One of the first sleep apnea mask problems that I want to talk about is dry mouth. If you wake with a dry mouth, chances are that you sleep with your mouth open – don’t worry, a lot of CPAP users do this. CPAP therapy can cause slight dry mouth on it’s own, but if you sleep with your mouth wide open, the problem can be seriously exacerbated.
There are only two primary solutions to dry mouth 1) use some method to keep your mouth closed at night and/or 2) use a full face mask with maximum humidity and other solutions to keep your mouth and tongue from drying out.
Keeping Your Mouth Closed During The Night
One solution that has worked for many CPAP users is to use surgical tape. Try 3″ 3M Micropore tape with one piece directly across your mouth and two more pieces from the jaw to the cheeks on either side of the mouth. The pieces on either side of your mouth help keep the tape over your mouth in place during the night.
You can also try using a chin strap – they work best with nasal masks, but can be made to work with full face masks as well, but if your mouth is not open at night, you do not need a mask that covers it.
We recommend the Philips Respironics Premium Universal Chin Strap
In some cases, dry mouth can be directly, or indirectly related to your pressure setting being too high, but hopefully your settings have already been optimized.
Humidification and Other Methods for Keeping Your Mouth and Tongue from Drying Out
Make sure you use as heated humidifier with your CPAP. Most sleep doctors believe that everyone can benefit from heated humidification, especially those with mid to high range pressures, so hopefully you already have a heated humidifier.
You can also use Biotene products for dry mouth which include mouth sprays and gels, the gel seems to be most effective. Some patients have reported success using Xylimelts tablets in their mouth prior to sleeping with their CPAP. Please check with your doctor first about using Xylimelts.
Sleep Apnea Mask Problems: #2 Mask Leak
Leaking or poor mask seal is the most common issue that CPAP users have to deal with. Not only is mask leak annoying, but a heavy leak may exceed your CPAPs ability to maintain the prescribed pressure and have a negative impact on your therapy.
The silicone of a CPAP seal is very soft and it can crease if you over tighten it or when the mask moves around. The first tendency for most people when presented with a leak is to tighten the straps more – this not only caused pain and discomfort, but also makes the problem worse. CPAP masks are designed to gently sit on your face without needing to be applied tightly.
Masks can be very durable, but they aren’t designed to last forever. Periodically check your cushions for tears, or changes in texture and flexibility which can cause increased leaking. Replace them when necessary. Similarly, if your mask frame is worn or damaged, and/or your headgear is stretched out of shape, you will need to replace them.
MaskMate helps with a lot of sleep apnea mask problems. You simply apply MaskMate to your mask to STOP air leaks, whether its facial hair, smile lines, skin wrinkles, or any other issue that is making your mask leak, this will stop the leaks. It also helps to alleviate many of the other problems associated with your sleep apnea mask.
MaskMate Provides a Long List of Benefits:
- Significantly Reduces Air Leaks
- Stops Annoying CPAP Mask Noises
- Improves Compliance and Increases CPAP Mask Comfort
- Helps to Restore Smooth and Healthy Skin
- Allows Users To Loosen Their Mask Headgear Without Compromising the Mask Seal
- Comfortably Holds Mask in Place
- Works Well With a Beard or Mustache
- FDA Approved
- Won’t Degrade Mask
Sleep Apnea Mask Problems: #3 Marks and Redness from the Mask
Getting a rash or redness from your mask? It could be you are wearing it too tight, not cleaning it well enough or it may be wearing out.
Even the very best mask out there may cause skin irritation when it’s getting close to the end of its life span. When you are wearing your mask every night, it will eventually wear out. Plus, when the cushion part of the mask degrades, its flexibility decreases, which increases the risk of leaks.
It’s a good idea to replace your mask every six months. You also need to replace the headgear, tubing and humidifier chamber, as well as the air intake filter, which is the small sponge in the back of your CPAP machine. When this sponge becomes clogged with dust, it reduces the uptake of air into the CPAP machine, which in turn can cause you to feel a reduced airflow and may cause the unit to overheat.
