• By Clay Rollyson
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SoClean and CPAP

We have had no shortage of customer asking this question. So, we want to clear up our stance on whether the SoClean should be used on your CPAP or not. To be as up front as possible, we do carry and sell the SoClean CPAP cleaner. If a customer wants one, we will currently sell it to them. With that being said, there are things that you should consider if you want to use a SoClean on your CPAP. Let’s dive in on the details.

Do ResMed and Respironics recommend using SoClean?

What has ResMed said about SoClean?

It has been made fairly clear by most manufacturers that they do not recommend using integrated ozone CPAP cleaners on their CPAPs. SoClean is an integrated CPAP cleaner and falls into that category of not recommended. ResMed came out against the use of Ozone on their CPAP machine a couple years back. They went as far as telling customers that use of ozone CPAP cleaners on their device may void the warranty. At the time of this announcement, SoClean announced they would pick up that cost for anyone that had a voided warranty. It became a back and forth issue between SoClean and ResMed ever since then.

What has Respironics said about SoClean?

Philips Respironics remained pretty quiet on the use of SoClean for quite a while. That was until Philips announced their major recall last year. At that point Philips Respironics stated that the use of integrated ozone CPAP cleaners was a major contributor to the foam issues on their CPAP. They even went as far as making that a primary question on customers recall forms. So, while Respironics has not made a direct statement about the use of  SoClean or integrated CPAP cleaners on their devices, they have certainly expressed major concerns.

What issues can SoClean cause on a CPAP?

The SoClean is an Ozone (ionized oxygen) CPAP Cleaner. It charges oxygen particles and creates O3. Then runs the Ozone through your CPAP, tubing, and mask to completely sterilize all of your CPAP equipment. It is by far the most “set-it and forget-it” CPAP cleaner that we have carried, because it is integrated into the CPAP. However, that integration presents some potential issues. Ionized Oxygen is corrosive and can cause damage to plastics and metal over time. This means that there is potential for the Ozone to corrode or damage the internal components. This may shorten the lifespan of your CPAP.

What do we think about SoClean on CPAP?

Whether or not to recommend the SoClean is a tough call. It is the easiest CPAP cleaner available on the market, and it works. Additionally, SoClean touts that their cleaner is perfectly safe, and has been tested to be certain. So as far as ease of use and effectiveness, there isn’t a better option. On the other hand, the SoClean could potentially damage your CPAP causing a shorter lifespan of your device. Our recommendation is that you have to use your own judgement. If you are more concerned about ease of use and effectiveness, then the SoClean may be a great option. If you want to be certain that you get the very most mileage out of your CPAP, then you may want to reconsider the choice of SoClean. If you want something in the middle of the road, we do have ozone CPAP cleaners that are not integrated. Such as the Sleep8 CPAP Cleaner. 

What does the FDA say about Ozone CPAP Cleaners like SoClean?

First and foremost, I have not seen anything from the FDA directly targeted at the brand of SoClean. Instead they have made a general statement about the use of Ozone cleaners on CPAP. At the risk of being inaccurate I will simply put the link to the FDA article on Ozone CPAP cleaners here for you to read directly.

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  • By Clay Rollyson
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CPAP Compliance

CPAP compliance is something that many CPAP users have come to hear a lot about. Especially if you are a truck driver or you are using your insurance for the purchase of your CPAP machine. Compliance is just what it sounds like. It is whether or not you are using your CPAP. So why is everyone so concerned about you using your CPAP? Let’s start off by explaining that, then we will go over the metrics of compliance as well as some tips and tricks for becoming compliant.

Why is my insurance concerned about my CPAP Compliance?

If you used your insurance to purcahse your CPAP machine, then you are most likely under a rental program. The insurance company is only going to pay for your CPAP if you are actually using it. And “using it” is defined by the insurance company. For most insurance providers, they will want to see a bare minimum of 70% usage. That usage has to occur within the first 90 days typically. If you do not meet this requirement within their time frame the insurance company will most likely stop paying for your CPAP. In turn, your CPAP supplier may force you to pay for the balance on the CPAP or even repossess the CPAP from you. One nice thing is that the insurance company is typically only concerned during the first few months of you having the CPAP. After you have met the initial compliance standards, they finish paying for your CPAP and leave you alone. In other cases, they may make you prove compliance every time you re-order your CPAP supplies.

Why do Truck Drivers need to be Compliant on CPAP?

