August 24, 2014

Family Support May Be Beneficial For CPAP Users

Family support for CPAP use may help in using the equipment. I know that does not matter for me because without my CPAP equipment use, I would be overtired and difficult to be around. Other people depend on family support for doing anything that their doctor may prescribe or recommend. I have seen this first hand and when I ask friends why they won't take a medication or use their CPAP machine, I normally receive this answer – 'my spouse makes fun of using it' or 'my family thinks it is funny and make a comedy out my using it.”

I now have a widow of a friend that is regretting the fun she made of her husband using a CPAP machine and full-face mask. Last week he did not wake up after suffering an apnea and even CPR could not revive him. She is a nurse and should have known better than making fun of his CPAP and its use. The autopsy revealed that he had died from a heart attack. On several occasions, I had warned him that this could happen and that he needed to use the equipment every night. I had even introduced him to the mask liners which had stopped the air leaks and noises from the mask when the seal was broken.

Yes, he was about 40 pounds overweight and had been in a sleep lab for his diagnosis, but his wife was not sympathetic and constantly made fun of the equipment and his use of it. I attended his funeral, but avoided his wife, but afterward she wanted to talk to me. I told her there was nothing to talk about and I was there for him. I left without saying anything.

This study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, is very clear in stating that people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who are single or have unsupportive family relationships may be less likely to adhere to continuous positive airway pressure therapy.

Results show that individuals who were married or living with a partner had better CPAP adherence after the first three months of treatment than individuals who were single. Higher ratings of family relationship quality also were associated with better adherence. Results of the study were adjusted for potential confounding factors including age, gender, and body mass index.

If you are a CPAP user, a spouse of a CPAP user, or a family member of a CPAP user, do them a favor and give them your support, please. Read the article in the link above and help them use the CPAP equipment; they just might live longer and be around when you need them.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep illness affecting up to seven percent of men and five percent of women. It involves repetitive episodes of complete or partial upper airway obstruction occurring during sleep despite an ongoing effort to breathe. The most effective treatment option for OSA is CPAP therapy, which helps to keep the airway open by providing a stream of air through a mask that is worn during sleep.”

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