Feel free to contact us directly at 800-950-0230 for any questions×
Posted by Bethaney Wallace on 26th May 2015
For years now patients have been wearing CPAP masks – the breathing device that helps them sleep soundly at night. It works by sitting flush across the face and nose, then providing a steady stream of air for the duration of one’s sleeping period. The constant air motion allows the nasal passages to receive necessary oxygen, while keeping the throat open and preventing coughing or choking that wakes sleep apnea sufferers throughout the night.
It’s a process that’s improved over time and provided some much needed sleep and relief to many patients. But that doesn’t mean the process is perfect. Masks don’t always fit and patients are forced to wrestle with standard sizes that may or may not adjust to their specific features. Until now.
With the help of 3D printers, a new computer program can help fit masks on a case-by-case basis. Where each person receives a custom, molded fit. So that the machine can not only work more efficiently to help them sleep throughout the night, but so that the mask itself is more comfortable. Also helping the patient to receive better and deeper sleep, without waking from unnecessary factors. Such as a mask that moves or chafes.
Researchers in Michigan came up with this unique concept after wanting to find a way to improve CPAP treatments. An event that caused researchers at the University of Michigan Health System to coin a custom computer program that takes face models (from multiple angles) and then prints a 3D mask made specifically for the highs and lows, intricacies, angles, etc., for each patient.
Though the idea is nothing new, recent advancements in printing have since made their idea possible. As well as more budget-friendly than custom mask models in previous years. (Which were far more expensive and still less fitted than those made with the most recent techniques. And also took more time to come up with a finished product.)
In order to create the mask, researchers take a 3D image of the patient, which is then replicated in a computer program from all angles. It’s a process that’s quick and extremely accurate, and requires very little of the patient’s time for sizing or shaping. (Vs. making an actual mold of their face.) Specialized 3D printers are then filled with silicone and made on the spot.
To date, multiple tests have been completed. Showing that the 3D-printed masks have proven to be far more efficient than standard and other customized models. Its most impressive feature is the ability to reduce interface leak, where air seeps out of the patient’s mask. A problem that has been around since the dawn of CPAP machines, causing inefficiency and discomfort. However, with custom-printing masks, this level of leaking was not only reduced, patients said the masks were more comfortable and they were able to obtain better sleep.
This was especially true of child patients, whose faces are harder to fit into CPAP masks – from small sizing and continued growth. As well as those of all ages with craniofacial anomalies, or features that make their individual faces more difficult to fit into pre-made sizes.
Though this method isn’t yet issued as a practice standard, it’s growing among the scientific and medical fields alike. Especially with patient word of mouth, many of whom are singing the masks praises.
To learn more about custom CPAP masks, talk with your doctor or your sleep apnea medical provider.
There’s no doubt that our sleeping needs change with the weather. Colder days mean we’re more likely to lose heat throughout the night. While the opposite is true for summer, even with the AC running on full blast. High humidity can sink through even the thickest of walls. Poor insulation, body heat, and more all [...]
Now that longer days and three-day weekends are upon us, it’s the perfect time to start planning outdoor activities. From the smallest and shortest trip, even just an afternoon picnic, to the longest and most intricate camping trip, there can be plenty of amenities to pack. Especially for those who want to be as comfortable [...]
RSS feeds are dedicated for syndicated content. While a small part of a website, and easy to implement, many people don’t take advantage of this useful tool. Think of your RSS feed as the front page of your local newspaper. If you are a regular to different blog and news media online, you will want [...]
A new trend is taking over healthcare. Where, rather than working out or changing the way one eats, they float. Alone in a tank full of water and salt, in order to earn the body some much needed medical and relaxation benefits. With about 11 inches of water and hundreds of pounds of salt, patients [...]
It’s summer (or close to it), which means most of us will be spending time in a lawn chair. A plastic or fabric version that’s acceptable to use outdoors. And can withstand the elements, while still folding or collapsing as needed. Combining all of those factors, however, doesn’t always call for the best back health. [...]
As humans, we come with all types of instincts. Behaviors and ideas that are ingrained right to our very cores, and often cause us to do things without even thinking about them. However, those same instincts can also be honed to our advantage. Such as helping improve our health, just by how we react in [...]
According to a recent study conducted by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, some 80 percent of American jobs are sedentary. That number is astounding. So being seemingly glued to our workstations for eight plus hours a day, at least five days a week can certainly “wear and tear”the human body in [...]
“I just had the greatest nap on the plane,” is something you rarely hear – if you’ve ever heard it at all. More often than not its, “The plane was so crowded,” or “I didn’t get a wink of sleep,” proving just how terrible travel rest can become. Planes just simply aren’t ideal for relaxation. [...]
Here at Contour Living, we’re (obviously) a fan of all types of sleep-aid products. We love supportive pillows. (We even sleep on them ourselves!) A clean CPAP machine is a happy CPAP machine. Removing allergens is the best way to get better rest. And backs should be cradled and aligned at all times, especially while [...]