Get the most out of CPAP through Winter

We know how beneficial CPAP is and the positive impact it has on thousands of people’s lives. however the colder temperatures during the Winter months may cause you some slight issues when using your CPAP, so here’s some simple tips to fend them off and continue to get great sleep throughout the colder months.

Colder room temperatures will naturally lead to colder air being supplied from your CPAP machine, which some may find less comfortable. Cold air tends to be less humid also, potentially causing your mouth and nasal passages to dry out or become tickly. A heated humidifier can overcome this problem, both heating and moisturising the air, solving both problems.

Most machines will have their own “integrated” humidifier available that simply connects to the side or bottom of the CPAP unit itself; ask you clinic if they can supply one, or have a look at our range here. No integrated one available? No problem! You could use a universal one instead, such as the HC150 Standalone Heated Humidifier from Fisher and Paykel, which works with any modern machine.

If you are already using a humidifier, then you may be experiencing what is known as rainout (condensation build up), which is much more common with the colder temperatures. If you’ve ever woken up with water gargling in the tube, or perhaps water in your mask, then you will have experienced rainout.

This can be combated by making your hosing nice and cosy with a soft and warm Hose Fleece to provide some insulation. The most comprehensive solution is to use a heated hose, which will ensure the air does not cool on its journey to your mask, preventing rainout and ensuring the air is as warm as when it left the machine. Some humidifiers will have this built-in, or you can use a universal one such as the Hybernite Heated Breathing Tube.

Have a look on our forum to see how our members have tried to tackle this, with some even dressing up their tubing in stockings! You can find the Rainout thread here.

As mentioned in our previous blog entry, Feeling Bunged up with Your CPAP, having a cold is no good when using CPAP! With the winter, comes the influx of colds, so it is a good idea to tackle the nasal congestion that comes with it so you can still get restorative sleep through CPAP use. The SinuPulse Elite is very useful for this, clearing any nasal congestion and allowing you to get on with your treatment. Have a look at our last blog entry for more information.

If you are a nasal mask user, another tip for when you are bunged up with a cold, is having a spare full face CPAP mask so you are still able to use your machine. This gives you the option of breathing through your mouth instead, so it’s always good to have a backup plan!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about any of the above or any CPAP related topics, or of course you can ask other CPAP users via the CPAP Fourms. We look forward to hearing from you, but until then, from all of us at Intus, have a very Merry Christmas.

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Feeling bunged up with your CPAP?

It is becoming increasingly evident that nasal congestion is a hinderance when it comes to getting the most out of CPAP. So much so, that it has become a popular topic on the CPAP.co.uk Forums, illustrating that there are many of you out there with the same problems!

Nasal irrigation will ease congestion problemsSinusitis, or even a blocked nose from a cold can prevent CPAP users from gaining the benefits, with some giving up on their treatment until the blockage goes away. This is obviously not ideal as one night without it can bring back that tired, irritable feeling instantly.

Even before beginning your therapy, nasal congestion can get in the way of finding your ideal CPAP mask, meaning your choices are narrowed just like your airways! Nasal masks can almost be completely disregarded as it would be impossible to breathe through your blocked nose.

This is where nasal irrigation comes in handy. There are various ways in which to go about this, with most people having tried some form of nasal spray to clear the blockage. Neti Pots are also another popular method of clearing out the nasal passages, though these can involve having to tilt your head at awkward angles and leaving a lot of mess behind.

If you have been experiencing problems such as this, then it may be worth having a look at the SinuPulse Elite (shown below, right), a nasal irrigator which does all the hard work for you, allowing you to keep your head upright and still access those hard to reach areas. It cleanses and cleans all of the passages in just a couple of minutes, as shown right.

Nasal irrigation is an effective way of making sure you get the most out of your CPAP therapy, as well as helping alleviate any cold and flu like symptoms, which we would all rather live without!

SinuPulse Elite Nasal IrrigatorSo, if you are one of the many CPAP users with nasal congestion, it may be worth introducing nasal irrigation to your CPAP routine and becoming blockage free. Who knows, you may even be able to buy that nasal mask that you have always wanted but never dared go near!

If nasal irrigation isn’t for you, there are other options out there, like forum member Fredxx’s suggestion of using a humidifier with your treatment.

Remember, you are not the only one that may be experiencing this problem, so have a look on the CPAP Forums for more advice and tips from your fellow CPAP users. We are always here to offer a helping hand too, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help or advice when it comes to any aspect of your CPAP therapy.

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Huddersfield OSA Patient Day - March 24th

We thought we would let you know about an upcoming patient day in Huddersfield which is well worth visiting if you live nearby. Hosted by St James’s Sleep Apnoea Support Group, the patient day takes place at the National Children’s Centre, New North Road on March 24th.

Patient days are a great way of finding out more about OSA and CPAP from clinicians and fellow patients alike, as well as offering you a chance to see the latest CPAP equipment and accessories from the exhibitors on the day.

We at Intus try to attend as many of these days as we can throughout the year, and this Huddersfield show will be the first of many for us during 2012. It’ll be our first attendance at this particular day and we’re looking forward to meeting you and sharing our knowledge and experience with OSA patients in Huddersfield for the first time.

It should be a really good day all round and the full details about the timetable for the day and how to attend are here:

This National Children’s Centre is within easy access of Huddersfield railway station and the bus station. There are car parks near by. Click here to see on Google Maps.

The day will be held in a large meeting room on the ground floor and there will be tea, coffee and biscuits during the event. There will be no charge for refreshments.

Programme for the day:

It will be open from 11.00 and will close at about 3.00

St James’s Sleep Apnoea Support Group have invited representatives from the major equipment suppliers (including Intus Healthcare) so that you will be able to talk to them about CPAP machines and learn about the latest developments.

There will be a series of short talks and practical sessions during the day:

• Cleaning and maintaining your mask
• Humidification
• Getting the most out of your CPAP

Many of the group’s members also suffer from diabetes- there is a high correlation between the two conditions and we will have an illustrated talk on this subject from Dr Akshay Dwarakanath from St James’s Hospital.

Martin Latham will also give a talk on the history of CPAP. This is a very informative (and humorous) presentation.

There will be opportunities for you to meet and talk with other Apnoea patients, share experiences and listen to new ideas.

There will also be some fund-raising activities for the group.

The group will not be able to serve a lunch at this event, but you are welcome to bring a packed meal if you wish to.

If you would like to attend this event please let St James’s know by:

• Leaving a message on St James’s telephone (0845 4632087)
• Contacting St James’s by e-mail: stjamessasg@googlemail.com
• Using the “Contact us” link from the St James’s website

Please give your name, membership number (if applicable) and the number of places you need.

We look forward to meeting as many of you there as possible - come and say “Hi”!

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