• By Clay Rollyson
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If you are a truck driver or anyone having to report CPAP usage to the DOT for your Medical Card Renewal, then this is a must read. We have a ton of experience with truck drivers, pilots, train engineers, boat pilots and more. From that experience we have learned a lot that we can now pass along to you.

What will you need to report from the CPAP?

For almost all truck drivers that have had to start CPAP Therapy you will need to provide compliance reporting to your DOT doctor every time you renew your medical card. It basically will be a report that your CPAP creates to show how much you are using the CPAP. There is no way to cheat this, so it is important to understand what compliance is. We have a GREAT blog on CPAP compliance and a video going over those details if you want more on that subject. The biggest concern in your CPAP selection will be how does your CPAP produce this report for you.


How do you get a Compliance Report from your CPAP?

This may be the single most important topic for a truck driver to consider on the selection of your CPAP. Over the years we have dealt with so many truck drivers needing compliance reports that we have seen every scenario. It can be very easy to get the compliance report from your new CPAP or it can be almost impossible, and all of that will depend on the model you chose. Let’s break those options down.

CPAP connection options:

Almost all CPAPs have some sort of recording option built into them. So, while almost all of them record your usage they do not report them in the same way. There are basically 4 ways to get the data from your CPAP. Once you understand the options below, I would recommend reading our top Auto CPAP picks blog here. This will explain which models have these features.

1)  Manual CPAP upload by cord to computer:

There are very few models left that will upload in this fashion. However, they do exist, and you should be sure that you understand if your CPAP is one of them. For these models you would have to take the entire CPAP to a Sleep doctor or CPAP supplier. Then you would have to hope that they have the kindness AND ability to provide you with a report from the device. Most of the CPAPs that operate in this way are Travel CPAPs. This type is not a good option for truck drivers.

2) Manual CPAP upload via SD card to computer program:

This type of upload is not a great option, but it isn’t impossible. If you have a CPAP that requires upload by SD card you will have a SD card in the CPAP that stores your CPAP usage data. That SD card can be uploaded at your doctor’s office, your CPAP providers office, or in some cases you can do it on your own at home via your home computer. Some models that allow you to do it on your own would be the iBreeze or Luna 2 CPAPs. They are good options but will require a computer with internet connection and SD card reader. If you are not good with computers, then this option is not a good one for you.

3) Bluetooth CPAP upload to cloud software:

Some CPAP options have built in Bluetooth connection that you can link to an app on your phone. You will need some basic understanding of operating your smartphone to use this option. Additionally, you will need to make sure that you maintain that connection on a regular basis. As long as you have a good CPAP supplier (like us here at CPAPmyway) you should not have any issue calling them up to get the report when you need it on this type of CPAP. It will upload your data to the cloud from your smartphone and your supplier should be able to see it and to provide you the reports you need. One option that is also great for staying on the road is the AirMini Travel CPAP. These types of CPAPs are good for users that do not have good or consistent cellular connections.

4) Cellular CPAP upload to cloud software:

This is by far the easiest option for obtaining a CPAP usage report. As long as you have purchased it from a good CPAP supplier. On these models the CPAP automatically connects itself to the cellular network and uploads the data for you. This means that you do not have to do anything other than call your provider for the report when you need it. Some nice CPAP models that include the Cell modems are the AirSense 11 CPAP, the Luna G3 CPAP, and the DreamStation 2 CPAP. These all will upload the data automatically and allow your CPAP supplier to pull your reports. If you order them from us here at CPAPmyway we will provide those reports as often as you need for free.
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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Minimal Contact Full Face CPAP masks are a great new category in the CPAP mask world. They give you the abilities of a traditional full face CPAP mask with much less on your face. They accomplish this by sealing at the bottom of the nose versus over the bridge of the nose. This gives you a clear line of sight even while the mask is on. You can wear glasses to read or watch TV even while wearing your CPAP mask.

How well do Minimal Contact Full Face CPAP masks work?

The Amara View was the first modern style mask in the minimal contact category. When this one was launched, I was ultra-skeptical. I had never seen a mask seal in this way and could not see it happening effectively. I was surprised to find that not only did it seal, but it sealed well. In fact, the minimal contact style seals better than the traditional style in a lot of cases. This is because for many CPAP users the bridge of the nose area is a very difficult place to seal. The design allows for the mask to seal under and around the tip of the nose. Which completely eliminates the need to seal at the bridge of the nose what-so-ever.

