Many people know Memorial Day as the weekend that brings the official summer season – a time for mini-vacations, backyard barbeques and first time of the year pool trips. But the actual holiday of Memorial Day has a long history, with much significance, in the United States.
Beginning (in an early form) in May of 1865, Memorial Day was originally meant to recognize the fallen Union soldiers from the Civil War. Organized by freedmen and former Union troops, the first Memorial Day observance coincided with a May Day celebration in Charleston, South Carolina.
The name Memorial Day did not come into use until 1882, and the holiday was not declared official by the Federal government until 1967. By the 20th century, the holiday came to stand for all fallen soldiers, not just those lost in the Civil War.
In honor of this year’s Memorial Day, and in thinking of our current and fallen soldiers, CPAP Supply USA is offering one of our biggest sales of the year – 15 percent off every order* from Thursday through Monday! Stock on your CPAP supplies for the summer, try out a new lightweight CPAP mask, or purchase that travel CPAP machine you’ve been considering. Whatever the need, now’s the time to shop. Enjoy your cookouts, trips, and pool days, but don’t forget to stop by our store for amazing discounts on your CPAP purchases!
*Sales ends 5/29. Use discount code HONOR2012 in your cart for savings. Sale excludes ResMed and Devilbiss brand items.
Last year, around this time, we wrote a comprehensive guide to CPAP Equipment Maintenance. With thoughts of spring cleaning in the air once again, we wanted to revisit that topic, while focusing on one of the hardest parts to clean from your CPAP set-up – your tubing.
While one of the more important parts of your set-up, CPAP tubing is not a part that is easily or conveniently cleaned. And because of the fact that condensation from your humidifier can often settle in the tube during use, it does need some TLC to ensure that it, and your sleep therapy, are in top condition.
Two important cleaning options exist for CPAP tubing – CPAP Tubing Cleaner and a CPAP Tube Brush. The first tool is a solution that can be diluted into a soak for your CPAP tubing, ensuring that any bacteria on or inside the tube is eliminated. This also helps remove any dust that might collect on your tube. Another option to complete this type of full-soak cleaning is to use diluted household white vinegar. Its anti-microbial properties are great, yet it is a very gentle, safe cleanser.
The second tool is also an important one is your cleaning arsenal. The CPAP Tube Brush allows you to actually scrub the inside of your tubing fairly easily. While soaking is good, nothing beats actually being able to scrub anything out of your tubing that may accumulate over time. There is really is no other easy way of getting inside the tube without use a tool like this. A good brushing each week combined with soaking your tubing will ensure that it stays clean and free of mold, mildew or bacteria.
And don’t forget – even with the best cleaning practices, most CPAP supplies are designed to be replaced fairly regularly. CPAP tubing should generally be replaced every three months for optimum performance.
So, you've had a sleep study and been given the news you were already probably prepared for based on your doctor's suspicions - you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Your persistent snoring that you shrugged off for years has been revealed to be a real problem. Your sleepiness at work or while driving isn't because you're getting older - it's because you have a medical disorder that needs to be treated.
For some this diagnosis might be devastating, while for others it might be a relief. Depending on the severity of symptoms and the length of time they've been occurring, some might be excited to have a solution for their increasing fatigue, weight gain, and irritability. No matter what emotion you feel when you are officially diagnosed with sleep apnea (and you may actually feel a combination of many), try to remember a few things - 1) Sleep apnea is now believed to be as common as diabetes with as many as 20 million Americans estimated to be affected and 2) there is treatment that is proven to decrease the symptoms and medical conditions associated with untreated sleep apnea.
Most treatment plans prescribed for Obstructive Sleep Apnea include, as a primary component and as the gold standard for therapy, CPAP therapy. CPAP - or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure - machines are a seemingly simple treatment idea for a very complex sleep disorder. Basically, CPAP machines force air through a mask into the airway preventing any obstructions with the prescribed level of airflow throughout the night. During the night, sleep apnea sufferers wear some type of CPAP mask (nasal, nasal pillows, or full face, depending on treatment pressure, sleep style, and level of comfort) which is connected by a hose to a CPAP machine that resides on a night table beside the bed. As the user sleeps, the CPAP blows air at the prescribed pressure continuously or changes pressure depending on the need at any given point (AUTO CPAP machines or APAP machines). This air flow ensures that the soft palette and throat tissue do not droop into the airway and (hopefully) eliminates the persistent snoring common to untreated sleep apnea.
As you read this, you may be nervous or upset about the idea of being tethered to a mask and machine all night long. You may feel embarrassment about sharing your bed with someone while wearing a CPAP mask or using your machine. You may just feel angry that you have this disorder, and you may be looking for options to not use this form of treatment. Many newly diagnosed patients do feel upset when they are presented with CPAP treatment as their only option, and that's very understandable, but there are a few things to remember -
- While CPAP treatment does have side effects, many times these can be eliminated by education, trial and error, and proper mask fitting. Also, the treatment isn't a pharmaceutical one and doesn't add any chemicals into the body - a plus for many people.
- CPAP treatment is the absolute gold standard for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is the only thing scientifically proven to consistently reduce or eliminate episodes of apnea. While there are other treatment options out there for OSA, they are risky and often don't eliminate the problem (and some include major surgery!). CPAP is the most commonly prescribed treatment and the one that most all sleep specialists recommend.
- CPAP treatment reduces or eliminates sleep apnea and the accompanying side effects with consistent use.
- CPAP treatment can alleviate or eliminate other health conditions you might not have realized were related to your untreated sleep apnea, like heart disease or hypertension.
- Sleep apnea is a silent killer. Too many people are dying from heart disease and other medical conditions that may be related to untreated or undiagnosed sleep apnea. Treating your sleep apnea properly with your prescribed CPAP treatment is the best way to ensure your health. Non-compliance or non-treatment should never be an option.
- CPAP does take a lot of getting used to. It's very foreign at first and requires a difficult period of adjustment. But you can adjust and adapt. And when you do (whether it takes a week or a year), you'll see the health and lifestyle benefits every day for the rest of your life.
- With the right doctor, respiratory therapist, CPAP educators and suppliers, and support group CPAP treatment can be an effective and relatively easy solution to a complicated and dangerous problem.
So, now that you are diagnosed, it's time to get treated. Don't wait - contact your doctor today for a prescription and start researching CPAP machines and masks. Advocate for yourself throughout the process and insist on the most education and information you can get and hopefully your adjustment to CPAP treatment will be relatively easy compared to the symptoms you're experiencing now.