I was watching a show last night on TLC where a man was diagnosed with sleep apnea and was cured of all his related symptoms (heart palpitations, fatigue, memory loss, etc) when he started using a cpap machine. Does anyone have any experience with this? Does the cpap machine really work? Do you think it will be necessary to use once you are at your goal weight?
I highly suspect that I have sleep apnea and am toying with the idea of calling a doctor to be checked for it. I'm kind of doctor phobic so this would be a big step for me. I checked ebay and other sources for relatively cheap (i.e. "used") cpap machines but I can't find any.
Any advice or stories of your experience with this would be appreciated! Thanks! :^:
06-22-2006, 11:55 AM
My husband has REALLY bad sleep apnea. He went to a specialst, and they did a sleep study on him, and they found out that he stopped breathing 90 times in 1 hour!
The first plan of action was to remove his tonsils and adnoids. He had HUGE walnut sized tonsils, so they thought that might help...it didn't. So, they told him that the only other thing they could do was to try the C-Pap. So he has one, and he tried it...and he HATES it. He says it gives him a horrible headache, and it's hard to breathe with it on. He talked to the doc about this, and the doc told him it takes a couple weeks to adjust, but my husband just won't do it....:( It drives me crazy, because he has it really bad, and the doctor said it's hard on his heart and other organs, because they have to work really hard, plus he's tired because he's never had a good nights sleep. It really scares me, because people die from it. I wish he would take care of it.
Anyways, if you think you have it, please get to the doctor. I know other people who have the c-pap, and they swear by it...they say they wake up feeling so good that they never want to be without it again. Good luck!
06-22-2006, 12:00 PM
Another thing--you can't just buy a c-pap and use it. A doctor has to adjust it to your needs, and they have to fit you with a mask...it's a perscription; you have to take it somewhere and get it 'filled' in a sense. Good luck again!
06-22-2006, 03:03 PM
My ex-husband had sleep apnea really bad as well, and like Cassie's husband, he got a cpap but refused to use it long enough to get used to it. When he did wear it he stopped snoring, so that was nice, lol, I can imagine that it would get hard to get used to wearing one, but the people that I have talked to that actually took the time to get used to wearing it said they would never want to go back to the way they felt before. It really is a very serious condition, and like Cassie said, you can't just buy one used because they are set at different levels and they put a code thing in there that you take back after a couple weeks so that they can see how well it is working and whether it needs to be adjusted again. If you feel like you have sleep apnea you should really get into a dr and have a sleep study done, you would probably feel A LOT better.
06-22-2006, 03:24 PM
I have been diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea. I use a CPAP. It helps, but I have other sleep problems which it doesn't address so I'm still sleep deprived. Also, I can only use it about 4-5 hrs a night because I wake up and then the hose gets in the way, etc. However, I have talked to a number of people who wouldn't trade it for everything. You do need to go to a doctor and get tested. Hopefully your insurance will pay for it because a sleep study is expensive, unless they give you a take home test. As far as losing weight goes, that may obviate the need for a CPAP.
06-22-2006, 03:39 PM
I have sleep apnea.
There are sleep apnea questionaires online that you can take. Take one, print it and show it to your doctor. If he thinks that is your problem, he will send you to a sleep specialist. They will look in your mouth and throat and talk with you about a sleep study.
For my sleep study, I arrived at the center in the evening. They glued electrical wires to my head (in my hair), on my chest, under my bust (for lung function) and on my back. Then they measured my sleep patterns. They woke me up at 6 AM. I had another appointment with the doctor to discuss the results. I had a second night where they hooked me up to a CPAP machine and measured my sleep.
I was given a "prescription" (as someone else said) that I had to take to a home health care equipment store. They set the machine to the recommended levels and showed me how to use it. And if you get one with moisture, the hose and parts need to be washed everyday.
My insurance covered all of the study (it's expensive) and most of the cost of the machine. (My health equipment provider allowed payments to be made, if necessary.)
My results: I spend several weeks trying to get used to the thing. I had little tiny pimples on the bridge of my nose and down my cheeks from the mask. I guess I slept okay when I wasn't awake wrestling with the hose and mask. My mom said that my eyes looked "clearer" and I looked rested. I gave it what I thought was a good trial, but I stopped using it. It didn't help to have my then-husband make fun of me and you can only imagine how unattractive I felt.
I was just looking online this afternoon and found mention of a mandibular advancement device that I might try (depending on the price).
