop, we carry a number of CPAP machines that were designed with the traveler in mind. Built lightweight and packable, these travel CPAP machines are built to withstand the rigors of the road without slowing you down on your way through security. The smallest of these machines fits in the palm of your hand and all of them offer the durability you’d expect to find in an everyday machine. For patients non-compliant with standard CPAP machines, we even carry a couple of automatic machines. Read on for an in-depth look at our line of travel products!

Automatic Travel CPAP Machines

rp_apex-medical-xt-prime-travel-cpap-machine.jpgRespShop carries two different models of automatic CPAP machines: the APEX XT Auto and the Transcend Auto Travel CPAP machine. The APEX device offers all of the comfort features you’d expect in a top machine. In addition to automatic pressure variation, the XT Auto comes with a user friendly interface, an internal power supply, and a heated humidifier. Without the humidifier the APEX is about the size of a typical alarm clock (the humidifier can be attached and detached easily) but the Transcend Auto is even smaller. Tiny enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the Transcend still offers users pressure relief and the option of using a heated humidifier or a waterless humidifier for patients short on space.

XT Line of Machines

Beyond the XT Auto, APEX’s line of XT machines offers something for every CPAP user. For patients concerned about price, the XT Fit offers comfortably automatic pressure for just $189, making it the most inexpensive CPAP device on the market. Users who want a few more features might be interested in the XT Fit or the XT Prime. The Sense is built with leak compensation – which detects when your mask slips off and increases pressure to compensate for the lost air – while the Prime includes both leak compensation and PVA, which reduces pressure during exhalation. All APEX machines are available both with and without a humidifier.

Other Options

We also carry two other CPAP machines from Transcend: the Transcend EZEX Travel Machine and the Transcend II Travel Machine. The EZEX comes with EPR, a humidifier, and a simple interface in a package that weighs just a pound. The Transcend II weights just a little bit more and is built compatible with several overnight battery options. It comes with a standard wall plug in and a built in battery that will switch on automatically in the event of a power outage.

Carrying Your Equipment

Whether you’re a globetrotter or an occasional weekend traveler, anyone who has ever taken a CPAP machine on the road with them knows that they aren’t always the easiest things to pack. Machines can be big and bulky and if you’re trying to economize, it can be difficult to find room for the machine, all accessory equipment, and any other items you want to bring on your travels. Put it this way: you never want to have to choose between bringing your humidifier and taking a toothbrush.

Fortunately, we carry a number of travel CPAP bags. The bags – made by ResMed, Respironics, and DeVilbiss – are built for specific machines, although most of these bags will be able to fit all of your equipment regardless of what kind of device you have. Each bag comes with a large pocket big enough to fit your machine and several pockets that can store anything else you might want to bring along, including your humidifier. The bags are lightweight and durable and should be able to store twenty pounds of equipment without stressing the straps.

The bottom line here is that you don’t have to feel restricted by your CPAP machine while you’re on the road. With our selection of travel devices and bags that can efficiently carry your equipment, you’ll be able to travel in style without compromising your therapy. Check out our line of travel items and get back on the road with your CPAP equipment!

 

Advantages of CPAP Therapy for Sleep Apnea

ResMed AirSense 10 CPAPAs we’ve discussed on the blog here before, there are a number of ways to treat sleep apnea. Many patients opt for surgery, nasal pads, weight loss, or any one of a number of experimental medical procedures that can help clear their airways at night. Depending on your personal habits and preferences, any one of these options might be the perfect solution for your condition. If you’re like most patients, however, we believe that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the best way to effectively manage sleep apnea.

Tried and True Therapy

Continuous positive airway pressure was first attempted by Doctor Colin Sullivan in 1980. One of his patients had severe sleep apnea and as an experiment, Dr. Sullivan attached a breathing tube to a device blowing positive air. When applied to the patient’s airway, the machine was capable of keeping his airway open, allowing him to drift into much needed REM sleep. From there, Dr. Sullivan and subsequent innovators were able to construct a device capable of providing positive air pressure throughout the night.

Over the three and a half decades since Dr. Sullivan’s discovery, CPAP therapy has become the physician recommended method for treating sleep apnea. Thousands upon thousands of patients have been treated with the ever-improving CPAP therapy, making it the most common and most recommended therapy for sleep apnea available today. Engineering and technological advances have made the technology both less expensive and more comfortable than it was in the 1980’s and 1990’s, which helps sleep apnea sufferers not only sleep better but also adjust to therapy quickly.

