Sleep apnea and me, perfect together

I’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which the patient repeatedly stops breathing during sleep; subsequently, when he or she awakes for good in the morning, he or she feels unrested and unready to face the day (not to mention disturbingly sleepy the rest of the day).

Sleep apnea’s not much fun, as you can well imagine. I underwent a sleep study recently, spending a night in the hospital hooked up to an odd machine. I was covered in electrodes, on my legs, on my chest, and especially on my head. I was also videotaped, and my breathing was regulated.

The doctor has recommended that I use a CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, machine. This comprises a mask that’s hooked up to a smaller version of the machine I had been attached to during the study. This mask is supposed to keep the airwaves open by blowing air through the airway passage at a pressure high enough to prevent apneas from occurring.

Next Monday, I will be spending another night in the hospital for the titration study, which is basically the fitting of the mask, and then afterwards I’ll have myself a CPAP for home usage. (Yes, I’m going to have this little machine in my apartment.)

Who here has been diagnosed at some point with sleep apnea? Did you use the CPAP mask? What did you think? Are you still using it? If not, for how long did you use it?

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea a few years ago. I tried the CPAP machine. It works - there is no question about that. Unfortunately, something about the machine caused my nasal passages to swell up and shut off the flow during the night, so that the air was redirected around the mask; I’d suddenly be unable to tolerate the mask and would rip it off around 3 am. After a few months of this with no improvement, I gave up and concentrated on treating my allergies. I also had a deviated septum surgically repaired, which has reduced my snoring, and probably my apneas. At some point, I may repeat the sleep testing to determine whether a little palate trimming may be in order.

Sleep apnea is also associated with obesity; even if you don’t appear that overweight, extra pounds can push a snorer over the edge. Avoid alcohol, depressants, and sleep aids at night – these can all make the problem worse. That’s all I can remember at the moment.

Another apneatic (?) checking in. I had 4 sleep studies done, one of which involved the CPAP. Dried out my sinuses, and I just wasn’t able to sleep with something touching my face. Plus the unit they gave me was loud. I don’t know if it was supposed to be, but it was like sleeping next to an air conditioner. I’m sure one could get used to it eventually, but I just couldn’t stand it.

Good luck with it dan. Let us know how it works out.

I was diagnosed in 1997. I have a HealthDyne CPAP machine.

This is the best thing that ever happened to me. I cannot tell uyou what a difference it has made in my life. Ah, the concept of being AWAKE!

I have had to have my pressure adjusted a couple of times, but that is usually no big deal.

When I first got my machine, I noticed a mild, really illogical feeling of claustrophobia for about the first 2 weeks. After all, the thing is BLOWING AIR so it’s not like the feeling of being suffocated was warranted at all. This disappeared after about 2 weeks. I know someone who was told by his doctor that as many as 75% of people who get the machine do not end up using it. Keep at it…you will not regret it.

My current insurance does not pay for equipment, so I buy my masks and other headgear from They have the best prices I have been able to find. The masks do not last forever (they suggest a 6 month useful life but I have used mine for longer).

I know people who have a machine with a humidifier. Mine does not have one and it works just fine for me. My machine does make a quiet whooshing noise, but it does not bother me.

I use my machine for naps and of course, always take it when I travel. Again, I cannot tell you what a positive impact it has made in my life. I wish you the best.

Both of the men I’m currently dating use the machine – both swear by it.

I’ve been using a CPAP for obstructive sleep apnea for years and years now. Quick guess, five or six years now.

It takes some getting used to - it’s not sexy and it’s a distraction until you get used to it. I love it, though. Like Graphicsgal, I travel with it, even when I travel alone (in other words, this isn’t about stopping the snoring for my wife, it’s about getting effective sleep).

I don’t have trouble with dried-out nasal passages, even in this dry Denver climate. I do, however, have a small obsession with keeping my nose clean as a result of this device. When you get a cold that affects your nose, the CPAP can be a real pain to use - I usually just give up and my suffer until the cold is sufficiently gone.

My wife is so used to the machine sound that she can’t sleep without it. If I leave town with it, she uses a white-noise machine to create the “whoosh” she’s used to.

The only problem I have is when I go camping - the trees are short of electrical outlets for it (although my newest machine has a 12v input on it I’m considering experimenting with).

I’ve learned to titrate the machine myself - I’ve had to do this a couple times. Usually I creep it up until my wife stops complaining that I’m snoring again.

My recent weight loss, though, is lessening the apnea some.

Been on a CPAP machine for maybe four years. Ditto to most of the observations here. You tend to get used to the weirdness surprisingly quickly.

Billdo ran a thread on this a few months back, it seems, that also had some useful remarks in it, mostly about the test itself.

Thanks, everyone. I’m not going to say I’m looking forward to this, exactly, but I am hoping it improves things for me. It’s a step, anyway.

