Can Sleep Apnea be That Dangerous to My Health?

Posted Aug 30, 2011 by Kristen P. in CPAP & Sleep Apnea Info

Dangers and Complications Associated with Sleep ApneaWhile education and information surrounding sleep apnea has certainly increased in the past few years, there are still an alarming number of people and healthcare professionals who don't see the disorder as the silent killer it can be. So many times the loud snoring associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea is laughed or teased about and considered a normal part of many American's lives.

But based on our experiences here dealing with sleep apnea patients every day and on studies done by physicians specializing in sleep medicine, snoring and the other outward symptoms of sleep apnea (daytime sleepiness, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, dry mouth, acid reflux while sleeping) are not normal and should not be part of anyone's regular day-to-day routine. So many sufferers blame these outward signs on increased age or lifestyle changes and ignore or attempt to adapt to some of the debilitating symptoms. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is shockingly prevalent in today's population with an estimated 20 million sufferers in America alone (of which, only 15-20% are diagnosed) and yet most Americans don't know much about the disease or the dire effects it can have on one's health.

While the more obvious symptoms are enough to make anyone's life more difficult, an often ignored phenomenon is the associated medical conditions that can develop and seem to be related to untreated sleep apnea. The outward symptoms are enough to cause serious damage (daytime sleepiness can and does cause many car accidents), the underlying, associated medical threats can and do kill.

WebMD lists the following conditions as being associated to sleep apnea:

  1. Hypertension
  2. Heart disease
  3. Psychological disorders
  4. Heart attack
  5. Stroke
  6. Impotence
  7. Cognitive dysfunction
  8. Memory loss
  9. Death

And really, in our experience with patients, this just seems to be the tip of a very scary iceberg. The truth is untreated sleep apnea is that dangerous. Even if the lack of oxygen to your brain doesn't kill you during an episode of apnea, the long term effects of that oxygen loss and sleep deprivation will most definitely have an influence on the other organs in your body.

Many people diagnosed with sleep apnea find that they already have an enlarged heart or the beginnings of heart disease. Their hearts have worked overtime during episodes of apnea for so long that they begin to run out of steam long before the average person's does. Sleep deprivation, another obvious symptom of untreated sleep apnea, can affect a person's mental and cognitive functioning to the point where the individual may be taking medicines for depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders but is not treating an underlying contributor - sleep apnea.

Anecdotally, we've heard countless tales of people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or slow metabolism who've seen improvements in those, seemingly unrelated, conditions when treating their sleep apnea with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy. And, on the flip side of this, we've seen many patients succumb to heart disease or pass away in their sleep at too young an age.

Sleep apnea has been brought into the discussion surrounding underlying causes of death for Reggie White, Tim Russert, and Billy Mays. While it seems that some people are beginning to understand the dangers of sleep apnea, many still don't. And, unfortunately, that lack of knowledge can be deadly.

For more information on the dangers of sleep apnea, please visit:

Silent Problems - the Dangers of Sleep Apnea

The Complications of Sleep Apnea

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'CPAP' added to Merriam Webster Dictionary (Finally!)

Posted Aug 26, 2011 by Kristen P. in Events

CPAP Added to the Merriam Webster DictionaryIn a press release dated August 25th, it was announced that the phrase 'continuous positive airway pressure', and the accompanying abbreviation 'CPAP', was added to the newest edition of the Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Accompanied by other, more trendy words and phrases, such as 'bromance', 'crowdsourcing' and 'fist bump', the word CPAP was defined through the following dictionary citation:

"abbreviated CPAP; a technique for relieving breathing problems (as those associated with sleep apnea or congestive heart failure) by pumping a steady flow of air through the nose to prevent the narrowing or collapse of air passages or to help the lungs to expand."

It was cited as originating in 1975 (which is before the CPAP invention date of 1981, so we're not sure where that date originates). It's nice to finally see such a common term being entered into one of the most common American dictionaries, especially considering how long it's been used and its increasing importance in the medical community.

Read more about the newest additions to Merriam Webster by viewing their August 25th press release online.

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New CPAP Battery - Smallest and Lightest Available!

Posted Aug 22, 2011 by Kristen P. in CPAP Products

Our newest product is one that will be useful to most every CPAP user... The CPAP Battery Pack is a lightweight, universal solution for your CPAP machine. Designed to run a typical machine for up to 24 hours, The CPAP Battery Pack is also the lightest and smallest battery solution currently available!

This new product is one we are excited and proud to carry for the many customers who call us asking about traveling with a CPAP or using a CPAP during a power outage. We've been looking for the best and most budget-friendly battery pack, and we think we've found it with found it with this less-than-2lb unit.

