• By Clay Rollyson
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There are few side effects to using CPAP and going bald probably isn’t the first one that you thought about. However, it is something that we have had mentioned as a concern from our customers over the years. Obviously, nobody wants to lose the hair that they have. So, let’s take a deeper look why it happens and how to fix it.

What Causes Hair Loss on CPAP?

No, the CPAP Machine is not making you bald. The issues that we have heard regarding loss of hair on CPAP have all centered around headgear and frames on the CPAP mask itself. In most cases it centers around the masks that have silicone frames or straps that rub against the hair on your head. The silicone is tacky and as you move at night it pulls the hair out of your head. There are a couple options to help.

Options to Eliminate the Hair Loss on CPAP:

The main thing that you have to do is to get a barrier between your hair and the silicone parts of the mask. Below are a couple options that may give you some relief.
  1. One of the options would be a generic mask frame wrap. Many CPAP masks come with a frame wrap of some sort, because they know this is an issue. One of those would be the DreamWear. You simply wrap the velour wrap around the frame and Velcro it in place. This provides a smooth surface for the frame or headgear to move as you move. Without the pull.
  2. You can also try out a hair cap. These are obviously a bit more involved, but they do work. You can find them at almost any hair shop or Walmart. Simply put the head cap on before bed and then fit your CPAP mask over top of the cap. This will give you a comfortable mask fit without any pull on your hair what-so-ever.

Which CPAP Mask Cause Hair Loss

Most CPAP masks are designed to be as comfortable and effective as possible. The balance of comfort and effectiveness is the most difficult part of making CPAP masks. And because everyone has different preferences and features there are a ton of different style out there to choose from. Most of them feature fabric headgear that moves gently around the head without pulling or abrasion, while others have silicone frames that surround the head. The ones like the DreamWear cradle or the N30i have awesome features but may cause pulling of the hair. This is because the frame that delivers the air from the top of your head to the nose is silicone. For other CPAP users even the fabric headgear can pull hair. Using one of the Mask Frame Wraps can allow use of these CPAP mask options without the pulling of your hair.
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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Over the years we have had a TON of CPAP users that run out of water during the night, and until now we didn’t have much of an option. After reading that feedback for the 1000th time, it hit me that there is an option. In this blog we are going to take you through the process of how to add extra humidity without running out of water in the middle of the night.

How does the humidifier on the CPAP work?

The first thing that you have to understand is how the humidifier works. Your CPAP most likely has an integrated heated humidifier system. This means that you are adding water to a tank nightly and the CPAP uses that water to humidify the air you are breathing. Most humidifier chambers are about 300 ml, which is not a lot of water. The chamber has a metal plate on the bottom that is heated, allowing more of the water to evaporate into the air passing through the CPAP to you. The higher you heat the water the more water evaporates into the air you are breathing.

Why is the CPAP running out of water?

So now that you understand how it works let’s discuss why it runs out. Because you only have so much water available in the water chamber you will only have so much time available with humidity. Most CPAP water chambers will allow for at least 8 hours of usage. However, if you have conditions where the air in your home is dry then it may absorb a lot more water from the CPAP as it passes through the humidifier. This means that what was meant to last 8 hours, may only last 4 or 5. Then you wake up dry as the Sahara Desert with an empty tank. Time to offer a real solution.


How can I fix the limited water issue on my CPAP?

Unless you enjoy waking up in the middle of the night to add water to you CPAP, then you probably need a solution. Finally, we have an option for you. We have used the HC-150 external humidifier for years with Ventilators and older style CPAPs. Now, we are using it as an addition to your CPAP to add extra water volume and humidity. The HC-150 holds an additional 400ml (13.5oz) of water. This will at least double your water capacity. Now, let’s learn how to use it properly.

How to use the HC-150 External Humidifier Properly:

Setting up the HC-150 is pretty simple. There are things to keep in mind to make sure that it is running properly. The first thing is to make sure that you have the short adapter tube running from the back of the CPAP into the top of the HC-150 humidifier. Then you will connect your longer CPAP tube to the outlet of the HC-150 and to your mask. It is best to use the smaller adapter hose from the CPAP to the HC-150 to avoid pressure loss.

How to Adjust the Settings when using the HC-150 on CPAP:

This is where the rubber meets the road. You have to be careful to make sure that you don’t add too much humidity and cause “rainout”. The best way to do this is by adjusting up slowly on a night-by-night basis. To start with we recommend turning the integrated humidifier on the CPAP off and leaving that water tank empty. Start with the HC-150 alone to see if it will be enough. Start the HC-150 setting at a little over 2 on the front dial. Then turn it up nightly as needed to keep from drying out. If you max out the HC-150, and still cannot get enough humidity, then you can add water to the CPAP and gradually increase the humidifier setting on the CPAP to add in even more humidity. It may also be smart to add in a tubing insulator like one of our tube wraps to help reduce the chance of “rainout” condensation in your CPAP tube.

