Snoring And Apnoea Blog

The Importance of Humidification and Sleep Health

Posted on Wed, Jan 03, 2018

icon_auto_plus_bedside_zpssndirpyo.jpgHumidification plays an important role in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Under normal circumstances, our airway needs enough humidity in order to function properly. Most especially if you are undergoing nasal CPAP therapy. The airway humidity drops to a certain point of around 30%. With this the nose makes its own moisture, thus producing nasal congestion. 

So what are the benefits of using a humidifier with your CPAP Therapy?

As mentioned above, using a humidifier with your therapy can reduce dryness and congestion of the airway, thus improving comfort. It is because the airflow generated by CPAP machine often exceeds to what your body is accustomed to humidifying on its own. So, with proper humidification, you can reduce common symptoms like nasal congestion and dry throat. The use of humidifiers reduces these symptoms by adding moisture and warmth to the air delivered by CPAP devices.

It is also necessary to maintain the humidity in its right level to avoid excess condensation in the tubing and mask caused by too much humidification.

Now, the challenge is to find the accurate setting for your humidifier. Luckily, there are humidifiers available today that has automatic setting which can easily adjust with the room humidity.

You may have the best CPAP machine with accurate settings and your preferred mask, yet when humidification setting is not just right it can blow everything.

Tags: CPAP, humidifier

CPAP Treatment More Comfortable Than Ever

Posted on Fri, Nov 18, 2011

CPAP treatment is considered the 'gold standard' for the treatment of serious sleep disordered breathing (SDB) conditions, such as moderate to severe sleep apnoea. 

Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by patients and CPAP treatment providers is that the CPAP mask and connnected tubing can be uncomfortable to sleep with, leading to low 'compliance' rates.  That is, the patient wears the CPAP system for only a short period each night or, worse still, stops wearing the equipment entirely. 

This, of course, means the patient's apnoea goes completely untreated.

CPAP treatment set to become more comfortable

But there may be some good news in store.  A recent press release from Circadiance, an American manufacturer of respiratory products for people with sleep disordered breathing conditions, states that the company is introducing a CPAP mask tube "so lightweight and flexible, that CPAP users will hardly know it's there".

CPAP treatment is highly effective, but many
patients find it uncomfortable.  New masks and tubing materials may solve this problem

According to the release, the new SleepWeaver Feather Weight Tube is a 15-millimeter hose composed of revolutionary, lightweight material that reduces the weight at the mask connection point.  The manufacturers claim this makes the hose less likely to pull and disrupt the seal. The new tube also extends the hose length by 1.5 feet.

Ron Mahofski, the Director of Engineering at Circadience said "Our new hose is lighter and more flexible than standard CPAP hoses.  It also includes smaller lightweight connectors, which reduce the pull between the hose and the mask."

Also, unlike many other CPAP hoses, the SleepWeaver Feather Weight Tube claims to have  the ability to stretch, providing a more forgiving connection to CPAP devices. It can also be used as a quick release.

"These features give users the full benefit of CPAP therapy so they can enjoy a deep, restorative sleep," says Mahofski.

Launching in November 2011, the new tube is designed to fit any CPAP mask with a 22-millimeter connection.  Further information can be found at http://www.circadiance.com.

CPAP treatment is advancing in leaps and bounds, with better pumps, masks, tubing, humidification systems and other accessories coming on to the market each day.  If you found this post interesting, please leave a comment or share the information by hitting the buttons above the article.

Tags: CPAP, CPAP treatment, cpap tubing, cpap masks

CPAP Benefits - According To A Patient

Posted on Fri, Nov 04, 2011

       I was talking to Robyn yesterday when she rang me to check on how I am going with my CPAP therapy. Firstly I must say Robyn has been wonderful with me and I think if it wasn't  for the excellent way she introduced to CPAP and followed up on how I was proceeding, I may not have proceeded with the therapy so well. Thanks Robyn.

