Choose the Right CPAP Cleaner for You!

Abbie Siegel

 

Everyone understands the importance of using clean CPAP supplies, but does everyone recognize the amount of effort it takes to keep them clean?! 

How many times have you washed a headgear only to have it still be wet by the time you go to bed? 

How many times have you gone to refill your water chamber in your humidifier and thought the smell was tolerable?

How many times has the tubing fallen off the hanger or towel rack you had it on, so you don’t know if all the water dried?

Imagine those frustrations – gone! The CPAP cleaners we promote offer the peace-of-mind sanitizing that you’ve been looking for. 

CPAP cleaners completely sanitize your most important CPAP accessories, including: your mask, headgear, tubing, and water chamber. The best CPAP cleaners and the most popular on the market today use activated oxygen or ultraviolet light instead of water or harsh chemicals, and destroy bacteria, viruses, and mold. Our four favorite CPAP sanitizer machines are the Lumin, SoClean 2, Zoey, and Sleep8.

So, which one is right for you?

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Find the Right App!

Abbie Siegel
That’s right, technology has done it again. For those of you that are using smartphones, we have the apps for you.

Patient Hub App

You can now communicate directly with us here at Nationwide Medical Inc. using our patient mobile FREE application. By installing this app, you will be able to do the following:

  • Ask our team any questions through the app
  • Send pictures of your equipment or supplies if you are unsure of how to describe your concern
  • Update insurance information
  • Update billing address, delivery address, email, phone and emergency contact
  • Send questions regarding bills
  • Receive shipment tracking numbers
  • To register online, go to https://hmepatienthub.com/nation

 

DreamMapper App by Respironics- For all Respironics CPAP machines

  • Stay informed about mask fit and therapy hours
  • Keep connected to us by sending data records to your care team
  • Set goals and allow yourself to track your progress
  • Learn more! Videos and guides are available at your disposable to learn more about your sleep therapy and how to get the most out of your equipment
  • https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sleepmapper/id530569351

 

MyAir App by Resmed- For all Resmed CPAP machines

  • Wake up to results and scores tracked by myAir
  • Sleep data tracking allows you to get the detailed metrics of your sleep schedule and ways to improve
  • Coaching tips are a useful tool to keep you motivated by celebrating milestone accomplishments with encouraging messages
  • To register online, go to https://myair.resmed.com/CountrySelection.aspx?redirectPage=0

 

Useful Tips

 

As always, if you have any questions regarding your equipment or health, reach out and speak to an expert.
(877) 307-2727

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Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19 and Your CPAP.

Abbie Siegel
The health and safety of our patients is our top priority.  
Here is our response to the outbreak of the coronavirus, and our recommendations.

 

Our response

Patient Support:

  • We are committed to providing our patients with the care that they need during this crucial time of demand and are remaining open for business.
  • We are proactively working with our suppliers to ensure that we have the necessary quantities of the products you need available and in stock.
  • We are currently offering flexible payment plans and 60-day payment extensions for those who are struggling financially during these challenging times.

Employee Support:

  • We have not furloughed any employees, and still have positions open for hiring.
  • We have temporarily suspended the option to pick-up equipment from our storefront location to limit physical contact, and swiftly transitioned the majority of our employees to a work-from-home model.
  • For the limited amount of essential personnel on site, we installed additional sanitation stations and antibacterial hand-dispensers. We immediately increased our janitorial services so that our workspace is deeply cleaned on a daily basis.

Community Support:

  • We quickly acquired ventilators and provided them to our local hospitals.
  • After learning of a local hospital’s dire need of resources and that their employees were forced to re-use their N95 masks, we donated a UV Cleaner and Sanitizer to completely disinfect their items before and after each shift.
  • Upon learning that local Respiratory Therapists working in surrounding nursing homes were doing so without proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) we donated and delivered masks to be utilized.

 

Our recommendations

“It is vitally important to keep everything as clean as possible, as hoses/tubing and masks can be a prime breeding ground for bacteria and mold,” said Phoebe Ochman, director of Communications for Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America.

