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Cindie Hood

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Cindie Hood is a Product Manager at AllegroMedical.com with a core focus on products that help active aging adults and caregivers.

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It might be surprising to learn that 51% of women, overall, live with urinary incontinence. And though the numbers increase with age (a recent study determined it occurred at “13% in young, nulligravid women to 25% in reproductive-age, 47% in middle-age, 55% in postmenopausal, and 75% in older women“), it was around double the rate experienced by men.

Though there are multiple kinds of urinary incontinence, the most common ways that women experience an involuntary loss of urine is through stress incontinence, urge incontinence, or a combination of both.

Because such a marked percentage of women experience this life-changing symptom, and because it can be caused by such a long list of issues, the findings in the study mentioned above were as follows: “WPSI recommends screening women for urinary incontinence annually. Screening ideally should assess whether women experience urinary incontinence and whether it affects their activities and quality of life. The WPSI recommends referring women for further evaluation and treatment if indicated.”

The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative is a U.S. coalition of women’s health care professional organizations aligned with patient reps, and the recommendations from the study are intended to shape and guide the Health Resources and Services Administration, among others. As the study explained, “The target audience for this recommendation includes all clinicians providing preventive health care for women, particularly in primary care settings. This recommendation applies to women of all ages, as well as adolescents.”

Why adolescents instead of the elderly in those higher brackets? As noted, urinary incontinence is not the condition, typically, but a symptom of something.

What is Urinary Incontinence?

Experts agree that urinary incontinence is simply an involuntary release of urine from the bladder. It may be accompanied by any number of other symptoms, such as the intense urge to urinate briefly before release, difficulty urinating, blood in the urine or dark urine, and so on. Any of these symptoms indicate different potential causes of the loss of urinary control.

For example, urinary incontinence in women could be due to:

  • Pregnancy or childbirth
  • Hysterectomy or similar surgeries
  • Age
  • Menopause and declining estrogen levels leading to muscle weakening
  • Obesity
  • Cystitis
  • Neurological issues, including stroke, Parkinson’s, and MS
  • Constipation may cause overflow incontinence
  • Bladder tumor
  • Urinary stones or crystals
  • Anatomical defect
  • Fistula
  • Problem from surgery for incontinence
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine
  • UTI (urinary tract infection)
  • Certain medications

Clearly, this represents an immense range of potential causes, and many of these issues are capable of being experienced by adolescents as easily as the elderly and all women in between those extremes.

And, more importantly, screening becomes significant because, as the report noted at the beginning of this article indicates, “Despite its high rates and adverse effects on health, well-being, and function, urinary incontinence is under reported by women and therefore infrequently recognized by clinicians.”

A survey revealed that more than half of women suffering from urinary incontinence failed to report the symptom “to their health care providers because of embarrassment, stigma, or acceptance as normal.”

This is troubling for many reasons. The first is that “symptoms may be treated by behavioral, nonpharmacologic, pharmacologic, and surgical interventions, depending on the type and severity of incontinence and patient preferences. Early intervention may reduce symptom progression, improve immediate and long-term quality of life, and limit the need for more complex and costly treatment.”

How Will Screening Be Done?

The report evaluated more than a dozen screening methods against the clinical diagnosis of incontinence or diagnostic test results. Their sample methods included:

  • Brief clinician- or self-administered questionnaires describing symptoms
  • Clinical diagnosis based on physical examinations
  • Testing
  • Urodynamic testing

They discovered that two screening methods that yielded good outcomes. They described them in their report recommendation, saying that “Screening should include the use of validated assessment instruments that include questions about whether a woman has symptoms of urinary incontinence; the type and degree of incontinence; and how symptoms affect her health, function, and quality of life. Several brief clinician- or self-administered questionnaires for primary care settings identify women with stress, urge, or mixed incontinence and may be used to guide diagnostic evaluations and management.”

Start Now

Though screenings are not mandatory, and few physicians use incontinence screenings with female (or male) patients during routine physical exams, you can ask your physician about them now. In fact, you must if you or a loved one has been experiencing such an issue.

As you can see from all of this, however, is that the severity of urinary incontinence as a symptom has made it clear that it must be evaluated on an annual basis for females in their adolescence and upward. While many experts felt that under-reporting might still occur, the screening methods recommended did yield good diagnoses and treatment plans.

What it tells the non-medical people of the world is that they must be honest about any level of urinary leakage, and particularly if it is a new symptom or issue. Urinary incontinence is clearly going to affect the health, but it also has an impact on the quality of life and even the day to day function a person experiences. Somehow, it remains under treated and often undiagnosed.

This may easily allow it to worsen into something that might have otherwise been treated or alleviated. Making a standardized screening part of any annual clinical exam or even gynecological exams can go a long way to bringing those numbers under control.

After all, urinary incontinence can often be due to something as treatable as an infection, a urinary stone, or muscle weakening. These can be remedied through medication and special exercises. Surgical interventions may also help to remedy the symptoms and improve quality of life.