Nametag, I do know that overweightedness plays a role, perhaps even a significant role. I’m supposed to be trying to lose weight in addition to undergoing this treatment.

Dante, luckily for me I need some kind of sound a-happening. I can’t stands it when it’s too quiet. Drives me nuts. And since I sleep on my side (it’s supposed to help), something’ll be touching my face anyway.

GraphicsGal, it’s the concept of “being awake” that I really, really want to see. I haven’t been fully alert during the day for a long, long time. Perhaps ten years.

twickster, both?? Did they answer “yes” to “Do you use CPAP” on your dating questionnaire? :wink:

Belrix, is it easy to self-titrate? (Regarding your wife, has she tried a small fan, pointed away from her? The sound might be sufficient, and it’s gotta be cheaper than a white-noise machine.)

And here’s a general question. If you skip a night, the only consequence is that you might not sleep very well that night; that is, you don’t screw up your long-term health. Right?

What can I tell you? There’s something about a guy with a big ol’ hose strapped to his face that really does it for me.

Speaking of which – how you doin’, dantheman?

Heh. Not too bad, all things considered.

Funny thing is, in the video all the dudes using CPAP are… well… old!


Good luck dantheman with your cpap. I was fortunate to be diagnosed with apnea while in the Navy and had a nose job and uvppp(throat surgery) while on active duty. Man, what a difference! Now that I’ve put on a few pounds, it’s back, but not as bad. I’ve finally decided to drop the extra pounds and get back to my “playing” weight, hopefully that will do the trick for me again. Both my Dad and a brother have used the cpap with good results.

Well, better than New Jersey and you. :wink: Good luck.

Another long time user chiming in.

I’d have to say that I love my cpap. I still remember life without it.(if you could call it that)

I don’t even lay down to read a book without it hooked up, just in case I drift off. I still have my original machine. It’s been backpacking, goes all night on one motorcycle battery but I can get by with just a few hours of real sleep, so I can get several nights use out of one battery. A car battery will run it about 24 hours without needing to recharge.

I’m sure I would have been dead a long time ago without it and could have very well taken others with me. I wrecked several cars without admitting I had a problem but I scheduled a sleep clinic when I fell asleep with my wife and kids in the vehicle.

Do it, follow through with it. It is a pain, it is somewhat expensive but you are certainly worth it.

I’ve been useing a CPAP machine for about a year.

It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. It also probably saved my marriage. My snoreing not only woke me up but kept Mrs. Z awake as well and you know that sleep deprivation is a really good form of torture.

Any way I adjusted quickly to wearing the mask. Now I actually kind of associate the mask with sleeping.

The only problem is my cat. He’ll get on the bed in the middle of the night and will sometimes paw at the mask. It’s kind of like being facemasked while you’re asleep.

I used this title just for that reference; I’m from NJ originally.

I imagine I’ll feel like a Mexican wrestler with this thing on. And I need to check to see if the machine is covered by my health insurance, too.

If you just can’t handle the masks, there’s a nasal version as well – it goes over the top of your head, and there’s two plugs that fit into your nose. It’s really freaky looking, but it works fine. My mom’s husband uses one. I think it saved their marriage.

And everybody, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get your apnea treated. My dad had really bad apnea before they realized quite how bad it is, and they hadn’t invented CPAPs yet. He died eleven years ago, and while they weren’t sure exactly why, I blame the apnea.

My thinking is that by using the mask, my sleep will improve.

When my sleep improves, I’ll be more rested in the morning.

When I’m more rested in the morning, I’ll have more energy to do things.

When I have more energy, I’ll be more able to lose weight.
So in theory, using the machine may enable me to lose sufficient weight to eradicate the apnea entirely.

Another CPAP convert here. I’ve been using it for about a month. I’ve been chronically sleep-deprived for many many years. It took me about two weeks to get used to it. My sinuses got dried out, but I use a saline spray called Ocean before I go to bed and it helps.

I get out of bed now, right when I first wake up, and have energy, and my brain feels more agile, and it totally kicks ass. Give it a good solid try; the benefits can be amazing.

I snore, regularly and heavily. And I often feel tired when I get up.

I asked my doctor about apnea (after my friend told me how the cpap was the best thing that happened to her dad in a long time) and she said that since I’m not obese I don’t have it.

Does anyone know if she’s full of it?

A few months ago, I had a sleep study done. It turns out I have sleep apnea, but only a mild case, and mostly when I’m laying on my back.

My doctor recommended a highly technical medical treatment. He said to sleep in an old T-shirt with a pocket sewn on the back and a tennis ball in the pocket. That way, when I roll onto my back, lying on the tennis ball will cause me to roll over. Crazy as it seems, once I started wearing the tennis ball T-shirt, I started sleeping a lot better, so surgery or a CPAP seems to be out.