The holidays are closing in and are a busy time of year when we spend our time Christmas shopping, making winter travel plans, enjoying the company of our families and deciding just what to make our New Year's resolutions. And for many of us, our New Year's resolutions often revolve around making our lives healthier and happier. Whether it's making healthier food choices, exercising more often, or quitting bad habits like smoking, many of us choose to start the next year off aiming at self improvement.
The Alaska Sleep Clinic wants to remind you that you don't need to wait until the first of the year to start making your health a priority. In fact, right now is the perfect time to start.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious medical disorder; one that left untreated can lead to all kinds of health problems including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, chronic stress, and many others. Fortunately, treatment for OSA is often very successful through the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines.
Like many medical devices and equipment, your CPAP supplies need to be properly cared for and replaced regularly to ensure you're getting the most effective therapy. For a suggested CPAP therapy product replacement schedule click here.
Why Should You Get Your CPAP Equipment Now?
- CPAP equipment needs to be replaced regularly. Part of successful CPAP therapy is ensuring the comfort of the user. If CPAP masks were made of uncomfortable material, it would be much more difficult to get patients to use their equipment every night. Therefore, most CPAP mask cushions are made from silicone, a soft, gentle, non-irritating material. Unfortunately silicone breaks down fairly rapidly, and the mask cushions need to be replaced about every month. And it's not just the cushions that need to be replaced often. The masks themselves, the tubing, headgear, humidification chamber, and air filters all need regular cleaning and maintenance. For a comprehensive guideline on how to care for your CPAP equipment to get the most out of it, click here.
Get your equipment before your annual deductible resets. By this time of year, you have probably paid off your insurance deductibles and co-pays. This is the best time to hurry up and get your equipment before the next fiscal year begins and you have to start meeting you deductibles again before getting equipment. If you suspect that any of your CPAP equipment may be scheduled for replacement, give your local DME supplier a call and see what CPAP equipment you're due to receive. Most DME suppliers will even handle the calls to your insurance providers to see what your allowance is. All you have to do is make the call. Why put off what you need today to pay for tomorrow?
- Use your existing flexible spending account (FSA) contributions. If you have established a FSA with your employer to withhold a portion of your earnings to pay for medical expenses, now is the time to think about using those contributions towards DME supplies you need. Many FSAs won't roll over to the next year, meaning if you don't use them, you lose them.
Take care of your health now. It's all too easy to put off important decisions with the belief that they can be handled later. But this is your health we're talking about, and it should always take priority no matter what time of year it is, regardless of the promises you make for the future. While it's great that you may be thinking about making healthier choices next year, why wait? Especially since you've obviously already committed to CPAP therapy. Ask yourself when the last time you got a new mask, cushions, tubing, headgear, filters, or a humidifier chamber was. Go look and inspect your equipment. If your mask is worn, your filters or water chamber are disgusting, ask yourself why you're still using old equipment when brand new stuff can be ordered and available to you in approximately 48 hours.
At The Alaska Sleep Clinic, we believe that successful CPAP therapy goes hand-in-hand with the proper maintenance and replacement of your DME equipment. If you're one of our active patients and are ready to order your new CPAP equipment, or just want us to check with your insurance to see what you may qualify for, give us a call and we'll help you get your much needed (and deserved) DME supplies.