Things to keep in mind when setting up the HC-150 this way:

There are a few things that you should be aware of when setting up an external humidifier like the HC-150 on your CPAP machine. Let’s dive in a little deeper on that front:
  • Don’t go overboard to begin with– Work the settings up slowly. If you add too much humidity up front, then you may end up blowing water in your face because of “rainout” condensation.
  • Stick with our recommended tubing setup– You don’t want to add in too much tubing length, because it can affect pressure.
  • Start with the HC-150 alone– You may find that the HC-150 does a great job of keeping you humidified without having to add in water to the CPAP chamber at all. You can always add that in if the HC-150 isn’t enough.
  • Heater plate it HOT– Be careful not to touch or let anyone else touch the heater plate. It can be really hot.
  • Remember to turn it off– It has a manual on/off button. Make sure you turn it off in the morning after you turn the CPAP off.
  • Best to keep it lower than yourself– In case there is excess condensation in the tubing, the water will drain back into the HC-150 chamber instead of in your face. They recommend keeping it on the floor which seems silly but keep this in mind.
  • You can’t use heated tubing– If you are currently using heated tubing on your CPAP then you will have to switch to standard tubing. You can add in a tubing snuggie to help insulate the tubing and prevent rainout.

What else can the HC-150 humidifier do for me?

  • Use with Travel CPAP– The HC-150 external humidifier may also be a good fit for people wanting to use a Travel CPAP. Almost all travel CPAPs do not have humidifier, so it may be a good add on to that setup.
  • Sub it in for a broken CPAP humidifier– From time to time the integrated CPAP humidifier may fail. If money is short or you can’t get a new CPAP, then the HC-150 may be a good use.
  • Double down on humidity– Some CPAP user just don’t get enough humidity from their CPAP humidifier. In that case you can add the HC-150 in to double the humidity output. Be careful not to add too much in this case.

HC-150 Accessories:

Maintaining your HC-150 CPAP Humidifier:

  1. Switch off the HC-150 and unplug from the power cord
  2. Detach the water tank and allow it to cool.
  3. Wipe the HC-150 exterior with a damp cloth and mild dishwasher detergent. Note: do not use harsh abrasives or solvents, as these may cause damage.
  4. Daily- Rinse the water chamber and breathing tube with warm soapy water. Rinse well and allow to air dry.
  5. Weekly- Soak the inside of the chamber for 10 minutes in a 1 part white vinegar 2 part water solution. Rinse thoroughly and air dry before use.
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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Philips Respironics has issued an Urgent Medical Device Correction on a handful of their Nasal and Full-Face CPAP Masks. All of these CPAP masks have magnets on the headgear straps. These magnets are designed to help you attach and detach your headgear more easily. However, they can cause issues for certain CPAP users. Let’s dive into the details of what this might mean for you below. You can read through the formal notification on the Philips website by clicking here. Click on any of the words in blue to see details on the items in blue.

What Implants and Devices are affected by these CPAP Mask Magnets?

Contraindication: Use of the mask is contraindicated for patients and their household members, caregivers, and bed partners that may be in close vicinity to patients using the masks, that have implanted devices that may be affected by magnets, including but not limited to:
  • Pacemakers
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD)
  • Neurostimulators
  • Magnetic metallic implants/electrodes/valves placed in upper limbs, torso, or higher (i.e. neck and head)
  • CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) shunts (e.g., VP (ventriculo peritoneal) shunt)
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Embolic coils
  • Intracranial aneurysm intravascular flow disruption devices
  • Metallic cranial plates, screws, burr hole covers, and bone substitute devices
  • Metallic splinters in the eye
  • Ocular implants (e.g., glaucoma implants, retinal implants)
  • Certain contact lenses with metal
  • Implants to restore hearing or balance that have an implanted magnet (such as cochlear implants, implanted bone
  • conduction hearing devices, and auditory brainstem implants)
  • Magnetic denture attachments
  • Metallic gastrointestinal clips
  • Metallic stents (e.g., aneurysm, coronary, tracheobronchial, biliary)
  • Implantable ports and pumps (e.g., insulin pumps)
  • Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulators
  • Devices labeled as MR (magnetic resonance) unsafe
  • Magnetic metallic implants not labeled for MR or not evaluated for safety in a magnetic field

Which Philips Respironics Masks are affected?

There are 4 CPAP mask models that we have sold that are affected. They are the Amara View Full Face, DreamWear Full Face, DreamWisp Nasal, and the Wisp Nasal CPAP mask. All of these models feature magnets on the headgear straps that can be an issue for affected CPAP users. For most of these models there is not resolution, and you would need to change mask models. For one however, there is a quick and easy resolutions. Below we go over the individual affected masks and appropriate models that would be similar if you need to make a change.

What do I do if I am affected by the Magnets on the CPAP mask?

All 4 of these masks affected by the Urgent Medical Device Correction have either a comparable alternative that we can recommend or might even be able to be resolved with a quick alternative clip. Let’s look at each of the masks individually to see what might be best for you.

DreamWear Full Face

The DreamWear full face is a Minimal contact full face CPAP mask. It features magnetic clips that are built into the cushion of the mask. For this mask there is no resolution that will allow you to continue use of the DreamWear Full. This means that you would need to seek out an alternative. Unfortunately, the only direct competitor to this mask would be the F30i from ResMed, but it also has magnets. So, your best bet would most likely be the Evora Full Face by fisher and paykel. It has a similar fit with a fairly low profile, but it does have a front tube attachment.

Amara View Full Face

For the Amara View there is a pretty nice and easy way to continue use of this mask without magnets. The only thing necessary is to purchase the older style manual clips for the Amara View. These clips allow you to manually clip the headgear into place without the magnets being attached at all. To view these manual clips, click here. If you would like to change models entirely, then the Evora Full Face would again be your best bet.

DreamWisp Nasal Mask

The DreamWisp is a tough one to resolve. This is because it is the only Nasal CPAP mask that has an over the head tube connection. Because of that you will have to sacrifice something in the change. You can convert to a standard Nasal CPAP mask without magnets like the Eson 2 or Mirage Fx. This allows you to keep the standard “over-the-nose” nasal fit. If you would like to keep the top-of-head tube connection you would move to a nasal cradle design like the Evora Nasal, DreamWear Nasal or the N30i.

Wisp Nasal Mask

The Wisp Nasal Mask is another tough one to replace. That is because the headgear and frame are pretty unique. There is no frame in front of the nose which gives you a nice clear line of sight while wearing the Wisp. Masks like N20 and the N10 which would be very similar to the Wisp also have magnets. So, in this case again you would have to go to a more standard style Nasal Mask with a traditional frame like the Eson 2 or Mirage FX to achieve the traditional nasal fit. You can also consider a Nasal Pillow mask or Nasal Cradle mask to achieve the open line of sight.

What does ResMed say about their Mask Magnets?

I reached out to my representative at ResMed to see where they stand on the Mask Magnet issue. Since ResMed has quite a few CPAP masks that feature really nice magnets, I was concerned. Please keep in mind that this is the response on the day that this blog was written. If this response changes, then I will do my best to update this information. I will also clarify that despite the word “recall” below, I have not heard the word “recall” from Philips or anyone else so far.

ResMed’s Response:

“We are aware of the September 6, 2022, recall of certain Philips masks due to a safety issue with magnets that may affect some medical devices in or on a patient.  ResMed is carefully reviewing the issues outlined in the FDA’s recall report, as we do with any relevant regulatory activity in the market. We believe our (ResMed) masks are safe to use.  While some ResMed masks use magnets in the lower headgear straps and the frame to assist with ease of closure and a secure fit, these masks contain magnets designed to a strength below the guidance from the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) for use of magnets in this setting, and ResMed masks provide instructions to users about the use of magnets in proximity to other medical devices.  We will consider whether additional work is needed to further demonstrate the continuing safety of our masks that use magnets. ResMed continually evaluates our products against applicable regulatory standards, industry guidance, safety standards, and good clinical practice, as they develop.”      
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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Almost all of the home CPAP models come with a Heated Humidifier. Most of these are actually integrates with the CPAP machine itself. This means that no matter whether you are using the water or not, the humidifier system is there. So, you may be asking, “do I need to add water to your CPAP” or “can you leave the CPAP water chamber empty”. More than likely that is because you are trying to avoid the hassle of filling and maintaining the water chamber. Let’s take a look at whether that is a good idea for you as well as things to consider.

Signs that you might can do without the water:

Deciding to use the CPAP with an empty water tank is most likely something you are considering making your life simpler. That is completely understandable. Here are some signs that it may be a good option for you.
  • You have never experienced dryness while using your CPAP.
  • The water tank always seems to be full in the morning and you aren’t dry.
  • You live in a humid environment.
  • You travel frequently and cannot lug distilled water with you.

Signs that you should stick with your humidifier:

While dealing with a CPAP humidifier can be something you would like to cross off the “to do” list permanently, it is not the right option for everyone. Here are some reasons that you should stick with the humidifier system.
  • You are dried out frequently when you wake up.
  • You take medication that gives you dry mouth as a side-effect.
  • You live in a dry region.
  • Your CPAP frequently uses a good bit of the water in the tank overnight.

Important things to remember if you leave the water tank empty:

If you are going to operate the CPAP without water in the water chamber, there are some things to keep in mind that will help you. Let’s detail that below.
  • Make sure that you disable the humidifier. In most CPAPs that means turning your humidity setting in the patient menu down to zero.
  • Keep the tank in the machine unless you have purchased a bypass adapter and installed it.
  • Keep some distilled water close in case this doesn’t work out well.
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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The Luna G3 Auto CPAP is the latest from 3B medical. Our experience with 3B CPAPs has been very positive overall, and we expect the G3 Auto CPAP to be a similar experience. It is small, lightweight, and has all of the comfort features that today’s CPAP user would expect. Let’s take a deeper dive.