This, of course, will also negatively impact the benefits of your CPAP therapy. Most health insurances will allow for CPAP equipment to be replaced every six months, so do it. Be sure to ask your therapy provider if you are unsure.
More than 25 million people in the United States have sleep apnea, which interrupts a person’s breathing while they sleep.
Sleep apnea has been linked to increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
However all the health risk of untreated sleep apnea isn’t all physical. There have also been studies that suggest if sleep apnea isn’t properly treated, it can increase the risk of depression.
In an interview with FOX 17, Dr. Daniel Herrick, a sleep medicine physician with Spectrum Health Medical Group, talked about the connection between sleep apnea and sleep depression.
Symptoms of depression are extremely common in people who have obstructive sleep apnea. One study suggests that as much as 73 percent of people with sleep apnea also suffer with depression.
People who suffer from sleep apnea related depression will have all the symptoms of sleep apnea like snoring, gasping, stopping breathing, and feeling tired or having little energy. However, they’ll also have symptoms that come with depression such as feelings of hopelessness, feeling like a failure, loss of appetite, irritability, restless sleep and excessive sleepiness.
The best way to treat sleep apnea is to talk with a health care provider, and get tested for the appropriate treatments.
The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Depression
Americans with undiagnosed sleep apnea cost the nation almost $150 billion every year in lost productivity, as well as car and workplace accidents, according to a recent study released by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
Obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep-related breathing disorder, is estimated to affect 12% of the U.S. population.
The study found that in addition to the $150 billion annual economic cost, which includes $86.9 billion in lost productivity, $26.2 billion in motor vehicle accidents and $6.5 billion in workplace accidents, the AASM estimates another $30 billion is spent on increased health care and medication for related diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and depression, a news release from the organization says.
Conversely, the AASM calculated that treating everyone in the United States who has sleep apnea would lead to an annual $100 billion in savings.
“Patients often report that they feel like a new person after treatment,” says Ronald Chervin, AASM president. “Restoring healthy sleep is essential for optimal health.”
The Economic Cost of Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea in the U.S.
BROOMFIELD, Colorado June 25th, 2016 – TotalCare eHealth announced today that it has completed the development of it’s Sleep Apnea Continuum of Care Program and launched it’s first primary care pilot location. The program improves the efficiency and effectiveness of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) screening, diagnosis, and therapy for patients and their healthcare providers. TotalCare is the first to provide a single, digitally-connected patient experience throughout the complete continuum of care. The TotalCare eHealth platform combines outcomes-based patient management protocols and a proprietary ‘eHealth operating system’ to increase patient engagement, improve outcomes, and reduce cost.
“We’re very excited to launch our OSA continuum program in our first primary care pilot location, South Pointe Clinics in Lafayette, Colorado” says Doug Hudiburg, CEO of TotalCare eHealth, a Broomfield Colorado startup technology company. “We’ve always known that the key to effective sleep apnea management is at the primary point of care and we are thrilled to have an enthusiastic partner in this pilot. South Pointe understands the importance of reaching the un-diagnosed sleep apnea population within their current patient population and within their community in general.”
There are approximately 40 million sufferers of sleep apnea in the United States (about 20% of the adult population). People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. When the brain detects a lack of oxygen, it rouses the sleeper, usually only partially, to signal breathing to resume. As a result of restricted breathing, the sleep apnea sufferer’s blood oxygen dips below healthy levels with enough frequency to impact the health of their heart and other vital organs. Also, sleep apnea causes extremely fragmented and poor quality sleep. Untreated sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, obesity and stroke.
The vast majority (approximately 75%) of sleep apnea sufferers remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated. Sleep apnea is most commonly treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, or Oral Appliance Therapy.