At this point, I am going to try to lose weight with the hopes that it will correct some of my sleep problems. But that's just me. I am not encouraging anyone to do the same.
06-22-2006, 11:58 PM
My husband LOVES his and I love it too...no snoring and no worrying about him NOT breathing! The hose does take some getting used to but he's fine with it. He is SO much more rested now and has more energy throughout the day. It's just been a great help. His father had a heart attack at 45 and sleep apnea can be a contributor to that kind of thing so be tested if you think you have it. A little time and you'll get used to the hose...I think KNOWING that I stopped breathing would be a lot worse than putting a mask on at night. Just my opinion. I mean, I'm diabetic and have to give myself shots which is no fun but I do it...so I can be healthy and have a long productive life. You have to look at what's more important to you.
Just my two cents!
06-24-2006, 12:58 AM
Thank you everyone for your information. :)
I am going to make an appointment with a doctor on Monday. I just need to summon up some courage between now and then.
07-26-2006, 10:51 AM
I went to my regular doctor for strep throat - he said he could tell by looking at me that I had sleep apnea. He said I had bags under my eyes, the weight gain, asked me if I snored (omg yes really bad). He referred me to get my tonsils out. Had them out last week and I cannot believe how much better I can breathe! I thought my weight was the reason I snored so much - turns out I just had huge freaking tonsils in the way!
It has made such a difference - I am so glad I did it!
07-26-2006, 11:37 AM
I had sleep apnea but got rid of the CPAP after losing 50 lbs.
07-26-2006, 02:41 PM
I have sleep apnea and if you think you have it - go see your Dr. ASAP!! I did the sleep study and found out I stopped breathing about 400 times in the night, usually for 10-15 seconds at a time and my heart-rate dipped below 50 (a great way to damage your heart muscle through oxygen deprivation). I started using my CPAP and FINALLY felt rested when I got up in the morning.
The mask did take some getting used to but there are a bunch of different styles, insist on one YOU find comfortable. Last year I switched to nasal pillows and I'd never go back. As others have already said, it is by prescription only but my health insurance covered getting me set up.
I use it whenever I go to sleep, even a nap. If I don't I wake up with a nasty dry mouth and a pounding headache. I'd love to be able to stop using it once I've lost more weight but I'm not counting on it - time will tell.
07-28-2006, 05:06 AM
I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea 12 years ago from a sleep test. I stopped breathing about 100 times per hour. Exhausted all day, no matter how much sleep. Yes, it takes a little getting used to the mask, but after feeling the difference, I would NEVER go back!
I now use a BiPap due to other problems. Therefore, the nice CPAP machine that I was using, which was only about a year old last year, is collecting dust! I tried to sell it on eBay, but they have rules. Yes, you do need a prescription to USE one, but I mistakenly thought it was okay to sell it there to someone who didn't have insurance. Oops!
I am not looking to make a big profit; only recover a little of what my insurance did not pay, plus shipping. If you DO get a prescription for one, it will have the pressure setting for a machine written on it. If you buy a used one, you should be able to take it in to your local medical supply store, and they can set it. Helps if you "buy" something, like filters, so you are a paying customer! LOL!
Anyway, I hope it is okay here to make this offer to you??? (If not, please forgive me; just trying to help). Private message me if interested, and we can hash out details; no obligation for just asking!. ;)
07-31-2006, 09:10 AM
Maggie, did you go for an appointment yet?
07-31-2006, 09:23 AM
I was on the CPAP for severe sleep apnea, but after I lost 40 lbs, my next sleep test showed the apnea was gone. I'm still very obese, so I was very surprised that only 40 lbs would make such a difference, but it has.
The mask does take getting used to, but if you're not a "mouth breather" at night, the mask with only the "nose pillows" is much more comfortable than the larger face mask. It takes a while to get used to, but eventually you barely notice it. I did wake several times because I'd gotten caught in the hose, but I always woke several times anyway (to use the restroom, etc) so it didn't seem like I woke any more than usual, I just had to readjust and go back to sleep.
The doctor told me it would be easier to adjust to, if I used it every time I laid down to sleep, even if for only a nap. That way, you associate the mask with sleep. If you never sleep without it, it becomes part of the sleeping ritual.
When I stopped using the CPap, it was hard falling asleep without the wooshing sound of the machine. Listening to music helped, but I had to retrain myself to fall asleep without the machine.