The CPAP Battery Pack is available the battery, battery charging plug, and quality carrying case for just $249.99. And for your convenience, we've also created bundles with this battery kit combined with our most popular CPAP machine DC adapters (your CPAP will require a DC adapter to plug into the battery during use). We've got bundled batteries and adapters for the following models:

Call us today with questions about using your CPAP machine with battery power. Our Customer Service Reps are happy to help you find the best solution for your machine and needs!

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Sleep Apnea Returns Rapidly After Discontinuing CPAP

Posted Aug 15, 2011 by Kristen P. in CPAP & Sleep Apnea Info

CPAP Treatment for OSAA new study by the Swiss National Science Foundation shows, definitively, that sleep apnea symptoms return within one night of discontinuing CPAP treatment. A small study followed a group of CPAP users who discontinued treatment for two weeks to determine how quickly apnea events and sleep apnea symptoms returned. By the end of the study, breathing events had more than tripled across particpants. Information about the study can be found here:

Sleep Apnea Returns Rapidly When CPAP Stopped

These findings seem to be sort of common sense (as I'm sure many sleep apnea sufferers would agree), because CPAP treatment is not a cure for OSA (nor is it a prolonged pharmaceutical treatment). CPAP merely works to eliminate the blockages found in those with OSA, thereby eliminating the symptoms - not the disorder. It is nice, though, to see researchers focusing on OSA and it's treatment and lifestyle implications. And education about the chronic nature of sleep apnea is also very important, especially to new CPAP users who might not have truly grasped the need to stay on CPAP therapy for the rest of their lives.

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Alternative Power Options for Your CPAP Machine

Posted Aug 10, 2011 by Kristen P. in Lifestyle

Battery and Power Options for Your CPAPPowering a CPAP machine when AC power is not available is a very popular topic in the CPAP community. Whether referring to power outages, camping, driving or flying long distances, CPAP users need options for treatment in any situation. Thankfully, there are multiple alternative power options available for most machines. CPAP battery packs, DC power options, marine battery adapters and travel-specific CPAP machines provide alternate power options for your CPAP therapy.

CPAP Battery Packs

Among the most popular alternate power options for their reliability and ease-of-use, CPAP battery packs are an all-in-one power solution that allows you to connect your machine (via DC power adapter) directly to a battery pack. With battery options that last from 8 to 24 hours before needing a charge, a battery pack is a convenient option that will provide a reliable power source for a full night’s sleep, anywhere.

The cost of purchasing a battery pack can be prohibitive for some CPAP users, but the convenience and reliability gained from having a battery pack available for travel or as a back-up power source cannot be beat.

Here are a few different battery pack options currently available:

  • The CPAP Battery Pack – Currently the smallest, lightest battery pack available. Runs your CPAP for up to 24 hours before needing to be recharged.
  • Respironics CPAP Battery Pack – Though designed by Respironics, this battery pack can be used with most CPAP machines, as long as the appropriate DC adapter is purchased. Usage times are between 7 and 20 hours. 

* Remember, heated humidification should not be used with battery power as it will drain the battery very quickly.

DC Power Options

DC (or direct current) power is the type of electricity used in automobile or marine power situations, where power is delivered from a battery. CPAP battery packs require a DC power adapter to convert your machine from the AC power plug to a DC power plug (a plug that fits into the cigarette lighter or power source of your car), but there are ways to power your CPAP directly using this DC adapter alone. Long distance truck drivers and those who travel in RVs may be able to use a DC power adapter to connect their CPAP directly to a power source within their vehicle.

Here are a few DC power cables available:

Marine Battery Connections

Expanding on the DC power options listed above, some CPAP machines have adapters available that allow you to power your machine by connecting directly to a 12-volt, rechargeable marine battery with battery alligator clips. This solution depends on the CPAP machine you own, what type of marine battery you use, and other complex factors, so, while a marine battery may be less expensive than a standard CPAP battery pack, it’s often a more difficult solution to execute. Before purchasing an adapter or marine battery, contact our customer service team or your CPAP machine’s manufacturer for more information.

Here are a few direct-to-battery adapters:

Travel CPAP Machines

Over the past few years, travel CPAP machines have become more and more in demand as patients realize the value of having a portable unit they can use anywhere. These machines generally include an optional battery pack that’s designed for and integrates with the travel unit. Most travel machines are lighter, smaller, and easier to transport that standard CPAP machines. A new travel CPAP machine that is very easy to use and has an option for a battery is the Transcend Wearable CPAP Machine. Another popular unit that had an integrated battery, the Aeiomed Everest, recently went out of production, but we hope to see another comparable travel unit replace it soon.

Regardless of which alternate power option you choose, it’s always important to use your CPAP every night, regardless of the environment in which you are sleeping. It’s always nice to be well-refreshed in the morning (especially when traveling!), but, more importantly, it’s unsafe for sleep apnea sufferers to forego the CPAP, even just for one night.

Remember, contact our customer service team at 866-560-2727 for questions about alternative power options for your CPAP machine.

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