mouthpiece

IS A MOUTHPIECE BETTER THAN A CPAP MACHINE?

Mouthpiece and mask discomfort – get a better fit with a custom made mask

Whether as a sleep apnea sufferer you wear a mouthpiece or use a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP), there can be issues around discomfort from badly fitting equipment. As a mouthpiece fits over the teeth and is designed to reposition the jaw or tongue, users can suffer from serious discomfort while using this invasive option. Alternatively, a CPAP machine is a ventilator which provides continuous mild air pressure to keep the airways open, via a CPAP mask, throughout the sleep cycle and is non-invasive. ApneaSeal’s custom-fit masks are designed to ensure maximum comfort and a superior fit to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Potential issues with mouthpieces

A range of unwanted side effects can arise from using a mouthpiece to treat sleep apnea. These include the wearer waking with an unpleasantly dry mouth, or alternatively producing excessive saliva. Mouth ulcers can also develop, caused by rubbing of an ill-fitting mouthpiece against the gums and cheek. More serious issues can include temporomandibular joint disorder, where problems develop in the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull, leading to pain and discomfort. A badly fitting mouthpiece can also lead to problems with teeth becoming loose or repositioned.

Alleviating discomfort with a custom-made CPAP mask

An alternative solution for sufferers of sleep apnea is to use a CPAP machine. CPAP mask wearers can experience discomfort through using a general, rather than fitted, mask such as skin discomfort, slipping of the mask, and mask markings on the face. This means that many patients abandon CPAP therapy as they find it too uncomfortable to continue.

However, ApneaSeal’s custom fit masks can ensure that your mask is specially designed to fit the contours of your face. The optimised fit is achieved through using facial mapping software, which captures over 20,000 data points of the nose. This information is then used to 3D print a custom mask that uniquely fits over your nose. This superior fit means that the mask is light and comfortable on your face and that there is less face marking due to lower headgear strap tension.

fall asleep

HOW TO FALL ASLEEP AND ADAPT TO A CPAP MASK

It can be hard to fall asleep when starting CPAP therapy

Adapting to CPAP therapy can be difficult at first and you may have trouble when trying to fall asleep with the sleep apnea mask. This is normal because the body takes a while to adopt new habits. Rest assured, for most CPAP users it will get more comfortable with time. Meanwhile, here is how to successfully fall asleep with a CPAP mask and counter obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

1. Make adjustments during the day

Try putting on the mask during the day when you are not tired. This will help you feel if it needs any changes to make you comfortable. The environment at the clinic may differ from the one at your house, which may require you to tighten or loosen the mask slightly. Don’t wait until bedtime when you are fatigued and sleepy. Instead, do it at daytime. If it’s your perfect fit, no air should be directed up in the eye area. You can purchase soft nasal pads to reduce the rubbing of the mask straps around your nose.

2. Maintain good sleep hygiene

Before starting the CPAP therapy, adjust your practices, habits and lifestyle to support regular good sleep. Have a good mattress and pillows and make your room dark, quiet and warm. Get earplugs and eye masks to control noise and light respectively. Keep off coffee, alcohol and phones before bedtime since they can affect your sleep patterns.

3. Go to bed only when tired

If you are not feeling tired when going to bed, your mind may be preoccupied with thinking about the mask and you may not fall asleep. Even if it’s bedtime, do not go to bed before you feel tired enough to sleep.

4. Relax before bed

Keep off vigorous exercises 1-2 hours before bedtime. Try taking a bath, read a good book, watch a movie or do relaxation exercises. Breathing exercises can also help you fall asleep faster without much thought.

Be patient with yourself and adhere to the above tips. Use the sleep apnea mask every day to make it easier for your body to adapt. Remind yourself of the benefits you will get at the end of the therapy, and your attitude will remain positive. Contact ApneaSeal today for a custom 3D fitted mask just for you.

bad night

BAD NIGHT? HERE’S HOW TO GET THROUGH THE DAY

Losing sleep for a whole night or much of the night can cause you to feel rather glum the following day. Your body works on recovery, while your brain processes thoughts and stores memories while you sleep, so a bad night can cause you to feel sluggish and uptight. Here are some tips that may help you get through the morning after not resting enough the previous night.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

Dehydration is one of the effects of a bad night. Your body is likely to use more water if you spend the night tossing and turning. This dehydration, even when mild, may cause you to suffer headaches and make you struggle to focus and fatigued. Moreover, when you’re low on fluids, your heart will need to work harder to push nutrients and oxygen around the body. Take a few tall glasses of water throughout the day if you’re feeling sluggish.

DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST

Eat a hearty breakfast. Not only will this nourish you after a bad night, but it will also help you feel awake. Eat healthy fats, carbohydrates and proteins to be able to focus and better your memory. Avocado and eggs will help you feel awake in the morning. Go easy on coffee, and only take it later in the morning when you are much more awake.

