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Old 05-21-12, 03:42 PM   #1
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Question regarding sleep apnea and CPAP machines

I am sure this has been posted before but I am trying to find a quick response... my guy did the sleep studies and now they want him to try a CPAP machine. He just absolutely does not want to use a CPAP. I would like to get the experience of anyone that had to try one or someone who refused and what happened or what did you try instead.

Appreciate your insight...
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Old 05-21-12, 03:57 PM   #2
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I am telling you Pam, once he tried it and gets used to it, HE WILL LOVE IT. I felt the same way as he did but it was either that or feel tired all day long. And it was interfering with driving. I almost wrecked a dozen of times because I was tired. I was tired all the time but when I started using a CPAP it was amazing. Totally worth it and I would do it again in a heart beat. He will have sooooo much more energy.

If you want, I can shoot you my phone number and he can call me and we can talk about it.
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Old 05-21-12, 04:05 PM   #3
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I agree with chefisaac. The fatigue was unbearable before I started using my CPAP. I started using it 14 years ago, and I don't know what I'd have done without it in that time.

The only other thing that worked for my apnea was getting my weight down under 200 lbs. I didn't need it for the year or so I was able to lose that much weight and keep it off.

If he's claustrophobic, then a nasal pillow system might be more bearable than a mask.
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Old 05-21-12, 04:22 PM   #4
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I am telling you Pam, once he tried it and gets used to it, HE WILL LOVE IT. I felt the same way as he did but it was either that or feel tired all day long. And it was interfering with driving. I almost wrecked a dozen of times because I was tired. I was tired all the time but when I started using a CPAP it was amazing. Totally worth it and I would do it again in a heart beat. He will have sooooo much more energy.

If you want, I can shoot you my phone number and he can call me and we can talk about it.
I've had the opposite experience. I first started using a CPAP in 2000. I've never had the same success as chefisaac. YMMV.
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Old 05-21-12, 04:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick response... your responses have been forwarded. I told him maybe if nothng else, sit down with the doctor and talk this through. If there is an alternative fine if not, it's better than feeling bad all the time...
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Old 05-21-12, 04:28 PM   #6
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I've had the opposite experience. I first started using a CPAP in 2000. I've never had the same success as chefisaac. YMMV.
Are you still using it? Did it provide some relief at all? What do you feel is not working?
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Old 05-21-12, 04:29 PM   #7
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Each persons experience will be different. I cannot speak for Z at all.

All I know is that I felt stupid for all the years I was neglecting myself and my body of a good nights sleep.
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Old 05-21-12, 04:33 PM   #8
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Are you still using it? Did it provide some relief at all? What do you feel is not working?
It stopped my snoring which my wife appreciated. I've never felt well rested.

At my yearly physical a couple of months ago my GP said I need to have a new sleep study. As a top notch procrastinator I haven't scheduled it yet.
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Old 05-21-12, 05:28 PM   #9
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I used one for many years until I had a UPPP and tonsilectomy about 8 or 9 years ago. While using it, I thought it was great, if a minor nuisance. I mean the results were fantastic, but it was a bit of a pain at bedtime, and especially during travel. Plus I tend to get congested when I lie down, so in order for the CPAP to work I had to use Breathe Right strips in concert with it. Even so, I might not be alive today if I hadn't used it.
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Old 05-21-12, 05:42 PM   #10
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I am a CPAP addict. Actually, I use a variable pressure machine so it technically is an APAP. I really was resistant to it and delayed for two years before I started. I regret the delay. I think that two more years of added on damage to my body has had permanent effects. The first two weeks were tough for me. I ended up having to use Ambien to get to sleep. But once I was used to it I didn't need the sleeping pill any longer. Now sometimes I go without when traveling (my apnea is now mild/moderate after losing weight, but it still is here) and I miss it and don't feel like I have had as good a night's sleep. I am a mouth breather so I need to use the full face mask, like it or not.

I no longer wake up gasping for air.

It likely is saving my life. On the other hand, it sure doesn't make me feel sexy.

There are other options but CPAP and APAP are the gold standard and nothing else has its kind of success. Other options include dental appliances. Those are rarely covered by insurance and have mixed to iffy results and are not without side effects. I have also used Provent, a disposable nasal device that using inhalation pressure to keep your airway open. Arguably. The jury is still out on its effectiveness and the company promoting it tends to over sell its benefits, IMHO. Anyway, I use it when I am traveling extensively, like for the past four nights when I did a short trip and did not want to drag along my APAP. Insurance does not cover Provent and it costs about $60-70 for a month's supply. The other option is surgery, with attendant risks and mixed results.