Cleaning Instructions:

  • Add warm water to a bathtub or sink.
  • Mix in a mild soap. Some patients prefer baby soap, the Neutralizing Pre-Wash by SoClean, or a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar.
  • Swirl around for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
  • Leave all items to hang/air dry. Be sure to dry the chamber as much as possible with a paper towel or cloth, and then leave it out to air dry the rest of the way.
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces like nightstands, doorknobs, and light switches daily with a disposable wipe or a cloth and an EPA approved disinfectant.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the restroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not readily available for handwashing, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.

Critical Humidifier Water Chamber Tips:

  • Do not use bleach or other harsh chemicals.
  • Empty unused humidifier water daily and refill nightly.
  • Distilled water is recommended for your water chamber to prevent scaling or build-up from hard minerals. No access to distilled water? Try bottled water, filtered water, or if you must, tap water.
  • If continued use of non-distilled water, a back-up chamber should be kept on hand to immediately replace if residue develops.Insurance covers a new humidifier water chamber every 6 months, or you can purchase an extra on your own at any time. 
As always, we are here for you.  We hope these precautions and techniques are helpful, and we thank you for being a valued addition in our CPAP care community.
Still have questions? Speak with an expert.
(800) 673-1220

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FAQ's From Our Patients

Abbie Siegel

FAQ

Can I still use my CPAP machine if I have COVID-19?

Generally, it is not recommended to use your machine if you have COVID-19 with a bed partner because it can disperse into the air like an aerosol spray and emit tiny particles, which then increases potential exposure.  However, if you rely on a CPAP/Bi-level device to treat your sleep apnea, abruptly discontinuing therapy may cause harm to your overall health. Quality sleep is known to boost your immune system and using your CPAP helps to ensure you are receiving quality sleep. Always seek medical advice before discontinuing any prescribed treatment – including your CPAP machine.

If I am hospitalized for COVID-19, should I bring my CPAP with me?

Most hospitals are declining any equipment that is brought into the hospital as it is considered contaminated, and biomed cannot be exposed to inspecting the devices. Please leave your equipment at home but make sure to inform hospital staff of your therapy needs and your current pressure setting.

Why the need for ventilators?

One of the main symptoms that affects a person who has tested positive with the coronavirus is shortness of breath (severe hypoxemia). The correct term for this severe shortness of breath is being observed as ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and this condition has a high mortality rate. ARDS patients have build-up fluid in the alveoli (the tiny air sacs in the lungs that transfer oxygen to the blood and remove carbon dioxide). Ventilators helps to keep the patient breathing adequately, giving the patient time to fight off the virus. While ventilators don’t treat the virus per se, they do give the patient a chance to fight back and lower the odds of dying from the virus. 

What’s the difference between a CPAP and a ventilator?

CPAP, Bi-level, and Ventilator machines are all designed to help treat patients with breathing disorders. Pressurized air is used in all three units to help keep the airways open.  A CPAP machine supports the inhalation of airflow, whereas a Bi-level or ventilator supports inhalation and exhalation. However, ventilators are typically only used for those who cannot breathe on their own, have severe respiratory diseases, and/or in acute settings. Also, CPAP and Bi-level machines are considered "open circuit," which means that because of the continuous flow of air and exhalation ports on the masks, air easily escapes into the room.  A patient that has COVID-19 and is using CPAP or Bi-level needs to follow their physician's guidelines and ensure that no uninfected family member enters the room that the patient is using CPAP and/or Bi-level in.  The virus could potentially be all over the room because of the open circuit, and not just on the surfaces that the patient has touched. Invasive ventilators are different because they are a "closed circuit" and the airflow remains in the circuit, so no COVID-19 can escape while a patient is using an invasive vent.

Can I donate my CPAP to help the Ventilator Shortage?