Which Minimal Contact CPAP mask is best?

There are quite a few options on the market these days. All of the major manufacturers now have a minimal contact option. Philips Respironics offers the DreamWear Full and the Amara View. ResMed offers the AirFit F30 and the AirFit F30i. And now Fisher and Paykel offer the Evora Full Face. All of these masks have major pros and cons, so which one is best. Let’s take a deep dive on those 5 models.

Amara View from Respironics

The Amara View is the original minimal contact full face. It has been around for quite a while and has been a very popular and effective option for a ton of CPAP users. It seals under the nose and over the mouth. It features a tacky silicone seal that generally does a good job of sealing against the skin. The seal is available in Small, Medium and Large, and all sizes wil fit the same frame. It is even available as a fitpack offering all sizes in one bag. This tacker silicone can also be a bit abrasive if over-tightened. The magnetic headgear clips make taking the mask on and off very easy.

Amara View Pros:

  • Tackier silicone– The silicone has a nice sticky factor to it. This allows the mask to seal well against the skin. You must keep the seal clean to keep this working well.
  • Stretch tube– The Amara View connects to your CPAP tube with a small connector tube. It stretches and rotates extremely well. Giving the CPAP user ability to move in bed with much less tube drag.
  • Great magnetic clips– The headgear clips are magnetic and hold the mask firmly in place. This allows you to connect the mask and disconnect with ease. This is important because of the way that this type of mask fits.

Amara View Cons:

  • Side of nose leak– The Amara view generally works, or it does not. There is not much middle ground. The majority of time where the Amara View fails it is due to leaks up the side of the nose. You can try to size down on the cushion to compensate for this leak, but if that doesn’t work, move on.
  • Can hurt the tip of the nose- The way that this mask seals puts a bit of pressure on the tip of the nose in some cases. This usually goes away after a few days, much like the pain from a new pair of glasses on nose or ears.
  • Not great for short noses– If you have a small button-nose you may be a great model, but you will also have trouble with the Amara View. The way it seals makes sealing on small noses pretty difficult.
  • Exhalation draft– The exhalation ports on this mask are very projected and can be felt by the bed partner. This is genuine firsthand experience sleeping next to my wife.

AirFit F30 by ResMed

The F30 was ResMed’s first minimal contact full face mask. They do have the Liberty hybrid mask that features nasal pillows, so they had some experience with an oral cushion design. As always ResMed makes a quality product and the F30 is no exception. It has a much more pronounced seal to the side of the nose. Referred to as “wings” in many cases. This attempts to create a better side of nose seal, however it does make for a larger seal. It comes in small and medium sizes. Both size cushions will fit the same frame so you can try different size cushions without buying an entirely new mask.

F30 Pros:

  • Great side of nose seal– The wings on the sides of the seal help to reduce the potential for leak at the side of the nose. There are times where that can pinch the nose if sized too small.
  • Quiet exhalation– The exhalation ports on the AirFit F30 make the exhalation very quiet and do not disturb the bed partner.
  • Nice Magnet headgear clips– The F30 also has great and secure magnetic clips. This makes it easy to fit nightly.

F30 Cons:

  • Can leak at tip on nose– While the side wings on the F30 help to reduce leaks at the side of the nose it does sacrifice some security at the tip of the nose. This can cause issues with leaks there.
  • No Large size– The Small and Medium do fit “most” CPAP users. However, we have seen many cases where a Large would have been a great option for larger noses.
  • Not very low profile– The connector elbow and cushions design make the F30 stick out from the face quite a bit. This can be tougher for side and belly sleepers, because of the way the mask hits against the pillow.

Evora by Fisher and Paykel

The Evora is the latest addition to this CPAP mask category. As with everything Fisher and Paykel do, the Evora was done over a long period of time and evaluation. This means it is well thought out and designed. It has a lot of the positives of other masks from their competitors with some great additional features. It comes in Extra Small, Small/Medium, and Large sizing. As with the previous models all size cushions fit the same frame, and the Evora can be purchased as a fitpack including all sizes.

Evora Pros:

  • High end headgear– The headgear on the Evora is top notch. It has high-end Velcro and specially designed breathable headgear. This makes it secure, long lasting, and really comfortable.
  • Low Profile– The connection on the front of the Evora comes from the bottom of the mask. This allows for a more “low-profile” front which is good for side-sleepers.
  • Directed exhalation– The exhalation ports on the front are divided to both sides of the mask and diffused downward. This helps to reduce noise and exhalation draft for the bed partner.