Feel free to PM with any specific questions or concerns. Bottom line, I cannot live without it.

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Old 05-21-12, 05:50 PM   #11
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If he's turned off by the idea of donning all of the head gear and trying to sleep in it, this may be something that makes the idea a little more appealing. http://www.nomask.com/
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Old 05-21-12, 05:55 PM   #12
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I hope he has some patience and gives it a try. I have been using mine for over 15 years. Love it.
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Old 05-22-12, 08:36 AM   #13
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I learned that I had 'sleep Apnea' some 15yrs ago. I've been on a C-PAP (now a BI-PAP) ever since. Yes, all the gear isn't the most fun, but both my wife and I sleep better! me, no more gasping, snoring, and waking up ready to go back to sleep, and my wife sleeps better because I no longer wake her up all the time with my disturbing sleep.

It actually was a life-changer for me. I never used to dream, never could eat the first 4-5hrs after waking, and we went searching because my apnea caused heart issues for me, that took 5+ years to improve.

My BI-Pap is my 'sleep machine', I now fall asleep within 5-10 minutes of putting the mask on, and would never think of sleeping without it.

Some folks need one to live, and some just for better sleep, depending on the severity of their apnea. It's all about what made the Docs look in the first place, how bad it is, and if he wants the improvement in his life or not?
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Old 05-22-12, 08:48 AM   #14
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I was very resistant to it as well.... after all I was only 39 when they told me I needed one.... now I won't even take nap with out using it.
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Old 05-22-12, 01:07 PM   #15
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Again I am so appreciative of your responses... I have been forwarding them and trying to encourage my guy to look into the CPAP. I think his quality of life would so improve if he just got a good night's sleep!
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Old 05-22-12, 01:28 PM   #16
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I was diagnosed 15 years ago with severe sleep apnea (and it wasn't all weight...I was 220 then now 280 ...277.2) Once i started using the machine it was like night and day. I had a ton more energy. I also wasn't waking wife up with snoring.

there is a downside.... it is a harder to just cuddle with the machine on.

I am aiming to get under 200 and see if I can get off the machine, but I have alway been a snorer which is supposed to be a good predictor for future sleep apnea issues.

bottom line: Mr. Pamestique.... do and do it now.... you won't regret it.
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Old 05-22-12, 04:50 PM   #17
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Pamestique, Add me as one more witness to the benefits of a CPAP. I have been using mine for about three years now and you will have to pry it from my cold dead hands. I use it every time I sleep and it has made a world of difference, not just for me, but now, Mrs. Stoutdog is able to get a good night sleep. Tell your guy that I said to DO IT!!
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Old 05-22-12, 04:58 PM   #18
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I am sure this has been posted before but I am trying to find a quick response... my guy did the sleep studies and now they want him to try a CPAP machine. He just absolutely does not want to use a CPAP. I would like to get the experience of anyone that had to try one or someone who refused and what happened or what did you try instead.

Appreciate your insight...

I am another for whom the CPAP works wonders. From waking up every 45 minutes and going to the bathroom to sleeping 6 hours straight was the immediate result of the machine! Also, no more snoring and no more waking with rapidly beating heart because I had stopped breathing. I've been using it for more than 9 years. Now, when I lie down in bed, I feel like I am suffocating until I get my CPAP going. I can't sleep or even nap without it!

His feelings of resistance are normal. I felt the same. But after the first night of using it, I was hooked. It was so worth it to not be falling asleep when driving and having more energy during the day and not falling asleep every time I stopped moving.

+1 on the nasal pillows. Much less obtrusive.