A BAD NIGHT CAN BE HELPED WITH EXERCISE

Walk around and stretch a bit. Sitting down for much of the day will make your body feel sluggish. Do a few rounds around the office to help your body feel refreshed and vibrant. The mild exercise improves blood flow through your body. Move around after lunch as this is when you tend to hit peak tiredness.

SPEND SOME TIME IN THE SUN

Natural light will slow down your body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin is what tells your body to feel sleepy. When your body produces less melatonin, you don’t feel sleepy. But you might not be able to get much sun if you work night shifts or leave for work early in the morning.

The above tips should be of help to you after you’ve had a bad night. But should you often fail to sleep well, make sure you consult a qualified medical professional. It could be a symptom of a medical problem, including sleep-related issues such as sleep apnea. To find out more, contact us at ApneaSeal today.

apnea machine apnea machines

APNEA MACHINES: WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you’re likely very curious about the different treatment options available. One common and popular option is an apnea machine, also known as a CPAP machine. This therapy has been available for 30 years and is considered the ‘gold standard’ for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Here we take a look at what an apnea machine is and how it works.

WHAT IS AN APNEA MACHINE?

A CPAP machine is a small box that houses a motorised fan. The fan draws air from the room, pressurises it, and then delivers it back to you at a prescribed setting. The filter on the machine eliminates the intake of smoke, dust and impurities in the air, and a humidification chamber warms the water up to humidify the pressurised air before it’s delivered to you.

A hose also connects the mask you wear to the apnea machine. This tubing is heated to reduce the amount of condensation that collects inside while the humidifier is switched on. The mask and hose will wear out over time, so you’ll have to replace them on a regular basis.

HOW BIG IS A CPAP MACHINE?

These machines are generally compact and will easily sit on a nightstand. They’re also easy to clean and will last a long time if they’re cared for properly.

BUT HOW DOES CPAP WORK?

The CPAP machine was created to stop ‘pauses’ in your breathing from occurring. People with sleep apnea struggle to keep their airways open when they sleep, which leads to pauses in breathing that can deprive the bloodstream of oxygen if they occur often enough or consistently. Therefore, the pressurised air delivered by the apnea machine acts as a pneumatic splint, keeping the airway open and firm while providing the necessary support for the user to breathe freely.

HOW QUICKLY DOES IT WORK?

For some people, CPAP therapy works almost immediately, although most do take slightly longer to adjust. However, the more you use the machine, the sooner you’ll adapt to sleeping through the night wearing the mask.

GETTING STARTED WITH APNEA MACHINES

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea by a doctor, you’re ready to start using an apnea machine. To find out more, contact us at ApneaSeal today.

diabetes sleep apnea

CPAP MACHINES MAY BE THE ANSWER TO IMPROVED DIABETES SELF-MANAGEMENT

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common and serious breathing disorder caused by partial or complete obstruction of the airways during sleep for which the use of a CPAP machine is essential. OSA affects many people and can cause symptoms such as snoring, choking, dry mouth, sore throat, headaches, daytime fatigue, memory problems, concentration problems, irritability and depression. OSA can even cause long-term health consequences such as heart disease and stroke.

DIABETES AND OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA

According to Snore Australia, there is a very strong link between obstructive sleep apnea and diabetes with a 58%-86% prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in people with type 2 diabetes. This translates to a disturbing 900,000 or more diabetic Australians with OSA, many of whom will be undiagnosed.

Sleep apnea is shown to be associated with poor glucose control, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, increased risk of developing advanced retinopathy and lowered cognitive function.

NEW STUDY ON CPAP MACHINES FOR 2018

A team of researchers from the West Virginia University School of Medicine in the USA are set to commence a new study in the hope of better understanding whether the effective treatment of sleep apnea can improve a patient’s ability to self-manage their diabetes.

One hundred and twenty people will take part in the twelve-week study. Half of the participants will be treated with a CPAP machine and the other half with a machine that looks like a CPAP machine but does not provide any of the benefits.

Information sessions will be provided to educate the group on general diabetes self-management and blood sugar control with quizzes to gauge understanding and response. Activity levels and blood glucose levels will be monitored throughout.

HOW THE STUDY WILL HELP DIABETES AND OSA SUFFERERS

The results of this study will help to inform healthcare providers as to how they can best support those already diagnosed with sleep apnea to get the best use from their CPAP machines and whether screening is advisable for all diabetics and prediabetics.

This study could result in improved diabetes control simply from the proper use of a CPAP machine, improving patient health, well-being and long-term survival.