What is new on the Luna G3 Auto CPAP?

The previous 3B CPAP model was the Luna 2 and was a great CPAP for us and our customers over the years. However, that CPAP had its shortcomings. The two biggest downsides to the Luna 2 were the Size/Weight and the connectivity. These two things made it a tough choice for those that wanted a smaller/lightweight option with connectivity for reporting. The Luna G3 Auto CPAP completely resolves those issues. It takes up just 10.5″ x 5.7″ on the nightstand and weighs just 3.7 lbs. On top of that the Travel Case is just 13″ x 11″ x 5.5″. This means that finding a spot on the nightstand and traveling with your Luna G3 is a breeze. The G3 also features an integrated cell modem. This means that your compliance data will upload automatically. Giving your provider and doctor simple access for reporting your CPAP usage. Additionally, you can expect all the great things of the past like, quiet operation, durability, and comfortable operation.

Features of the Luna G3 Auto CPAP:

  • Small and lightweight– At just 3.75 pounds and a dimension of 4.49″ x 5.71″ x 10.43″ you will have no issues traveling with or finding a spot for your Luna G3.
  • Integrated heated tubing– The heated tubing on the G3 is a nice upgrade from previous 3B models. The heated tube plugs directly into the back allowing you a premium humidification experience.
  • Quiet Operation– Sound might be the most-asked question from the spouses of our customers. At just 26 dBA, the G3 is whisper quiet while operating at 10cm.
  • Multiple data options– The Luna G3 has the option of SD card, scan upload, or remote upload. It is great for truck drivers or those that need to keep close monitoring with their doctor.
  • Multiple Therapy Options– Whether you are using fixed pressure CPAP or need the Auto Adjusting settings, this CPAP can handle it comfortably for you.

Luna G3 Auto CPAP Pros and Cons:

This CPAP will be a great option for new CPAP users as well as those who have been on CPAP for years and need a modern upgrade. It has great upsides as well as a few downsides that you should take into consideration when checking out new CPAP options.

Luna G3 CPAP Pros:

  • Small and lightweight– This CPAP is obviously not a “Travel CPAP”, but for those that need a CPAP with all the features of a home CPAP, but also the ability to get on the road from time to time you have it here.
  • Connectivity– Previous 3B models did not have any connectivity integrated into the CPAP. The G3 changes that. It has an integrated cell modem that will automatically upload your data back to us and your doctor. This means that if you need reporting for your job or great communication to your doctor you are in luck.
  • Affordable– 3B came into the market with affordability in mind. They have consistently offered good products at competitive pricing. They hit that out of the park on the G3 CPAP.

Luna G3 CPAP Cons:

  • Water chamber can be tricky– Removing the water chamber for cleaning and maintenance can be tough. You have to press down firmly to release it, but it can be tough for people that have dexterity issues. Luckily, the water chamber can be filled without removing it.
  • App isn’t very good– As of writing this today the app is not great. That can, and probably will change with time. As for today, if you are a person that likes good “tech”, the app will not live up to your standards, most likely.

Our thoughts on the Luna G3 Auto CPAP:

Our overall opinion on the Luna G3 Auto CPAP is positive. While the Luna 2 had some limitations that forced us to limit our recommendation to certain CPAP users, the Luna G3 has changed that. If you are a basic CPAP user, then this is a great option for you. The only person that we would not recommend this to would be someone that might have issues removing the water tank (most people will not) or CPAP users that love their reports on their app every day. That means for almost everyone looking for a great and affordable CPAP option, the Luna G3 has to be on your short list of considerations.  
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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Adjusting the Therapy Settings on the Luna 2 Auto CPAP is very simple. It is, however, very important to consult with your Sleep Physician about settings changes in advance of making setting changes. There are also comfort settings that may dramatically improve your therapy on the Luna 2 CPAP. So, let’s dive in to the “how-to” details:

Step 1:

From the Main Interface, press and hold the Dial and Ramp Button for five seconds. The screen displays the Initial Setup Interface of the Maintenance Menu, as shown in Fig.1-3. The first icon on the left side of the screen indicates the Main Interface, the second Icon with the cog icon indicates the Clinical Menu, and the third icon indicates the Service Menu. Press the knob to enter the menu.

Step 2:

