cpap mask problems

How to deal with common CPAP mask problems

CPAP therapy (continuous positive airway pressure) is a great way to treat sleep apnea. However, some patients find it hard to get used to their CPAP mask, which can mean they miss out on the positive benefits of this technology. That is why we have put together this handy guide for how to deal with the most common CPAP mask problems.

1. Take time to get used to your mask

Rather than just wearing your mask at night, take some extra time to get accustomed to your CPAP mask. Wear it while watching TV or reading a book so when it comes time to sleep it will feel more natural.

2. Choose something that is comfortable for you

Speak to your doctor and CPAP supplier to find a mask that fits you properly, and find out how to properly adjust your mask so that it feels as comfortable as possible.

3. Keep your mask clean

Some patients think they are having an allergic reaction to their mask, but often these issues are caused by infrequent cleaning which can lead to skin irritation. Talk to your doctor to see if you have any allergies to materials such as latex used in some older masks, and make sure to clean your mask regularly.

4. Use the ramp feature

If you find it hard to adjust to the forced air in your mask, use the “ramp” feature which allows you to begin with low air pressure and slowly increase.

5. Keep a good routine to encourage sleep

If you have problems falling asleep with your mask on, make sure you are properly tired before you lay down for the night. Try to keep a good routine which includes exercise and regular sleep patterns. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

6. Clean your filter

If you are finding that your machine is too noisy to sleep, firstly remember that it is surely quieter than your snoring! Also, make sure to clean your filter to reduce any operating sound.
If all of these handy tips don’t solve your CPAP mask problems, talk to your doctor and your CPAP supplier.
microsleep and sleep apnea

Microsleep and Sleep Apnea – Top 5 Causes

There is a link between microsleep and sleep apnea. Microsleep is a worrying episode in which people become incredibly drowsy and temporarily fall asleep without realising it, typically lasting anything from a fraction of a second to 30 seconds. The potential disastrous consequences are clear: anyone experiencing micro sleep while behind the wheel of a vehicle or operating heavy machinery is putting not only their own life but also other people’s at risk.

But what are the most common causes of micro sleep?

Insomnia and hypersomnia

Any condition which leads to sleep deprivation is likely to cause micro sleep, and insomnia is one of the most common culprits. On the other hand, its opposite, hypersomnia – a condition that involves excessive sleepiness – has micro sleep as one of its symptoms. People with hypersomnia suddenly fall asleep as an innate part of their condition, while those with insomnia have extreme difficulty sleeping at night which causes them to micro sleep during the day.

Narcolepsy

This is a long-term neurological disorder which inhibits your body from controlling your sleep-wake cycle. People with narcolepsy frequently experience micro sleep, as well as more serious symptoms like hallucinations or the inability to move.

Schizophrenia

As well as a distorted perception of reality, schizophrenia comes with symptoms such as nightmares and hallucinations which stop sufferers from getting a good night’s sleep. Although psychiatric disorders do not cause sleep disorders like micro sleep, there is certainly a clear link between them.

Microsleep and Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is by far the most common cause of micro sleep, with approximately 10–15 million people suffering from the condition. It’s characterised by an obstruction or blockage in your upper airway which makes breathing at night very difficult. As well as causing infamous snoring, it also means your lungs can’t get the oxygen they need overnight. This lack of oxygen is what leads to micro sleep and drowsiness during the day.

Investing in a custom-made 3D sleep apnea mask that’s specially moulded to your face shape is the best way to banish micro sleep for good. If you’ve noticed yourself dosing off at work or home, with droopy eyes and a nodding head, contact Apnea Seal to find out more about our apnea machines.

Do I have sleep apnea?

A common question people ask themselves when they don’t get a good night’s sleep is “Do I have sleep apnea?”

Obstructive sleep apnea (or apnoea) impacts approximately 34% of people in Australia. OSA can affect individuals across all age groups. With OSA, your throat becomes obstructed during your sleep, disrupting your sleep patterns and often resulting in snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea can have a greater impact on some individuals, reducing or even stopping breathing for up to a minute or more.

What are the symptoms?

If you wake up often during the night, gasping for air and out of breath, you might have OSA. As a result, you may feel unrefreshed and exhausted in the morning, given the disrupted nature of your sleep. As mentioned, you (or your partner) might notice that you’re snoring more often in your sleep, especially when sleeping on your back. This could result from the obstructed throat passage that is caused by OSA.

How do I know for sure?