Evora Cons:

  • Not the best tube connection– The front tube does not rotate all that well. Not that it needs to swivel much, but if you move a lot in bed this can be a sticking point.
  • No magnets for headgear– The magnets on the competitors make them easier to take on and off. I have heard that F&P avoids magnets because of potential interference with pacemakers in users. Even if that is the case the clips are harder to work than magnets in competitors.
  • Cushion can be tough to remove– It takes a good bit of effort to get the cushion in and out when it is time to replace. Especially when it is brand new.

AirFit F30i by ResMed

The name may be similar to the F30 but the F30 and F30i are very different. For starters the F30i has an over-the-head tube connection as opposed to connecting on the front. It is available in Small, Medium, Wide and Small/Wide cushions. It has Small, Standard and Large frames. This gives it a broad fit percentage for CPAP users. The stretch design of the F30i frame allows for good movement for side and belly sleepers.

F30i Pros:

  • Top of the head tube connections– The connection of the tube at the top of the head allows for a lot more freedom of movement.
  • Diffused exhalation– The F3oi has a well diffused exhalation that keeps the mask very quiet and saves the bed partner from exhalation draft.
  • Stretchy frame– The frame allows for a good bit of stretch towatds the top of the head. This gives you a little more give and reduces the chance of cushion shifting on the nose.

F30i Cons:

  • Stretchy frame can pull hair– We have had a handful of customers reporting that the frame on the F30i can pull your hair a bit causing discomfort.
  • Can shift under nose– Because the frame is flexible and stretchy there are times where the cushion under the nose can shift, causing leaks.
  • Membrane in nasal seal can be a little weird– In the center of the nasal portion of the cushion there is a little bridge. This keeps the cushion more stable, but when it is a little off it makes exhalation a little strange.


DreamWear Full by Philips Respironics

The DreamWear has been a very popular mask, because it was the first to use the frame as the tubing to deliver the air down the sides of the face. Allowing the tube to connect at the top of the head with nothing in line-of-sight. This made the DreamWear extremely popular right off the bat. It is available in Small, Medium, Large and Wide, and has the fitpack option available. The frame of the DreamWear also allows you to connect the DreamWear Nasal, and DreamWear Nasal Pillow version of the mask. Making it a very versatile mask option.

DreamWear Full Pros:

  • Versatility- The DreamWear Full frame can also attach to the DreamWear Nasal Cushion of the DreamWear Silicone pillow cushion. This means that one frame can become 3 different masks. Great for CPAP users that switch between nasal and full frequently.
  • Good sizing options– The sizes on the DreamWar full do a great job of covering the bases. Most of which is determined by the size of your nose.
  • Dual exhalation ports– This is one of the only masks where you can sleep completely face down. If you cover the front exhalation the top exhalation port works perfectly.

DreamWear Full Cons:

  • Silky silicone– The silicone on the DreamWear is very soft and flexible which is great for comfort, but really affects the sealing. As opposed to the Amara view that has the tackier silicone.
  • Tubing quick connect can cause issues– The quick connect on the DreamWear is notorious for being left in the end of your CPAP tubing. It sits flush so it is hard to see. Customers throw it away with their tubing on accident frequently.
  • Exhalation can be a little much– The exhalation on the DreamWear is not diffused as well as some of the others. Giving slightly more sound and exhalation draft.
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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If you have ever wondered about your Oxygen Levels or Pulse during your workout or while you sleep, then you need to check out the O2 Ring. The O2 Ring records these statistics and puts them in a really simple report. This allows you to see what is happening with your cardio system during a workout or even while you sleep.

How Does the O2 Ring work?

Using the O2 Ring is very simple. Start by charging your device. Once you have the device fully charged, just slip it on your finger. The O2 Ring will turn on automatically and begin showing you your stats on the screen. It will additionally record those stats. Once your recording session is complete, you can link it up to the ViHealth App and sync the data from the O2 ring to your SmartPhone via Bluetooth. Once the data has synced it will show you the statistics in a very simple graph and report in the app.

What does the O2 Ring report show?