When treatment does not erase the incontinence, though, there are many remarkable incontinence products just for women that exist to allow buyers to discreetly wear disposable or washable underwear that traps moisture, odor and allow a normal life. There are adult diapers, furniture and bed pads, deodorizers and skin care products, and any number of undergarments that can enable someone with incontinence of any level or type to enjoy a normal, active and social life without anyone knowing they are dealing with this often embarrassing issue.

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When there is anything going on with the bladder, it can be difficult to determine just what the problem might be, and it is because so many issues involve identical symptoms. As an example, those with overactive bladders may find that they can “no longer hold urine normally…[and] often feel a sudden urge to urinate or experience an accident.”

And while you might say that urinary incontinence is the same, with loss of bladder control allowing urine to leak out, they are actually two different things. In fact, experts will tell you that incontinence is not a condition, but actually the symptom of one, including overactive bladder.

Just consider that you might have some urinary incontinence because you consumed far too much fluid, you have just had a baby or some sort of surgery, or you have something like a UTI (urinary tract infection). That, as you see, brings us to the third item in the question posed by the title of this article – the UTI.

Fortunately, we already have a partial answer – the main difference between an overactive bladder, UTI and urinary incontinence is, quite simply, that the first two are conditions while urinary incontinence is often a symptom of those conditions.

A Closer Look at Overactive Bladders

Of course, incontinence is not the only indicator of one or both conditions. Overactive bladder, typically called OAB is caused by muscles around the bladder behaving in an involuntary manner. This unusual behavior by muscles you normally control on your own can be due to a long list of causes, including:

  • You drink excessive amounts of alcohol or caffeine that can overstimulate the muscles and act as diuretics the body needs to flush
  • You have a medical condition such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease that affects the nervous system
  • You have bladder abnormalities or obstruction
  • You have kidney disease or diabetes
  • You are suffering from declining cognitive function due to age
  • You are male and have an enlarged prostate
  • You may have had a stroke and one of the effects was loss of muscle control in that area of the body

Regardless of the cause, your condition is typified by a sudden urge to urinate, and the urge may be almost impossible to halt, causing leakage. You may urinate more than eight times a day and wake at night needing to urinate.

It is a condition that can be managed through activities as simple as timed voiding and controlled fluid consumption, pelvic floor exercises and strengthening, and behavioral strategies. However, the first thing anyone must do with a sudden change in bladder control resulting in incontinence is to visit a physician to ensure it is not a serious medical issue at fault.

Urinary Tract Infections

UTIs can be quite painful and even destructive. They usually occur when bacteria are able to enter the urethra and then travel upward to the bladder. Because women are structurally different, with shorter urethras, they typically get UTIs more often than men. However, men will also suffer such infections.

Unlike OAB, though, no behavioral or lifestyle changes can help to overcome the issue. This is a difficult infection and has to be addressed with medical support, typically in the form of antibiotics. The type used depends entirely on your medical history and the level of infection (i.e., the severity) and the bacterial type.

Your doctor will do a urine test and then prescribe any one of a number of antibiotics, and it is imperative that you use the full course and follow up with the doctor. Why? UTIs can be so severe that they require hospitalization and may even travel as far as the kidneys.

The symptoms of a UTI include, as you know, urinary incontinence, but they may also present in the form of an abnormally strong urge to urinate, pain and burning during urination, blood in the urine and even an urge to urinate without passing any urine at all. Some men experience rectal pain while women can have general pelvic and lower back pain.

So, never think that a sudden urge to urinate is a sign of OAB or a UTI. Instead, head to your doctor immediately and let them make the determination. Chances are that urinary incontinence may be one of your symptoms, and it could be that you have neither an OAB or UTI but something else that causes your symptoms.

Types of Incontinence Matter

After all, if you speak with experts, they tell you that there are a few “types” of incontinence. Stress incontinence is one and can happen whenever pressure is applied to the area around the bladder. For instance, coughing, laughing hard, lifting something heavy, even having your cat jump on your lap or abdomen while you stretch out can lead to urinary leakage. The urge to urinate at such times may be mild to strong, and often cued by the sensation caused by your weakened urethra. This form of incontinence is often due to muscles around the pelvic floor, bladder and urethra weakening, and may not always be due to a UTI or even OAB.

The Costs of Bladder Issues

It goes without saying that any condition that presents you with the risk of wetting your pants can be quite life-altering. Many people do not realize the seriousness of the overall effects of incontinence or issues that might cause it. Additionally, there is that risk of feeling deeply upset by the condition, avoiding socializing, and even being injured if you find yourself rushing to the bathroom, but falling or tripping along the way.

While a CDC report from 2014 pointed out that roughly half of all older adults in the United States have some sort of incontinence, it is not an inevitable part of aging. If it does occur, it is not necessarily permanent. If it is going to be ongoing, the number of incontinence products is astonishing, and patients can easily find remarkably high-quality products such as incontinence undergarments or pads and shields that can trap moisture, be worn discreetly and allow for independence to remain. The key is to find out what is going on – UTI, OAB or muscle weakening – and work with a doctor to overcome the issue.

What is Incontinence?

