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, January 26, 2012

Can children get sleep apnea?

  Unfortunately, yes, children can get sleep apnea.
  Fortunately, it is rare, as 1 to 4 percent of children (many between ages 2 and 8) suffer from it, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.
  The association cites symptoms such as snoring, long pauses in breathing, tossing and turning, mouth breathing during sleep and night sweats. It also warns against hoping children will grow out of their symptoms as they can be linked to other complications such as ADHD, bed-wetting, sleep walking, growth issues and obesity.
  It is recommended that concerned parents seek a pediatrician who specializes in sleep disorders. As in adults, an overnight stay in a sleep lab is needed for diagnosis.
  Removal of tonsils and adenoids is a common treatment for children with sleep apnea. In fact, it can eliminate the symptoms 70-90 percent of the time, according to the association. Other kids will end up going the CPAP route or using oral appliances.
  Some adults don’t embrace their CPAP so their chance for success dwindles. The association points out that “adolescents pose a particular challenge.” (Imagine telling them to wear their mask, in addition to cleaning their room and taking out the trash.)
  The hope is that they will be on board after realizing it makes them feel better.
  And, of course, ensuring children have a proper diet and exercise is recommended.
  For more information from the American Sleep Apnea Association, click here.
  To read more from the CPAP Care Club on whether CPAP is safe for children, click here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Quick hits

   An ongoing concern of mine with this blog is how can I possibly come up with enough topics to keep it going.
   Then I am constantly reminded that ideas are everywhere because sleep-related issues affect millions.
   A couple of items in this Sunday’s Oakland Press caught my eye.
   Oprah disciple Dr. Mehmet Oz was featured on the cover of Parade magazine under the heading of “Sleep Better in 2012.”
   He talks about his own struggles with insomnia as a young surgeon. The article goes on to discuss other sleep problems such as, you guessed it, sleep apnea.
   Dig it out of the recycling bin and check it out. You can also go to and take a quiz that will give you insight into your sleep habits. You can even send it to a friend.
   An ad in The Oakland Press shows a man wearing a CPAP machine much like mine.
   It says Henry Ford Hospital sleep specialists are “conducting a research study of an investigational device for obstructive sleep apnea that may help.”
   It is geared to those who haven’t found success with CPAP or other treatments.
   For information, call 1-888-975-3370 or visit

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gently-used CPAP

  In this economy, some items make sense to buy used in certain cases.
  Cars, appliances and even clothes come to mind.
  When it comes to medical devices, such as CPAP, a bit more discretion is advised.
  I realize how lucky I am to have insurance and that others are not so fortunate. A new CPAP machine — like virtually anything else in the medical world — is cost-prohibitive without coverage.
  There are other means of obtaining this vital treatment for sleep apnea.
  Apparently there are auction sites to purchase used CPAP machines online. I would use extreme caution to make sure the seller is reputable, the machine is clean and functional, and the product is guaranteed. reports it provides “quality, cleaned and thoroughly tested” used CPAP machines with new filters and post-purchase support.
  “When you purchase a used CPAP machine from an auction site, the machine has not undergone formal cleaning or testing. The seller simply wipes the machine down, and posts it for sale,” said Mark Seager, owner, Midwest Sleep & Respiratory Supply, SecondWind CPAP.
  The American Sleep Apnea Association has a CPAP Assistance Program that provides a forum to donate or request a CPAP machine. Click here to read more.
  By the way, machines exposed to tobacco smoke or heavy perfume cannot be accepted.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Helpful hints

  Happy 2012.
  It’s a new year and hopefully a new year’s resolution that people are actually keeping is doing something about their sleep apnea.
  Using CPAP is a life-changing experience and everyone affected could really benefit from a mentor of sorts to share their frustrations and bounce their concerns off.
  When launching this blog, I came upon a website that has been helpful to me: It’s a community of people committed to helping each other work through their sleep issues.
  I found a recent discussion thread to be insightful. “If you had two pieces of advice to give a (CPAP) newbie, what would those two pieces be?”
  Check it out by clicking here. It’s a must-read.
  Here’s my two cents:
  1. DON’T GIVE UP. CPAP can improve or even save your life. It’s an adjustment to wear a mask while sleeping but you can get used to it. Don’t take nights off.
  2. Keep your mask clean and change the water in the humidifier regularly. It’s hard to explain but the air you breathe “tastes” better, making CPAP more tolerable.