Across the country, there is a shortage of the ventilators that hospitals need to provide care for people who have COVID-19. Multiple groups are developing strategies to modify PAP machines so that they can be used as ventilators. One of these groups is the COVID-19 Ventilator Rapid Response Team, a coalition that includes UC Berkeley engineers, emergency room doctors, critical care physicians, and pulmonologists. They also have set up a website, VentilatorSOS.com, where you can fill out a form to indicate that you are interested in donating a CPAP or Bi-level machine.

What else do you suggest?

As always, we are here for you. We hope these precautions and techniques are helpful, and we thank you for being a valued addition in our CPAP care community.
Still have questions? Speak with an expert.
(800) 673-1220

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Lose the Germs: Your Healthy CPAP Guide!

Abbie Siegel2 comments
We are here to support you with all your sleep apnea needs which is why we want to remind you that it is so important to consistently stay clean and away from harmful germs. Let's face it there are germs everywhere and the last place you want them are by your face! Your CPAP machine is always by your mouth where moisture is present so it is important that you wash your CPAP mask and other supplies. Below is a guide to help you avoid the germs and bacteria: 

 

Don't forget to change your CPAP Supplies:

Every 6 Months: Head Gear, Black Non Disposable Filter & Chinstrap
Every 3 Months: Frame, Tubing
Every Month: Full Face Mask Cushions
Bi-Weekly: White Disposable Filters, Nasal Mask Cushions
Only when cracked or broken: Humidifier Chamber 
    *DID YOU KNOW: Failure to timely change your CPAP supplies could lead to infections and respiratory problems.
    Your health is too important to us; change your supplies soon!

    Daily Cleaning Tips 

    1. Soak all supplies in a 50/ 50 solution of white vinegar and warm water for 8-10 minutes.
    2. After soaking the supplies, rinse thoroughly with warm water.
    3. You may also use a non-antibacterial soap in place of the vinegar.

      DO NOT USE ANTIBACTERIAL SOAPS, as they can interact with the plastics in the equipment, often causing them to break down.  

      Try these Items to Clean Your Machine! 

      You have probably heard of the importance of a clean CPAP or you might have never thought you had to clean it! Not cleaning your CPAP machine would be as bad as not changing your toothbrush for over a year! You do not want to put so much bacteria in your body would you? See below for great products to help clean your machine, making it easy and care-free. The SoClean 2 is a CPAP's miracle cleaning machine, it has made disinfecting your CPAP mask, hose and reservoir hassle free! It helps avoid and destroy mold, viruses and frustration. This machine also gets rid of 99% of bacteria and cleans all tubing for your CPAP machine! Put your health first and make cleaning your CPAP supplies a priority.

      Here are some additional cleaning supplies to help you stay in tip top shape!
                                                                           
                      Unscented CPAP Wipes            CPAP Tube Cleaning System 
                     

      Want to Subscribe to our Newsletter? Email the word "subscribe" to Marketing@Nationwidemedical.com.

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      Struggles of CPAP Therapy

      Abbie Siegel
      I have witnessed the initial struggle of getting used to the CPAP supplies first-hand and am here to offer you support! CPAP therapy is difficult. You must get used to trying out the therapy for the first time and changing out masks or machines. The good news is that if one CPAP mask or device doesn’t work for you, there are other options. Here are the common obstacles that nearly everyone deals or has dealt with and always remember that you are not alone.

       

      Obstacle 1: LEAKS

      Do you find yourself waking up in the morning/middle of the night to find something has been leaking? That means it is probably coming from your CPAP mask. This leak could be the result of the wrong sized mask or that you are not getting the full air pressure your body needs!

      Solution: (Always try the first two options before the third one listed below!)

      1. First, adjust your pads and straps to tighten your mask.
      2. Replace the liner or add cushions to your particular mask. **Not all masks are made the same, so make sure you aren’t using your husband/wife’s different masks or cushions!
      3. Call your provider. If you tried both options above, it probably means you have the wrong size mask or a leaky one. Call us at (877) 307-2727 to talk to our clinical care team to get the comfort you deserve ASAP.

      What happens if you ignore this:

      Not getting your necessary air pressure means you’re not getting the most out of your CPAP therapy, in which case you are not helping to treat your sleep apnea. Besides that, having your mask leak means you could also irritate your skin. The skin irritation could cause skin chaffing or rashes because the moisture is forcing your mask to rub against your skin.

