Blogs > Sleeping with CPAP

Assistant News Editor Lee Dryden was diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to assist with breathing while sleeping. From a layman’s point of view, he will discuss the benefits, issues, challenges and frustrations of sleeping while wearing a mask.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tie between sinus issues, apnea

   Have sinus troubles and sleep apnea?
   Those serious health concerns may have a single solution.
   A new study suggests sinus surgery may help alleviate sleep apnea, according to a Thursday report in WebMD News from HealthDay.
   Clearing the sinuses via surgery brought a better night's sleep for the study group, of which 15 percent also suffered from sleep apnea.
   Dr. Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, quoted in the WebMD report, said sinus problems are overlooked when investigating apnea cases.        
   People with sinus issues should be checked for apnea, he said.
   The article quotes Dr. Peter Fotinakes, a neurologist and sleep disorders specialist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., on the logical connection.
   "When we're asleep, we prefer to breathe through our noses," Fotinakes said. "When we can't, we open our mouth to breathe, and when you open your mouth, it sets your tongue free" to block the airway.
   While there is no guarantee the two problems are always connected, it makes sense to discuss them in tandem with your doctor.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A vital lesson

  There was a must-see report on Tuesday's 11 p.m. news on Channel 7 WXYZ Detroit.
  The station's Chief Health Editor Dr. Partha Nandi shows viewers his life with sleep apnea and he covers all the basics from warning signs to testing to diagnosis to life with CPAP.
  Most importantly, he spells out the consequences of ignoring the problem.
  Please check it out and pass it around.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

No regrets

   Four years after joining the CPAP world, it's time to reflect a bit.
   In a nutshell, I have no regrets.
   I fall asleep quickly each night.
   My breathing interruptions are miniscule compared to the 60-times-per-hour episodes I faced pre-CPAP.
   I rarely feel tired, as CPAP lends itself to deep sleep (and vivid dreams, which can be fun at times).
   My annual visits to the sleep doctor have been a success, as I have passed with flying colors. The machine's data showed I didn't miss a day of use for an entire year.
   If my numbers are off a bit (excessive mask leakage, slight uptick in breathing stoppage), that's how I know it's time for a new mask and hose.
   Why is all of this so important?
   By combating sleep apnea, I am hopefully heading off other health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
   If your spouse says you snore excessively, get tested. Most, but not all, sleep apnea sufferers are overweight with thick necks.
   If you have tossed your CPAP aside, give it another shot or explore dental solutions.
   Technology is evolving rapidly in this burgeoning industry driven largely by obesity. CPAPs are shrinking and options are growing. Who knows what will be on the market in a year, five years, 10 years?
   It all starts with speaking to your doctor and getting a referral to a sleep specialist.
   If I can do it, so can you.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Micro-CPAP in the works

  The latest buzz in the CPAP world is a "micro-CPAP" device being created by a Boston-based company called Airing.
  It's just what it sounds like - a small device with a battery-powered "micro-blower" that fits on your nose with no hoses or cords.
  If this is just as effective as the traditional CPAP, then this really may be a game-changer. There is a crowd-funding effort to create a prototype and FDA approval is needed.
  Perhaps it will entice apnea patients who have tossed their CPAPs aside to give the therapy another chance.
  Here is a press release from the company:

Boston, MA, May 13, 2015 – Airing LLC is introducing a revolutionary device for the
treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The device aims to replace uncomfortable
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) masks with a micro-CPAP device that
weighs less than an ounce, fits right into an OSA patient’s nose, has no cords or hoses,
and is disposable.

Today, while it is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, most who
are diagnosed are in “non-compliance,” meaning they choose not to comply with the
prescribed therapies available for addressing it, CPAP machines.  Typically, these CPAP
machines consist of hoses, cords, masks, and straps around the head, making sleeping
uncomfortable for those with sleep apnea, as well as for loved ones and family members
in proximity. Unfortunately, non-compliance can cause serious health problems like high
blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and other cardiovascular

To address non-compliance, Airing has invented a breakthrough micro-CPAP device that
is designed to fit into a patient’s nose without any of the cumbersome hoses, cords, or
masks. Airing’s revolutionary design includes unique, battery powered “micro-blower”
technology that blows the amount of air pressure prescribed by the patient’s physician
into the airway to effectively treat OSA. 