The report is very simple and clear. It shows you a graph of Oxygen Levels, Pulse, and body movement on a clear timeline. This shows you how the statistics go up and down throughout the time that you wore the device. It also includes some really cool summary stats that I list below.
  • Overall Recording time– The duration that you wore the device.
  • <90% time- This is the amount of total time that your Blood Oxygen level was under 90%.
  • Drops over 4%– This is the number of times that your oxygen level dropped by more than 4%.
  • Drops per hour– Total number of times that your Oxygen Level dropped per hour.
  • Average SPO2– This is your average Oxygen Level throughout the duration of the recording.
  • Lowest SPO2– Lowest oxygen level throughout the recording.
  • Average PR– Average heart rate during the recording.
  • O2 Score- Overall score of how well you maintain your oxygen levels throughout the recording.

Good uses for the O2 Ring Oximeter

The O2 ring is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition. This means that it is just used to give you some good feedback on your Pulse and Oxygen Levels during a period of time. With that being said, there are some really cool things to use it for. One of my favorites is for workouts. I personally have used it a few times to see how well I maintain heart rate and oxygen levels during my workout. It provided some really great information. Others, like my dad, have used it to see how well they are doing when asleep. You can put the O2 Ring on before bed, then sync the data in the morning. In either use, you are able to see a really informative report on Heart Rate and Oxygen Levels.
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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Travel CPAP vs Home CPAP

For a lot of people starting on CPAP or those that are upgrading their primary CPAP machine, the thought of a small, lightweight travel CPAP may be a serious consideration. It is true that travel CPAPs are awesome for traveling, but could they work as your one and only CPAP machine? There are some significant things to keep in mind when making this decision.

Will a Travel CPAP last over time?

In most cases when you buy a specific “travel” version of almost anything, you expect less durability. That may or may not be the case with Travel CPAPs. As with anything, you will get what you pay for in most cases. Over the years we have had many customers attempt to use Travel CPAPs as their primary device. We have had some do this with great success while others were back in 6-12 months for failures and repairs. Overall, we have noticed that the higher end travel CPAPs like AirMini from ResMed hold up very well, while the lower-cost versions struggle to last under that much usage. So, while the answer seems far too simple, our experience has led us to that conclusion. The high-end models work well for daily use, while the lower cost versions typically struggle.

Would a Travel CPAP benefit me?

This may actually be the most important question in this article. Travel CPAPs may seem really cool, but would it even benefit you. All travel CPAPs will have their limitations (which we discuss below), and so you should really decide why you even want one. If you are a person that travels frequently and struggles to get everything in the carry bag on already, then Travel CPAP may be a great idea. If you are buying one for the one vacation that you take every year, I am not sure that I would recommend a Travel CPAP at all. In short, no need to waste money on an expensive item that may not help you much at all. Especially when you consider the limitations of Travel CPAPs compared to Home CPAPs.

What are the downsides to Travel CPAPs?

There are some limitations you should consider about Travel CPAPs. While most Travel CPAPs will offer similar or exactly the same CPAP Therapy as a Home CPAP would, there are many features a Home CPAP provides that a Travel CPAP may not. Let’s check those out one by one for a better understanding.
  • Humidification Limitations:

    Almost all Travel CPAPs have either no heated humidifier option or at least a scaled back version. For instance. the AirMini Travel CPAP uses their own Humidx HMEs for humidification, while the DreamStation Go (currently unavailable) has the option of a generic HME (Heat Moisture Exchanger) or their optional Heated Humidifier. While the DreamStation Go has a heated humidifier the settings are very limited and so is the volume of water it holds. If you have a Home CPAP currently and want to know whether a HME will work for you, then I suggest you try the HME on your Home CPAP first. Just turn off the humidifier and empty the water chamber, then try out the HME to see how you feel with it. This will give you some great insight in to how an HME will work for you. You should also consider the climate that you will be using the CPAP in. If you are headed to the Amazon Rainforest you probably won’t have as much dryness concern as if you go to Arizona.
  • Compliance reporting:

    For a lot of CPAP users Compliance and Therapy reports are not just a useful feature, but a necessity. This may be due to insurance regulations or for job requirements. Not all Travel CPAPs offer good options for that. The Transcend 3 Travel CPAP requires you to send the device back to the company for a download on a computer. While the AirMini offers Bluetooth uploading which allows your CPAP provider to access that data remotely for reporting. The best Travel CPAP options for users needing reporting would be the Luna TravelPAPDreamStation Go or the AirMini. For CPAP users that do not need this option, then a lower cost alternative like the Transcend Micro or the Z2 Travel CPAP may work great.
  • Mask options:

