Tag Archive | "CPAP"

Face Masks for CPAP Sleep Apnea Machines



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New CPAP Masks in 2011

Every year, there are new pieces of equipment to use with CPAP machines.  The most popular type of new gear is the masks that fit on your face.  The face masks are getting much more comfortable to wear, and that is very important.  Often, patients who have obstructive sleep apnea will put on their mask when they are getting ready to go to sleep, but they will take it off sometime during the night.

Removing Your Face Mask While You Are Sleeping

Although it is not part of the preferred treatment for OSA, when patients remove their facemask while they are sleeping, it is actually something that is very important.  The patients do this mainly because the mask is not fitting their face properly, and then that means that CPAP therapy is no longer useful.  When the mask is removed, it is critically important that this patient finds a new replacement CPAP mask that works better for them.  A face mask that is more comfortable.  In order for the airway to remain open all night long, CPAP air pressure must be applied throughout the night.

Face Mask Options for CPAP Users

Often times, people complain that their mask is causing them to feel claustrophobic.  This is not a new phenomena because when you look at some of the masks that are offered to CPAP users, they look like something that a war veteran would have in their closet.  Sometimes the masks completely cover the patients face to the point where it looks like a full on gas mask.  If patients are worried about being smothered by the masks, they should decide to try a partial face mask, or even a mask called “nasal pillows”.  There are so many different options of face masks for CPAP machines, that patients should not get discouraged if the first mask they try does not work out properly.

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What Happens During a Sleep Study



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Here is the complete process from beginning to end for a patient when a doctor refers for a sleep study:

  1. Referral is sent from your doctor’s office to a sleep lab
  2. The sleep lab then obtains the authorization from the insurance company to bill your insurance for the study
  3. The sleep lab will call you to schedule a time to come in for a consulatation
  4. After the initial consultation with the sleep doctor, they will schedule you to come back for the full overnight sleep study
  5. You go back for the actual study and sleep in a bed in a room, with an overnight lab technician watching you
  6. They connect you to 12 or more nodes on different points on your body to monitor many different “channels”
  7. If you show signs of having a sleeping disorder called sleep apnea, they will wake you up halfway through the night
  8. At this point, they will give you CPAP equipment to test if that helps your sleep apneas
  9. In the morning, you are able to go home
  10. Next, the sleep doctor comes into work, and reads the report that was recorded from your sleep and interprets the data
  11. The sleep study results are then sent back to your primary care physician

I know this sounds like an awfully long and drawn out experience, AND IT IS.  But it relatively inexpensive, only about $3,000-4,000 usually, sometimes as high as $7,000 or maybe more at places like big University Hospital Sleep Labs or large medical foundations polysomnography tests, but that is only because they want to bill your insurance as much as possible to increase their revenues.  Especially watch out if you have a PPO plan, in that case the sleep labs are likely to bill you for as many office visits as they can, and they may want you to actually spend two nights at the lab.  One night for the initial test, and the second one for using the CPAP therapy equipment.  I know this all sounds much like some type of medical insurance scam, and unfortunately it has somewhat turned into that for the sleep medicine world, and the sleep doctors in particular who own sleep labs themselves.  But after reading this, please know that you are at least warned of what is going on out there.  Best of luck and sweet dreams.

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CPAP Machines for Sleep Apnea



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Continuous Positive Airway Pressure(CPAP) is one of the most popular forms of treatment for patients who suffer from OSA.  It is also one of the oldest forms of therapy as well, as it has been out on the market for several decades now.  CPAP is pretty simple, it is a glorified air blower that all night long(continously) blows air into your throat and down into your lungs.  This allows people to sleep better for many different reasons.

How does CPAP Work:

– A CPAP machine is placed next to the bed of the person who has obstructive sleep apnea.

– All night long, the machine will blow out air into a tube at a continous air pressure.  Something like the air pressure you feel when you put your head out the window at 15 miles per hour

– The individual using the CPAP machine will also connect the hose that is blowing air to a mask

– This mask with take the air pressure, and force it into the patients nose or possibly the nose and mouth(depending on what type of mask is being used)

Common Questions about CPAP machines:

1.  Can you take it off during the night if you need to use the bathroom? Most definitely, there are easy ways to take the mask off in just seconds

2.  Do CPAP machines make alot of noise?  Yes and NO, it really depends on how old the machine is and what pressure it is on.

3.  Do you have to wear CPAP your whole life?  That depends on if your body changes to the point where you can sleep without any respritory problems throughout the night without it. Most CPAP users use the CPAP their whole life.

4.  What happens if you forget to use your CPAP machine one night?  You will just go back to the symptoms you had prior to using CPAP.  Most people for some reason forget to use CPAP when they are strating out by accident.

5.  Do you snore when you use CPAP?  No, CPAP has the remarkable ability to eliminate snoring right away, it’s truly amazing.

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