CPAP THERAPY – Trials and Tribs Part Two and Final

My point in writing this post is to let CPAP users know that there is an abundance of mask styles and designs. Amazon has CPAP Therapy equipment and accessories most often at a lower cost than most online providers. I started with CPAP.com’s website for an overview of available masks. I have a provider who bills Medicare for masks and supplies every three months.

Medicare rented my machine monthly for me for however long it took to get it paid for then it became my property. As I understand it, Medicare and all insurance companies monitor usage through the provider to ensure that I am actually using the machine at least 4 hours a night. I have gone more or less than 4 hours and sometimes not at all with no complaints from Medicare.

If you are new to CPAP Therapy, I recommend that once all the apnea testing is done, be prepared with a request for a mask that you feel will best suit you. If one doesn’t work, try another. It was suggested by my provider that I research mask types and designs on the internet (after my initial standard) and let them know which one (ones) I would like to try and they will order them for me. Medicare pays 100% for all my equipment and accessories. Keep in mind that if you don’t like it, you most likely won’t use it.

Please don’t give up. CPAP Therapy may not be perfect but though it is a lifestyle  changer, it can also be life saver. Sleep deprivation affects your quality of life in ways that may surprise you. I love it! Yes, I did say “love“.

CPAP (Controlled Positive Airway Pressure) Therapy TRIALS AND TRIBS – (Part One of Two)

I have been determined not to give up on CPAP Therapy – actually giving up would be a very bad idea for me since I stopped breathing 699 times during my sleep test.

Being a side sleeper creates problems in CPAP Therapy that do not exist for back sleepers. For me Most masks have fasteners for adjustments that hit me right in the pressure points of my temples and face and dig in when I lay down. I have tried to sleep on my back but it didn’t work for me..

As most CPAP users, I have gone through several masks. First I had the Simplus Full Face mask and it irritated my skin, drove my anxiety up the wall and had a hard plastic forehead support.

Then I got the Dreamwear Nasal Pillow which was pretty cool but it has the hose on top of your head and you can imagine the drawbacks there.

I decided I needed a full face mask because I was a mouth breather so I got the Airfit F20 for Her and again the silicone bothered me even though it had soft wraps.  I decided that I did like the full face better.

So I got the AirTouch F20 for Her and liked the face mask because it was memory foam and had a more comfortable surface texture. I used this one the longest but the fasteners are directly on my pressure points and being a side sleeper, I found this painful thus affecting my sleep. I even developed knots in the fascia of my temples that tthe massage therapist was able to work out.

 Because of the way the bottom of the AirTouch mask rested on the indention abosve my chin, it pretty much forced me to breathe through my nose. I decided to try another nasal pillow mask to see if I could be a nose breather though I was intimidated by the pillows that fit up to your nares (openings to the nose).

The thought of having silicone protrusions in my nose kept me from going this route in the past. However, the pillows do not go into your nose they just inflate to fill the openings.  The Dreamwear mask had a pillow that sat just under your nose where Swift FX for her has different nose pillows but the hose attaches to the front of the mask rather than the top of the head.

I am now using the Airfit P10 for her and it seems to fill the bill for me. It only has 2 straps, comes with adjustment clips and the nasal pillows are of good quality qnd fit nicely. It is comfortable and easy to use. I can even put it on in the dark.

(Continued Part Two)

 

How to Sleep Easier With Your CPAP Machine By John Donovan (WEB MD) Part Three

Learning to Appreciate CPAP

Continued

For most people, these devices are the best way to treat obstructive sleep apnea. The challenge for doctors and sleep specialists is to convince the wary that they’re better off with one than without it.

Aside from poor Zzz’s, though, people who don’t get treatment for the problem face a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, and other health problems.

But most of the time, Rapoport says he tells his patients they can’t knock CPAP until they’ve tried it.

“I would tell people, ‘Try it. Use it part of the time. Let’s get you to the point where you see the benefits. You don’t have to believe me. You’ll see it,’” he says.

Parthasarathy says many of the people he points toward CPAP do see the benefits, some more quickly than they imagined.

 

“I had a patient tell me that he felt like he walked across a desert and finally found water,” he says. “I get comments like, ‘This is the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long, long time.’ Or, ‘I have dreams now. And it’s been a long time since I remember having a dream.’”

How to Sleep Easier With Your CPAP Machine By John Donovan (WEB MD) Part Two

CONTINUED

Your doctor and sleep specialist can help you make sure everything works and fits as it should.“It’s like wearing shoes. You buy a new pair of shoes, they’re initially going to chafe or hurt you. Or a new pair of glasses — you become very conscious of them,” says Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, medical director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at the University of Arizona. “But after a while, it becomes second nature. You put it on without thinking.”

Noise: In the old days, CPAP machines were clunky and loud. Instead of a whoosh, it was more of a WHOOSH. Some made metallic, clicking sounds.

But that was then. Machines today are smaller, quieter, and much less noticeable. Many brands are near-silent. That’s a bonus not only to CPAP users, but to their bed partners too.

Pressure: Machines have different air pressure settings. Some of them vary it depending on whether you’re inhaling or exhaling. Your doctor will help you figure out the level that’s comfortable for you and helps you the most.

Dryness: Some CPAP users say all that forced air dries out the nose and mouth. Many machines have humidifiers to fix that. Some even heat the moist air.

Trouble breathing through your nose: If you feel stuffed up from allergies, sinus problems, or a physical issue with your nose, you may have trouble using a CPAP machine. But the problem usually goes away when you treat your congestion, whether with medicine, allergy treatments, or sometimes surgery.

“A lot of people have nasal obstruction or congestion and they don’t even know it.” Parthasarathy says. Treatment for those problems makes CPAP work much better for them.

 
 

How to Sleep Easier With Your CPAP Machine By John Donovan (WEB MD) Part One

I want to share the following article written by John Donovan and published on Web MD. I have found that using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine has honestly improved my quality of life. My hope is that this article will help my fellow Sleep Apnea victims to better adapt to CPAP Therapy.

Your doctor wants you on a CPAP machine to help your sleep apnea. You might worry you’ll be tied to a noisy gadget all night with tubes there, a mask here, and straps going every which way.

It can seem overwhelming, says David Rapoport, MD, the director of research at the NYU Sleep Disorders Center. 

“We work very hard to try to get people to be more open to the idea,” he says. “What’s remarkable is, when they try it, they often say, ‘That’s not so bad.’”

There may be some hurdles at first, but they don’t have to be deal-breakers. Once you know what to do, you can sleep well with a CPAP machine.

Get to Know Your Gear

When you have sleep apnea, you can stop breathing, briefly, up to 30 times or more an hour when your airways close or get blocked. CPAP, short for continuous positive airway pressure, pushes air into them to keep them open. 

The machine has a pump that controls the airflow, a tube that carries the air from the machine to you, and a mask that goes over your mouth, nose, or both.

Some things about it may take some getting used to:

Masks and straps: If you’ve never slept with something on your face, it’ll probably take some time for you to wear the CPAP mask without thinking about it.

Most modern ones fall in one of three groups:

  • A nasal mask that goes over your nose
  • A “nasal pillow mask” that fits under your nose
  • A full mask, which covers your mouth and nose 

Among those three main types, there are kinds including:

  • Full-face masks that go over your eyes as well
  • Nose masks with prongs that go into your nose

As long as the mask is sealed enough so that the air pressure from the tube stays constant, the CPAP will do its job. It’s up to you to find out which type is most comfortable on your face, and which straps are best to hold it in place. You may have to try a few different types before you find one you like.