“As a new owner of a community primary care clinic, as well as a practitioner, I know that 30% or more of my adult patients are likely to suffer from sleep apnea. With the TotalCare sleep apnea continuum of care program we can screen every adult patient, manage consultations and evaluations efficiently, provide quick access to low-cost home sleep testing, and easily prescribe the appropriate therapy for patients who test positive for sleep apnea.” Says John Hundley, PA-C, owner of South Pointe Clinics.
The goals of the TotalCare Sleep Apnea Continuum of Care program are as follows:
- Digitally-connect patient, physician, diagnostics provider, and sleep apnea therapy provider under one HIPAA, HI-TECH, and MARS-E compliant continuum of care
- Improve key outcomes: hospital re-admissions, patient satisfaction, physician & provider ratings, profit per patient, and others
- Reduce ‘net cost’ and ‘time to therapy’ for patients with OSA
- Improve OSA continuum of care and maximize patient adherence to therapy
- Collect usage and outcomes data and provide summary and detail reporting
- Ensure effective follow-up, patient communications, and support with participating providers
For more information about TotalCare eHealth and the TotalCare Sleep Apnea Continuum of care program, visit https://TotalCareEHealth.com
If you have a sleep issue, or think you may be suffering from a sleep disorder, visit https://totalcareehealth.com/sha for a free sleep health assessment.
South Pointe Clinics
South Pointe Clinics is a multi-specialty primary care clinic in Lafayette, Colorado. South Pointe serves their community with a variety of healthcare services including family practice, walk-in urgent care, occupational health and certified physicals, chiropractic, physical therapy and holistic health. South Pointe’s experienced providers have expertise in a wide range of medical treatments.
‘South Point Clinics’ is a trademark of South Pointe Clinics.
South Pointe Clinics
380 Empire Rd #120
Lafayette, CO 80026
Tel: (303) 665-8444
Fax: (303) 665-8448
Lisa DuBord, Clinic Manager
TotalCare eHealth is a technology-based healthcare company that is focused on improving healthcare in the United States through a patient-centered approach. The first commercial implementation of the TotalCare platform is the TotalCare sleep apnea continuum of care program. The company is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado with a growing network of therapy providers and clinicians throughout the US.
‘TotalCare eHealth’ is trademark of TotalCare eHealth.
3001 Industrial Lane, Unit 4
Broomfield, CO 80020
Doug Hudiburg, CEO
#cpap #sleepapnea #sleep #healthcaretechnology #digitalhealth #primarycare
Sleep Apnea Continuum of Care Program from TotalCare eHealth Launches into First Primary Care Pilot
It’s fairly well known that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is common in adults. What many of us don’t know is that it’s also is becoming a big problem world-wide for children.
How does childhood sleep apnea occur?
The main reason why more kids are getting diagnosed with childhood sleep apnea because are kids are getting fatter. An obese child is 4-5 times more likely to have breathing-related sleep problems than a non-obese child.
The other major cause of sleep apnea in kids is big tonsils and adenoids. These days, most tonsillectomies in kids are done for OSA.
The remaining cases of childhood sleep apnea occur as a result of congenital syndromes, such as Down Syndrome, that result in noses and throats that don’t work like they should. A fair number of kids with chronic nasal congestion from allergies get childhood sleep apnea as well.
Diagnosing childhood sleep apnea
Diagnosis happens the same way as with adults, with the overnight sleep study, also known as polysomnography. It’s important to make sure that the child really has the problem, and not merely “simple snoring”.
The criteria for making the diagnosis in a child are different than in an adult. In children, it’s important to pay attention to inadequate breathing (hypopnea) in addition to obstructions. This is because hypopnea can lead to the same consequences as obstruction.
Because so much childhood sleep apnea is related to obesity, weight loss programs are effective, and can forestall the need for surgery.
If weight loss is not an immediate option, tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy is the treatment of choice.
For allergy sufferers whose OSA appears to be caused by their stuffy noses, steroid nasal sprays appear to help. Many varieties are available over-the-counter in the US.