Starting CPAP Therapy - from the patient's perspective
I was woken up a couple of weeks ago by my toddler and had a hard time going back to sleep. That's when I noticed that my husband was snoring A LOT and having apneas. This means that I could actually hear and see him stop breathing, and after a pause, resume with a snort and a gasp. Since I have years of experience working with sleep apnea, I knew what was happening but didn't know the degree.
The Sleep Study
I arranged for him to have a Medigas Home Sleep Study. It was easy enough to set up - we put on the belt, placed the finger probe and nose piece, and taped it all in place. He had no issues wearing it through the night. In the morning he turned off the machine and we brought it in to the office. Within a few days we found out: he has moderate to severe sleep apnea!
What is the "typical" patient?
Now there have been warning signs - he's tired all the time, naps almost every day and snores. I feel a little silly that I had not pushed for this sooner! He is however, not overweight and I had never noticed him stopping breathing before. It really did show me that sleep apnea can affect anyone. If you are concerned for yourself or another, consider a sleep apnea test. It's fast and easy and could change your life!
My work came home...
Since his diagnosis was fairly bad we didn't want to wait long to start therapy. We started him on an Airsense 10 Autoset machine for a trial with an Eson 2 nasal mask. It is light, has a good seal and is easy to fit and do adjustments. He wore the mask for just over 4 hours. His biggest issue was that he was either opening his mouth or feeling like he had to. He also found he was feeling dry, so we increased the humidity to 7, using distilled water of course! With that in mind, we switched him to a full face mask, the Airfit F20. It doesn't have a fore-head support piece so doesn't feel restrictive and has magnetic clips that makes it easy to put on and off. He feels a lot more comfortable and hasn't had any issues with leaks since.