In the past month:
“With easing restrictions and more people spending time indoors during the colder months, Dr. Anthony Fauci warns “if we don’t carefully follow the guidelines, we may see another surge.” A report from the University of Washington projects the nation’s daily death rate will quadruple by the end of the year.”– NBCNews
“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like flu, this fall and winter is more important than ever. CDC has worked with vaccine manufacturers to have extra flu vaccine available this flu season. Stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others.”– CDC
“Other recommendations especially targeted at young people, who appear to be increasingly infected by COVID-19, are wearing masks during close interactions, avoiding crowds and large groups, especially in indoor areas or at parties and bars, social distancing, hand washing and staying home when their sick.”– World Health Organization
“So the worry is that with the onset of the flu season, you’re going to get peaks of flu and COVID-19 cases at the same time. Even with a mild flu season, the convergence with a COVID surge could very rapidly overwhelm our hospital system.” – Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, an infectious disease expert at UC San Francisco– UCSF.edu
With the cooler temperatures and falling leaves, we feel the first signs of Fall. But this year Fall means more than pumpkin-spiced lattes and apple pies, because with Fall and Winter, also comes Flu season. A typical flu season can infect anywhere from 39 to 50+ million, with 400-700,000+ hospitalizations, but this year we are also enduring a global pandemic so extra precautions are being recommended. Especially for those with OSA …
“People who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) could be at increased risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19, according to a new study from the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K.” – Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy**The study took a systematic review of 18 related studies yet further research is being required before additional precautions can be recommended for those with OSA.
Considering all of the above, Everything CPAP would like to review general recommendations for OSA patients during Flu Season, that should be given special attention considering COVID-19 are showing increases in several states, including Idaho. Get Idaho’s current COVID-19 Statistics.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FLU SEASON WITH COVID-19
First, Everything CPAP recommends you get the flu vaccine this year. It is likely that flu viruses and the virus that cause Covid-19 will both spread this fall and Winter. Since we are at least months away from a Covid-19 vaccine, we should do all we can to protect ourselves and our families. Staying away from sick people is not enough as some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. Hence, the CDC offers the following recommendations:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, after any possible chance of infection, before you prepare or eat food, touching your face or after you sneeze, cough or blow your nose.
- Avoid Close Contact and maintain at least six feet apart (two arms’ length) with anyone outside your household and those in your home if they are sick.
- Wear a mask in all public settings and when around people outside your house. Wearing a mask is not a substitute for social distancing. #wearamask
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. If you cannot cover your mouth with a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow and then wash your hands or use hand disinfectant.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily in your home and workspace.
- Monitor your health daily for symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, digestive issues, etc.).
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THOSE WITH OSA
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults occurs when a person’s airway becomes partially or completely blocked many times during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is seen in all age groups, but the frequency increases with age and obesity. In general, those with OSA should do the following to help alleviate symptoms in any season:
Monitor Weight Management. Obesity is often linked with OSA because excess body weight contributes to sleep apnea by causing increased pressure on upper airways, leading to collapse and decreased neuromuscular control from the fatty deposits. Consult your physician or dietician on how to safely lose weight. “Losing just 10% of body weight can have a big effect on sleep apnea symptoms.” – Harvard. Edu
Stay active. Depending on your endurance level, take daily walks, jogs or runs, choose a fun cardio workout, yoga or pilates program that you can do safely at home. “An aerobic exercise program has shown a reduction in disease severity and in daytime sleepiness, as well as an increase in sleep efficiency and in peak oxygen consumption, regardless of weight loss.” – NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
Improve Sleep Hygiene. Sleep Hygiene means making recommended adjustments in an effort to sleep well each and every night, to fall asleep and stay asleep. Some of these adjustments include consistent sleep schedules with a fixed bedtime and wake-up time, avoid smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, cut down on caffeine after noon, avoid eating or screen time at least two hours before bedtime, set bedroom temperature to 65⁰F and restrict in-bed activity.