Incontinence is the inability to completely control the bladder or bowels. Any type of incontinence will occur by degrees from mild to severe and will have an array of causes. Urinary incontinence, though most common among women, occurs in men and manifests in different ways, as well. The National Association for Continence indicates that in the U.S. alone there are more than 20 million people dealing with some sort of incontinence, and this explains the huge array of incontinence products available.

As the University of Rochester reports, “while sales of adult diapers now outpace sales of baby diapers, incontinence is rarely discussed”. In fact, it often goes unreported because urinary incontinence in men and women of any age can feel embarrassing or may even be (wrongly) viewed as a normal part of life and/or aging. In this article, we are going to review the basic facts about urinary incontinence in men, which is not as often discussed as incontinence in women. While it is not as common, it exists in men of all ages and must be addressed, examined by a doctor and treated accordingly.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Men

So, first things first – why would men experience a loss of bladder control or urinary leakage?

Urine leakage, a key sign of urinary incontinence in men and women, occurs in a similar manner regardless of gender. As the experts at WebMD explain , “urine moves from your kidneys to your bladder through tubes called ureters. Your bladder stores your urine until a signal tells your brain that your bladder is full. Then urine leaves your body through a tube … called the urethra. Urinary incontinence happens either because the signal to your brain gets scrambled or doesn’t happen, or because of a problem somewhere in your urinary tract.”

Leakage might be due to overactive bladder (also called urge incontinence), muscle weakening in the area around the bladder or urethra, problems with fully emptying the bladder which causes it to become overly full, blockage, structural issues from birth, infection, medication, medical conditions, and more. What you need to realize, though, is that urinary incontinence in men (and women) is a symptom, typically, and not usually a condition on its own.

For example, for many men, an issue with their prostate may cause leakage. So, in that case, their incontinence would be a medical issue with the prostate. It is important to determine the cause of urinary incontinence in men rather than just live with it and ignore it as a symptom of something larger.

Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence In Men

  • Prostate issues – Enlarged prostate glands can be benign or due to cancer. The enlargement blocks the urethra and cues the bladder to work harder, building up the walls of the bladder and causing great difficulty in fully emptying it over time. Those who have been treated for prostate cancer may also find that nerve damage leads to incontinence.
  • Disease – Neurological diseases such as MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and even stroke can cause malfunctions in the nerves, leading to urinary incontinence in men and women alike. Allergies, though not a disease, may lead to behaviors like chronic bouts of coughing that can also weaken pelvic floor muscles and lead to urinary leakage. Urinary tract infections can also be a cause.
  • Obesity – A general lack of exercise may contribute to urinary incontinence in men but paired with obesity or too much extra body weight and it creates an amount of pressure on the bladder that can lead to urgency, an inability to hold urine, and urine leakage. Lack of exercise may lead to constipation, which itself can be a cause of urinary incontinence due to pressure on the urinary tract.
  • Surgery – An array of surgical procedures, in addition to prostate surgery, may lead to urinary incontinence in men. Back surgery, bowel surgery and other procedures might be a cause.
  • Lifestyle – It is known that consuming too much caffeine or alcohol (both diuretic in nature) may lead to incontinence, using narcotics or certain medications, and drinking too much fluid at once can also lead to leakage.

Of course, the loss of muscle tone over time and due to age may be a major contributing factor in the loss of bowel and/or bladder control. However, assigning blame to “old age” is unwise and not an excuse to skip a visit to a physician when urinary incontinence occurs.

Visiting the Doctor is a Good Choice

Whenever changes in bowel or bladder habits occur, it is wise to head to the doctor. For men, the following changes signify the need for a medical exam:

  • Leak urine if you cough, sneeze, laugh hard, lift something heavy or stand up quickly
  • Using the toilet more than eight times a day
  • Often fail to reach the toilet before some urine leaks out
  • Bladder has a sense of being full even after emptying
  • Pain with urination
  • Strain to pass urine
  • Lower abdominal area feels pressured

Your doctor will do a physical exam, look at your medical history, discuss your current lifestyle and may even run urine tests or more in-depth testing to determine the cause. They will then suggest the right treatment.

Treating Urinary Incontinence in Men

Just as there are many reasons that men develop urinary incontinence, there are also many treatments. These may range from more preventative measures such as bladder training (i.e., using a fixed schedule of fluid consumption and elimination), learning how to do kegel training, making lifestyle changes, and more. However, it could be that you may require medications or surgical intervention to improve your symptoms, including rubber sphincters being implanted around the urethra or male slings.

If the issue is not able to be entirely controlled, there are many male incontinence products that include well-designed undergarments with special materials that allow everyday activities, while maintaining discretion that a garment is even in use. There are skin care products, incontinence bed pads and sheeting, and much more to control odor and allow the user to have a normal and healthy life in spite of incontinence issues.

 

Oxygen Concentrator Basics

When you are first prescribed oxygen and when you are choosing your home oxygen concentrator or portable concentrator, it can feel somewhat intimidating. You do not want to do anything wrong that could damage the machine, and you want to make sure that you understand not only how to use it properly, but also how to maintain the machine.

