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How Often Should You Replace Your CPAP Mask?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is considered to be one of the most effective treatment methods for patients who suffer from sleep apnea. It involves the use of pressurised air that aims to avoid blocked passageways and facilitate more comfortable breathing during sleep.

CPAP masks are a crucial component of any CPAP treatment for individuals who suffer from sleep apnea. Available in a vast range of sizes and variations, CPAP masks are responsible for delivering the pressurised air directly to the passageways. However, individuals may be unaware of the fact that CPAP masks require regular maintenance in order to ensure their effectiveness. Like any other regularly used product, these CPAP supplies can wear out over time and failing to maintain the product can potentially hinder treatment.

The lifespan of your CPAP mask is heavily dependent on a variety of factors. First and foremost, there are a variety of masks available on the market. From full face masks, nasal pillow masks and nasal masks, each CPAP mask is used in a slightly different way. For example, the nasal pillow mask, which is more intricate and makes direct contact with your face and nose every night and requires frequent replacement for hygienic reasons. It is suggested that this type of mask is replaced once or twice per month. Meanwhile, full face masks have less contact direct contact with the face and are not required to be replaced so often. Generally, this type of mask is replaced on a quarterly basis or as needed.

Although the specific type of mask can determine the frequency replacement, other factors also should be considered. Regular maintenance and cleaning of these masks is imperative for hygienic reasons and to also ensure the functionality of the device. However, excessive cleaning with harsh chemicals can also wear out your CPAP mask earlier than expected, therefore impeding the effectiveness of treatment. Frequent cleaning of your CPAP accessories is recommended, however harsh cleaning products with strong chemicals should be avoided to maintain the longevity of your CPAP mask. It is advised to clean your mask regularly with warm water and mild soap as opposed to regular cleaning products that could potentially be damaging to your accessories.

Furthermore, CPAP masks can vary in quality amongst suppliers. At Biomed, we are a leading medical fabric engineering company best known for manufacturing CPAP supplies for ResMed. Our superior quality patented medical grade and allergen-free technical textiles are used in the creation of CPAP masks. All of our fabrics are breathable, hypoallergenic and latex free to maximise comfort and hygiene as well as minimise allergies and irritation which is commonly experienced by CPAP sufferers. As a result, our high-quality fabrics contribute to the longevity and durability of various CPAP supplies to constantly maintain effective treatment.

Biomed is a leading medical textile company with a longstanding supplier partnership with ResMed. We are responsible for supplying our superior quality technical textiles in order to manufacture various CPAP accessories in which we have achieved an A grade supplier score. For more information on our patented medical grade fabric at Biomed, or ways in which you can maintain your CPAP supplies, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team on (02) 9758 3855.

Top Tips for CPAP Therapy During Summer

Summer is fast approaching, and what can already be an uncomfortable slumber for sleep apnea sufferers, can potentially become even more unbearable as the humidity rises.  In fact, a 2012 MedScape article discovered that roughly 50% of individuals who have been prescribed CPAP therapy are either not interested or terminate their CPAP treatment, with comfort cited as one of the most common concerns. At Biomed, we are a leading medical manufacturing company, best known for creating high-quality CPAP masks with our patented medical grade fabrics for ResMed. With extensive experience in developing superior CPAP supplies, here are our top tips to stay comfortable and maintain your CPAP masks this summer season!

CPAP masks play a vital role in sleep apnea treatment. It is responsible for delivering pressurised air to the passageways in order to prevent blockages and encourage a restful sleep. However, during the warmer months silicone CPAP masks can often trap heat around your face, making you feel sweaty and uncomfortable which ultimately impacts the quality of sleep.

However, not only will perspiration make you feel uncomfortable when you’re trying to rest, but excessive heat can also hinder the effectiveness of the CPAP accessories. For example, wearing a silicone mask during the warmer months may increase the amount of oils that your skin secretes in that area. Build-up of this oil can impact the quality of the CPAP mask and become a breeding ground for a bacteria, which is further exacerbated by the warm and humid conditions. Evidently, consistent wear of a bacteria-filled mask can expose you to a range of illnesses that can really dampen the summertime spirit. Some patients even experience symptoms of skin irritation and breakouts around the mask area as a result of increased humidity, perspiration and excessive release of the skin’s oils.

Luckily, these issues can be easily managed to improve a patient’s quality of sleep in the warm weather. First and foremost, CPAP masks and other accessories should be carefully washed on a regular basis to maximise effectiveness and minimise the build-up of bacteria. To do so, gently wash the mask by hand with warm water and soap. Harsh cleaning products filled with chemical should be avoided where possible as it can potentially damage the CPAP mask or result in harmful residue. The mask should be left to air dry on a flat surface to keep its shape and direct sunlight should also be avoided.

Furthermore, at Biomed, we supply high quality, antibacterial and medical grade fabrics which are used in the construction of CPAP masks and other CPAP supplies. Our allergen free, latex free and antibacterial materials that are used in the construction of CPAP masks help to minimise the occurrence of skin related issues and other summertime allergies commonly cited by sleep apnea sufferers. Our fabrics are also comfortable and breathable to maximise overall comfort for the wearer. We’re dedicated to providing solutions that ensure patients get the most out of their CPAP therapy, regardless of the season.

