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, May 30, 2013

Are veterans with sleep apnea disabled?

  An attorney is shedding light on what he claims is abuse of the Veterans Affairs claim system with $1.2 billion being paid annually to treat veterans with sleep apnea.
  Florida lawyer Michael T, Webster, a veteran himself, wrote his congressman seeking help to end this "scam," according to a report in Stars and Stripes.
  The rub is that this treatment is covered via disability compensation, which Webster finds offensive in comparison to "real disabilities" suffered by veterans such as his Marine father who lost an arm while serving.
  An American Legion official called Webster's letter "hurtful" to vets with apnea and a VA official said the department wouldn't want to discourage apnea claims.
  My take: I don't consider myself disabled and I doubt my fellow apnea sufferers would either. In no way does my condition, which some could reasonably argue is self-inflicted due to weight gain, compare to war-related injuries or illnesses.
  That being said, CPAP is life-saving treatment and I would hate to see it denied to anyone. How would that honor those who served our country?
  Apnea is a very real affliction not to be dismissed.
  It's an interesting, complex debate. Check out the story here.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sleep apnea and blood sugars

  Yet another reason to treat sleep apnea: it helps keep blood sugars under control.
  This is important for people with prediabetes, who are often the same people who suffer from sleep apnea because they are overweight.
  A study showed CPAP use made a difference in blood sugar levels after just two weeks, according to a report in The Huffington Post.
  Study researcher Dr. Sushmita Pamidi, M.D., of the Department of Medicine at McGill University, said in a statement. "We found that optimal treatment of sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for two weeks led to significant improvements in glucose levels following an oral glucose challenge without affecting insulin secretion, suggesting an improvement in insulin sensitivity."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Annual CPAP check-up

  I passed with flying colors.
  A 4.0. Those were my doctor's exact words during my annual assessment of my CPAP use.
  It was literally a 5-minute session. I guess that's a good thing but I wonder how much the insurance company paid him for that.
  Anyway, he was pleased with my usage (missed 1 day out of 372) and my minimal breathing interruptions.
  I'm sharing this not to brag but to spread the word that if I can do it, anyone can. I feel for people who struggle with CPAP.
  Make it part of your lifestyle. Talk to your doctor - adjustments can be made if you are not comfortable.

Review of Citrus II CPAP Mask Wipes

  There's yet another option to keep your CPAP mask clean.
  If you're not inclined to pull it apart and use soap and water very often, you might opt for a quick wipedown using the Citrus II CPAP Mask Wipes that I recently sampled from Beaumont Products, Inc.
  The manufacturer says they are designed to remove build-up of dirt, grease, oils and organic residue while deodorizing without an after-odor. The wipes are made of natural ingredients such as corn, coconut and citrus.
  The multipurpose wipes can also be used on wheelchairs, canes, walkers, etc.
  After wiping down my mask thoroughly, there was a fresh scent but not an overpowering flavor.
  My only complaint was it was difficult to feed the wipes through the designated hole on top, but the lid opens so I pulled them out that way.
  You should still wash your mask, hose and water chamber as much as possible but these wipes are great in a pinch to keep the nasties off your vital equipment.