36995-ResMed-Climate-Line-Tubing-1-respshop-disthingMinimally Obtrusive

Sleep apnea is not a simple condition to treat: it can’t be cured with a pill or shot and it never goes away on its own. Like all medical issues that require continued monitoring, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your daily or nightly routines to properly manage the condition. Wearing a CPAP mask will take some getting used to.

However, once you do adjust to CPAP therapy, you’ll fall asleep quickly and easily each night. Most CPAP patients sleep much better once they’ve adjusted to their mask than they did before, and as they get used to therapy, they find that things like mask straps and machine noise don’t bother them at all. Most of the equipment can be cleaned or replaced quickly and easily: once you’re used to therapy, it’s no more troubling than flossing!

Results Driven

While CPAP isn’t right for everyone, a number of studies have shown that using a CPAP works well and that patients who do use their machines feel a real change in their disposition. In one study measuring CPAP usage among sleep apnea patients, researchers found that those still using their CPAP four years after a sleep apnea diagnosis “complied well with treatment, were satisfied with their CPAP device and continued to derive benefit from its use.”

Another study attempting to measure the efficacy of CPAP in comparison to a more conservative management approach — where patients were given measures to improve their sleep hygiene and help losing weight — found that CPAP was much more beneficial. Researchers found that “relief of sleepiness and other sleep apnea and hypoapnea symptoms and improvement in perceived health status was much greater in (the group) receiving CPAP.” The authors of the study concluded that the use of CPAP treatment was adequately supported and a viable way to manage the condition.

Conclusion

Taken together, it’s easy to see why CPAP remains a popular form of therapy for patients suffering from sleep apnea. The treatment has a long history of success, remains a viable way to effectively manage the condition, and with enhancements in compliance and comfort technology, is now easier to adjust to than ever. If you need help treating your sleep apnea, there’s no better form of therapy than continuous positive airway pressure.

 

New AirCurve Bi-Level Machines from ResMed

AirCurveEarlier this morning, ResMed announced the release of a brand new series of bi-level pressure devices. Following the summer debut of the AirSense line of CPAP machines, ResMed’s AirCurve 10 brand of VPAP machines is hitting shelves everywhere this morning. Like with the AirSense series, the new machines feature the latest advances in comfort technology.

The new HumidAir heated humidifier is an innovatively designed system capable of combating the worst symptoms associated with VPAP therapy. The HumidAir’s 380 ml water chamber can be filled easily and the humidifier’s effects are augmented by the new ClimateLineAir heated breathing tube. The ClimateLineAir ferries warm air from the heated humidifier to your airways, providing further defense against the debilitating side effects of sleep apnea therapy.

Each VPAP also comes with Expiration Pressure Relief, or EPR. EPR works with Easy-Breathe to ensure that your machine only provides requisite pressure when absolutely necessary. Easy-Breathe is capapble of reducing pressure at the onset of each breath and keeping pressure low throughout exhalation. However, when you are having an apnea, EPR kicks in and returns pressure to your desired output so that you can overcome the apnea as quickly as possible.

Let’s take a look at each of the three AirCurve machines individually.

AirCurve 10 VAuto

The AirCurve 10 VAuto is this year’s automatically adjusting bi-level device. The Auto is capable of delivering effective therapy for patients with a wide range of debilitating CSA. It features TiControl, a wide pressure range, SmartStart and SmartStop technology (which lets you start and stop your machine easily), and a brand new ramp feature. The ramp allows you to delay the onset of pressure by up to forty-five minutes, enabling you to fall asleep without experiencing a sudden rush of pressure. Finally, like the rest of the series, the Auto offers patients a bright screen with big buttons and an intuitive interface.

AirCurve 10 ST

The AirCurve 10 ST is a spontaneously timed bi-level device. This means that your machine is programmed to deliver pressure on a timed schedule, changing pressure during inspiration and exhalation. It features all of the comfort features you’d expect to find on an AirCurve device combined with the most sophisticated algorithms ever offered on an ST machine. Also, like all other AirCurve machines, it comes with ResMed’s proprietary AirView data management system. It lets you access your therapy statistics remotely and send all of your information to your physician or VPAP provider without requiring you to leave the house.

AirCurve 10 ASV

The AirCurve 10 ASV is intended to offer personalized therapy for sleep apnea patients saddled with central breathing disorders, including CSA and Cheyne-Stokes Respiration. The ASV is the only servo-ventilator that effectively treats your most recent ventilations and features one of the most advanced algorithms ever tested. The ASV Auto adapts to your ventilator and upper airway needs on each breath; these quick responses help to personalize effective therapy.