       

      Obstacle 2: SINUS INFECTION

      Whether you’re a CPAP user or not, sinus infections are a hassle to deal with. If you feel as though you’ve been getting sinus infections more often or recently, ask yourself when was the last time you cleaned your CPAP machine? It is very important to clean because your machine unfortunately doesn’t clean itself. If you have not cleaned out your tubes, machines or masks then you are putting yourself at risk for ingesting bacteria you never knew existed! These unwanted germs can cause you to be sick more often or worsen your sickness.

      Solution:

      1. Fortunately, there is a nice solution! Have you heard of the SoClean machine? The SoClean kills 99% of germs or bacteria, making your life 100% easier! Click here to learn more.
      2. Want to clean the old-fashioned way? That’s just fine too! Click here to read our cleaning blog or here to shop cleaning supplies.

       

      Obstacle 3: CLAUSTROPHOBIA- FEELING DISCOMFORT IN A MASK

      It happens, and it’s common! If you are already claustrophobic, you may know how to cope with the feeling, but if this is new to you don’t worry. There are millions of people with claustrophobia and we have helpful tips for you. Feel your best and sleep even better!

      Solution:

      1. Hold the mask to your face and breathe through it.
      2. Wear the mask with all accessories and do the same as step #1.
      3. Do steps #1 and #2, but attach the hose to your CPAP machine and set at a low setting. **Make sure ramp feature is turned on**

      If you’re still experiencing discomfort while using the CPAP therapy, we are here to help. Call us to see what other masks we have to offer you at (877) 307-CPAP.

       

      Obstacle 4: MASK FALLING OFF IN SLEEP

      We have these conversations ALL the time! There are ways to become a pro at CPAP therapy, which are listed as follows.

      Do you move a lot in your sleep? If the answer is yes, you’ve probably knocked your mask off your face before. It is then quite normal to wake up with it off. Consistent falling could also be a sign of using too big a mask. If you aren’t sure how it should feel, know that your mask should fit snugly. Not too tight and not too loose. What happens sometimes is when your respiratory therapist came to your house it wasn’t tightened to your head size. Other times your mask becomes loose over prolonged periods.

      Solutions:

      1. If you’re a crazy sleeper (like a lot of us), it’s helpful to try a full-face mask or use a chinstrap. The extra support allows you to be in control for moments during the therapy.
      2. Set an alarm for the first couple of weeks to check and see that your device is still on.
      3. Adjust your headgear! This seems obvious, but it’s a task that is often overlooked because of how carefree it is.
      4. As always, feel free to give us a call to see if you are up for a replacement mask!

       

      Obstacle 5: DRY MOUTH

      I’m the first to admit I sleep with my mouth wide open. If you do this too, I’m sure you’ve been given the title of being a “mouth breather.” Unfortunately for us, we wake up in the mornings with dry mouths, thirsty for water.

      Solution:

      1. Chinstraps are the best friend you never imagined needing, but they can really do the trick! In the case of CPAP therapy, you learn to love them.
      2. Another option is trying out a full-face mask if you aren’t already using one. The full-face mask covers your mouth and nose, which helps to resolve dry mouths.

       

      Although these solutions may take time to adjust, practice makes perfect. Don’t waste time struggling to cope with your sleep therapy obstacles. The time to sleep better and more comfortably is now!