As a leading medical fabric manufacturing company, we are dedicated to providing superior technical textiles and medical grade fabrics that are valuable for a vast range of industries. Our team has a longstanding partnership with ResMed to supply medical textiles with hypoallergenic properties in order to create superior quality CPAP masks that maximise patient comfort. Our fabric range also has the potential to provide exceptional benefits beyond the medical industry and we can create tailored solutions that meet specific requirements. For more information on CPAP manufacturing, medical fabrics or other technical textiles, please do not hesitate to contact the professional Biomed team on (02) 9758 3855.

All You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea Masks & Accessories

According to Snore Australia, it is believed that in Australia 9% of women and 25% of men in suffer from clinically significant sleep apnea. This condition occurs when the airways are repeatedly blocked during sleep leading to loud snoring, restless nights, excessive fatigue and can even increase the likelihood of other medical conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease or mortality.

In order to effectively manage sleep apnea and improve the quality for life for sufferers, CPAP therapy is commonly prescribed. Consisting of pressurised CPAP machines and various CPAP accessories including masks, custom headgear and chin straps for sleep apnea, patients can easily be overwhelmed with the options available to them. Not to mention, there are a variety of CPAP masks available on the market designed to suit individual needs and preferences. As a leading CPAP manufacturer and supplier creating high quality sleep apnea masks and accessories with superior medical grade fabrics, we’re breaking down various CPAP supplies in order to help patients choose the most suitable options for them.

Full Face Masks

As the name suggests, full face sleep apnea masks cover both the nose and mouth to fully support breathing throughout the night. The mask is fixated in place with high-quality headgear made from medical textiles and hypoallergenic fabrics in order to ensure maximum comfort and stability for the wearer throughout the entire night. Without the conjunctive use of headgear accessories, these masks can potentially be displaced throughout the night and therefore limit the effectiveness of therapy.

Full face masks are highly beneficial and are generally recommended for sleep apnea sufferers who rely on breathing through their mouth. Other CPAP therapy options are largely focused on supplying air through the nasal passage and can, therefore, be extremely uncomfortable for individuals who breathe through their mouth during their sleep. Full face CPAP masks are also ideal for allergy sufferers who experience a frequently blocked nose or have sinus issues.

Additionally, full face masks are also beneficial for those who suffer from dry mouth. As CPAP therapy relies on humidified air, patients can actually experience relief of such symptoms, as the air keeps both the nasal and mouth passageways moist, preventing blockages and maximising comfort. Masks are also made from technical textiles with hypoallergenic properties to ensure allergies are not aggravated or induced during wear. These masks are also said to be the most effective for patients who require higher pressure settings.

However, patients also need to consider the potential limitations associated with various CPAP accessories in order to choose the most suitable for them. Due to the larger surface area, air leaks can potentially be more common, particularly if the mask is ill-fitted. As a result of this, some individuals may experience dry eyes if the humidified air leaks at the top of their masks. Full face masks for sleep apnea can also be uncomfortable for individuals who sleep on their stomach or side due to the bulkiness of the equipment. This can also be a downfall for those who like to read or watch TV as they’re settling for bed. 

Nasal Masks

Another popular CPAP mask is the nasal mask, which purely covers the nose from the bridge to the patient’s upper lip area. Similarly to the full face masks, nasal masks are also secured in place with headgear accessories to ensure the mask does move during sleep, therefore maximising results.

Nasal masks have proven to be an effective option for patients who typically move around frequently in their sleep. As the accessories associated with nasal masks are not as bulky as their full face counterparts, patients may find they can move around more freely in their sleep. Additionally, there are many different fits and sizes available with nasal CPAP masks which ensures a more comfortable and individualised fit, increasing comfort and minimising the risk of air leaks.

While the above features make nasal masks a popular CPAP therapy option, the treatment may not be suitable for patients who rely on breathing through their mouth without wearing an additional chin restraint to secure the mouth closed. For some people, this may be uncomfortable and unnatural, therefore making other forms of therapy more ideal. Other considerations that need to be contemplated include the presence of allergies. Sinus blockages can interfere with the pressure delivery and therefore results may be diminished.

Furthermore, patients who suffer medical conditions such as a deviated septum, narrowed or collapsed nasal valve or enlarged turbinates may also not experience the full potential of CPAP therapy through the use of nasal masks.

Nasal Pillow Masks

For a more lightweight and less intrusive option, nasal pillow masks provide maximum comfort and ease of use in comparison to full face or nasal CPAP mask options. Nasal pillow masks work by resting at the entrance of the nasal passageway to deliver pressurised air directly into the nose to facilitate breathing.

Nasal pillow masks are a suitable option for patients who frequently move around in their sleep as they are not restricted by bulky accessories and materials. Nasal pillow masks are also do not feature intricate headgear, yet are secured in place with a single strap, potentially providing unprecedented comfort for patients who might be claustrophobic or intimated by the facial materials. The simplified design also makes nasal pillow masks an ideal option for patients with facial hair, those who wear glasses and individuals who like to unwind before bed by watching television or reading a book. Additionally, nasal marks also have a limited chance of air leakage in comparison to other options, as a result of the direct airflow to the nose.