Remember that each bi-level device requires a specific prescription and that these VPAP machines should not be used interchangeably. Keep in mind, if you use a bi-level device, your therapy needs are noncompliant with traditional CPAP machines. If you have any questions about the AirCurves or any other item we carry, please get in touch!

Sleep Apnea Remains Woefully Undiagnosed

While affecting more than 18 million Americans, and hundreds of millions more worldwide, sleep apnea today still remains woefully undiagnosed in patients, whether its lack of education of individuals who are struggling with things like snoring, constantly being tired during the day, and repeatedly waking up at night, or the failure for medical professionals to ensure that their patients with symptoms are given a sleep study, millions of patients still are unaware that they may be suffering. While mostly prevalent in males that are struggling with weight and over the age of 40 (and more common in both African American and Hispanic Males), sleep apnea can affect anyone, including women and children, and even those that may be in excellent shape.

There are main types of sleep apnea, Obstructive, which is caused by your airway being blocked and your throat collapsing during the night, and central, which is a directly related to your brain Narcolepsy at workfailing to signal your throat muscles to breathe, so while your brain needs oxygen to survive, it may not be informing the rest of your body to breathe throughout the night, thanks, brain! Some patients can have a mix of both obstructive and central sleep apnea. OSA is the most common form, and is usually combated with a CPAP machine, while CSA is treated with a BiLevel Device or a VPAP machine.

There are several severe conditions that can be caused from failing to treat sleep apnea. We recently covered three of the most severe ones in a blog post, but to recap, things such as high blood pressure, heart disease that can lead to heart attacks where we’ve seen deaths in some famous individuals such as Reggie White, and type 2 diabetes have all been tied to failure to treat your sleep apnea affectively. When we’re talking about potentially life threatening diseases such as heart disease, and we’ve seen individuals who failed to treat their sleep apnea pass away, why does the disease still remain undiagnosed in millions of patients?

The biggest problem lies with health care professionals. Properly educating doctors on the problem will help patients who are struggling with sleep notice certain signs that are common amongst sleep apnea patients and get the proper testing done to ensure that they start receiving treatment. While not everybody who snores has sleep apnea, snoring is one of the biggest signs that a patient may be suffering, so whether it’s a friend or loved one who points it out, if you are an unusually loud snorer, it might be time to get tested. Snoring isn’t the only sign though, individuals who are tired throughout the day, or wake up with a dry mouth may be suffering. Sleep is very important, not only for your overall health and battling things such as heart disease and high blood pressure, but proper rest can make you perform better at your job, at school, or just doing normal every day activities.

If we are going to continue to fight sleep apnea, it is important that our healthcare professionals and doctors are properly educated about the signs of sleep apnea, and while they can’t physically be in the room with you while you sleep to see if you’re snoring, I know that every time I am in the doctor’s office they ask me how I’ve been sleeping, or feeling, or if I have had any problems lately. If my doctor is doing it, then I am guessing yours is too, and when the doctor asks, making sure they’re listening to their patients and looking for signs of potential sleep apnea will be a big help in making sure that we continue to diagnose those who are struggling, so we can help prevent unwanted deaths or long term health effects of patients.

Diagnosing sleep apnea is just the first step, fighting it is a whole new ballgame, as once we know, where we go from there is going to be extremely important. First things first, patients must get a sleep study done to really know if they have sleep apnea, and while this can be done in a big building with beds and equipment, it’s also possible to be done at home in the comfort of your own bed. How can they expect to test you for sleep apnea if you’re forced to sleep with a bunch of equipment hooked up to you in a bed that isn’t even your own? I know I couldn’t, give me my own bed where I know I’ll be comfortable, then when I fall asleep we can see if I’m struggling! Saving hundreds of dollars on the test being done from your own home isn’t too bad either.

Once you’ve completed the test and gone over the results with your doctor, that’s when you can discuss the next step. The most common form of treatment is using a CPAP machine, which is another battle completely, as you have to wear it every night with a mask over your face. Sadly we know patients who refuse due to the look of the machine and mask, but when we’re talking about long term health and making sure you get enough sleep to kick butt every day, is it really cropped-cropped-b01.jpgworth worrying about how you look at night? While some patients may fear looks, others might worry about comfort, which is why the fight against sleep apnea has to be taken on two stages. The manufacturers making the products must ensure that their masks are comfortable and fit thousands of different sized heads, so that patients are willing to wear it every night. Doctors and medical professionals are just one stage, ResMed, Respironics, and others need to do their end of deal as well.

