Sleep apnea: Do you have it?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder in which your breathing is repeatedly obstructed or restricted fully or partially for periods of 10 seconds or longer while you sleep. Although millions of people have sleep apnea, most don’t know it because the symptoms happen while they’re sleeping.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the brain sends the signal to the muscles and the muscles make an effort to take a breath, but they are unsuccessful because the airway is blocked and prevents a good flow of air.

Sometimes the bed partner or a family member of a person with sleep apnea will tell them that they snore. While snoring is a good indicator of obstructive sleep apnea, there are other symptoms they should also be aware of.
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Care and Maintenance of Your CPAP Machine

It's important to keep your CPAP mask and equipment clean and well maintained.

It’s important to keep your CPAP mask and equipment clean and well maintained.

Do you have a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine? If so, you’ll want to make sure that it’s properly cleaned and maintained. Doing so is important for the life of the equipment—and for your health. If your equipment is not properly cleaned and dried, bacteria can build up and lead to infection. In addition, the oils in your skin can cause premature breakdown in the materials that were used to manufacture your CPAP equipment, especially your mask. Here are a few guidelines.

Daily

  • Replace the water in your heated humidifier with fresh distilled water, which is less likely to deposit minerals inside the water chamber.
  • Clean the outside of the mask cushion with a soapy washcloth to remove any facial oil that may accumulate. Rinse off the soap residue from the cushion.

Weekly

  • Wash mask and headgear, tubing and water chamber in warm soapy water. The mask and headgear do not have to be separated.
  • Soak the humidifier chamber with a vinegar and water soak for 20 minutes. Use white distilled vinegar in a 1:10 ratio with water.
  • Wash the black or gray washable filter (color depends on manufacturer), rinsing well with water and air dry.

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7 Tips For Proper Use of Your CPAP Machine

CPAP machineMore than 28 million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is usually treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. That means there are a lot of CPAP machines out there. As with any machine, there can be problems. Here are a few tips to make sure that you and your CPAP machine get along well.

  1. Leaking mask

If the CPAP mask begins to leak during the night, pull the mask gently forward to allow the mask cushion to reset, and then allow the mask to settle on your face.

  1. Dry, stuffy nose

If you are experiencing a stuffy nose:

  • Increase the heat setting on your CPAP heated humidifier.
  • Use saline nasal spray or mist before going to bed to help moisten nasal passages.
  • Contact your physician if nasal dryness or stuffiness persists.

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