TESTING FOR OSA

If you have any of the symptoms of sleep apnea it would be wise to discuss it with your doctor as soon as possible, particularly if you have diabetes or prediabetes. If you discover you need to get kitted out with a CPAP mask, speak to us at ApneaSeal. We provide 3D custom-made CPAP masks so that you can find the fit that provides the optimum level of comfort while you sleep.

alarm clock on a nightstand

WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF A BAD NIGHT’S SLEEP

We’ve all been there. Hearing the alarm go off in the morning and groggily reaching for the phone, feeling like you’ve just gotten off to sleep in the last few minutes. The night was spent tossing and turning, unable to settle, or waking up seemingly every few minutes with no idea what’s happening. A bad night of sleep isn’t just annoying or disruptive to your daily life. It can also be damaging to your health and well-being.

MENTAL HEALTH IMPACT OF A BAD NIGHT’S SLEEP

Being tired can have common impacts like making you irritable and grumpy. However, a bad night’s sleep can also have far-reaching mental health outcomes too that can have a lasting and damaging effect on your health. Anxiety and sleep problems have a long association, and while we might not know if one is necessarily causing the other, they clearly have an influence on each other.

A bad night can also cause anxiety about sleep itself. One bad sleep can mean we get stressed about the next night’s sleep too, which in turn makes it that much harder to sleep properly again. This vicious cycle of anxiety and exhaustion is all too common.

Poor sleep also means that the brain cannot function properly. Sleep is the time where our brain gets a chance to refresh itself for the day ahead, as well as reflect on the day just gone. Interrupted sleep prevents the full benefits of that refreshment, so thinking with clarity, as well as problem-solving ability, are compromised. This can impact on our productivity during the day, making it harder to complete tasks and function coherently.

POOR SLEEP HAS PHYSICAL EFFECTS

A bad night of sleep compromises our body’s ability to repair and revitalise. People who haven’t slept well look drained, and it’s not just cosmetic. The body needs sleep, and without it, damage begins to accrue in the body’s essential systems. This leads to increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure problems, and risk of weight gain, among others.

A bad night could be a sign of sleep apnea, and if symptoms persist, you should consult a doctor. To learn more about the dangers of leaving Obstructive Sleep Apnea untreated, visit ApneaSeal.

microsleep

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MICROSLEEP

You probably already know that for optimum health you need 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Furthermore, you may already be aware of the fact that brief afternoon naps aid in keeping you fresh and increasing productivity. But are you aware of something known as microsleep? This is a grave sign of something more severe.

WHAT IS MICROSLEEP?

Microsleep is a brief period in which an individual loses consciousness and goes into a sleep-like state without warning. It usually lasts from between a fraction of a second to thirty seconds or more.

Signs and that someone is having microsleep include:

• Slow, frequent blinking
• Blank stare
• Dropping the head and jerking it back up again
• Not able to recall the last minute
• A sudden jerk of the body

THE CAUSES

Microsleep is caused by sleepiness mostly combined with repetitive, monotonous tasks such as watching TV or driving. The sleepier you feel, the more you are likely to experience it.

Microsleep indicates sleep deprivation as a result of a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. As a person suffering from sleep apnea, even when you get enough hours of sleep, you lack quality sleep that leads to a state of chronic deprivation. This is because sleep apnea is a condition in which the airways collapse thus blocking the supply of oxygen for short periods of time throughout the night. This causes interrupted and incomplete sleep which leads to microsleep.

THE EFFECTS

Microsleep can last for under a minute, but the consequences are fatal. The most significant dangers are when operating heavy machinery or driving since driving involves the safety of other drivers and pedestrians.

MANAGEMENT OF MICROSLEEP

When you notice that you have been microsleeping, then its time you visit a sleep specialist. The doctor will conduct a sleep study to reveal your sleep patterns and also perform other tests to identify if you have been microsleeping. If your microsleeping is as a result of sleep apnea, you will be given treatment options including the use of CPAP device.

It is possible to treat microsleeping using a CPAP machine. ApneaSeal is a company that makes custom 3D fitted masks for sleep apnea machines. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment and finally enjoy some quality sleep.

cpap machine

CPAP MACHINE TIPS – HELPING YOU GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are effective tools in ensuring a good night’s sleep for those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The machines on the market differ in size, quality and built-in functions, and all of them can take some getting used to. Here are some tips and useful information on CPAP machines to help you get a good night’s sleep:

CPAP HUMIDIFIERS

The air pressure produced by the CPAP machine can cause dryness or stuffiness in some people’s sinuses. These days, most machines are equipped with a heated humidifier feature to reduce stuffy dryness in the airways by increasing the moisture in the air being delivered.

GETTING TO SLEEP WITH CONTINUOUS AIR PRESSURE

A different air pressure to what you naturally experience can feel uncomfortable at first, and users of CPAP machines can find it difficult to exhale with the air stream. While the air pressure is something to get used to, some machines have a Sleep Onset Detection function, which means the heavier air pressure will only kick in once you are asleep, allowing you to comfortably drift off first.