If we’re going to continue to diagnose those that are struggling, we need to make sure that the medical professionals are properly educated and ready to help. Patients can only do so much if they think they are not getting enough sleep, the people they come too need to have the knowledge to help. And if you’re one of those 18 million American’s, or the hundreds of millions more around the world suffering, let’s make sure that when we are diagnosed, we’re using that CPAP machine. Yea it might be bulky and look funky, and sometimes it might be uncomfortable, but we’re talking about fighting off things like heart attacks just by getting the proper treatment, getting treatment is the most important thing as we work to find those who are undiagnosed and make sure they’re getting the best possible treatment.

 

Sleep Apnea is Serious

Sleep apnea awareness is important, not only for how you operate during your daily routine, but the long term effects of failing to treat your sleep apnea effectively can be damaging to your body, heart, and overall health. There are significant health problems that are associated with sleep apnea, and when left untreated, even death is possible. We recently blogged about Reggie White’s widows fight for increasing awareness of sleep apnea, as the potential to lose a loved one is there. Look for signs from your partner, parents, friends, or siblings, whether its snoring, constantly being tired in the morning, or frequent wake ups in the middle of the night. You can find our blog on five signs that you might have sleep apnea here, and if you believe that you are potentially suffering, we strongly recommend that you have a sleep study done.

While most patients might believe that sleep apnea is only affecting their energy levels and ability to perform at their peak in their jobs or at school, there is a darker side to sleep apnea that can lead to more significant illnesses as time passes. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which is most commonly treated by using a CPAP machine. While people may believe that sleep apnea only effects males who are overweight, females and those in great shape can also suffer. Don’t think just because you’re in peak shape and active that you can’t contract sleep apnea, as any individual can be affected.

We mentioned that there are more severe side effects to those suffering from sleep apnea than the standard of being tired throughout the day and sleeping less at night. Medical professionals have linked three very serious medical conditions to sleep apnea. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes are all potential side effects, and all three carry much higher risks than lack of sleep.

High blood pressure can be caused by frequent night time awakenings. As people wake up ResMed AirSense 10 CPAPthroughout the night, their hormone systems go into “overdrive” which can cause blood pressure to rise. A lot of patients suffering from sleep apnea can also have low blood oxygen levels which can lead to hypertension. Using a CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea will allow you to rest peacefully throughout the night, as the machine will regulate your pressure and ensure that your throat will not collapse. Ensuring that you sleep throughout the whole night can help regulate your blood pressure.

Higher blood pressure is not the only medical concern of sleep apnea patients, as there are increased risks for heart disease and heart attacks from those suffering. Those who have obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form, are at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack while they are sleeping, and we have seen cases of death with well-known individuals such as Reggie White. Low oxygen while sleeping, or the stress of waking up regularly throughout the night are the leading causes. We know that heart disease can lead to increased likelihood of things such as strokes and going into AFib. All three are serious conditions that are greatly increase from failing to treat your sleep apnea safely and effectively.

The third very serious condition that we talked about is type 2 diabetes, and there are studies out there that nearly 80 percent of those with type 2 diabetes have some form of OSA. Both diabetes and sleep apnea are common in those who are struggling with their weight. While studies are inconclusive, failing to get enough sleep can cause resistance to insulin, which is a direct result of diabetes.

Those are three of the more serious conditions that are related to sleep apnea, but there are several other potentially harmful side effects that can be caused by failing to treat the condition. We’ve talked extensively about a lack of energy and always being tired, we can have a direct result on your ability to perform at work, at school, or doing other standard day time activities, causing you be less of a performer than those around you. Lack of sleep can have a significant effect on your ability to drive a car, leading to an increased chance of a car wreck, but it can also cause things such as weight gain and asthma in adults.

reggie_white-respshopGetting treated for sleep apnea is very serious, as some numbers believe that as many as 80 percent of patients are still un or underdiagnosed for the disease. While there are options out there for everybody, whether its surgery on the jaw or throat, or working to lose weight and get in better shape, CPAP is still the most effective, reliable, and used “medication” (I use that term lightly because it’s not really a medication, or maybe it is) out there. The steps to diagnosing and treating sleep apnea with CPAP can be found on our blog, but to sum it up, see a medical professional and get yourself tested if you believe that you or someone you care about is suffering. Look for signs such as snoring and being constantly tired, and start working today to improve your overall health, as we continue to fight the good fight against sleep apnea, and have less Reggie White’s amongst all of us. Whether its heart disease that can lead to a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, or high blood pressure, we have the ability to put an end to untimely death and improve health by ensuring that those we love get tested and get the proper treatment.