Many people today have these concentrators. They can help those who are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung disease, and other health issues. They might have stationary oxygen concentrators that stay at home or they could have portable oxygen concentrators. While each of the makes and models may have somewhat different features, you will find that the basics of using the concentrator tends to be the same. It also happens to be relatively easy, and you can learn quickly.

Getting Started

If you have a battery operated oxygen concentrator, make sure that the battery is charged and that it is properly installed. Those who have stationary oxygen concentrators that have a cord will want to plug the cord into the electrical outlet.

If there is a humidifier, you can connect it. For those who have large, stationary devices, it tends to be a good idea to keep them located at least a foot or two away from the wall. This will ensure that the exhaust and the intake have plenty of room.

Make sure the particle filters are in place and that your nasal cannula and mask are properly connected. Turn on the machine and check to make sure that the oxygen flow rate is providing you with the proper liters per minute. Apply the nasal cannula or mask and the machine should be ready to go.

As you can see, they tend to be relatively simple to use, so once you have started it up a few times, you should not have any issues. Be sure you know how to charge the portable devices and that you understand how their batteries work and how long they last. This will ensure that you know when you need to change a battery.

Take the time to learn the basic functionality of the machine, and you will understand the ins and outs before you know it.

Follow the Manufacturer Guidelines

As mentioned, each of the medical oxygen concentrators could be somewhat different. Some will have LCD screens, while some of the smaller, portable devices will not. Therefore, you should always make sure you have the owner’s manual handy, especially when you are first starting to use a machine. Even if you have used similar machines in the past, if you have a new machine, be sure to go through the manual first. This will help you familiarize yourself with how it works and where the controls are located. The manufacturer will likely be able to answer any questions you have about the machine, as well.

Keep the Machine in Proper Working Order

Whether you are using a continuous flow oxygen concentrator that stays at home or a portable oxygen concentrator that you can take with you, make sure it is kept in good working order. Your health will depend on it. The following are some simple tips that can help to ensure that your machine keeps running properly.

First, consider resting the machine occasionally. Even though they are able to run for 24hrs a day, they could overheat and suddenly stop. By allowing the machine to rest for about 20 minutes every eight hours or so, you can reduce the risk of this occurring. When the machine is offer, patients will want to use a standby device or oxygen tank to ensure that they still have the oxygen they need.

In addition, if you have a machine with external filters, you will want to make sure that the filters are cleaned regularly. Try to clean them at least once per week. However, if the house is dusty or has pets, this might be needed more often. Make sure that the oxygen tubes are in good shape and that they do not have any kinks in them, clean the outside of the machine and make sure that you do not let any liquid get into the device.

With proper care and usage, these machines have the capacity to last for a long time. Make sure that you are treating them with the respect they deserve, and they can provide you with years of use.

With many of the home and portable concentrators on the market, the oxygen that flows through the device is typically measured in liters per minute, although there are some that will provide milliliters per minute. Typically, the continuous flow oxygen concentrators provide liters per minutes, whereas the pulse concentrators utilize milliliters per minute of pulse dose oxygen.

Those who require oxygen therapy will receive a prescription from their doctor that will let them know their oxygen flow rate needs, such as 2.0 liters per minute, which is a common prescription. However, the exact amount you need could vary. The prescriptions will run between 1L and 10L per minute in most cases.

What Type of Oxygen Concentrator Do You Need?

Just because you might need to have a flow rate of 2.0 liters per minute, it does not mean that you need to necessarily have a continuous flow concentrator. There are also pulse flow options that can work for you. You just need to make sure that you talk with your doctor about your specific needs to be sure that you are getting just what you need.

When it comes to the continuous flow oxygen concentrators, you will find that most of them will have easy to understand settings that will let you know just how much oxygen you are getting. That is not always the case with the portable pulse options. Instead, they will have a setting range that goes from one to eight, for example. The exact amount of oxygen that is provided in each of these settings will vary based on make and model. Just because you are on level three of a pulse concentrator does not mean that you are getting 3.0lpm. You need to know how much each of those levels with your make and model will provide, and then use that for your pulse dose settings.

The concentrators with continuous flow settings tend to be a good solution for those who need to have access to oxygen around the clock, including overnight. If you are active and are always out, then you might want to have a portable oxygen concentrator. For those who need both of these options, there are hybrid machines available. However, you could always simply have one of each type of concentrator.

Options to Consider

Below are some of the many options available today that are available in a range of flow rates. You may find that one of these meets your needs and the requirements put forth by your doctor.

Inogen One G2

Here is a quality pulse dose concentrator that weights only 7lbs with the 12-cell battery. This particular battery has a 4hr life. However, with the 24-cell battery, it can last for up to eight hours. This is a popular, light, and efficient model that can work extremely well and is FAA approved. The unit gets up and running quickly, typically requiring less than two minutes before it is ready to go. It also tends to be quiet.

Inogen One G3

This pulse dose concentrator weights only 4.9lbs with the 8-cell battery and it has a battery life of four hours. It is a very light and easily portable unit, which makes it a nice solution for those who like to travel and those who have an active life. It offers settings that range from one to five with the oxygen concentration levels typically being around 90%. It is FAA approved and can be used easily on flights, buses, cruise ships, and more.