For truck drivers we have had a bunch of different compliance experiences. For most truck drivers they are required to show a compliance report every year at their medical card renewal. This report is usually just a 30-day report, but in some cases the DOT clinic will ask for a 90-day report. With either of those the DOT clinic usually wants to see a minimum of 70% compliance usage as well. However, we have seen a bunch of trucking companies that monitor their drivers CPAP compliance daily. And some of those trucking companies want 90% compliance. The reasoning is obvious to most and aggravating to a lot of truckers. That reason is safety. When a driver has sleep apnea the risk for drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel can be very high. So, the DOT and employer want to be sure that their drivers get quality sleep. For more information on that visit the FMCSA Sleep Apnea page here.

How is CPAP compliance calculated?

CPAP compliance is a pretty simple formula. In order for a day/night to be considered compliant you must use the CPAP for at least 4 hours in a 24-hour period. Those 4 hours do not need to be consecutive, but it is important to remember that most CPAPs split the day at 12 noon. That is because most people use the CPAP at night. The next metric that is super important is the actual percentage. That is calculated by dividing the number of days you have used it over 4 hours by the total number of days selected. So, if you need to be 70% compliant on a 30-day report, then you need to have a minimum of 21 days with over 4 hours usage.

Tips and Tricks for becoming compliant

When you are trying to become compliant on your CPAP every bit of usage is critical. That means that even while you are practicing on your CPAP you are gaining time. We push new users to practice during the day with their new CPAP. This helps with acclimating to CPAP therapy as well as getting good usage hours on your CPAP for compliance purposes. Another great tip is to avoid procrastination. If your mask isn’t comfortable, then make a change. Do not procrastinate on that change. We give a 30-day guarantee on our masks which allows you to make a mask change for free. Make sure that whoever you are dealing with, that they have a similar program.

How do I get my CPAP Compliance report?

Obtaining your CPAP compliance and therapy report is completely dependent on what make and model CPAP that you have. For some models, the CPAP will automatically transmit the data via cell towers back to your provider. For these models your CPAP supplier should be able to pull that data for you any time you need it. We provide that service here at CPAPmyway for free when you buy your CPAP here. Models that automatically transmit data for you would be the DreamStation 2 or the AirSense 11 CPAP. Other CPAP models may require a physical download to a computer via SD card. In these cases, you may need software or web access to retrieve that data. If you are going to have your provider retrieve that information, then you will have to present the card to them physically. Some models like the iBreeze or Luna 2 will allow you to perform your own download at home to obtain the report.

How can I avoid dealing with CPAP Compliance?

The answer to that question is part of what defines us here at CPAPmyway. In short, you can pay cash for your CPAP to avoid the insurance standards. In that scenario you do not have to worry about insurance standards. We have a great selection of CPAP Starter Packages as well as prescription services for those needed help with that as well. For truck drivers on the other hand there is no shortcut. If you have Sleep Apnea and want to continue driving, then you will have to use your CPAP. For most, once they become accustomed to the CPAP, they wouldn’t give it up anyway. The improvement in quality of life is well worth the effort of using CPAP.
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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If you are looking to get started on CPAP, then I am sure that you have some questions. In this blog we hope to help you down that path. For many people they feel like they are being pushed in a singular direction by a doctor or CPAP supplier, and that is why you need to keep a few things in mind. Before we get to those details, we should make sure that we are on the same page. This blog information is designed for those that have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and need to get started on CPAP for the first time. If you need to be Tested for Sleep Apnea or need to Renew a CPAP Prescription, we have great options to help you there as well.  

What is the most important thing about Starting on CPAP?

For many people the first thing that they are going to think about is the make and model of the CPAP machine. While that is an important thing to consider, you may really need to think about the mask first. The truth about CPAP machines is that most of them do about the same thing therapy-wise. Of course, there are pros and cons to consider on the CPAP, but the most important consideration should be the mask. That is the part that will be touching your face, and the most interactive part of your therapy. Whether that mask fits and is comfortable will be the single most influential part of your therapy. We have a full mask selection blog that will guide you along that path. You can click here or the image below to check that out.

How do I select my first CPAP Machine?

So, you have decided the mask that you want to start with. Now your focus has to move to the CPAP machine itself. I like to think of a CPAP in terms of a vehicle. You can buy a giant truck capable of hauling heavy loads, but if you never haul anything, you might should have just bought the fuel-efficient model. The same can be said for your first CPAP machine. There are some that are smaller, some that have really cool apps to track your sleep, and even some that are built for travel. With all of those options the first thing that you have to do is consider your needs. Here are some questions to ask yourself that might help narrow down the choice.

