March 13, 2012

Avoiding CPAP Problems

It is interesting to read articles on approximately the same topic. One is by a doctor for other doctors and the second by hospital staff for the general public. I suspect that the hospital staff involved nurses, but it is clear to me which one is more meaningful. I think you will see this as well.

The one written by a doctor was for Medscape and the second appeared on the Mayo Clinic website. You just have to love the doctor for his use of adherence and non-adherence. These words are a show of disdain about patients and when put with the statement of “the primary goal is to promote 100 percent adherence to CPAP”, I must confess I could not even consider this doctor for my sleep apnea.

The doctor did acknowledge several problems that people encounter, but always countered with what medically could be done to alleviate the problem, even if it meant medications. His attitude showing through his writing is one of the patient must be made to comply.

The Mayo Clinic article starts with this “CPAP is an important treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, but it's not without its frustrations.” The article lists ten very real problems and suggests ways to lessen each problem.

1. The wrong size or style CPAP mask
2. Trouble getting used to wearing the CPAP device
3. Difficulty tolerating forced air
4. Dry, stuffy nose
5. Feeling claustrophobic
6. Leaky mask, skin irritation or pressure sores
7. Difficulty falling asleep
8. Dry mouth
9. Unintentionally removing the CPAP device during the night
10. Annoyed by the noise

Both articles do come up short as they are all promoting plastic masks and do not allow for people that are allergic to plastics. There are a number of aids that are available to help with the allergies and air leaks. Neither article supported other professions like sleep therapists or even sleep doctors. Both also do not recognize that there are dentists that have taken the required education to deal with sleep apnea. The dentists do use oral appliances which regular doctors cannot.

Yes, I realize that the two professions are different, but a doctor or dentist specializing in sleep apnea should realize that the other exists and acknowledge them.

To get away from plastic allergies, consider the sleepweaver cloth mask. I will give you a sales site as the two times I have tried the regular web site, I am kicked out by one or the other of my virus checkers alerting me of a Trojan virus. So unless you trust your virus checkers – you have been warned. They may have solved the problem, but as of two days ago – no.  as of June 29, it is good.

I have never used this for sleep apnea, but I have an acquaintance that says he would not use anything else. The web site is here for no mask. For those having problems with air leaks, I know this site should interest you. I use these nasal maskliners and it does prevent air leaks.

Some of the national sleep apnea organizations can be seen here, here, and here.

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