Airing was founded by Stephen Marsh, an established entrepreneur and innovator who is
the named inventor on more than 75 patents in the areas of electronics, energy, health
care and consumer products. While conducting research in another field, Marsh saw the
applicability and need for a new CPAP solution due to a personal connection with the
dangers of breathing disorders.  Marsh then shared his design and concept with medical
professionals and knowledgeable medical experts in the area of breathing disorders, all of
whom fully endorsed his approach and proposed solution.

“I think it’s going to be wonderful for people. For the first time we have a treatment that
patients will be willing to use. I think Airing will have a tremendous impact,” said Dr.
Jeffrey Bass of Brigham & Women's Hospital.

Effective, Low-Cost & Disposable
This innovative solution is the result of Marsh’s extensive research in the area of micro-
fluidic pumps in the Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) space which identified
a host of inefficiencies and limitations with current solutions, and led to Marsh’s design
for a better micro-fluidic pump design, a design that works just as well moving air. The
“micro-blowers” solution in Airing benefits from advances in the “Roll to Roll” (R2R)
manufacturing process, which allows for inexpensive mass manufacturing of the solution,
and which will allow Airing devices to be low-cost and disposable.

The result of all this innovation will be healthier lifestyle, better compliance with CPAP
therapy, and a better night’s sleep -- for those afflicted and for loved ones who are
impacted by snoring and wakeful nights. 

“As someone with a family member who suffers from sleep apnea (my brother), I
understand the potential serious health impacts of this condition,” said Marsh.
“As a result of recent research, I realized that current pumps possess several deficiencies
which severely limit their effectiveness and saw an opportunity to apply a new design to
these pumps that could be used in a variety of ways, including treating breathing
disorders.  The result is a solution that we believe has the potential to address this area,
and to help a large number of people live better, healthier lives.”

Funding Airing
To build a proof-of-concept prototype, Airing is conducting a crowdfunding effort on
Indiegogo, which will take place in June, 2015.  To learn more about how to contribute to
this effort, which will help millions of people live healthier and more productive lives,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

CPAP theft

   As a journalist, I've written or edited thousands of police blotter items during the past 20 years.
   But I saw something today on a Wisconsin newspaper website that I've never seen before - and it relates to this blog.
   Yep, someone swiped a CPAP.
   Wauwatosa Now reporter Heather Ronaldson compiled a list of crimes this week that includes the following in the theft section, "A CPAP breathing device was stolen from an unlocked 2011 Saab convertible while it was parked in the 4700 block of North 100th Street between 10 p.m. Dec. 28 and 8 a.m. Dec. 29."
   How cold is that during the holiday season?
   Not sure what the black market is for CPAP but it is likely of little value to the thief who probably grabbed it because it looks expensive. Sadly, the machine is likely in a garbage can somewhere.
   Moral of the story: Use your CPAP (why was it in the car during sleeping hours?) and don't leave the pricey life-saving device in your unlocked car.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Implanted device to treat apnea

  There's been an interesting development in the world of sleep apnea treatment.
  CBS Pittsburgh is reporting about a new implanted device called Inspire. The patient featured in the article struggled with CPAP and dental solutions.
  The device is compared to a pacemaker, with an electrode that moves the tongue to enable breathing to resume.
  Inspire was approved by the FDA in May so it is a new player on the sleep apnea landscape.
  It's worth keeping an eye on to see if it takes off.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sleep apnea video

Just wanted to share a video from HelloMD that provides the basics of sleep apnea.

It features Dr. Kasey Li, who is touted as one of the world's leading sleep apnea surgeons.

I'm not endorsing surgery over CPAP - just sharing options.

Show this video to loved ones you suspect may be afflicted.