SeQual Eclipse 3

Here is a portable option that is a bit larger and heavier than the ones looked at thus far. It weighs 15lbs and it is FAA approved. One of the nice elements of this machine is that it is a hybrid. This means it can provide either pulse dose or continuous flow modes.  When in the continuous flow mode, it can provide a flow rate between 0.5 and 3.0 liters per minute. When it is in pulse dose mode, it can provide between 16ml and 192ml per minute.

SeQual eQuinox

This machine also offers either pulse dose or continuous flow. It is 14lbs and it can last for up to 5.7 hours on a battery. It is one of the best and lightest options for those who still want a machine that is portable, but that can deliver continuous flow of up to 3.0 liters per minute. The flow rate ranges from 0.5 up to 3.0 liters per minute. The pulse dose range goes from 16ml to 96ml. The eQuinox also has something called super dose settings, that can allow for 128ml, 160ml, and 192ml for those who need to have higher pulse doses.

These are some of the options on the market that have a range of different liters per minute settings that could work well for you.

What to Look for With Your Oxygen Concentrator

When choosing an oxygen concentrator, you need to consider how and where you will be using the machine, as this can let you know what type you need, as mentioned above. Whether you are looking for pulse dose or continuous oxygen delivery systems, you will want to make sure that you find the perfect solution for your needs.

Not only do you need to find an oxygen concentrator that can provide you with the proper liters per minute, you also want to find a seller that can provide you with quality equipment. Check their oxygen concentrator product FAQs to get a better gauge on the products they offer, along with their returns and exchanges policy.

Learn more about the options available and find those that you feel will best fit what you need from the oxygen concentrator. Above, there are several quality options that could work well for your needs. However, these are certainly not the only concentrators out there. Search for others that will meet your oxygen requirements for liters per minute of  O2 and that have other features that you might need.

Patients who have been told by their doctor that they may need to have oxygen therapy may have heard the terms pulse and continuous flow used and may be wondering which of these options is going to be best for them. It is important to have a good understanding of what each of the phrases means and how they work with the home oxygen concentrators you will be using. It can be quite confusing for those who have never been on oxygen before, but it can be broken down so it is more easily understood.

First, you will want to understand liters per minute and flow rates. On your prescription, you will see “liters per minute” and this may cause some to believe that the only way to get the required amount of oxygen is to use a continuous flow system. The LPM simply refers to the amount of oxygen delivery that you have been prescribed per minute.

Most of the home oxygen concentrators will have exact LPM settings that you can use, as will many of the continuous flow concentrators. With a pulse flow oxygen concentrator, the settings will be between one and eight liters per minute. Many of the portable oxygen concentrators will have these same settings. The liters per minute does not necessarily mean that it will relate to the settings on all types of oxygen concentrators. They can vary from one make and model to another. Therefore, when you are buying a concentrator, make sure it can deliver the proper amount of oxygen to you, whether it is a pulse dose oxygen concentrator or a continuous flow oxygen concentrator.

What Are Pulse Concentrators?

With a pulse flow concentrator you are going to bring oxygen into your air passages through a nasal canula with each breath that you take. If your breathing rate were to increase, then the concentrator would be able to adapt and provide you with another breath, or pulse, of oxygen with each of your breaths. The delivery of the oxygen is controlled through your own breathing.

These types of units tend to be efficient because you are only using them during the actual breaths that you take. There is no oxygen wasted, since it will not be flowing during the periods between each of the breath. This not only ensures that you are not wasting oxygen, but it also ensures that the battery life on the unit will be better. An additional benefit of this type of flow unit is that the size tends to be smaller when compared with a continuous flow concentrator. This makes the pulse flow portable.

One of the other differences between these types of concentrators is that the pulse portable oxygen concentrators are not delivering oxygen in exact liters per minute, and there is no standardization between the models on the market.

It is important that you work with your healthcare professional to make sure you are choosing the right machine for your needs. These types of machines can work well for many people, but some patients will find that they are not capable of providing them with the amount of oxygen that they need. For example, if someone needs to use oxygen overnight, they would likely be better served with a continuous flow oxygen concentrator rather than a pulse flow oxygen concentrator.

They do tend to work very well for those who are still quite active. They are easier to use when people are out of the house, and they can be used for those who can still get in some exercise. The flow will match your needs since it provides oxygen with each breath. For those who still get out and are busy, this can be a nice solution to allow you to maintain that lifestyle as much as possible.

There are many differences from one machine to another, not only in terms of oxygen delivery but also with the comfort level. You may need to experiment with more than one option before you find the one that works well for you. Some of the pulsed flow oxygen concentrators that you may want to consider include the SimplyGo Mini, AirSep Focus, and Inova Labs Activox 4L.

What Are Continuous Flow Concentrators?

