A Complete Guide to CPAP Comfort
CPAP equipment can be uncomfortable to use. People with sleep apnea have very few options when it comes to treating their sleep disorder, and often times don't use their CPAP device because the mask is so uncomfortable.
The issue of CPAP comfort is nothing new. For years, patients have struggled with the discomfort, and CPAP mask manufacturers have tried to improve the mask quality each year.
That being said, the real problem is silicone against skin for 6-8 hours each night. Skin needs to "breathe" and silicone drastically interferes with that process, resulting in sweating and skin irritation. This is why we recommend RemZzzs® CPAP Mask Liners. The soft cotton against one's face is absorbent and comfortable, allowing for a better night's sleep with CPAP.
In this guide, we'll talk about how CPAP compliance and comfort are related, why staying compliant with CPAP therapy is essential to better patient health, and we'll detail common issues related to CPAP mask discomfort and how RemZzzs® can solve those issues.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- About Sleep Apnea and CPAP Therapy
- CPAP Comfort is a Serious Barrier to Compliance
- Why CPAP Compliance is Important
- What Are the Most Common CPAP Comfort Issues?
- Problems & Solutions to CPAP Comfort
- How RemZzzs Liners Improve CPAP Mask Comfort
- The Bottom Line for CPAP Comfort
About Sleep Apnea and CPAP Therapy
CPAP therapy helps people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) get a full and restful night's sleep. But, that's only if OSA sufferers use their continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines on a nightly basis to keep their airways open while sleeping. Unfortunately, as discussed earlier, CPAP masks often are difficult to wear due to the issues that come from silicone against skin. Many patients complain of irritated red marks on their faces in the morning, which may take a few hours to disappear. Another common complaint is a squealing-noise that wakes them during the night. When the face becomes sweaty from contact with the silicone mask, this compromises the seal and lets the pressurized air rush out.
The result of all this CPAP discomfort and inconvenience is that many OSA sufferers simply don't use their CPAP systems every night, as directed by their physicians. That means doctors around the country are struggling to ensure their OSA patients comply with the CPAP therapies they truly need. Without it, patients continue to experience interrupted sleep and low blood-oxygen levels, leading to chronic drowsiness, high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, a range of memory and mood issues, and other problems.
That's why we developed RemZzzs®, a patented, disposable cloth CPAP mask liner. Our mask liners are offered in full face and nasal options. We're here to make CPAP therapy comfortable for millions of OSA sufferers across the globe.
In this guide, we'll explore the subject of CPAP comfort in detail, including the importance of CPAP compliance, common comfort issues, what makes RemZzzs® Mask Liners the best option, and more.
CPAP Comfort Is a Serious Barrier to Compliance
A 2008 study uncovered some worrying statistics related to CPAP compliance. Simply put, the study found that, although proper CPAP therapy benefits most OSA patients, a significant number of those who are diagnosed with OSA either never start their CPAP therapy or eventually abandon it.
By the numbers, the study shows that 31% of OSA patients never started their CPAP therapy, and another 15% gave it up within just 3 months. That means nearly half (46%) of OSA patients aren't complying with their recommended CPAP therapies. These people continue to experience interrupted sleep patterns and all of OSA's associated health issues. The physicians who ran the aforementioned study concluded that sleep doctors need to help their patients with proper education to ensure they remain compliant.
The main issue for CPAP therapy compliance is mask comfort. Or, rather, a glaring lack of mask comfort. If a patient doesn't like their mask, it's likely their doctor will tell them their only option will be to buy a new mask. This can be expensive, and it's not a guaranteed fix.
Often, patients who start with a full face mask (covering both the mouth and nose) are advised to switch to a nasal-only mask if they have discomfort issues, or vice-versa. This all-to-common issue can leave OSA patients guessing which, if any, mask will work for them. And in the meantime, the problem continues to create discomfort, poor sleep habits, frustration and discouragement. Because of this, many patients simply give up on their much-needed CPAP therapies. It's an unfortunate trend that can have serious health complications, but it's understandable. It's also an issue RemZzzs® can help solve.
Next, we'll discuss why compliance with CPAP therapy, as recommended by sleep doctors, is so important.
Why CPAP Compliance Is Important
When used properly, as directed by a doctor, CPAP machines can have significant benefits to those who suffer from sleep apnea. But, these devices are expensive, often costing between $1,500 and $3,000 without insurance. The good news is that most private insurance policies cover CPAP equipment if it's deemed medically necessary. CPAP devices are categorized as "durable medical equipment" (DME), as they are designed to withstand repeated use. Medicare Part B covers this type of equipment.
Each unique insurance plan has its own requirements when it comes to CPAP compliance, so it's important for OSA patients to check with their insurance carriers to understand what they need to do to stay compliant.
Most insurance plans require a minimum number of usage hours per night. If patients do not meet the requirement, they could be deemed non-compliant, and lose coverage for their CPAP equipment and supplies. Also, if patients change their insurance plan due to rising healthcare costs, they could lose their CPAP coverage as well.
This means that proper CPAP compliance is key to maintaining insurance coverage and keeping CPAP therapy affordable. It also means that noncompliance due to comfort will often cause added expense in the future, making it even harder for many OSA patients to comply in the long run. It's a vicious cycle that can be tough to escape.