Do you need Compliance Reports?

Maybe you are a truck driver or someone that needs to be able to obtain Compliance and Therapy reports of your CPAP usage? If that is the case connectivity will be a very important function. Many CPAPs like the AirSense 11, the Luna G3, or the DreamStation 2 come fully equipped with Cell Modems and Bluetooth. That means that your data can be automatically relayed to you and your provider daily. This allows you to be certain that your data and reports will be readily available for your needs at all times. In these cases, the limited connectivity of some of the basic models like the iBreeze or the Transcend Micro Travel CPAP may not be the best option for you.

Are you a “Tech Person”?

If you really like all the feedback and connectivity that modern technology can provide, then the model you choose is very important? There are only a few options that have high-functioning integrations. Those models would be the AirSense 11 from ResMed or the DreamStation 2 from Philips. Both have very high functioning apps that allow you to see your sleep data in detail. If that connectivity and data is of no concern to you, then you can address more important concerns such as price or other functionalities with your choice.

Do you travel much?

Most CPAP models come with a travel case that will allow you to pack up and take it on the road pretty easily. However, most home CPAP models are not so great for someone that travels frequently. In those cases, you may want to consider a Travel CPAP like the AirMini or DreamStation Go. Those options give you Bluetooth connectivity for transmitting report data as well as really nice apps for tracking you own results. If you don’t need reporting, then you can consider a model like the Z2 or TranScend Micro For most CPAP users on a Travel CPAP, they will use an HME (Heat Moisture Exchanger) instead of a Heated Humidifier. If you are someone that will require Heated Humidification on your Travel CPAP then the only options would be the DreamStation Go or the Transcend 365 Travel CPAP. You may also want to check in to the Electrical Specifications of the CPAP you are considering. For instance, the DreamStation 2 will run directly on 12 volts. This makes using it in a camper or vehicle much easier.

What do you want to spend?

The Cost of CPAP machines can vary widely. It can also be very dependent on availability (as we have seen recently). The top tier CPAPs such as ResMed and Philps are usually going to command a higher price. This is because they typically have the most Researched and Developed functionality. R&D can be more costly than manufacturing in many cases. With that being said, there are brands that allow you a very similar therapy at a lower cost. In these models such as Resvent or 3B you can expect to sacrifice some functionalities like connectivity or size. However, in most cases you will get a very similar therapy from the lower cost option as the more expensive version. Here at CPAPmyway we offer great financing options for your new CPAP. Click here to check that out.

Noise level?

Most of the modern CPAPs are pretty darn quiet. There isn’t a massive difference on the sound of the motor in most cases. Where you may notice significant noise differences is in the mask. The exhalation ports on each CPAP mask are very different. Some are diffused to the point that you can’t hear anything. Others could blow dry the hair of the person sleeping next to you. The only major noise level difference in CPAPs in the Travel CPAP arena. Travel CPAPs in general are usually louder than home CPAPs. This is because they have very little insulation to reduce the noise. Additionally, the noise difference between high-end travel CPAPs vs low-end travel CPAPs is definitely noticeable. Check out our blog on the best Auto CPAPs of 2022 for more information on Travel CPAPs. 

Universal Connection to masks?

Almost all of the CPAPs made today are a universal 22mm connection. This allows you to connect standard CPAP tubing. Standard connection means that 99% of all CPAP masks will hook up fine to your CPAP. As we stated above, you need options on the mask front. With that being said there is one Travel CPAP that doesn’t have universal connection. That is the ResMed AirMini. This unit will only allow you to connect the AirMini Tubing as well as specific ResMed AirMini Masks. 

Will I need Heated Tubing?

There are only a couple CPAPs that have available Heated Tubing options. Heating tubing is really only necessary when you need to add an inordinate amount of extra humidity to the air you are breathing on the CPAP. This is usually only an issue in dry climates. If you live in a dry area, then those models may need to be in your consideration. The current models that have heated tubing are the AirSense 11, DreamStation 2, Luna G3, and SleepStyle CPAPs. All of these have excellent humidification systems that include a heated tubing option. Most people do not start off with a heated tube, even when they are purchasing one of the models above. However, it may be something needed in the future.

How do I maintain my New CPAP?

Maintenance on your new CPAP Machine is pretty standard across the board. According to most manufacturers, your CPAP Mask, humidifier chamber, and tubing should all be cleaned daily with soap and water. That means disassembling everything daily, soaking in warm soapy water, rinsing and air-drying everything daily. From our perspective you may be able to get away with doing that as little as twice per week. If you are more of a dishwasher style person, then you may want to consider an Automatic CPAP Cleaner. We have some great options on that front to reduce your CPAP to-do list.

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  • By Clay Rollyson
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I cannot count the number of times that someone has called to ask why there is always air leaking from their CPAP mask. In many cases that leak is an issue, but in just as many cases it is no issue at all. Let’s take a look at the different reasons for mask leak.

CPAP Mask Exhalation Port

No matter which CPAP mask you own, there will be air constantly blowing out of the designated exhalation port. This “leak” is essential in the performance of your CPAP mask. The air escaping from your CPAP masks exhalation port is designed to flush CO2. That is obviously essential to your breathing, so it is important that your exhalation port remain open and free of obstruction. The port is usually on the front of the mask. It may make some noise or may be difficult to notice at all.

General Mask Leak

If the air leaking from your CPAP mask is not coming from an obvious exhalation port, then it may be a problem. In most cases the leak is coming from a gap between your skin and the CPAP mask. The most common area is around the nose. For others the leak may be on the cheeks at the side of the mask or below the lip. All of these leaks are usually corrected with very little issue. So, let’s break it down in more detail.
  • Mask Leak around the bridge of your nose– This is usually when a standard nasal mask or full-face mask doesn’t match up to the users nose well. In these cases, you should start by tightening the mask slightly until the leak goes away. If the tightening becomes uncomfortable or painful, then you will need to check out a different style mask that avoids this problem area. Typically, a low-profile mask like the DreamWear line or ResMed versions does a good job. They will provide a seal without any contact to the bridge of the nose at all.
  • Mask leak on the side of the nose– This leak is usually caused by the exact opposite reason as the previous mask. If you start with a low-profile mask like the DreamWear or N30i, then you may have an issue with leak at the side of the nose. The first step to resolve this is to size down one cushion size and slightly tighten the mask. If that doesn’t work, and you like the fit of the mask then you may want to consider ordering the pillow version of that mask, such as the DreamWear Pillows or P30i. The pillows will stay in place much better than the cradle design. If all those steps fail, then it is time for a more traditional style CPAP mask like an Eson 2 nasal mask or the Vitera full face mask.
  • Mask leak to the sides or below the lip- This is another very common leak. In most cases you can slightly tighten the mask incrementally to account for the leak. If it gets to the point where the tightening is causing discomfort, then you may need a mask change. The more surface area that you have to seal the better the chance of a leak. That means the larger the mask the better chance it will have an issue. When you are in this scenario the best bet is to go to a smaller style mask. If you are on a minimal contact full face like the Amara View or the DreamWear Full, then you may want to consider something smaller like the DreamWisp or N30i Nasal Mask. If you are on a more traditional style full face like the Simplus, then you may want to consider a traditional nasal like the Eson 2 or maybe even a nasal pillow mask.

What if the leak isn’t from the mask?

In many cases you may hear air escaping, notifying you of a leak, but the noise isn’t coming from the mask. This can occur for a few different reasons. These are the main leaks that we have encountered outside of the mask leak:
  • Bad Tubing– It is very common that tubing will tear or pull loose from a connection point. Start at the junction of the mask and work your way down to the connection at the back of the CPAP. As you inspect the length of the tube look for any stretched areas or tears. It may also be a good idea to disconnect and reconnect the tubing to make sure that it has a solid connection.
  • Humidifier Chamber Leak– You humidifier chamber on the CPAP typically has silicone seals that keep it airtight. If one of those seals is torn, or bent, you may experience air leaking from that point. To inspect the humidifier chamber, you should remove it from the CPAP, open it up and take a look at all the seals to make sure that there is no damage. Then reinsert the chamber, making sure it is snapped in place securely.
  • Internal CPAP issues– Inside of the CPAP are seals and a blower motor. Over time these parts can go bad. If the noise is coming distinctly from the CPAP itself, then the only troubleshooting method is to inspect the filter. If the filter is clean, then you will have to contact your provider or a repair facility. For more information on CPAP repairs, click here. 
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