As you turn the Dial clockwise, the cursor moves downwards from one option to another. As you turn it counterclockwise, the cursor moves upwards. When the cursor is on a certain option, press the Dial , and the option is then displayed in yellow, meaning that the option can now be adjusted. Once you adjust to the setting desired, Click the knob once more to confirm the change and mode on.  Now let’s look at each setting in detail.
You will now see the settings menu. Mode will be your first option. Press the knob to select the mode. It can be set as CPAP or Auto. In CPAP mode you will be in a fixed CPAP pressure. In “Auto” you will be in an auto-adjusting mode, and the CPAP will adjust to the best pressure for you within the range set later on.
Treat P:
This setting will only be displayed if you have selected the CPAP mode in the setting above. Treat P is the treatment pressure. It can be set from 4 cm of pressure to 20cm of pressure.
This setting will display if you have Selected “Auto” therapy mode in the first setting. This setting will be the most minimal pressure in the pressure range.
Max Ramp:
The max ramp is the longest amount of time available for your ramp duration. The ramp setting can be changed in the patient level menu, but the “Max Ramp” setting in this clinical menu will put a cap on how long the patient menu ramp can go.
Ramp P:
This setting is the starting ramp pressure. It is the pressure setting that the CPAP will go to when the patient presses the ramp button during therapy.
This setting will only display if you have selected “Auto” mode in the first step. The Max APAP is the maximum amount of pressure that the Luna 2 will go to during Auto CPAP therapy. It can go as high as 20cm of pressure.
Auto On:
This feature can be turned On or Off. If it is turned “On” then the Luna 2 will turn on as soon as it senses your breath when. Bypassing the need to manually turn your CPAP on after attaching your mask. If it is “Off” then you will have to manually turn on your CPAP.
Auto Off:
This feature can also be turned On or Off. When turned “On” the Luna 2 will shut itself down when you take the mask off. When turned “Off” you will need to manually shut your CPAP down when you take your mask off. You may want to turn this feature off if you have noticed the Luna 2 shutting down during therapy. This can sometimes be due to high leaks and the CPAP thinking that you have taken the mask off.
Leak Alert:
This feature can also be turned “On” or “Off”. When it is turned off the Luna 2 will alert you to high leaks in an effort to wake you up for mask adjustments. If you leave the feature “Off” then you will not be alerted to high leaks during therapy. You will still be able to see leaks on the therapy report regardless of what setting you choose here.
The Exhalation Relief feature on the Luna 2 CPAP is called Reslex. It is similar to EPR in ResMed models and Flex in Philips Respironics models. It can be adjusted from 0-3. the higher you go on that setting the more exhalation relief you will have. For instance. If your Luna 2 is set on a Therapy Pressure 10cm and your Reslex setting is 3, then you will inhale at 10cm of pressure and exhale at a pressure of 7cm. The math looks like: 10cm-3cm=7cm. If you have the same Therapy pressure of 10cm and a Reslex of 1 then you would inhale at a setting of 10cm and exhale at a pressure of 9cm.

Step 3:

Now that your Therapy Setting are adjusted in the Luna 2 CPAP, you will scroll all the way to the bottom and select “Home”. This will take you back to the operational menu where normal therapy can be performed.
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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When you have insurance, you certainly want to use it where you can. Travel CPAP machines are no exception. With that being said Travel CPAPs can be difficult or impossible to have covered by insurance. Below are some things to consider as you start looking for a Travel CPAP.

Does the Travel CPAP have PDAC coding?

The Pricing, Data Analysis Coding (PDAC) is where items that can be billed to insurance are listed. Manufacturers have to submit their products for review and approval to have their product coded for insurance billing. Many of the Travel CPAP manufacturers have elected not to have their unit added to that list. So, in those scenarios, you cannot have your Travel CPAP billed to insurance. You can look at the listings here to see if the Travel CPAP you are interested in has coding for insurance coverage.

Have you had another CPAP already covered by Insurance?

If insurance has already paid for a home CPAP in recent history, then most likely they will not cover another CPAP. For instance, Medicare typically covers a new CPAP every 5 years. In that scenario, you would not be able to have Medicare cover your Travel CPAP within 5 years of the first CPAP. Many other insurance carriers have a similar time frame for covering new CPAPs.

Where do I get a Travel CPAP if it is approved by insurance?

Finding a CPAP provider that is “in network” with your insurance and will also provide the specific Travel CPAP that you want may be difficult. That is because most Travel CPAPs are much more expensive on the wholesale side that the Home CPAP Machines. Insurance will only reimburse a certain amount to that provider regardless of which make, and model CPAP is provided. That means that most insurance providers do not even carry Travel CPAPs. To find out you would want to reach out to your insurance company and ask for a list of “in network” CPAP providers. Then reach out to those providers and ask them if they carry the specific model that you are looking for.

Can I submit a claim for a Travel CPAP after I pay cash for one?

In many cases you can. To begin that process you would want to contact your insurance company and request an “out of network” claim form. Then you can submit your claim form and details from the supplier you purchased the Travel CPAP from. If you have “out of network” benefits, then you may be reimbursed. It never hurts to find out.
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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When you purchase a Portable Oxygen Concentrator you have spent a large amount of money on an item that is critical to your life. More than likely, you are looking to gain more freedom and independence. Just as important as the make and model of Portable Oxygen Concentrator you purchase is the company that you purcahse it from. How do they support you and what can you expect from them in the future. Here we discuss how we at CPAPmyway support you after the Portable Oxygen Concentrator purchase.