If you’ve ever asked “Do I have sleep apnea?”, it’s a good idea to visit your GP. Relay the above symptoms to your doctor, and if they feel it’s necessary, they can refer you to a specialist who will conduct a sleep study. Sleep studies are conducted overnight, to gain an authentic look into your usual sleep habits. During a sleep study, the specialist will measure your sleep, breathing and oxygen levels.

What’s next?

If you are diagnosed with OSA, there are various ways to treat it depending on the severity. For more severe OSA, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks can be effective. The CPAP sends gentle pressure over your nose via a mask, which helps to open your throat during the night. As mentioned, OSA is caused by obstructions of the throat, so using a CPAP mask to keep your airways open is highly effective. The CPAP mask only needs to be used while you’re sleeping in bed. It helps to stop snoring as well, which should additionally help you (and your partner) get some needed, undisturbed rest.

OSA has a significant impact on the individuals suffering from it, including increased stress on your body due to a lack of sleep. If you think you may have OSA, speak to your GP today.

causes of sleep apnea

5 common causes of sleep apnea

The Top 5 Causes of Sleep Apnea

Here are the top 5 causes of sleep apnea. It can affect anyone, but certain factors increase your risk.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common but serious and potentially debilitating sleep disorder that affects an estimated one million people in Australia. People with OSA experience repeated interruptions in their breathing throughout the night. These disruptions can occur 30 or more times an hour, with each episode lasting more than 10 seconds.

Though sleep apnea can affect people of any age, there are certain biological and lifestyle factors that increase your risk for this condition – or mean you may likely already have it.

Excess weight

Obesity greatly increases the risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea, with some research suggesting that as many as 40 percent of people who are excessively overweight suffer from this condition. Fat deposits around the upper airway, such as the neck, tongue and palate, make it tighter and smaller. When you’re asleep and lying down, your airway constricts even more.

Being male

Men are two to three times more likely to develop sleep apnea than premenopausal women. (After menopause, women have about an equal risk.) Obstructive sleep apnea becomes more frequent as men age. It usually begins in young adulthood and then tapers off in one’s 60s and 70s.

Use of alcohol and other sedatives

Sedative substances have a tendency to increase relaxation of the muscles in your mouth and throat. Moreover, medications such as opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines suppress communication between the brain and body to regulate breathing.

Smoking

People who smoke are three times more likely to have OSA than non-smokers. Smoking leads to inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway, which can not only affect breathing but also interfere with the brain’s ability to communicate with the muscles that control breathing.

Nasal congestion

Whether caused by illness, allergies or an anatomical problem such as a deviated septum, chronic nasal congestion means you’re more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea. These conditions can narrow and inflame the airways, causing breathing problems and poor sleep.

cpap and relationships

The CPAP and Relationships affect: sound, fear, and the CPAP machine

With our busier-than-ever lifestyle, getting a good night’s sleep is essential to the recovery of our body and mind. Snoring and sleep apnea are harmful to your health, but have you thought about the affect of CPAP and relationships?

CPAP and Relationships – The sound effect

Snoring is the result of a narrowed airway. As the air squeezes through it makes the airway vibrate, creating sound. This sound can be anything from a slight whistle to an almighty roar. For those trying to sleep, especially light sleepers, the snore can be akin to a method of torture. All your body craves is sleep, but all you hear is snoring… sound familiar?

The fear effect

Sleep apnea occurs when the passage in the throat closes completely and breathing is interrupted. This may occur only a few times per night or hundreds of times. For some people, having their partner stop breathing during the night is a very scary event. They lay awake, listening, in the dark. Waiting for your next breath. Or maybe they don’t stay awake to listen, but the gasp you take, or the kick you make as you take your next breath wakes them up anyway. This is one of the CPAP and Relationships issues that CPAP therapy addresses.

The relationship effect

Maintaining a happy and healthy relationship is hard at the best of times. When neither of you are getting a good night’s sleep, it can be nearly impossible. Tiredness can bring anger, resentment, and frustration into a happy relationship.

The CPAP effect

The solution to your partner’s sleeping problem is for you to start using a CPAP machine so both of you sleep better. CPAP machines quietly and gently emit air which keeps the passageway open. By preventing the airway from closing, the incidents of sleep apnea and the noise of snoring stops or greatly diminishes.

