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It’s Exam Time! Getting Tested for Sleep Apnea

Posted on: November 30th, 2017 by CareSourceBlogger

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More than likely, you haven’t attended school in years. But that doesn’t mean you’re done with tests. In fact, some of the most important exams you’ll take in your life are yet to occur. So, get out your pencils and put on your study music—we’re going to get you ready for a sleep test!

Sleep apnea is a common condition in America, but many people aren’t aware they have it. If you wake up each morning feeling as if you haven’t slept a wink, you might have sleep apnea. If a partner has noticed you gasping in the night or has complained of excessive snoring, you might have sleep apnea. And if you find yourself falling asleep during inappropriate times during the day you might—you guessed it—have sleep apnea.

Should you demonstrate some of the major symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s highly likely that your doctor will order a sleep test for you. There are a couple of different options, including:

 

Lab Sleep Test

 

Formally referred to as nocturnal polysomnography, this sleep test takes place in a lab. You will be hooked up to equipment that will monitor a variety of things, including activity from your heart, lungs and even your brain waves. Your breathing will also be measured, as will any movement by your arms and legs.

 

Home Sleep Test

 

Some doctors may choose to have you evaluate your own sleeping patterns via a home sleep test. This will allow your results to come from your normal sleeping environment. Your sleep center will give a machine that gathers different data on you as you sleep. Don’t worry about knowing how to use it—they will show you before you go home.

 

Prepping for the Sleep Test

 

No matter where you do your sleep test, it’s important to follow your normal daily routine as close as possible. You should avoid napping during the day and limit your caffeine intake in the afternoon.
If your tests do come back positive for sleep apnea, we’re here to help! We carry everything you need to get this condition under control, including CPAP and BiPAP machines. You can even set up an appointment with one of our respiratory therapists to learn how to use your new equipment.

How to Keep from Getting Caregiver Burnout This Holiday Season

Posted on: November 23rd, 2017 by CareSourceBlogger

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holidays, you may find yourself giving even more. This time of year is so taxing that many people in your position find themselves going through a burnout. Today, we have three tips that can help you get through the holiday season:

  1. Keep Your Routine

Gatherings, shopping trips, and reunions can make it difficult to maintain a steady routine. Avoid over-scheduling and try to stick as close as possible to your regular schedule. If you cannot make it to every holiday event, don’t be afraid to say so.

  1. Start New Traditions

 

When you first found yourself taking on the role of caretaker, you no doubt found your life changing dramatically, taking on a “new normal.” Likewise, your holidays may need to take on a new normal, as there are some traditions that may just be out of reach. Work with your loved one to create rituals that will accommodate both of you and that still encompass your sense of the season.

 

  1. Focus on what you can control

 

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things to face as a caretaker is the loss of control. You can’t control the how the health condition is affecting your loved one, and you can’t control how much of your time is taken away from you. During the holidays, this can be especially apparent as you have to say “no” to invitations that you would like to say “yes” to.

 

While you can’t control the circumstances, you can control your attitude. A positive outlook can help increase your energy, mood and productivity, which can translate into being able to do more during the holidays.

Remember to take a step back and allow some self-care during this hectic time of year. If you need any other tips on how to make this time of year better for you and your loved one, stop by and talk to our experts! We have the tools you need to ensure they can remain safe and comfortable in their own home.

 

5 Ways to Decrease Your Risk for Breast Cancer

Posted on: October 14th, 2017 by CareSourceBlogger

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Around 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year.  This October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and together we all need to do our part. Throughout this month, Caresource would like to spread the word by highlighting five ways to decrease your risk of developing this condition:

  1. Know Your Family History – Approximately 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are hereditary. This percentage isn’t huge, but it is high enough to pay attention to.  If you do have breast cancer in your family history, consult a geneticist.  You can then determine if you carry the genetic variation, BRCA2, that makes you more prone to developing breast cancer.
  2. Know your body – Dense breasts make your cancer risk approximately six times higher. Become familiar with how dense your breast tissue is and look for changes as you age.  While there is nothing you can do to decrease the density of your breast, you can ask to have an additional MRI or ultrasound screening during your next scheduled mammogram.
  3. Stay fit –Experts recommends keeping your exercise to at least 150 minutes per week, which is 30 minutes per days for 5 days per week. This activity can help to boost your immune system and keep your body fighting off unwanted invaders.
  4. Eat right – Studies have shown that women who had high carotenoid levels in their blood system had a 19 percent lower risk of breast cancer. Aim to get more carotenoids in your system by eating additional fruits and vegetables.  Foods such as leafy greens, red peppers, and carrots are a few examples of foods high in carotenoids.
  5. Detect early – If found early, your prognosis is drastically improved. You have a 90 percent survival rate if found early and confined only to the breast.  How do you detect early?  Know your breast tissue, know your family history, and get screenings more often and earlier if you think you are at a higher risk for breast cancer.

There are many tips available to reduce breast cancer risk including breast-feeding, minimizing hormone therapy and reducing exposure to radiation.  At Caresource, we want to support you in your fight against breast cancer.  Please share these tips throughout October and continue to educate your friends and family on Breast Cancer Awareness.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea? Take Our Quiz!

Posted on: October 7th, 2017 by CareSourceBlogger

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Approximately 5-20 percent of Americans live with obstructive sleep apnea, but it’s not obvious to everyone they could be living with this condition. It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of those who have sleep apnea are undiagnosed, mainly because they don’t realize they’re exhibiting one of the major symptoms.

Often, the first sign is excessive or loud snoring. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and sleep apnea can have many other symptoms. The risk of having this condition varies with someone’s age, height, weight and current health conditions.

Here at Caresource, we have come up with a quiz to help you determine if you or a loved one may be struggling with untreated sleep apnea:

Have you or your bed partner witnessed any gasping or choking during sleep?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Have you or your bed partner witnessed a stop or pause in breathing?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Do you have to sit upright to get better sleep?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Do you visit the bathroom frequently when you wake up at night?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Do you snore in any sleep position?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Have you or your bed partner seen an increase in weight?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Do you find yourself struggling to stay awake, even after a full night’s rest?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Do you struggle with depression?

  • Yes
  • No

 

 

If you have answered yes for four or more questions, you might want to think about setting up an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to refer you to a local sleep test center to see if you live with sleep apnea.

 

For further questions about sleep apnea or CPAP equipment, contact Caresource today! Our experts can help you pick out the equipment that’s right for you.

3 Things You Should Know About Compression Therapy

Posted on: September 27th, 2017 by CareSourceBlogger

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Compression therapy helps increase circulation in your legs via the special socks that support your veins. By helping to prevent blood pooling in leg veins, compression therapy diminishes leg swelling and helps to prevent any other complications. To avoid future problems, it’s important to know these three things about these super socks!

  1. How It Works

Compression therapy stockings help to treat vein diseases by supplying pressure to legs to help control swelling and discomfort. The strongest support starts at the ankles and gets gradually lighter. The pumping action of the calf muscles combines with the gradient compression of the socks to help assist blood circulation. The compression of your tissues helps move excess fluid back into the capillaries to prevent fluid buildup. This helps benefit you if you have achy legs, varicose veins, swelling, venous ulcers, deep vein thrombosis, post-thrombotic syndrome, and other issues.

  1. Benefits

There are numerous benefits from compression stockings. Compression therapy increases blood circulation, decreases blood pooling, minimizes spider and varicose veins, and decreases venous pressure. Along with blood flow positives, compression therapy also affects the tissue. It decreases swelling, drains toxins like lactic acid, decreases inflammation, and improves the movement of tendons and joints.

  1. Where to Get Stockings

It is best to measure earlier in the day before swelling builds up, so schedule an appointment for the morning. You will speak with your doctor to see if graduated compression stockings are a good fit for you. They will then help you figure out what pressure grade is right for you. From there, you can come into a home medical equipment provider such as us and pick out the right compression therapy stocking for you.

Compression therapy is extremely important in helping overall circulation and leg swelling. By being educated on the importance and design of the stockings, you will be able to utilize them to their fullest in order to live more comfortably.

