Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or have been dealing with the condition for years, one thing you’ll hear a lot about is CPAP Compliance. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices are the most effective and ubiquitous form of sleep apnea treatment. The devices work by delivering a constant flow of pressurized air that keeps the throat from collapsing and the airways clear while you sleep. When you hear about CPAP Compliance, this is essentially a measurement of how often you are receiving proper treatment from your device, and for how long each night.
Why does CPAP Compliance matter?
First and foremost, CPAP Compliance matters because you want to verify that you are receiving the treatment that you need for proper sleep. Without effective therapy, sleep apnea patients experience chronic daytime fatigue, leading to irritability and reduced cognitive and physical performance. Over time, untreated sleep apnea can lead to many health issues, such as: high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, asthma, and acid reflux.
Beyond the health effects, CPAP Compliance matters when it comes to receiving medical coverage for your CPAP device. These devices are pricey. Thankfully, Medicare - and other medical insurers - will subsidize, or even fully cover the costs of these devices if you can show that you are using it most nights and that it is beneficial for you. This is done through analyzing your CPAP Compliance Report.
What does Medicare require for CPAP Compliance?
If your CPAP device is being paid for or subsidized by Medicare, you need to meet their CPAP Compliance standards in order to continue to receive funding from them. Their definition of being compliant is if you use the device on 70% of nights, for a minimum of 4 hours for each of those nights. That means that over the course of a month, you must be using your device on 22 out of 30 nights, for at least 4 hours per night.
The factors that hurt your CPAP Compliance Score
Obviously the biggest factors in determining your CPAP compliance are: 1. How many nights per week do you use the device, and 2. How many hours per night do you keep it on. However, Medicare (and other medical insurers) don’t simply care how many hours per month the device is physically on your face.nThey care about how often you’reactually receiving the effective therapy from the device. But even if you wear your device every night for the entire duration of your sleep, you could still not be meeting the CPAP Compliance standards. This is because there are several factors that could be hurting the amount of time your device is functioning optimally. Hours of suboptimal performance will not count towards your Compliance Score. Therefore, it’s important to understand what they are and how to combat them. Let’s take a look.
1. Mouth Leaks
Air leaking through your mouth is the number one enemy of CPAP Compliance. Even if everything is set up properly, any air that passes through your lips renders your CPAP device ineffective. This compromises the seal created through the nasal passageway and prevents the device from performing optimally. Even if you use a chin strip in combination with your device, it is still possible for air to move through your lips. Thankfully, SomniFix Strips provide the ultimate solution to this problem, which we’ll get to shortly.
2. Mask Size and Compatibility
Using a mask that doesn’t fit your face well is not only uncomfortable, but it can also compromise its effectiveness. Certain masks can make you feel claustrophobic, inhibiting your ability to relax and sleep peacefully. Additionally, there could be gaps around the perimeter of your mask if it’s not properly sized for your face. This leads to air leaks, again, compromising the therapy you are receiving.
3. Nasal Congestion
Mouth leaks and, more specifically, mouth breathing can lead to nasal and sinus congestion while you sleep. This stems from the fact that when we mouth breathe we are actuallyoverbreathing. In turn, overbreathing triggers the release of mucous to try and slow the rate of breathing through the airways. But this creates a vicious cycle of mouth breathing and mucous creation, making it increasingly challenging to breathe through our noses and achieve good CPAP compliance.
If your mask is uncomfortable, itchy, or irritating, this can prevent you from sleeping peacefully. When you’re not sleeping peacefully, you’re not getting the therapy you need. Chin straps and full face masks specifically tend to be the most uncomfortable to wear. Later in this article we’ll explore how SomniFix Strips can help you ditch that chin strip or full face mask and opt for a more comfortable nasal mask.
5. Unaccustomed to Mask
When you first start using your mask, you may find it difficult to relax since you’re not used to it. To overcome this, we recommend wearing your mask a couple of times while you are awake so that you can adjust to how it feels, how to move with it, and how to breathe with it.
6. Unintentional Mask Removal
If you move around a lot while you sleep, you may wake up some mornings to find that your mask has fallen off or been removed. This is common if you experience nasal congestion (see point #3) while you sleep. You may semi-consciously remove it if you wake up unable to breathe through blocked nostrils. Using a nasal mask in combination with SomniFix Strips is a great way to prevent nasal congestion and level up your Compliance.
The individual and compound effects of these factors can drastically impact your CPAP Compliance scores, even if you wear your device every night. If you’re not meeting the baseline Compliance numbers of your medical insurer, you could have to bear the costs of your machine. Beyond that, constantly waking up from discomfort or as a result of interrupted therapy leads to sleep fragmentation. This causes daytime sleepiness, weight gain, and reduced cognitive and physical functioning.
Thankfully, there is a solution to achieving high CPAP Compliance scores and (finally) getting a great night’s sleep with your CPAP device.
How to improve your CPAP Compliance...and actually get great sleep
As identified in the section above, the majority of CPAP Compliance issues step from one main issues: mouth leaks. Mouth leaks and mouth breathing compromise the effectiveness of your device, cause constant discomfort, lead to poor sleep and abysmal CPAP Compliance. Therefore, the key to achieving strong CPAP Compliance scores is simple: keep your mouth closed. Thankfully, keeping your mouth closed is easy with SomniFix Strips.
SomniFix Strips use a gentle, skin-safe adhesive to keep your lips sealed. When used in combination with a nasal mask or nasal pillow, this induced nose breathing and allows you to achieve sky-high CPAP Compliance Scores. Beyond that, thousands of SomniFix + CPAP users report that they are getting their best sleep ever, sleeping even better than they did before they were ever diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Ditch the cumbersome chin strap and the uncomfortable full face mask. Experience true CPAP Compliance and your best sleep ever by trying SomniFix with your CPAP device tonight.
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