Warranties for our Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Every POC (Portable Oxygen Concentrator) has a manufacturer warranty that begins on the day you purchase the unit. Those warranties are from the manufacturer and while the time frames may be very similar between them, the process may not be. For instance, we have one manufacturer that requires all of their products to go back to their factory for repairs. While another allows one of our local repair companies to repair their POCs under warranty. The timeline for how long you are without your POC varies by weeks between the two. We will always work to coordinate the quickest possible repair option for your POC if it ever goes down. So, we will act as the go-between if you ever have issues. Simply reach out to us during regular business hours and we will coordinate the rest. You can also checkout our Warranty Page here to understand our warranty process fully.

Top 4 Issues with Portable Oxygen Concentrators:

There are 4 things that we see very often from people using POCs. When these things happen you typically get an alarm and alert that something is wrong. This can be concerning for the user, especially if they are away from home. Luckily these issues are typically resolved quickly and on your own. Let’s look at those in detail below:
  1. No breath detected

    Most POCs are “pulse-dose” which means that they deliver the oxygen to you on inhalation. That means that it has to detect your inhalation to dose the oxygen to you. If your nasal cannula is out of your nostrils or there is a restriction or kink in your tubing it may miss your breath. If this happens your POC will alarm, and you will have to adjust the tubing and take some deep breaths to correct this issue.
  2. Low Battery

    This is usually the most obvious issue that occurs. Your POC will alarm to let you know that you are nearing the end of your battery life. To clear up this issue, you simply connect back to your home or car charger. You can continue to use the POC even while it recharges.
  3. POC is overheating

    This is another common issue. The POC must have plenty of circulation to keep itself cool. If you cover it up or put it in a confined space, it will overheat. If this occurs, then you have to shut the machine down. Once you shut it down, it is best to unplug it and take the battery off to help it cool faster. Usually, 5 minutes will do the trick. Then you can start the POC back up and get back to regular breathing.
  4. Low purity/sieve bed replacement needed

    As the sieve bed filters in your POC go bad, the oxygen purity will start to go down. At this point your POC will alarm to indicate that it is time to change the sieve beds. Some POCs will say, “check vent”, “replace columns”, or “low purity”. You usually will have a couple weeks after that first alarm to replace the sieve beds before you are at a critical point. Contact us to let us know this is happening and we will work to get your maintenance taken care of.

What do I do if my Portable Oxygen Concentrator is out for repair?

We very rarely have major breakdowns on the POCs that we sell. That is why we carry the models that we do, and do not carry others. A repair issue for you is a repair issue for us, and we don’t like issues. However, sometimes things go wrong. That is why if your POC goes down during the first year after your purchase and has to go back for warranty repair, we will issue you a loaner (as long as inventories allow). That loaner may not be the exact model that you have, but we will get you by until your POC is repaired and returned. Even after that year we offer a discounted rental rate for a rental POC if you need one while yours is out for repair. Rest assured we will do everything we can in these circumstances to get you back up and running quickly.

What kind of maintenance is needed on my Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

All POCs require some sort of maintenance. For maintenance details on each POC you can visit the individual POC that you are interested in here. For most POCs, there are some basic things that need maintenance. Let’s detail them below for you.
  • External Filters– Most POCs have a filter where the air intake is. This filter is built to collect dust and particles before they enter your machine. These filters are usually rinsed or replaced at regular intervals. They are a critical piece of maintenance on your POC.
  • Internal Sieve Bed Filters– All Oxygen Concentrators have Sieve Bed Filters. These filters filter the oxygen out of the air so that you can just breathe in the pure Oxygen. Over time they will go bad. In most cases you can expect 1-2 years of lifespan on these filters. That will depend on how much you use your POC and where you use your POC. Warranties on the sieve beds are usually 1 year but can be longer for some models.
  • Batteries– Just like any other device in your life, your POC most likely has a lithium-ion battery internally. They are good batteries and will typically last a long time. However, they will wear down over time. If you begin to see a reduction in battery duration it may be time to replace your battery. Luckily most models allow you to do that yourself easily. Batteries are almost always warrantied for one year.
  • Tubing and cannulas– These parts are disposable and should be changed out regularly. Discoloration and kinking are signs that they should be replaced immediately.

What can I do to make my Portable Oxygen Concentrator last?

There are a few things to keep in mind about POCs in reference to how and where you use and store it. These things can dramatically improve the longevity of your device.
  • Do not Smoke around the POC– Your device is constantly circulating your room air through internal filters. Smoke is the number one thing that clogs these filters.
  • Keep external filters clean– If the POC cannot breathe well, it will overheat and can also cause serious issues with the compressor.
  • Store the POC in air conditioned when not is use– If you leave your POC in your hot car or outside it will hurt your battery longevity.
  • Keep the POC charged– If you store your POC away and do not charge it regularly it can hurt the duration of your battery.

