March 14, 2012

Innovative Approaches Help Sleep Apnea Sufferers

This may be a solution for some people with sleep apnea, but I can honestly say it does not work for me. I have to have my own limits and I prefer not to be coached or bothered by someone that does not understand sleep apnea. I will listen to my doctor and consider what he says, but beyond that, leave me alone and let me use my VPAP (variable positive airway pressure) when I sleep.

I did listen to my wife when she complained about the air blowing at her from my first machine – the air exit from the masks was to blame. It took me some time to adjust the hose and the direction of the air exhaust to prevent this from happening, but now with the new machine and different masks it is much easier to prevent air blowing on her. I also listened to her when she complained about the noise from my full-face mask.

This study is published in the current issue of Sleep Medicine Reviews. The opening statement leaves much to be desired. They claim that people with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to use the equipment and prescribed treatment when a partner or parent is involved in their treatment.

In conversations (not scientific at all) with people with sleep apnea, I have found more people do not want to use the CPAP because it leaves red marks on their face and back of the neck. Most people do not realize that shortly after waking, and preparing for the day, these will disappear. The other problem is their lack of adjustment of the mask straps and having them too tight, which will cause strap marks on their skin. When straps are too tight, the marks can last for an hour and usually longer.

The most legitimate complaint is the problem of air leaks around the masks. Then add the problem of the mask creating nose bridge irritations and even sores and this does present problems for wanting to use the mask. Again, this is a problem because either the mask does not fit your face properly, or the straps have been over tightened. This is even a concern for me and I solved this by obtaining nasal mask liners from this company. Take time to watch the video under “how it works”. The mask liners do dramatically reduce the air leaks and allows the mask to be worn properly without over tightening the straps.

I have written a blog about the nasal mask liners and I enjoy using them. I do get more than one use out of each liner by following the steps I outlined in the blog. It does take some time to process them, but I will continue to make use of them as it has allowed me to loosen the straps. I can still have some marks on my face, but they do not last long after I take the mask off.

One of the studies that the researchers reviewed showed that about half of newly diagnosed sleep apnea patients would not use CPAP if it made them feel claustrophobic.” This is one of the better statements to come out of this study and is accurate. I have talked to people that feel this way about wearing a mask and it terrifies them whether it is a full-face mask or a nasal mask.

Even though I say the study is of little value, the proposals they set forth may work for some people. If something does work for you, make use of it. I know my way works for me and I generally wear my nasal mask for more than eight hours average per 24 hour period.

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