5 Ways to Avoid the Flu This Season

Posted on: September 13th, 2017 by CareSourceBlogger

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While the CDC recommends that receiving the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent coming down with influenza, not all people are able or comfortable having it done. Today, CareSource is here with five ways that you can protect yourself from the virus this year:

  1. Wash Your Hands

This is perhaps the most crucial, if not most overlooked preventative measure you can take to protect yourself from germs. A good rule of thumb is to rub the soap in your hands for about the same amount of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song under warm water.

  1. Avoid Touching Your Face

By touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, bacteria has a chance to make its way into your body much faster. Germs are most commonly spread by touching something that has been contaminated and then bringing those germs up to your face.

  1. Disinfect Surfaces

Clean surfaces and objects with disinfectants in order to keep away from the germs. By keeping a clean environment, you will be less likely to touch something contaminated and become sick.

  1. Cover Coughs & Sneezes

To avoid spreading the flu, be sure to cover your cough or sneeze with your arm. By coughing into your arm, you are taking the preventative measure to not spread the flu by having germs on your hands.

  1. Avoid Contact

If someone is sick or looking sluggish, try to stay away from them and objects they touch. By keeping out of coughing range, you will minimize your exposure to germs and have a better chance of staying healthy.

These tips are simple but crucial in aiding your health, so you can be at your best this flu season. By taking precaution and spreading these simple tips around, you can help others stay healthy and away from the flu bug!

4 Tips to Use Your Walker Properly

Posted on: August 8th, 2017 by CareSourceBlogger

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Mobility aids such as walkers and rollators are meant to aid those whose range of motion has been limited due to health conditions such as arthritis. While they’re meant to offer stability and balance, it’s not uncommon for people to use them improperly, which can lead to great discomfort.

Today, Caresource is here to help. Here are the four tips on how to properly use your walker:

 

  • Height should be ideal.

 

Your walker shouldn’t be so low that you have to stoop over it, nor should it be so high that you have to reach up in order to grasp it. The ideal height should allow your elbows to be bent in a position that is natural and comfortable.

 

  • Walking patterns.

 

When using a walker, you should push it slightly in front of you, and then step into it. Often, people tend to push it too far ahead of them, which causes them to take uncomfortably long steps. Another mistake walker users make is looking down at their feet as they walk. Your eyes should always be in front of you.

 

  • Sitting down.

 

The proper way to sit down with a walker is to position yourself in front of the chair. Let the back of your legs touch the chair so you know you’re close enough to sit. Shift your weight to your stronger leg, and slide your weaker leg forward. Then change your grasp from the walker to the arms of the chair.

 

  • Standing up.

 

Place the walker in front of you and scoot forward in the chair. Use the arms of the chair to push yourself up. Then switch your grasp to the walker’s handles.

 

Getting the right walker for you and making sure it’s adjusted properly are two key components to ensuring that you use your walker correctly. The experts at Caresource can help make sure that your equipment suits your needs. Stop in or call us today for assistance!

 

4 Tips for the New Oxygen User

Posted on: August 1st, 2017 by CareSourceBlogger

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If your doctor recently 4 Tips for the New Oxygen User prescribed you oxygen therapy, you probably have dozens of questions about the ins and outs of using it. That’s why Caresource is here to offer a few basic facts and tips on how to get the most out of your oxygen concentrator:

  • They get hot.

 

Make sure you don’t locate them near the thermostat, as this can interfere with the temperature read-out and lead to your home not being properly heated or cooled. Oxygen concentrators also tend to make your air conditioning work harder in the summer. Luckily, though, there is a tax deduction that you can take that offsets the cost of running your oxygen equipment.

 

  • You don’t have to use an unpleasant cannula and tubing.

 

The cannula and tubing vary in thickness, stiffness, length and color. Which ones you use are up to your own comfort level. Some people don’t like how certain brands or types smell. Since it will be in your nose all day, make sure you use one that is objectionable to your olfactory sensors.

 

  • Lubricate your nostrils.

 

It’s easy for your nostrils to become dry and cracked, which can lead to bleeding. Make sure you use a water-based lubricant to prevent dryness and irritation.