       I now have been using CPAP for over four months now and my life has turned around. I will give you a brief outline of the changes since the start. Due to the nature of my work in mining I do a lot of driving between jobs sites and did experience micro sleeps on more then one occasion, this is the main reason I decided to try CPAP. The micro sleeps were becoming more common and I knew this plus long distances would leave most likly to a bad ending.  Also at meetings  I was acturaly falling a sleep. My snoring drove my wife mad and she often moved rooms because of it. I also found that as my sleep deprivation increased my consumption of food on trips increased to fight off the urge to nod off, this lead to a big weight gain. So since CPAP weight is coming off, driving long trips is so much saver and not as stressful, I do not even feel tired at meetings, My wife and family life is much better, so you can see it was probably the best 3k I have spent or as I say invested.

       It has become almost second nature to me using CPAP, actuality I would find it strange to go to sleep without this aid now, the CPAP machine goes with me everywhere and I have not had bad nights sleep in months.  If you wish to use me as a referee on the benefits of CPAP, feel free to contact me or use this as a written acknowledgement of the success of this great invention and treatment.

 

Regards

Mort Philp.

Tags: CPAP, customer feedback, testimonial

Patient Feedback On CPAP

Posted on Tue, Aug 23, 2011


It was a delight to receive the following message from Carl Villari today.  Carl has been suffering from sleep apnoea over the past few years and we've been involved in his treatment over that time.  For people wondering whether they should do something about their own or a loved one's sleep disorder, read this:

"After many years of feeling tired all the time and keeping my partner awake with my snoring, I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in 2005. I purchased a mouth-guard device through the Sleep Therapy Clinic.

Although this device assisted with my condition, my partner still complained that I was snoring at various times, and I still felt tired during the day.

In 2010, under the guidance of Robyn Fowler at the Sleep Therapy Clinic, I decided to upgrade to a CPAP machine.  This was great advice, as ever since I started using the CPAP machine, I don’t snore at all when I am wearing it, and I feel much healthier and full of energy. My relationship with my partner has improved, as she no longer feels the urge to kick me during the night! She sleeps much better without me interrupting her with my snoring. Also, we travel together quite frequently, and the machine is very mobile and easy to take with us in its purpose-built travel case.

Over the past 18 months, any time I have had queries or issues with my machine, Robyn has provided fantastic follow up service with prompt and reliable information provided with a smile. She has also gone the extra mile on a number of occasions, by hand delivering a temporary machine for my use whilst my machine was getting serviced, and analyzing the results of my sleeping patterns on a regular basis.

Overall, now that I have the CPAP in my life, I couldn’t live without it (or Robyn!!!)"


Thanks, Carl, for taking the time to write -- and thanks for giving us your approval to show your comments to other patients and potential patients.

Tags: CPAP, Patient feedback on CPAP

CPAP Or Dental Treatment For Apnoea And Snoring?

Posted on Fri, Jun 10, 2011

One of the most common questions we hear is “Which is better?  Constant Positive Airway Pressurisation or Oral Appliance Therapy?”   (Oral appliance therapy, or ‘OAT’ is the technical name for dental treatments for snoring and sleep apnoea).

As with most things, the simple answer isn’t all that simple.  Most practitioners agree that CPAP is the ‘gold standard’ treatment for sleep disordered breathing conditions, because the nature of the treatment (i.e., gentle inflation of the airway to hold the airway walls apart) virtually ensures the treatment will be effective. 

This is the case, no matter how severe the SDB condition is — which is why the Academy of Sleep Medicine proposes CPAP for all cases of ‘severe’ sleep apnoea.  OAT is endorsed only for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea.

And while we agree with this absolutely, we’ve found this is only a guideline for a number of reasons…

First, because CPAP (like any treatment) is only effective if and when it’s being used.  If the patient can’t or won’t comply with the treatment (i.e., wear the mask etc while asleep) then obviously they will get no benefit from CPAP treatment.  In cases like this, oral appliance therapy can be an excellent alternative.