I also agree, it makes it difficult to cuddle because of the stream of air that's blowing out. It's definitely not sexy. But, he may have more energy for other things!
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Old 05-22-12, 06:35 PM   #19
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It's definitely not sexy.
Save the machine for after the sexy.
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Old 05-22-12, 07:05 PM   #20
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Another satisfied CPAP user here. The biggest issue is finding the right mask for him. I use nasal pillows, which I love, another friend of mine hates the nasal pillows and loves the full gas mask thing, which I hated. Take your time and try a few different things to see which you like best. Also, there is a pillow made specifically for side sleepers using a CPAP. It has cutouts for the hose, and for the mask, so it doesn't push up against your face. I'm a back sleeper, so I don't need it, but friends of mine swear by it.
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Old 05-22-12, 07:30 PM   #21
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I would love the nasal pillows but if you are a persistent mouth breather they probably will not work. They don't work for me. The air comes in the nose and blows out my mouth.
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Old 05-22-12, 09:13 PM   #22
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Lost the tonsils, adenoids, and 40lbs, at age 40, no machine here. I'd suggest getting it (my brother uses one, KEEPS YOU ALIVE), and then getting yourself into a condition if possible where its no longer needed...
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Old 05-22-12, 09:17 PM   #23
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More info if you want it?

I have been a mouth-breather my entire adult life (am 50 now). I had nose and throat surgery about 8-9yrs ago - never knew you can kiss without holding your breath the entire time - the surgery has helped me in many ways, but I still have the apnea. I have lost some 70-odd lbs in the last two years (am hovering around 305lbs), again with no apnea change (most recent sleep study was 7 months ago). So issues can resolve apnea, and sometimes not. Getting to a great sleep Doc is critical in my book.

Some of the signs of sleep apnea *can be:
Snoring
Never, or rarely dreaming
Still being tired everytime you get up in the AM
Being ready and able to nap anytime, and/or within 2hrs of waking
Not being hungry or being able to process food for XX hours after waking
Torn-up/messy bedding every morning (lots of tossing and turning)
Consistently having a hard time falling asleep, interrupted sleep, restless sleeping

The list of *possible* signs of sleep apnea is long, and some of the above *can* have other causes as well. The surest determination of apnea, and how severe it is is having a 'sleep study' done both without, and with modifications. Then, a 'sleep Doc' needs to go over the results to determine if he has apnea, and if so, how severe it is. Mine came in under the "life threatening" category, and was the primary cause for my heart issues, among other health issues - most being reversible over time. My blood O2 would drop into the low 60s before I would waken enough to breathe better, and I have seven hours of VHS tape showing what I do while 'sleeping' - now, even all these years after being on my C-PAP/BI-PAP, my side of the bed no longer looks slept in, as I sleep like a rock - out in 5-8 minutes, and nothing until I wake up some 7-9hrs later. Yes, from time to time I still have bad nights, also bad dreams, but it is rare now.

Also, while using a C-PAP/BI-PAP, having a 'cold' or the like is much less of an issue when sleeping - thanks to the mask, the 'white noise' of my machine actually helps my wife to fall asleep

I use a combo of mostly a nasal mask, and 2-5 days a month I use a full-face mask, depending on if I am mouth-breathing (or hissing) when sleeping.

If he is interested, I am most willing to answer any/all questions via email or cell - simply PM me for my info if you/he wants it. I too would stress checking this out, sooner rather than later. Masks, and equipment has improved greatly in the last 15yrs, and comfort levels are much improved.
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Old 05-22-12, 09:26 PM   #24
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I would love the nasal pillows but if you are a persistent mouth breather they probably will not work. They don't work for me. The air comes in the nose and blows out my mouth.
Have to pull the chin strap good and snug :;
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Old 05-22-12, 10:18 PM   #25
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If your sleep study indicates a need for CPAP, by all means use the CPAP. I started three years ago due to sleep apnea and it changed my life. Right from the start the machine was no major problem and after a week of getting used to it I loved it. I fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, sleep better and wake feeling much more rested. My morning headaches are gone. As an added benefit, CPAP is an immediate cure for snoring which made my spouse very happy. One or the other of us used to end up on the couch frequently because of my snoring. Yes, use the CPAP. If you have any problem with comfort or fit, let the company know as there are a multitude of masks and straps that can be used in various combinations until you find the right fit.

When you first start using CPAP find the "ramp" feature which starts the CPAP at very low pressure and builds it slowly over the first several minutes. This helps you relax and get used to the device. After a week, you probably won't need to use the ramp feature any more.

I'm a paramedic and a few years ago we added CPAP to our equipment. I have had a number of patients with CHF or COPD who will ask for it when we hit the door and will put the mask on themselves while giving me a thumbs up gesture to crank up the flow. It's amazing how fast CPAP can turn around some patients from the verge of respiratory failure. I have nothing but praise for properly used CPAP as a theraputic device and in emergency care. I only wish we had them 20 years sooner.
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