After hours service for my Portable Oxygen Concentrator

We do not have after hours service or emergency service for Portable Oxygen Concentrators. We are happy to serve any needs that you have during regular business hours. The POCs that we offer are meant to be accessory items to oxygen services that you already have at home. We are not intending to be your primary oxygen provider.
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  • By Clay Rollyson
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It has been a while since we have had the pleasure of demonstrating a new Travel CPAP, so we are excited. The Transcend Micro has all the features that you need from a Travel CPAP in an incredibly small package. This Travel CPAP will literally fit in the palm of your hand. It is just 0.5 lbs and is less than 4 inches wide and tall. This makes it about the size and shape of a baseball. Let’s take a deeper dive on this great new Travel CPAP.

Transcend Micro Features

This new Travel CPAP isn’t just super small. It incorporates all of the comfort features that the other options have. That list starts with the comfortable and effective Auto CPAP algorithm. The auto algorithm adjusts to meet your needs in a very comfortable fashion. The Micro is compatible with any CPAP mask which is another great pro. Additionally, the AirRelief setting which is similar to EPR on ResMed or Flex on a Respironics CPAP. This makes exhalation just a bit easier. Another great feature is the  GentleRise ramp feature. This allows you to fall asleep with lower pressure while it gently climbs to your therapy setting. The Transcend Micro also has Bluetooth connectivity that will connect to your smartphone via the MySleepDash app.

Transcend Micro Pros and Cons:

The Transcend Micro is a great Travel CPAP option. It is small, lightweight and very easy to pack away for your next trip. Your tubing will take up more space than your CPAP. It has some limitation like any other. So, let’s break down the details.

Transcend Micro Pros:

  • Incredibly Small- At the time of this writing the Transcend Micro is the smallest Travel CPAP Available. It is about the size and shape of a baseball.
  • Very Simple– There are 4 buttons on the Transcend Micro, and more than likely you will only use one. No complicated screens or menus to deal with.
  • Bluetooth connectivity– The Micro has blueooth built in that will connect your data to your smartphone. A great feature for those looking to track results.
  • Universal Mask Connection– You can use any CPAP mask on the market on the Micro. No need to make wholesale changes for your new Travel CPAP. Just hook it up to your current mask.

Transcend Micro Cons:

  • No Heated Humidification– Similar to other Travel CPAPs, the Transcend Micro does not have a heated humidifier. Instead, it can only be used with an HME (Heat Moisture Exchanger) for humidification.
  • A little louder than other options– It is a little louder than some of other Travel CPAP options, but not by much. Additionally, it has the whispersoft muffler which helps to further reduce noise.
  • Specific Tubing– The Micro Travel CPAP must be used with the Specific AirFlex Micro tubing. It has a very unique connection that only works with the tubing that come with it. Luckily, the mask side of the tubing is universal.
  • External DC converter– I know that you can’t have your cake and eat it too…..but. The Micros DC converter cord does add some extra size. Additionally, on the Transcend 3 Travel CPAP the converter had built-in adapters for worldwide travel. The micro has only the general AC adapter included.

Setting up your Transcend Micro Travel CPAP

Setup of the Transcend Micro is super simple and very similar to other CPAPs. The unit should come preset to your specific prescription by your CPAP supplier. Follow the Steps below for proper setup:
  1. Connect your power by inserting the rounded plug into the round hole on the bottom of your Transcend Micro.
  2. Insert your AirFlex tubing to the front of the Micro CPAP by lining up the arrows, inserting and twisting right to lock into place.
  3. Add on your CPAP mask to the universal 22mm connection at the other end of your AirFlex tubing.

What is the Drying Mode on the Transcend Micro?

The Drying mode on the Transcend micro has nothing to do with the CPAP itself. It is built to dry out your mask and tubing after you use it. All that needs to be done is to press the Dry Mode button on the far right of the Micro after you turn it off in the morning. It will run through a 30-minute cycle that will push dry air through your tubing and mask to ensure that it is all dried and ready for your next use.

Transcend Micro Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning the Machine:

The Cleaning instructions in the Manual are kinda funny to me. It gives you specific soap to water ounces quantities, specific cloth recommendations, and wiping techniques. I think that it is a bit simpler than that. Wipe it down every now and then with a damp cloth. Don’t use chemicals or submerge it. Pretty easy.

Micro Filter:

The filter is located on the right side of the Micro if your tubing connection is the front. There is a little grated filter cap that you pull off to expose the filter. Pull out the filter once per week, rinse it out, dry it and put it back in. Put the filter cap back on and you are done. The Transcend Micro filter should be replaced about every 6 months.

Tubing and Mask:

Similar to all others your mask and tubing should be cleaned at least once per week. A warm soapy water mix. Submerge and scrub. Then air dry and reconnect.

Top Accessories for Transcend Micro CPAP

The Transcend Micro Travel CPAP has a few additional accessories available. The first would be the PowerAway P8 battery. This battery should run the Micro for 2-3 nights between charges. Another great accessory is the Whispersoft Muffler. This helps to reduce the sound of the air moving through the tubing. The last accessory is the Transcend AirMist HME. This allows you to keep your airways humidified without having to use a heated humidifier.