Getting a well-fitted mask for your CPAP machine is an essential part of ensuring a great sleep for you and your partner. Don’t let your loved one suffer any longer, get your apnea machine today. Give yourself, and your partner a better quality of life: don’t wait another night!

sleep apnea treatment

Sleep Apnea Treatments – 3 Reasons to Get Checked Today

Get Sleep Apnea Treatments Today

Sleep apnea, also know as sleep apnoea or obstructive sleep apnea, is a fairly common sleep disorder, although many people don’t explore sleep apnea treatments.

There are many reasons for this. Some of the people who do not seek help for the condition may not understand the serious nature of the issue, while others simply don’t recognise the symptoms. This is frustrating to health practitioners as sleep apnea is one of the easiest sleep disorders to cure thanks to CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines or even alternative medicines.

So here are three reasons to get your sleep disorder diagnosed and treated today.

1. Sleep apnea impacts your overall health

Untreated sleep apnea can cause a whole lot of future health concerns. These health risks include heart failure, cancer, diabetes and even death. Sleep deprivation can also lead to increasing your risks of a car accident and surgery complications.

As such, sleep apnea treatments are a real health concern that needs to be seriously considered and diagnosed.

2. You and your partner will sleep better at night

People with sleep apnea rarely enjoy a good night’s sleep. Indeed, because of the lack of oxygen that goes to your brain, the body is forced to wake up in order to breathe.

If your sleep isn’t an issue though, seek help for the sake of your partner. After all, sleep apnea treatments can relieve the strain on your relationship if your partner is also struggling to sleep.

3. You’ll perform better at work

Sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea can stop you from being able to concentrate at work. Needless to say, this will also impact how well you do at work and might get in the way of a promotion.

Sleep apnea may seem like a small concern, but it is far more than that. Ultimately, if it goes untreated, it could impact areas of your life negatively, including your relationships, work and health. So, if you do have sleep apnea, or believe you may have it, look into treatments today.

acid reflux

Acid reflux: Is it causing sleep apnea?

Is acid reflux causing sleep apnea?

If you’re plagued with acid reflux you know that it can occur at any time during the day or night, even while you’re sleeping. Reflux can be one of the main contributors or catalysts behind obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and may generally be the reason you are having a night of disruptive sleep.

Why reflux can be worse when sleeping.

Persons who experience little to no discomfort from acid reflux during the day may often wonder why symptoms flare up when they are sleeping or get worse when they are just laying in bed. Throughout the day being up and about means that gravity is helping to keep the acid in your stomach where it is supposed to be. When you’re in bed, stomach acid can seep up into your throat. Sleep apnea (also spelt apnoea) can exacerbate this.

How acid reflux causes sleep apnea

There is some debate as to whether acid reflux causes sleep apnea in general (and OSA specifically) or vice versa. One theory states that reflux may cause the contraction of vocal cords, restricting breathing, causing sleep apnea. Some researches content that the change in airway pressure during a bout of sleep apnea can cause reflux to occur. While this may seem like a no-win chicken or egg situation the good news is that researchers have found that treating either condition has improved the other.

Treatment

The use of a CPAP machine has helped those suffering from both ailments achieve a comfortable night sleep. The stream of air provided by the machine through the CPAP mask helps keep your airway open. The CPAP won’t cure the condition but can significantly improve the quality of life of a person using it and may be a good non-medicated way of solving the issue.

Don’t ignore reflux

Acid reflux is much more than just a nuisance or inconvenience. It is a condition that can cause more serious problems down the road. Among other things, the acid from your stomach can erode the lining of your esophagus increasing the risk of esophageal cancer. It is worth a trip to your physician’s office to determine the best course of action to treat both sleep apnea and acid reflux.

obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea … the illness that knows no age limit

Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Age is no guide.

Another restless night of tossing and turning, recurrent awakenings and a spouse revisiting the spare room sound familiar? Well, with over 40% of adult males and 24% adult females habitual snorers, and often this is a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

But when was the last time you paid close attention to how your child is sleeping? With approximately 15% of children diagnosed snorers, they too are at risk of suffering the effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

What can cause us to snore?

Snoring occurs when airflow through the nose and mouth is hindered by a blockage in the upper airway. When children (and adults) fall asleep, this blockage can interrupt their breathing once muscles have relaxed. Loud snoring is often a tell-tale sign of OSA, and usually first diagnosed by the sufferer’s loved one.