 

  • Humidity is important.

 

For you to be totally comfortable in your oxygen therapy, it is important that your air is humidified. Often, the tubes coming out of the tank are then connected to a humidifier bottle, which is then connected to your nose. Be sure that the bottle is connected properly and not cross-threaded, as this can cause the oxygen to leak before it travels up the connecting tube to you.

Remember, your oxygen concentrator is a lifeline, not a leash. It supplies you with the air your body needs to survive. For more tips and tricks on how to best use your oxygen therapy, see one of the experts at Caresource today!

Cut Back on Adult Incontinence with These 6 Tips

Posted on: July 24th, 2017 by CareSourceBlogger

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Although it’s one of the more embarrassing medical problems to have, the truth is 25 million Americans suffer from incontinence. It’s a problem that usually creeps up later in life, but it can also happen earlier, especially to women who have given birth vaginally. Luckily, Caresource is here to help with 6 tips to managing adult incontinence:

 

  • Timed Voiding.

 

This is a technique where you use the bathroom during regularly timed intervals. By scheduling your trips to the bathroom every 60 to 90 minutes, you should be able to avoid the accidents that occur due to sudden urgency.

 

  • Practice Kegel exercises.

 

Also known as pelvic floor exercises, these can help strengthen the muscles that are used to prevent you from urinating.

 

  • Cut back on the caffeine.

 

Studies suggest that high caffeine consumption could lead to a higher rate of incontinence. If you drink 4 to 10 cups a day of a caffeinated beverage, you are considered to be a high-intake consumer, and are urged to cut back how much you drink in order to reduce your risk of having an accident.

 

  • Manage your fluid intake.

 

It seems straightforward that consuming too many liquids can increase your chances of having an accident, but too few can also impact your incontinence issues! By alternating how much you drink each day, you can determine how much liquid you actually need and how much is too much and how little is too little.

 

  • Talk to your doctor.

Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication that can help control your incontinence. They may also be able to point to some other condition that is causing it—such as lifestyle choices or medication that you’re currently taking.

 

  • Quit smoking.

 

Smoking causes many health issues, including incontinence. It’s never too late to quit!

 

 

 

Remember to stay positive throughout this process. You are not less of a human being because you are having issues with your bladder. If you still struggle with it after following some of the tips above, see Caresource . We carry a number of adult incontinence products in our store and in our online catalog.

Best CPAP Masks for Beard and Facial Hair

Posted on: July 10th, 2017 by CareSourceBlogger

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By and far, the vast majority of CPAP users tend to be men. While women can certainly develop obstructive sleep apnea, it’s a condition that strikes the male population more often than not. For many men, this not only changes their sleeping habits, it also affects their looks. Before their sleep apnea is treated, many men become overweight. But after treatment, they face a whole other aesthetic challenge: facial hair.

Beards and CPAP masks don’t always work well together. Facial hair can prevent the CPAP mask cushions from making direct contact with the skin, thus breaking the seal and allowing for leaks. That’s why Caresource is here to suggest the best CPAP masks for men with fuzzy faces:

 

Swift FX Nasal Pillows: Nasal Pillows tend to work best for facial hair, since they go directly into the nose, but could post a problem for those with especially fluffy mustaches. Because of its shape and the way it fits into your nasal passages, many men have found success with the Swift FX Nasal Pillows.

Mirage SoftGel Nasal Mask: If you prefer to use a nasal mask, we suggest this one. You can swap out nasal cushions between it and the Mirage Activa LT, making it versatile for any type of facial hair growth. One piece of advice we would give for wearing a CPAP nasal mask with a beard is that you clean the cushions every day. It’s very easy for a mustache to leave oily residue behind, and that can break the seal.

Amara Full Faced CPAP Mask: This CPAP mask offers two cushion styles in four sizes, giving you flexibility in your fit. Just remember that when you use a full-faced mask that you need to keep your beard trimmed short in order for it to fully work.

All of the above CPAP masks are currently available or are able to be ordered through Caresource. If you have any questions or concerns about your CPAP mask fit, don’t hesitate to reach out to our in-house experts.

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