The second option is the continuous flow concentrators, which will provide the patients with a steady amount of oxygen that has, as the name suggests, a continuous flow rate. Once the machine is on, the oxygen is always flowing. This means that it is not an oxygen conserver like the pulse units, but this type of flow is often needed for patients who have certain conditions or who have specific oxygen requirements. It is also ideal for those who need to have oxygen delivered overnight.

One of the other benefits of this type of concentrator is the ability to provide more exact flow rates of oxygen. This allows you to have the LPM set to your requirements. These are popular for home oxygen concentrators, but they do not typically work as well when it comes to portability. Those who have lower activity levels may find that this will be a better solution for them than the pulse flow concentrators that are available.

Some potential options for these concentrators include Respironics SimplyFlo, Inogen At Home, and Invacare Perfecto 2V.

What If You Need Both?

Of course, you might be wondering what you should do if you would like both of these options. Perhaps you need oxygen overnight, but you like the portability and features that some of the pulse flow machines have. If that’s the case, then you might want to look at some of the available machines that are able to provide both single and pulse flow options. They can provide users with quite a bit of flexibility, and there are several units on the market, such as the Equinox and the SimplyGo that could work nicely.

Alternatively, if you do not want to have a single machine, you could always have a home oxygen concentrator that you use while you are at home that provides a continuous flow, and a portable pulse flow concentrator for when you are out running errands. You just need to be sure it will provide you with the appropriate oxygen levels that you need.

What’s Right for Your Needs?

Keep in mind that everyone’s needs will differ. When you are searching for a device, you will want to consider whether you need to have constant oxygen levels during the night or during the daytime. Consider your lifestyle, and the amount of oxygen that you require. Consider where you will need to use the oxygen, and the battery life that you are going to need on a daily basis. You and your doctor should take the time to consider your specific needs. There is no “one size fits all” option when it comes to oxygen concentrators.

Patients who require supplemental oxygen, and who are not certain as to which type of concentrator they should choose, even though they might know the LPM that has been prescribed to them, should speak with their healthcare professional. They can help you to choose a device that will deliver the oxygen properly.

Patients who have been told by their doctor that they may need to have oxygen therapy may have heard the terms pulse and continuous flow used and may be wondering which of these options is going to be best for them. It is important to have a good understanding of what each of the phrases means and how they work with the home oxygen concentrators you will be using. It can be quite confusing for those who have never been on oxygen before, but it can be broken down so it is more easily understood.

First, you will want to understand liters per minute and flow rates. On your prescription, you will see “liters per minute” and this may cause some to believe that the only way to get the required amount of oxygen is to use a continuous flow system. The LPM simply refers to the amount of oxygen delivery that you have been prescribed per minute.

Most of the home oxygen concentrators will have exact LPM settings that you can use, as will many of the continuous flow concentrators. With a pulse flow oxygen concentrator, the settings will be between one and eight liters per minute. Many of the portable oxygen concentrators will have these same settings. The liters per minute does not necessarily mean that it will relate to the settings on all types of oxygen concentrators. They can vary from one make and model to another. Therefore, when you are buying a concentrator, make sure it can deliver the proper amount of oxygen to you, whether it is a pulse dose oxygen concentrator or a continuous flow oxygen concentrator.

What Are Pulse Concentrators?

With a pulse flow concentrator you are going to bring oxygen into your air passages through a nasal canula with each breath that you take. If your breathing rate were to increase, then the concentrator would be able to adapt and provide you with another breath, or pulse, of oxygen with each of your breaths. The delivery of the oxygen is controlled through your own breathing.

These types of units tend to be efficient because you are only using them during the actual breaths that you take. There is no oxygen wasted, since it will not be flowing during the periods between each of the breath. This not only ensures that you are not wasting oxygen, but it also ensures that the battery life on the unit will be better. An additional benefit of this type of flow unit is that the size tends to be smaller when compared with a continuous flow concentrator. This makes the pulse flow portable.

One of the other differences between these types of concentrators is that the pulse portable oxygen concentrators are not delivering oxygen in exact liters per minute, and there is no standardization between the models on the market.

It is important that you work with your healthcare professional to make sure you are choosing the right machine for your needs. These types of machines can work well for many people, but some patients will find that they are not capable of providing them with the amount of oxygen that they need. For example, if someone needs to use oxygen overnight, they would likely be better served with a continuous flow oxygen concentrator rather than a pulse flow oxygen concentrator.

They do tend to work very well for those who are still quite active. They are easier to use when people are out of the house, and they can be used for those who can still get in some exercise. The flow will match your needs since it provides oxygen with each breath. For those who still get out and are busy, this can be a nice solution to allow you to maintain that lifestyle as much as possible.

There are many differences from one machine to another, not only in terms of oxygen delivery but also with the comfort level. You may need to experiment with more than one option before you find the one that works well for you. Some of the pulsed flow oxygen concentrators that you may want to consider include the SimplyGo Mini, AirSep Focus, and Inova Labs Activox 4L.

What Are Continuous Flow Concentrators?