Utilize CPAP Therapy each night. CPAP therapy has nearly 100% success rate for treating OSA, if patients are compliant with their recommended CPAP treatments. While a simple technology, CPAP works to normalize the risk for adverse effects from sleep apnea by reducing blood pressure, raising oxygen levels and improving sleep. CPAP devices are considered a Class II Medical Device , and as such require a prescription for distribution.
Everything CPAP is Idaho’s number one CPAP supply company because we offer the highest quality supplies and most high-tech CPAP machines available on the market. Contact us for more information.
UTILIZING CPAP DURING COVID-19
During flu season and COVID-19, it’s imperative to consistently refill air filters in your CPAP machines, clean and disinfect your CPAP masks and hoses with soap and water, and if possible increase frequency of your cleaning schedule to daily or at least three-four times per week.
If you have symptoms of Coronavirus, it’s important to self-isolate especially when you are using your CPAP therapy. There is some concern that using CPAP could spread the virus through the exhalation port, which allows carbon dioxide to escape from your mask. This port also may release smaller virus-containing particles as an “aerosol,” which can remain suspended in the air for a few hours. It’s possible that your bed partner could inhale these virus particles. Therefore, it is important for those who have contracted COVID-19 to isolate themselves by sleeping alone in a separate bedroom. You can continue to use your CPAP device while sleeping in this recovery room.
For more information about CPAP and COVID-19, see our blog: “How Everything CPAP is Responding to COVID-19”
CPAP AND AROMATHERAPY?
While there are differing opinions and beliefs on the topic, many of our patients have seen improvement by the addition of essential oils and aromatherapy with their CPAP therapy. Customer satisfaction and increased therapy compliance is why we carry the Pur-Sleep Aromatherapy Kit in our Inventory and recommend it to various patients. How does it work to improve CPAP compliance?
For centuries aromatics have been known as an effective way to promote feelings of relaxation and calm. Pur-Sleep’s system of holistic, Essential Oils & Aromatics is designed specifically to compliment CPAP/BiPAP therapy. As you sleep Pur-Sleep’s Passive Diffusion System lightly scents your therapy air you breathe with one of a variety of soothing, comforting fragrances to improve your overall mood as well as CPAP/BiPAP therapy comfort and compliance.
Pur-Sleep’s amazing aromatic blends can make a big difference helping you relax; focusing your attention on pleasant, aromatic smells and making it easier to put other distractions out of your mind. This shift in concentration is called cognitive distraction and it’s a significant feature of the sense of smell.
The Pur-Sleep Aromatherapy Starter Kit includes:
- One Passive Diffuser base.
- 12 premium, re-usable Diffuser Pads (along with zip-lock bags for storage).
- One 5ml bottle each of Clear™, Spice™, and Peace™, three of our best and most popular essential oils!
- A sample vial (1ml) of 8 other aromatics in the product line (Calm, Fresh, Deep, French Vanilla, Strawberry, Peach, Bubblegum, and Black Cherry).
- The package also includes a reuseable cardstock diffusion tray that’s very convenient to pack when you travel.
*WARNING: Never put essential oils in your CPAP’s water chamber as it’s too potent to breathe in and could cause severe lung damage, even death. Always carefully follow manufacturer’s directions on any CPAP aromatherapy product. For example, Pur-Sleep recommends you simply place a few drops of Essential Oil on a Diffuser Pad and then position it in front of your CPAP/BiPAP filter; after that, start your sleep therapy as usual.
NEXT BLOG: DO YOU HAVE UNDIAGNOSED OSA?
The above mentioned U.K. study also mentioned that “Researchers believe that in the UK up to 85% of OSA disorders are undetected, suggesting that the 1.5 million people in the UK currently diagnosed with the condition may be just the tip of the iceberg.” In The United States, a 2016 study by Frost & Sullivan stated, “Approximately 5.9 million U.S. adults are diagnosed with OSA, but an estimated 23.5 million remain undiagnosed.” (READ STUDY)
Our next blog will answer the questions: Why are there so many that suffer with undiagnosed sleep apnea? What are the dangers of undiagnosed OSA? What are symptoms of OSA? And what is the process to get diagnosed and begin CPAP treatment?
We urge all a safe and healthy Fall season!