Could my child have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Like in adults, some possible symptoms of OSA your child may display include:

  • Loud snoring, pauses in breathing and difficulty breathing during sleep
  • Restless and sweaty while asleep
  • Chokes, gasps or snorts in their sleep
  • Unusual sleeping positions, for example propped up high on pillows
  • Breathing through their mouth instead of their nose at night
  • Frequent headaches
  • Tired in the morning
  • Blocked nose, poor appetite and/or problems swallowing

Remember, a disrupted sleep the night before can also lead to attention and concentration difficulties for an OSA sufferer the next day… whether that’s your preschool-aged son or your retired mother.

Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea

There are various ways to treat the symptoms of OSA once you receive a diagnosis. In children, surgery to remove their adenoids and tonsils may be required. A range of lifestyle and dietary changes for both adults and children can also be implemented in daily life to assist with easing the symptoms.

Another treatment option for adults and children with OSA is a Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) machine and customised ApneaSeal mask to help them breathe at night. This mask is designed specifically to optimally fit the contours of each individual’s nose, making it suitable for all ages.

To find out more about the CPAP machine and mask, contact ApneaSeal to make your obligation-free appointment.

sleep apnea symptoms

Watching for Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Sometime Sleep Apnea Symptoms are Right In Front of You

Many people suffer sleep apnea symptoms but may not even be aware of them. Sleep apnea is more common than one may think – with over three in 10 men and almost two in 10 women affected. There are some very obvious symptoms such as snoring – that a partner may well already be complaining about, but the following list of sleep apnea symptoms are worth reviewing.

  • Tiredness during the day
  • Weight Gain (often also a cause)
  • Lack of concentration
  • Listlessness and night sweats during sleep time
  • Low energy levels
  • Frequent headaches after waking
  • Depression
  • Memory Loss

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is where the patient stops breathing for an extended period of time during sleep – often lasting for 10 seconds or more. There are many causes for Sleep Apnea, most common is a blockage in ones airways that closes up as the muscles relax. As the brain begins to register the lack of oxygen, it wakes the sufferer up slightly and they begin to breath again. As they drift back into sleep, the process happens again, often occuring hundreds of times a night.

How to tell if you suffer from Sleep Apnea

If you suspect you may be suffering sleep apnea symptoms, go and get it checked out. Get a referral to a sleep specialist from your GP. The specialist will probably book you in for a sleep study where you spend a night at a clinic and are observed during your sleep.

What Treatments are Available?

The good news is that there are a few treatment options available. Sometimes surgery may be necessary. Most common of all is the use of a CPAP machine. These devices gently blow air into the sufferer’s nostrils and keep the airways open.

 

sleep apnea treatment

Sleep Apnea Treatment for Young People

Sleep Apnea Treatment for Young People … the illness that knows no age limit

Another restless night of tossing and turning, recurrent awakenings and a spouse revisiting the spare room sound familiar? Well, with over 40% of adult males and 24% adult females habitual snorers, your household is not alone. But when was the last time you paid close attention to how your child is sleeping? With approximately 15% of children diagnosed snorers, sleep apnea treatment may well be needed.

What can cause us to snore?

Snoring occurs when airflow through the nose and mouth is hindered by a blockage in the upper airway. When children (and adults) fall asleep, this blockage can interrupt their breathing once muscles have relaxed. Loud snoring is often a tell-tale sign of OSA, and usually first diagnosed by the sufferer’s loved one.

Could my child have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Like in adults, some possible symptoms of OSA your child may display include:

  • Loud snoring, pauses in breathing and difficulty breathing during sleep
  • Restless and sweaty while asleep
  • Chokes, gasps or snorts in their sleep
  • Unusual sleeping positions, for example propped up high on pillows
  • Breathing through their mouth instead of their nose at night
  • Frequent headaches
  • Tired in the morning
  • Blocked nose, poor appetite and/or problems swallowing

Remember, a disrupted sleep the night before can also lead to attention and concentration difficulties for an OSA sufferer the next day… whether that’s your preschool-aged son or your retired mother.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

There are various ways to treat the symptoms of OSA once you receive a diagnosis. In children, surgery to remove their adenoids and tonsils may be required. A range of lifestyle and dietary changes for both adults and children can also be implemented in daily life to assist with easing the symptoms.

Another sleep apnea treatment option for adults and children with OSA is a Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) machine and customised ApneaSeal mask to help them breathe at night. This mask is designed specifically to optimally fit the contours of each individual’s nose, making it suitable for all ages.

To find out more about the CPAP machine and mask, contact ApneaSeal to make your obligation-free appointment.