In most the cases OAT will NOT achieve the same degree of improvement as CPAP … but properly fitted appliances are still capable of achieving clinically significant improvements. 

Indeed, we’ve seen many cases where the patient went from sleeping with CPAP for only 4 hours per night to sleeping with their oral appliance for 8 hours per night.  So, even though the improvement was not as great, the longer period of use was more than enough to compensate.

But having said severe apnoea sufferers can sometimes be successfully treated with OAT, it’s important to note that the opposite also applies.  Sometimes even simple snorers cannot be successfully treated via oral appliance therapy.  This is typically due to structural abnormalities in the nasal passage, upper airway or oral cavity.  Surgery may be necessary to correct these issues — or the patient may choose to wear CPAP, even though the severity of their sleep disorder does not typically call for this form of treatment.

The bottom line is, you need whichever treatment is best for you — and the best treatment is the one which is effective AND tolerable.  That’s why it is so important to arrange your treatment through a practice which offers a full range of treatment options.

For more information about CPAP or oral appliance therapy, call The Sleep Therapy Clinics today on 1300 246 637 for a free, no obligation discussion of your options -- or ask a question via our contact form here.  

Tags: CPAP, OAT, dental treatment for apnoea, dental treatment for snoring, oral appliance therapy

CPAP or Oral Appliance Therapy?

Posted on Fri, Feb 25, 2011

One of the most common questions we hear is “Which is better?  Constant Positive Airway Pressurisation or Oral Appliance Therapy?”   (Oral appliance therapy, or ‘OAT’ is the technical name for dental treatments for snoring and sleep apnoea).

As with most things, the simple answer isn’t all that simple.  Most practitioners agree that CPAP is the ‘gold standard’ treatment for sleep disordered breathing conditions, because the nature of the treatment (i.e., gentle inflation of the airway to hold the airway walls apart) virtually guarantees the treatment will be effective. 

This is the case, no matter how severe the SDB condition is — which is why the Academy of Sleep Medicine proposes CPAP for all cases of ‘severe’ sleep apnoea.  OAT is endorsed only for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea.

And while we agree with this absolutely, we’ve found this is only a guideline for a number of reasons…

First, because CPAP (like any treatment) is only effective if and when it’s being used.  If the patient can’t or won’t comply with the treatment (i.e., wear the mask etc while asleep) then obviously they will get no benefit from CPAP treatment.  In cases like this, oral appliance therapy can be an excellent alternative.

In most the cases OAT will NOT achieve the same degree of improvement as CPAP … but properly fitted appliances are still capable of achieving clinically significant improvements. 

Indeed, we’ve seen many cases where the patient went from sleeping with CPAP for only 4 hours per night to sleeping with their oral appliance for 8 hours per night.  So, even though the reduction in the patient's AHI (apnoea / hypopnoea index) was not as great, the longer period of use was more than enough to compensate.

Having said severe apnoea sufferers can sometimes be successfully treated with OAT, it’s important to note that the opposite also applies.  Sometimes even simple snorers cannot be successfully treated via oral appliance therapy.  This is typically due to structural abnormalities in the nasal passage, upper airway or oral cavity.  Surgery may be necessary to correct these issues — or the patient may choose to wear CPAP, even though the severity of their sleep disorder does not typically call for this form of treatment.

The bottom line is, you need whichever treatment is best for you — and the best treatment is the one which is effective AND tolerable.  That’s why it is so important to arrange your treatment through a practice which offers a full range of treatment options. 

For information on how The Sleep Therapy Clinics can help with CPAP, OAT or surgical intervention, call 1300 246 637 now or send us an email via the 'Contact Us' page. 

Tags: CPAP, OAT, best treatment for snoring, best treatment, best treatment for apnoea

CPAP Success Rate

Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2010

CPAP is the 'gold standard' for the treatment of severe conditions ... but it's not the only option.What is the success rate of CPAP?

CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressurisation) is the ‘gold standard’ treatment for severe sleep disordered breathing conditions.   This is the form of treatment recommended by The Academy of Sleep Medicine and all leading sleep physicians when patients suffer from conditions such as severe obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). 

CPAP works by gently pushing air into the patient’s airway.  This is achieved by a small and very quiet air pump, connected to a comfortable mask which the patient wears while asleep.   Contrary to common perception, the CPAP system does not ‘breathe’ for the patient.  Instead, the pressurised air simply acts as an ‘air splint’.  That is, the pressurised air is sufficient to gently ‘inflate’ the soft tissue of the upper airway, thus keeping the walls of the airway apart.  It’s a bit like blowing enough air into a long balloon to make the balloon stand erect.  While the walls are held apart, air can move in and out without obstruction.  Without the air pressure holding the walls apart, you can imagine how difficult it would be to inhale through the collapsed walls of the balloon.  This is effectively what happens with obstructive sleep apnoea.  The soft issue of the upper airway collapses onto itself, blocking the flow of air. 

The success rate of CPAP is very high because it resolves this problem by maintaining enough pressure in the upper airway to hold the soft tissues apart.  In general terms it is 100% effective … yet the treatment is NOT always successful. 

That’s because of the ‘compliance’ issue.  In other words, the CPAP success rate is ultimately determined by the patient's preparedness to use it, and some patients simply cannot or will not comply with or tolerate the treatment.  They find the mask too uncomfortable, or intrusive, or indiscreet, or claustrophobic … or something else.  For whatever reason, a significant proportion of patients do not continue with this highly effective form of treatment, and so do not experience and enjoy the profound benefits of successful treatment.

According to some studies, the ‘compliance rate’ is as low as 40% — which obviously means 6 out of every 10 patients are left untreated.  Worse still, many of these patients have invested in a CPAP machine, which then does nothing more than gather dust.

At The Sleep Therapy Clinic we’ve done a few things to resolve this problem.

First, we don’t simply ‘fill a prescription’.  In other words, unlike mere CPAP merchants, we don’t simply sell a CPAP machine and the relevant fittings to patients when they come in with their prescription from the sleep lab / sleep physician.

Instead, we walk and talk each patient through an extended period (typically 5 weeks) of trialling and adjusting to ensure the optimum choice of machine and accessories, and to ensure the patient is fully comfortable with the treatment.  As with most things, CPAP takes a little while to get used to.  (Even a new pillow or mattress feels uncomfortable and unnatural for the first little while.) 

But with one of our CPAP Therapists holding your hand through this early period and helping you choose the best type of mask, strapping, CPAP machine, humidification system, tubing, etc, etc, etc … it becomes much more likely (in fact almost certain) you’ll become fully familiar and comfortable with the treatment by the end of the trial period.

In fact, patients of Sleep Therapy Clinics have a 91% compliance rate — which has been recognised as the best result in all of Queensland. 

The OTHER thing we do to ensure patients get effective treatment for their sleep disordered breathing … is offer a range of treatments.   Unlike other organisations which treat SDB as a ‘sideline’ to a standard medical or dental practice, our clinic focuses exclusively on the treatment of these conditions.  That means we can offer alternatives (such as oral appliance therapy or even surgery) if CPAP is not successful or appropriate.  (Less severe sleep disordered breathing conditions such as snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea can often be successfully treated with these other forms of treatment.)

Our range of treatments also means you can be confident of getting the best treatment – because we don’t have a vested interest in promoting one form of treatment over the other.  Our objective is simply to achieve the best possible result for you, so we’ll use whichever form of treatment delivers that result.

If you’d like more information about how CPAP success rates and how The Sleep Therapy Clinic can treat your snoring or sleep apnoea with CPAP, oral appliance therapy or surgical intervention, visit www.SleepTherapyClinic.com or call 1300 246 637,

Tags: CPAP, CPAP treatment, CPAP effectiveness, CPAP success rate