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[Product Review] Carex Cervical Collar
#1
Carex Cervical Collar
Hi,

I've been asked to review the Carex Cervical Collar, so here are my impressions:

The collar is produced by Carex, a company selling various health related items, including orthopedic devices, pain management and patient safety. Interestingly, they also have a range of products they sell under the title "sleep therapy", however the collar isn't included there (they mostly sell CPAP filters, CPAP cleaners, mask liners, pillows,etc..), which means the product isn't manufactured with this goal in mind. The box states that the product is for pain relief and neck stabilization.

I've bought it from Amazon and while there were many collar choices there, not all of them could be shipped to my country (Turkey), so I can't say I made the decision based on scientific criteria, but based on availability.

Here's how it looks:

     

A search on Google for soft cervical collars returns many similar looking collars, so I assume the design is quite classical and not radically different from other products. It has a central notch for the chin and the back side is also shorter. Interestingly there is no mention of the size or dimensions of the collar on the box, which makes me think there is only one size available (I wasn't able to find different sizes on their web site too). The product page on Amazon mentions that it can be adjusted for neck circumferences from 22'' to 25'' (that's around 56 cm to 63.5 cm), it has a height of 3'' (7.6 cm) on the chin, 2.5'' (6.35 cm) in the back and 3'' (7.6 cm) on the sides. It has a hook and loop closure with velcros to adjust the circumference. It is quite noisy, so it can disturb your bed partner's sleep if you decide to remove it in the middle of the night.

The foam of the collar is quite firm, as it should be, as its first purpose is to stabilize and support the neck. That makes it somewhat uncomfortable to wear compared to some other collars (for example The Eliminator) which are made to sleep. Also the material covering the foam, which is made from soft porous cotton according to the web site, is less comfortable compared to the Eliminator, as it isn't smooth.  However it has an important advantage: It is thinner compared to the Eliminator. Here's how they compare:

   

Carex measures around 21 mm (0.83 '') thick, while the Eliminator measures 58 mm (2.29 '') thick. This difference makes the Eliminator useless for me, as it invariably is going to push the soft tissues under your mouth, which exacerbates the narrowing of the airway. Carex can be positioned, so that it only supports the chin and it doesn't touch the soft tissues. As a result, I had some serious obstructive events while wearing the Eliminator but didn't have similar events with Carex.

It would be nice to have some design improvements for Carex: A choice of various sizes would be good for people with different neck circumferences and heights. The material could definitely be softer and there could be a way (some gel, or holes at the foam) to make it cooler (it can get quite hot, even when it isn't attached firmly). The back side can be shorter, as there is no need for any support at your neck level and it also makes it less comfortable to sleep due to its interaction with the pillow. However it still is effective in preventing chin tucking in its current form and also relatively cheap (around 10 USD) so there is no risk on trying it if you feel you need one.
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#2
RE: Carex Cervical Collar
Thanks for the clear and concise review. I'm sure it'll be useful for users to make a collar decision.
Dave

OSCAR
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Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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