However, while nasal pillows provide exceptional comfort, they are not ideal for individuals who require higher doses of pressure. If the pressure is increased with the wear of nasal pillow masks, comfort can actually be decreased, as the direct airflow can seem unnatural and unfamiliar. The direct air pressure may also result in higher occurrences of nosebleeds or dryness in the nose for some patients. Nasal pillow masks may also not be the most ideal option for patients who are not used to breathing out their nose. However, chin-straps may be used in addition to the nasal pillow for individuals who generally breathe through their mouth.

While there are many options available to sleep apnea sufferers that are aimed to address different concerns, patients should try a variety of different masks in order to find the one that is most suited to them. Facial features, preferences and treatment suitability all need to be factored in to find the most ideal mask for the patient that maximises CPAP therapy results.

As a leading medical fabric manufacturing company, we are dedicated to providing superior technical textiles and medical grade fabrics that are valuable for a vast range of industries. Our team has a longstanding partnership with Resmed to supply medical textiles with hypoallergenic properties in order to create superior quality CPAP masks that maximises patient comfort. Our fabric range also has the potential to provide exceptional benefits beyond the medical industry and we can create tailored solutions that meet specific requirements. For more information on CPAP manufacturing, medical fabrics or other technical textiles, please do not hesitate to contact the professional Biomed team on (02) 9758 3855.

Preventing the Spread of Germs with Medical Textiles

As a patient, when you visit a hospital or medical facility, it is not unreasonable to have trust in the professionals, equipment and infrastructure used. The same can be said for medical personnel who trust the materials and equipment allow them to provide patients with the best care possible.

However, most individuals do not even consider the risk implications associated with the materials used in healthcare settings. In fact, research conducted in 2016 revealed that staple equipment such as the coveted white coat, synonymous with physicians, was often easily contaminated with various bacteria. Such discoveries have since prompted a greater investment in medical-grade fabrics with antimicrobial properties to prevent the spread of germs, in industries where hygiene and infection control is paramount. 

What are medical textiles?

Medical fabrics (sometimes referred to as healthcare textiles or biomedical textiles) are a branch of technical fabrics, in which function is favoured over aesthetics. These fabrics are used to provide medical benefits and are used for hygiene, health and private care purposes as well as for implantable or extracorporeal devices. However, in the medical industry, even the slightest variation in such materials can have a major impact on clinical outcomes. Therefore, the implementation of high-quality medical-grade fabric is imperative for effective treatments.

For example, at Biomed, we specialise in patented medical-grade fabrics that are used to manufacture CPAP masks and headgear for sleep apnea sufferers. The use of standard, non-medical grade materials in these devices could greatly hinder treatment and dramatically affect the usability of the device. CPAP masks (used to aid breathing) can cause the skin to secrete acids, oils and bacteria, which can lead to infections, irritation and blisters. Meanwhile, CPAP hoses are constantly exposed to warm and moist environments, creating a high risk for bacterial growth. As the respiratory system is highly sensitive to airborne contaminants, the use of medical-grade and antibacterial fabrics to create such CPAP supplies aids the patient by preventing harmful diseases and even increases the product’s longevity.

Additionally, medical-grade, antibacterial and hypoallergenic fabrics can also be used to create surgical wear, dressings, bandages, artificial ligaments and even nappies.

What are other applications of medical-grade fabrics?

Antibacterial and medical-grade textiles can also provide great benefit beyond the medical industry. As humans, we already have thousands of microbes within our bodies. In fact, it is alleged that the ratio of microbes to human cells is greatly outnumbered, 10:1. While not all microbes are bad and will result in illnesses, the growth of bacteria doubles every 20-30 minutes in ideal conditions. This means that just one single bacteria cell can multiply to over 1 million in just 7 hours. Therefore, antibacterial fabrics play a great role in preventing diseases in everyday life and can be utilised in a variety of industries where moist environments and microbes have the potential to meet.

For example, the sporting industry greatly benefits from the use of medical-grade materials with antibacterial properties. While antibacterial materials can result in odour free sporting apparel or sporting headgear, it will also prevent the spread of germs, particularly if apparel is shared among team members.

Meanwhile, ventilation and air conditioning can also greatly benefit from the implementation of antibacterial agents. Air conditioning units have been known to contribute to the circulation of germs and micro-organisms and have even been linked to the spread of airborne illnesses such as Legionnaire’s disease. Along with regular cleaning and maintenance of the air conditioner unit, antibacterial materials can help prevent microbes from growing further or killing the microbes altogether. Similarly, food packaging may also benefit from medical-grade and antibacterial fibres to prevent the consumption and growth of harmful bacteria.

For more information on how medical-grade fabrics can help fight the spread of germs or to see how our team could help you manufacture medical-grade products, please do not hesitate to contact the professional Biomed team on (02) 9758 3855.