The second option is the continuous flow concentrators, which will provide the patients with a steady amount of oxygen that has, as the name suggests, a continuous flow rate. Once the machine is on, the oxygen is always flowing. This means that it is not an oxygen conserver like the pulse units, but this type of flow is often needed for patients who have certain conditions or who have specific oxygen requirements. It is also ideal for those who need to have oxygen delivered overnight.

One of the other benefits of this type of concentrator is the ability to provide more exact flow rates of oxygen. This allows you to have the LPM set to your requirements. These are popular for home oxygen concentrators, but they do not typically work as well when it comes to portability. Those who have lower activity levels may find that this will be a better solution for them than the pulse flow concentrators that are available.

Some potential options for these concentrators include Respironics SimplyFlo, Inogen At Home, and Invacare Perfecto 2V.

What If You Need Both?

Of course, you might be wondering what you should do if you would like both of these options. Perhaps you need oxygen overnight, but you like the portability and features that some of the pulse flow machines have. If that’s the case, then you might want to look at some of the available machines that are able to provide both single and pulse flow options. They can provide users with quite a bit of flexibility, and there are several units on the market, such as the Equinox and the SimplyGo that could work nicely.

Alternatively, if you do not want to have a single machine, you could always have a home oxygen concentrator that you use while you are at home that provides a continuous flow, and a portable pulse flow concentrator for when you are out running errands. You just need to be sure it will provide you with the appropriate oxygen levels that you need.

What’s Right for Your Needs?

Keep in mind that everyone’s needs will differ. When you are searching for a device, you will want to consider whether you need to have constant oxygen levels during the night or during the daytime. Consider your lifestyle, and the amount of oxygen that you require. Consider where you will need to use the oxygen, and the battery life that you are going to need on a daily basis. You and your doctor should take the time to consider your specific needs. There is no “one size fits all” option when it comes to oxygen concentrators.

Patients who require supplemental oxygen, and who are not certain as to which type of concentrator they should choose, even though they might know the LPM that has been prescribed to them, should speak with their healthcare professional. They can help you to choose a device that will deliver the oxygen properly.

One of the most common questions that tends to be asked when someone finds out that they need to start using an oxygen concentrator is whether they can bring those devices with them when they are traveling by air. Traveling with oxygen can be tricky, and they want to know if they might need to change the way that they travel because they have a need for oxygen. Fortunately, it should not be a problem in most cases.

In 2009, the United States Department of Transportation’s final rule “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel” went into effect. This ruling provides air carrier requirements when it comes to the use of respiratory assistive devices during air travel. The rule currently requires that air carriers that are offering service to passengers are required to allow someone who has a disability to use a portable oxygen concentrator that has been approved by the FAA for use in flight. This includes all flights that have a maximum capacity of more than 19 passengers. The only time that they do not have to abide by this rule is if the device does not meet the FAA requirements. It must also have a manufacturer’s label that shows that the device meets the requirements.

The goal was to have all of the portable oxygen concentrators to have labels on their devices by the time the rule was implemented. However, that has not happened, and many of the devices still do not carry the label. The FAA does have a list of the approved concentrators on their website, though, and if you plan to travel, this list should serve as a guideline on which of the concentrators you should consider. In addition, you can check with the manufacturer and ask them if they are FAA approved or not.

The following are FAA approved portable oxygen concentrators that could be a good solution for travelers out there.

Some of the FAA Approved Oxygen Concentrator Options

Invacare Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator

Invacare Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator

This is the first POC designed to weather everyday life including daily bumps and varying climates.  Invacare incorporated innovated design elements for simplified maintenance and faster serviceability.  Top load batteries can be hot-swapped.  Rugged and small weighing only 4.98 lbs with a single battery without carrying case.  It provides 5 hours of battery life @ pulse setting.  Travelers feel safe with the Invacare Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator.

 

AirSep Freestyle

This is a pulse dose oxygen concentrator that is small and only weighs 4.4lbs with the internal battery. It provides 3.5 hours of battery life. This is a popular option among users who are active and who like to travel. It is easy to use and there is an additional battery belt that can be purchased that will provide an added six hours of use on the second setting.

AirSep Focus

This machine is a pulse dose concentrator that weighs a mere 2lbs with the micro batteries. It has 1.5 hours of battery life per battery, and it uses two batteries for a total of three hours. This is extraordinarily lightweight, which makes it a good solution for those who want to have a wearable solution that will not take up much room. It works well for those who are traveling long distance and who want to be as mobile as possible.

Inogen One G3

Inogen One G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Here is one of the most popular options on the market today. This pulse dose option features a weight of just 4.9lbs with the 8-cell battery. On the second setting, this battery can last for up to four hours. It is a durable, small, and easy to carry device that makes it a winner with travelers in the United States and beyond. It is small enough to hold in one hand, so you will not need to have a rolling cart for it, as you would have to do with the old oxygen tanks.

These are just some of the POCs that have been approved by the FAA. There are other options that could work for you, but if you are buying without looking at the list on their site, you will want to make sure that you take the time to check with the manufacturer about their approval rating. In addition, if you are not certain, consider contacting your airline to ask them directly, and make sure that you have proof of their answer.