    For almost all of the Travel CPAP options that we carry you can use most major CPAP masks. As long as the CPAP mask has the standard 22mm connection, then you will be able to use it. However, for the AirMini Travel CPAP, you must use a ResMed AirMini mask (unless you use the off-brand tube adapter). Other masks will not connect without an adpater. Additionally, the DreamStation go comes with a specific Micro tube that has connections built for the “DreamWear” line of masks. However, you can use the DreamStation go universal mask adapter or simply use a generic CPAP tube to put any mask you would like on the tubing.
  • CPAP Tubing limitations:

    For most of the Travel CPAP options you can connect a standard CPAP tube. Some like the Z2 Travel CPAP require an adapter, while others like the Transcend Micro have specific “AirFlex” tubing that are required for use. The AirMini travel CPAP is also designed to use AirMini Specific tubing unless you buy an off-brand adapter. Another large consideration on the tubing front is that NONE of the travel CPAP options offer a heated tube. If you cannot do without your heated tube on your Home CPAP, then make sure to keep that in mind.
  • Long term costs:

    The Travel CPAPs do have a few parts that are important to keep up with. Many of those are similar to the home options. You will have to keep up with your intake filter, tubing, as well as your HME potentially. All of these parts are slightly to significantly more expensive than the ones used with Home CPAPs. So, maintenance will more than likely cost more over time on a travel version.
  • Can be louder:

    There are two things that make Travel CPAPs a good bit louder than home CPAPs. First is that there is much less insulation inside the CPAP. They are saving size in any way they can, so the sound abatement insulation is reduced. The second factor is usually the HME. The HME will cause more noise as the air flows through it on inhalation and exhalation. In most cases the increase in sound is not significant. If you want to find the quietest Travel CPAP, then you should check out our blog and video by clicking here. For CPAP users that are more “sound-sensitive” a Travel CPAP may not be the best choice.

What are the upsides to Travel CPAPs?

While they do have limitations there are huge upsides to them. There are good reasons why manufacturers created Travel CPAPs and they can be big things to consider as you mull over the thought a Travel CPAP option. Let’s check those upsides out.
  • They are significantly smaller:

    In most cases the Travel CPAP version that you are considering is going to be 3-4 times smaller than the home version. The motors are smaller, there is no heated humidifier (in most cases), and there is less insulation. This allows them to be significantly smaller, and in turn makes packing for trips much easier. Currently the smallest Travel CPAP is the Transcend Micro.
  • Very lightweight:

    Like me, you are probably always right on that 50-pound limitation every time you put your baggage on the counter at the airport. With a travel CPAP you are looking at as much as a 3–4-pound reduction versus your home unit. We also have a ton of campers and backpackers that have to consider every pound that they carry. In cases like that a Travel CPAP is a great option.
  • Can be used on airplanes:

    There is obviously no extra room anywhere when you cram yourself into that airplane seat. With a Travel CPAP plus one of our travel battery options, you can sleep on the plane without snoring in front of 200 people. Plus, you will have a much smaller item to carry when you reach your destination.
  • No distilled water to carry around:

    Travel CPAPs typically use an HME or Heat Moisture Exchanger. These will recycle your own exhaled humidity and allow you to rebreathe it, instead of blowing it off. HME integrate into the tubing of the Travel CPAP, and they are very small. This means that you do not have to worry about packing water or finding when you reach your destination. To learn more about HMEs visit our blog on them here.
  • Simple operation:

    For better or for worse Travel CPAPs do not offer a bunch of bells and whistles in most cases. No big touchscreens with tons of options. For some it is a simple as an on and off button. Most have apps if you would like to delve deeper, but the controls are usually not on the device itself. While you do not have a bunch of visuals and buttons, there is a great deal of simplicity that Travel CPAPs offer.

Will a Travel CPAP work for Truck Drivers?

In short yes, but you need to be careful. If you are going to use one of the Travel CPAP options and will have to follow up with the DOT in the future, then your selection is very important. The only two units that I would currently recommend for a Truck Driver would be the AirMini Travel CPAP, Luna TravelPAP, and the DreamStation Go. Both of them offer bluetooth connectivity to a smartphone app. You do have to maintain that connection in order for the data to transmit, but it can be transmitted. This will allow your CPAP provider like us here, to access that data and to produce the reports that you will need. For more information on Truck Drivers and Sleep Apnea check out our blog here. 
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