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CPAP Newsletter: CPAP News Letter - Issue: 8
There was a stir in the press as reporters jumped on sensational news that an "effective drug treatment for sleep apnea" had been discovered. "The drug, an antidepressant called mirtazapine, significantly reduced the symptoms of sleep apnea. It cut in half the number of times breathing stopped or slowed during sleep and reduced the number of times sleep was disrupted by 28 percent...Mirtazapine blocks the activity of a chemical in the nervous system called serotonin that is involved in regulating mood, emotion, appetite and sleep." Here is a link to one of the more informative articles.
While this is exciting news for people with sleep apnea it must be noted that the initial results are based off a study which involved only 12 patients. Many of these patients still had 10 or more respiratory events per hour after taking the drug. Furthermore, many factors can reduce sleep apnea (the noise of a jack hammer, for instance). What is of central importance is getting consistent, high quality sleep. We will monitor these developments closely and pass on any news.
Resmed reports they will be releasing a new full face mask called the "Ultra Mirage Full Face Mask" in July. It will have an Ultra-style forehead support with four positions and an improved forehead pad. The cushions from the existing Mirage Full Face Mask and Mirage Series 2 Full Face Mask are unchanged and fit on the new Ultra. The mask also includes quick release headgear clips. We will be adding this product to our websites when it is available.
Respironics has at long last released a new full face mask of its own called the "ComfortFull". For pictures and details you may visit:
This mask comes in small, medium and large and competes with the popular Resmed full face products. The mask has innovative ball-and socket headgear clips that make hooking and unhooking the headgear much easier that other methods.
Innomed Technologies, the people who make the "Nasal-Aire" nasal cannula system have redesigned the prong. They suggest comfort is much improved due to the use of softer prong material and the reduction of the ridge on the end of the prong. They have also worked to reduce the "jetting" action of the device and have redone the exhalation ports to reduce noise. This improved system reportedly will be available some time in July.
Resmed showed off a new mask, the "ACTiva", at the Chicago sleep meetings. This mask looks very promising. The "ACTiva" looks much like the existing Ultra Mirage but features "Active Cushion Technology" or ACT. This innovation uses a silicone cushion with a bellow like function between the base of the cushion and the frame of the mask. Instead of the cushion (sealing part of the mask) riding on the mask frame (hard plastic part of mask) and being subject to movement of the frame (hose torque, gravity, moving user, etc.) the cushion rides on the bellow that easily changes shape to keep the cushion in the proper place to maintain a seal. The pressure from the machine inflates the bellows, yet allows it to move as needed. The bellows provides a suspension mechanism that allows relative movement between the face-contacting cushion and the mask frame. The resultant mask weighs a bit more than a standard mask, is a bit bigger and seals in our opinion better than any mask we have ever used. We watched 6 other people be fitted and it worked very well on each one of them. Strap pressure and cushion pressures were very low and comfort was very high. We think this technology will be very well received by users and look forward to the release of ACT products.
Resmed has added a Ultra Mirage mask size; Shallow- Wide. A new cushion of that size is separately available. As one would expect, this cushion is designed to fit users with a very wide nose that has a relative flat bridge. Both the Ultra Mirage Shallow-Wide mask system and its cushion have been added to our website. We have added this new product and the Respironics full face mask to our "Mask Comparison Guide":
Next month we expect to have more on these products as well as information on new cpaps from Fisher & Paykel.
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