Additionally, when you are flying with one of the approved devices, you will want to consider the flight time and how long the batteries will last on the device. This will let you know how many batteries you will need and whether you might need to charge them at any point during the trip. Before you engage in air travel, make sure you have everything taken care of for your oxygen and that you have a machine that is approved and can last for your flight.

What is ‘Confitex’?

 

Confitex is a company who design incontinence underwear that is both functional and stylish, giving you the confidence to live life without holding back. It’s that simple – and that revolutionary!

 

The inspiration came when friends, Mark and Frantisek had an idea to manufacture high-performance ski suits after experiencing the common notion of ‘busting to go’ while high on a mountaintop. However, their horizons expanded when they learnt about how many people live with that reality whether they’re on a mountaintop or not – that reality being incontinence.

 

The research and figures around incontinence astounded them. One in three women and one in ten men will experience incontinence in their lifetime, and the more they investigated, the more frustrated they became with the limited options available.

With their combined knowledge and experience, the entrepreneurs created and patented a high performance textile which would form the foundation of their product plus meet the needs of people who wanted to do away with plastic based disposables, and Confitex was born – fashionable, comfortable, reusable incontinence underwear designed with confidence and freedom in mind.

 

How does Confitex work?

 

The secret to Confitex’s superior performance comes in the form of their patented three-layer technology. This central panel works to wick away moisture, absorb liquid and protect clothing with a unique waterproof outer layer made from a high-density weave. The absorbent middle layer can hold up to 350ml of liquid to suit a range of needs.

Confitex incontinence products technology

Confitex’s commitment to the environment not only makes their underwear a sustainable option, but also increases the breathability and comfort of their design – because less plastic is not only better for the planet, but better for you, too!

The benefits of Confitex incontinence underwear for light to moderate bladder leakage.

How will you save money with Confitex?

 

While disposable products may give the illusion of saving you a few dollars in the short run, Confitex undies are designed for durability. Their world-first technology means their underwear can be worn with confidence all day long and can be put straight in the washing machine ready to reuse for up to 200 washes – just like normal clothing! When you think about the cost of purchasing one pair of Confitex underwear versus 200 disposable pads or diapers – that’s a lot of money saved.

 

What is the Confitex difference?

 

Confitex marries performance technology with beautiful design. They have ranges for both men and women which look like normal underwear, are comfortable to wear and suitable for everyday use.

 

For men, they offer sleek boxer cuts in black or grey (which can feature a fly opening if preferred), and have sizes from S to 3XL.

Shop Confitex Men's Underwear

 

 

 

 

 

For women, Confitex offers a variety of styles, from understated basics to feminine lacy briefs (selected styles available in black, beige and blue). Sizes range from an XS to a 3XL, and with options available for different absorbency needs, there really is something for everyone!

Shop Confitex Underwear for Women

 

 

 

Confitex are excited to introduce you to their revolutionary products, and can’t wait to see you living life without holding back!

Allegro Medical has been a leading online provider of incontinence products including reusable underwear, disposable protective underwear (pull-ups), adult diapers, disposable and reusable underpads, and medical supplies for over 20 years.  We are excited to introduce the Confitex line of high end reusable incontinence underwear to our customers.

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September is National Preparedness Month. Our President encourages all Americans to take some time this month to prepare for emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit. Emergencies happen often without warning and it’s up to us as Americans to do our part to be as prepared as possible for emergencies. During President Obama’s Presidential Proclamation – National Preparedness Month, 2016, he stated, “Whether in the form of natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes, or unspeakable acts of evil like terrorism, danger can arise at unexpected times and places. Fortunately, there are many things that individuals, families, and communities can do to improve their readiness. I encourage all Americans to take proactive steps to prepare for any situation that may occur including signing up for local alerts, checking insurance coverage, documenting valuables, creating a plan for emergency communication and evacuation, and having a fully stocked disaster supply kit on hand.”

Allegro Medical has compiled a list of “must have” emergency supply kit items for older adults, and people with disabilities. For your convenience we compiled links to the emergency preparation products we recommend for your emergency supply kit below:

1. Battery Powered Weather Alert Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Fully Stocked First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Foldable Travel Cane and Reacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Disposable Washcloth Wipes

Prevail Disposable Washcloth Wipes

 

 

 

5. No Rinse Personal Cleanser

convatec-aloe-vesta-3-in-1-no-rinse-cleansing-foam-189882-MEDIUM_0[1]

 

 

 

6. Protective Underwear for Incontinence Product Users

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Compact Intermittent Catheters for Catheter Users

Cure Twist Compact Intermittent Catheter

Cure Medical Male Pocket Intermittent Catheter

 

 

 

8. Foley Catheter and Leg Bags for Indwelling Catheter Users

Dover Silicone Foley Catheter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Adult Nutrition Beverages

Resource Breeze Dietary Supplement

 

 

 

10. Vinyl Powder Free Exam Gloves

Powder Free Vinyl Exam Gloves

 

 

 

Since 1997, AllegroMedical.com has been providing medical supplies and equipment to aging adults, caregivers and people with disabilities, rely on AllegroMedical.com for all of your product needs.

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