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  • By Clay Rollyson
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It always reeks of a “sales pitch” when a company tells you that you need to buy more of what they sell. So, in this blog I am going to do my best to keep the sales part down and the information part up. The fact of the matter is that you MUST change parts on your CPAP from time to time to avoid significant issues. Most of the issues caused by procrastinating on this maintenance are slow creeping issues. You may not even notice that they are becoming issues until you have a big issue. There are 3 things in my opinion that must be changed out regularly. Mask Seal, CPAP filter and CPAP tubing. Let’s dive deeper on each below.

When to change out your CPAP Mask seal:

The mask seal is probably the most critical component of your CPAPs functionality. If you have a bad seal, you will have bad therapy. This is for a lot of reasons but is especially serious when you are on an Auto CPAP. Which MANY CPAP users are these days. That is because when the mask doesn’t seal the CPAP tries to make up for the leak by increasing airflow. Which almost always creates a worse leak. This snowballs until you call your provider and tell them that the CPAP isn’t working. To avoid this issue changing out the mask seal before it goes bad is the best bet. So how do you know when?

1) Are you tightening your CPAP Mask headgear more?

The first sign of a CPAP Mask seal going bad is the tightening of the headgear. For over a month your mask has sealed really well, and now you are having to tighten the headgear a bit more every other night. This is almost certainly because the seal is beginning to wear out. When the silicone on the mask seal starts to deteriorate, it gets flimsy and starts to leak. To account for this leak, you pull the straps tighter on the mask. It solves the issue for tonight, but just returns in the nights to come. Eventually, you cause yourself abrasion issues on the high-pressure points and have to go a few nights without CPAP while the bridge of your nose heals. All of this would have been avoided if you had just changed out that seal when you noticed the first sign of leaking.

2) Are your Therapy reports getting worse?

Almost all CPAP machines have an app or an ability to report your CPAP therapy statistics. To learn more about those reports visit our therapy report blog here. Most of those reports will give you a “leak” rating. You will notice that rating stays pretty steady when you are doing well on your CPAP. Then, just like the headgear issue, it begins to slide. You will notice that the leak LPM may go up gradually or that your Mask Seal score is going down. This is your opportunity to avoid the critical failure and get a new mask seal.

3) Having trouble sleeping in your normal position?

When you first started with your new favorite mask you were sleeping so well in that favorite position. Now, you get there and wake up to your spouse poking you because your mask is whistling. You have to ask yourself, “what has changed?”. It is almost always the seal. Therapy pressures typically stay pretty similar once you get settled in on your CPAP. So, while you might think it is the CPAP changing and causing the issue, it is most likely not.

4) Is your CPAP Pressure getting too high?

This is probably the most difficult issue we face when CPAP users procrastinate on changing out the seal. A TON of CPAP users are on Auto CPAP. Click here to learn what “Auto CPAP” is. When you are on Auto CPAP the CPAP will adjust the pressure to account for your apnea. It will also attempt to account for leaks in the same way. This means that when your mask seal goes bad, the CPAP may increase pressure to account for the leak. This in turn makes the leak worse and worse. The worst part about this issue is that even after you resolve the leak by changing out the seal, you still may have a few nights before the pressure comes back down on the Auto-CPAP.

When to change out your CPAP filter:

This is by far the simplest and cheapest thing that you have to maintain on your CPAP. Failing to maintain the filter is also the number one reason why CPAPs fail. There is no reason not to change out your CPAP filter at least once per month. They are a couple dollars at most and take 2 seconds to change out. I recommend checking them weekly to look for discoloration and to change them as soon as you see any dust or dirt. For people with pets this is especially important. You do not even realize how much pet dander is in the air, and that CPAP filter is catching it all.

What happens when you don’t change the CPAP filter?

If you leave a dirty filter in the CPAP, it will get worse and worse until the CPAP cannot even pull enough air to maintain your proper pressure. Time and time again we have customers come in saying that the CPAP isn’t blowing enough anymore. We open the filter door and call the hazmat team to remove the black filter inside. Then the CPAP is working again. Not only can the dirty filter cause therapy issues, but it will eventually destroy the CPAP motor. Like any motor, the CPAP motor works well when it is able to move freely. When it is strained it causes issues. You will usually notice some groaning coming from the CPAP at first, then it gets louder. At this point the CPAP is shot and will need to be repaired or replaced. Check out our CPAP repair blog for more details on that. 

When to change out your CPAP Tubing?

This is another part that is pretty inexpensive to change out. As long as you are using regular CPAP tubing. If you are on heated tubing it can be more expensive. If you aren’t sure that you should be on heated tubing, check out our blog discussing that topic here. My sole recommendation on the CPAP tubing is to have an extra one on hand. It simply cannot hurt to have an extra. The signs of needing to change out the tubing in advance of it failing are pretty simple:

Signs of it being time to change the tubing:

  • Mask will not stay attached
  • Breaks or tears in the tubing
  • Stretched plastic at the connection point
  • Tubing is pulling lose from the CPAP
  • Heated tube is no longer humidifying me
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