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      The ABC's to Easy ZZZ's

      Allen Levine
      Sleep is an essential factor that affects our daily lives, so getting enough of it should be on your top priority list. To help our sleep we should follow the rules on how to sleep better:
      .
      .
      Avoid taking naps if you can.
      .
      Begin rituals that help you relax each night before bed.
      .
      Cigarettes or any nicotine should be avoided before sleep.
      .
      Do not have a beer, glass of wine, or any other alcohol within six hours of your bedtime.
      .
      Exercise, with moderation- Avoid any tough exercise within six hours of your bedtime.
      .
      Find something else to do if you are not asleep after 20 minutes. If you can, do this in another room. Once you feel sleepy again, go back to bed.
      .
      Get up at the same time every morning.
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      Hot to warm baths or a light snack will relax your body and put you in sleep mode.
      .
      Incense or candles help soothe and relax your brain, and day.
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      Just put on your PJs. Comfortable clothes are an important aspect to more comfortable sleep.
      .
      Keep a regular schedule.
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      Long, complete night’s sleep will make the following nights easier to continue the trend.
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      Medication for sleeping should be avoided, or use them cautiously.
      .
      No to caffeine after lunch.
      .
      Opt-in to tea and honey! Chamomile and Passion fruit increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles. Make sure it's decaffeinated of course!
      .
      Paint your room. Believe it or not but the color of your bedroom can be keeping you awake! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/bedroom-paint-colors-sleep_n_3286774.html
      .
      Quiet, dark, cool bedrooms are the best environments for even better sleep. It works for bats who sleep 16 hours a day!
      .
      Relax, relax, repeat. Easy right? Everyone has their ways to relax find yours today. Need help? Try this http://greatist.com/happiness/40-ways-relax-5-minutes-or-less
      .
      Starving, won’t help either! For dinner try fish and rice. They boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin (caused by darkness). For snacks, try cherry juice, walnuts and yogurt!
      .
      Three p.m. should be the latest time you should nap. If you must take a nap, try to keep it short (less than one hour).
      .
      Unwind with some yoga! Stretching allows your mind and body to let go of the whole week and put you in a at peace mood.
      .
      Vent about your day! There is nothing worse than going to bed stressed and angry. Whether or not you have a person or pet, tell someone or something. Live alone? Mediate! Meditate! Meditate!
      .
      Write your life story, but do it earlier in the day. Don’t read, write, eat, watch TV. Stimulating distractions cause your brain to be active longer at night, meaning when you are asleep, it is not.
      .
      X-cuses, excuses - (That works, right?) You might think this is a long list that you can avoid. Remember- the excuses you make today ruin tomorrow's sleep too!
      .
      You should exercise on a regular basis, but do it earlier in the day. (Talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program.)If you are unable to do this, then find a time during the day to get all of your worries out of your system. Your bed is a place to rest, not a place to worry.
      .
      ZZZ’s - are what you will get more of if you follow this guide.
      .
      .
      .

      Source:http://www.sleepeducation.com

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      Love Your Mornings

      Abbie Siegel

      Did you know that waking up early is beneficial to your health? In fact, research at the University of London and Heidelberg found a direct correlation to waking up early and a reduced feeling of stress, depression, and over-eating. With summer just around the corner, don’t let yourself fall into the same routine! Instead, learn how to tolerate your mornings with the steps below.

       

      1. Believe You Can Dream

        In order to appreciate your mornings, you should start by believing each day is full of new opportunities. What do you see yourself doing when you wake up? Whether it is a morning walk or a cup of coffee, think of what you need to do for your time of peace and go for it.

        2. One Step At A Time

        It is important to be realistic. Odds are you won’t change your opinion overnight or even over a week’s span. But if you dream it, it can happen. Dreams start small too, so begin to plan step by step. Waking up 10-15 minutes earlier than usual as each day goes on will help you reach your goal and stay consistent.

        3. Every Step You Take

          Appreciate yourself! And reward yourself for the small victories. Every step you take is a step towards a healthier and happier lifestyle. Begin to treat yourself with an enjoyable sunset walk or your favorite cup of coffee, whatever it may be that makes you your happiest.

          4. Goodbye Technology

          The only technology you should be interacting with or touching before bed is your alarm clock. It is important to stray away from all technology to allow your brain and body to declutter itself from the gadgets of our daily lives. The reason you may feel so tired in the morning is because you have not completed your rest cycle. Your body cannot fully turn off if the brain is still being stimulated, denying any opportunity of a full night’s rest.

           

          Try these steps to begin enjoying a longer day.

          Got any recommendations? Comment below!

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