AIR LEAKAGE

Air leaks means the air pressure, which the CPAP machine uses to keep your airways open, is lost. This causes a less or completely ineffective treatment and interrupts sleep. To overcome leaks, you need to ensure the seal between the mask and your face is not broken. Create a pressure seal by ensuring the mask fits snugly against your face.

NOISE COMING FROM THE CPAP MACHINE

All of the newer models of CPAP machines are virtually silent, and as such your machine shouldn’t keep you up at night with sound. If you do, however, here a noise coming from your machine when it is turned on, check to make sure the air filter is unblocked. It may need to be cleaned out, or the hose or mask may need clearing, which you can ask your healthcare professional about how to do thoroughly. If none of this helps, take your CPAP machine to your supplier to have it checked to ensure it’s in working order.

Alternatively, you may find a custom-fit mask is what you’re looking for, in which case ApneaSeal would be happy to help.

cpap mask

CPAP MASK FAQS

If you have finally made a step to get checked because of loud snoring and have received a proper diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, congratulations! You will now sleep better at night and also lessen your chances of developing brain damage and other severe diseases. However, you may now have many questions on how to get the best CPAP mask.

WHICH CPAP MASK IS SUITABLE FOR ME IF I MOVE A LOT WHILE SLEEPING?

If you move a lot while asleep, you should get a full-face CPAP mask. It has sturdy headgear and extra straps that stay tightly in place while you sleep. However, a nasal pillow CPAP mask can be a great alternative if a full face CPAP mask makes you claustrophobic or uncomfortable. It has a smaller surface area compared to the full face CPAP mask, and it stays in place even after you turn and toss.

ARE THERE CPAP DEVICES THAT HAVE NO MASKS?

If bearing the claustrophobic sensation of a partial or full mask is difficult for you, you can get a no mask CPAP device. They are pain-free, durable, lightweight and easy to use.

WHICH CPAP MASK SHOULD I GET IF I MOSTLY BREATHE THROUGH MY MOUTH?

It is essential to understand your breathing pattern to be able to get the best CPAP device. Breathing pattern describes the exhalation and inhalation through your mouth, nose or a combination of both. If you breathe through the mouth, a full face CPAP mask is the best option for you. It will cover both your mouth and nose to ensure that the CPAP is effective.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE CPAP MASK DOESN’T FIT ME WELL?

An ill-fitting CPAP mask is likely to harm your well-being. You may likely develop some CPAP associated issues such as dry or irritated eyes, a dry or sore throat, nasal congestion, abdominal bloating and frequent sneezing.

Remember that you have several options when it comes to CPAP masks. You do not need to have a mask with lots of straps and support to avoid all these issues. There are CPAP masks that do not have headgear but are firm and binding and can work for you. A 3D fitted mask is the most comfortable mask on the market since it fits well and will help avoid complications that come with ill-fitted masks.

If you have been suffering from sleep apnea and you suspect your mask is not the right fit for you, then perhaps it’s time to get a custom 3D fitted mask. Contact us at ApneaSeal today and put all your sleeping problems behind you.

sleep apnea

SLEEP APNEA: WHY IS SLEEP SO IMPORTANT?

Sleep is important, it is a universal truth, but many people are unaware just how integral it is to the human body. Even small, regular disturbances from disorders such as sleep apnea, snoring and teeth grinding can cause lasting physiological issues. During sleep, the body’s metabolic rate drops, energy is conserved, and important maintenance takes place in the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. This regular upkeep helps maintain hormone balances, boosts the immune system and ensures the brain replenishes its store of chemicals responsible for the storage of short-term memories.

The Sleep Health Foundation recommends a healthy adult should sleep seven to nine hours a night to allow the body to undertake its natural repair process. According to the same study, a loss of even just one to two hours of rest in a night can create a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and mental health issues.

STRUGGLING WITH SLEEP APNEA

Aside from poor sleep hygiene, such as not maintaining a consistent sleep pattern, one of the leading causes of sleep loss is sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea, a partial or complete blocking of the throat which causes breathing to stop anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute or more, lowers the blood oxygen level and briefly interrupts the sleep cycle. With episodes occurring frequently, even as often as hundreds of times in one 7 – 9 hour period, many quality hours of sleep can be disrupted. Patients with sleep apnea may often be unaware of their breathing issues, however, being aware of early warning signs such as irritability, night waking and un-refreshing sleep can help with detection.

Fortunately for those with conditions like sleep apnea, the symptoms can be lessened with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. The machine delivers a stream of compressed air preventing obstructions in combination with a CPAP mask which is fitted over the mouth, nose or both.

Thankfully, with the use of a CPAP machine most patients can experience reduced disruption and a resumption of normal sleep. Given just how important sleep is to the human body, this is great news for sufferers.

To find out more about the risks involved with lack of sleep, or if you’re simply seeking a comfortable fit, visit ApneaSeal.