However, with RemZzzs® disposable cloth CPAP mask liners, patients can find the comfort they need to continue their therapy, maintain compliance, and experience significant health improvements while keeping their costs low. Now, we'll explore the most common CPAP comfort issues, what most mask manufacturers and doctors would recommend to fix them, and how RemZzzs® offers an even better solution.
What Are the Most Common CPAP Comfort Issues?
Most standard CPAP masks are made from hard plastic with a pliable silicone cushion that touches the face. This facial contact for an extended period of time can irritate the skin and become very uncomfortable. Mask manufacturers know this is a problem and have tried to improve the wear-ability of their masks each year. However, the problem still continues. Usually their go-to advice to people experiencing discomfort is to, “try a different mask until you find one that fits.” While “fit” is important, it is only a part of the solution.
This advice might be good for their bottom-line, but it's unlikely to solve most CPAP users' comfort and performance issues.
Here are the most common comfort complaints and the comparison between what mask manufactureers, some sleep professionalsm, and RemZzzs® will advise as a solution:
Problems & Solutions for CPAP Comfort
1. Problem: My mask has noisy air leaks that wake me up all through the night.
- What CPAP mask manufacturers and sleep doctors will likely recommend: Try tightening your mask, or get a different mask that fits better.
- The RemZzzs® solution: Do find a mask that fits your face well and adjust the headgear to feel secure, but not tight. Then use a soft cotton RemZzzs® mask liner for added comfort and a more secure fit.
2. Problem: My mask is the wrong size. It's either too big or too small, or too close to my eyes.
- Mask manufacturers and many sleep professionals may recommend: Ask your CPAP supply store to help you find a different mask that fits your face better. You can also try tightening the headgear of your mask.
- The RemZzzs® solution: Since faces come in all shapes and sizes, it is important to find the style and the right size mask that feels like it fits. The great thing about using RemZzzs® is that the cotton mask liners will conform to the contours of your face and improve the mask fit.
3. Problem: My mask is causing skin irritation and leaving ugly red marks on my face.
- What CPAP mask manufacturers and sleep doctors will likely recommend: Get a new mask, adjust the straps on your mask, or try a new style of mask. Maybe switching from a full-face mask to a nasal-only mask will work better for you.
- The RemZzzs® solution: Our soft liners were made to this kind of skin irritation because they're a breathable cotton fabric. The liners form a barrier between your skin and the silicone of your mask allowing for an improved fit and long-term wear comfort.
4. Problem: I keep removing my mask from my face unconsciously while sleeping.
- What CPAP mask manufacturers and sleep doctors will likely recommend: Get a new mask, use an air humidifier with your CPAP machine, or use a chin strap to hold your mask on your face more securely.
- The RemZzzs® solution: Make the mask more comfortable, so you don't feel the need to remove it while sleeping. By using one of our soft, breathable cotton CPAP full face or nasal mask liners, your mask will fit better, more securely, and more comfortably all night long.
How RemZzzs® Liners Improve CPAP Mask Comfort
The patented design of RemZzzs® CPAP mask liners involves using breathable, non-irritating, and hypo-allergenic cotton to form a barrier between the skin and the silicone or hard plastic of the mask. These simple liners virtually eliminate many or all of the most commonly reported problems with wearing CPAP masks.
Rather than being forced to buy an entirely new mask or different style of mask, CPAP users can instead try our less-expensive cotton mask liners to experience better fit, comfort, and performance. We offer multiple different shapes and styles of liners to suit many different types of masks. This includes liners designed specifically to fit full-face masks, nasal-only masks, and a combination or hybrid of full-face and nasal. RemZzzs® liners are designed to fit all of the industry's top manufacturer's CPAP masks.
Our mask liners help prevent skin irritation and unsightly pressure marks. They have been found to aid in the healing of existing stage 1 and 2 pressure sores (with skin not broken), by providing a protective barrier between the mask and the affected skin. They're soft and pliable, conforming to each patient's face for a snug and seamless, yet comfortable, fit. This means they keep masks on the face securely and greatly reduce or eliminate noisy, annoying air leaks.
Another reason that RemZzzs® works so well is how they help absorb facial oils and moisture, reducing the need for time-consuming daily mask cleaning. Patients can even resume using nighttime facial skin care products that are not recommended for use with standard, unlined masks.
Even more, CPAP compliance can be achieved by improving comfort. Making your mask more comfortable can result in more CPAP usage, directly translating into better overall health and even some potential savings. By using your CPAP device for at least 4 or more hours per night on 70% or more of nights in a 30 days period, you'll be compliant to Medicare's usage standards, which means Medicare can reimburse you for your CPAP costs. Most other privat insurances will follow the recommended CPAP usage guidelines of Medicare. However, be sure to check with your own plan.
The Bottom Line for CPAP Comfort
When it comes to CPAP therapy, mask comfort leads to compliance, and compliance leads to better health and lower CPAP equipment costs. RemZzzs® cotton liners are the key to CPAP comfort. This means a restful night's sleep for OSA patients and their loved ones. Better sleep gives CPAP users more energy, better mood and focus, improved memory, lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, and many other benefits. It also means better relationships with spouses and partners.
RemZzzs® CPAP mask liners are available for sale online right here on our website. We encourage you to check out our testimonials to hear what actual RemZzzs® users have to say about how our mask liners improved their health and happiness.
Take your first step toward better CPAP comfort today with RemZzzs®!