Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

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Posts Tagged ‘cpap equipment’

5 Reasons Why People Fail at Using CPAP

Posted by amykr on February 15, 2011

CPAP therapy is considered the gold standard for treating sleep apnea. It is a machine that uses a mask of some type to deliver a specific pressure of air to help keep the airway open. The problem with CPAP therapy is that it does take getting used to in order to be successful in using it nightly. There are some very specific reasons that people fail to be able to adjust to it and there a definitely ways to overcome these obstacles to be successful and feel better.

1. There is a lack of communication. Many patients are afraid they are disturbing someone if they call when they are having issues with their CPAP. The truth is that if you want to be successful using your machine you need to communicate your issues with a professional. Depending on who you are working with you should call your doctor, the company that set up the machine or the sleep lab who performed your study. There can be many issues but if no one knows you are having problems then the problem can not be fixed.
2. You have the wrong mask. If you had a sleep study where they fit you with a mask you must remember that you were only there for a short time. A mask might seem right during the study but may not fit as well at home. You may also find that although the mask is good the first couple of night after wearing it for a week it may not be as comfortable. In most cases insurance will pay for a change of mask during the first 2-4 weeks after your machine is delivered. This may not be true for those who have an HMO where the insurance company may dictate which mask you are given. In those cases it may benefit you to purchase a mask that might fit you better. It may cost you but it will be worth it in the end. Also those who have sensitive spots from the mask may benefit from having two masks to rotate through to change the pressure point.
3. You do not use the humidifier. Many patients think that the humidifier is an optional piece of equipment but it is not. It is essential that you use the humidifier and that you set it to the appropriate setting. In the winter you will need more humidification then during the summer due to the air being dryer. If you do not get enough humidity you will find your mouth, nose and sinuses will get sore, swollen. You may also find that you will develop a stuffy nose due to the welling of the nasal tissue and the increase of mucus being secreted to deal with it.
4. The pressure is too high or too low. The goal of the sleep lab is to find the lowest pressure needed to eliminate most of your respiratory events. However, just because they achieved a final pressure does not mean that it is the best pressure for you. Remember you are only in the sleep lab for one night and it is not the optimal sleep conditions. You are wearing wires, sleeping in a strange bed and it is usually the first time you have ever tried on a CPAP mask. The pressure achieved may be a little high or a little low. It may be that you need a higher pressure then you can handle. No matter what the issue there are certain procedures that must be followed before lowering the pressure. You will probably be asked to try a different mask. This is to see if the issue is not pressure but comfort. You may then have to see the sleep specialist before he is willing to turn you pressure down. This is because he is ultimately responsible for making sure your care is the best you can receive.
5. You did not give yourself enough time. This is long term therapy. That means you will be using this equipment for a long time. So give yourself a little time to get used to it. For the first few days if you feel uncomfortable wearing it at night. Put it on while you are sitting in your recliner in the living room. Wear it for about an hour. Get used to it. Then increase your time wearing it. Usually be the end of the first one or two weeks you should be ready to sleep with it.

CPAP therapy is an important part of keeping you healthy if you have sleep apnea. Giving up before you give the therapy some time will do nothing to improve your health and in the long run can have very serious consequences. Remember your doctor and the people who have worked with you want you to be successful.

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Posted in cpap, Sleep, Sleep Apnea | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

New Equipment for CPAP Users on the Way

Posted by amykr on October 15, 2009

There are many CPAP users out there who do not use their machines. Much of this is due to the fact that this type of therapy is requires a strong desire by the user to stick with the therapy. The good news is new masks, machines and humidifiers are making this type of care more comfortable. Several new pieces of equipment are being introduced in the next couple of months.

A new machine is being introduced by Phillips Respironics. This new CPAP, according to the literature, takes care of many of the issues that users tend to have. It has CFLEX, a therapy mode that allows the breath to be delivered similar to a natural breath rather then a machine. This setting also has an adjustment so that the user can find the flow that is comfortable for their personal breathing pattern.

The equipment is also able to communicate with your doctor and medical equipment company. It has a program that will allow them to monitor the progress of the person using the machine and if they are having any issues they can be corrected in a timely manner instead having to wait for a doctor’s appointment and discussing it with them. All the patient needs to do is make a phone call. The doctor of the equipment company can then access the machine and know if it is being used, if the user is still have issues with snoring, apneas, or with the mask and they can then change the setting to help the person be more comfortable.

The final issue they have looked at is proper humidification without the water collecting in the tube. In the old humidifier the temperature was not controlled at the mask. This new machine looks at humidification at the mask so that excess water does not accumulate in the tubing causing a sloshing sound and accidentally drenching the patient as they move during the night.

New masks come out constantly. Phillips Respironics and Resmed have both come out with changes to the masks they offer. Respironics has two new full face masks. The FullLife mask is a restructuring of typical full face mask to make it more comfortable as well as making it lighter. The most unique thing is that it no longer has a forehead pad but has a headgear with a chin strap to adjust the pressure across the bridge of the nose. The Total Face Mask is a mask that seals around the whole face. This allows patients with unusual shaped faces or patients who can not tolerate nasal or full face masks a new option.

Resmed announced they have added a Softgel interface to their line of masks. This will allow for a comfortable fit for patients who need a little more support to their masks.

For people who have had their machines for 5 years or longer many insurance companies will replace older machines, however they may require you to re-qualify by having another sleep study to prove you still have sleep apnea. Mask, hoses, filters and other equipment are replaced every 3 to 6 months but most people have to call their equipment provider to ask for these to be replaced. If a CPAP user wants a new mask most likely they will have to ask their doctor for a new prescription. Masks generally are not interchangeable. Once you choose a mask you must get a new prescription to change it. The same is true for a humidifier. If a person does not get a heated humidifier when they initially get their machine they must get a prescription and may even need another sleep study in order to get one.

Once you have started on CPAP therapy staying current with the changes in equipment may help in keeping a user compliant with care.

Posted in Sleep Apnea | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »