Forum · Is the technology better now?

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[-] MikeJ +0 points · over 2 years ago

I have been using a CPAP for approximately 10 years now, using the same machine. It is a Remstar Pro with a removable card which has never been read other than possibly when it was repaired about five years ago.

I now have a new health plan and am getting vague answers about whether I can get a new CPAP, but basically was told unless it is un-repairable they won't pay for a new one. My question is whether there has been enough improvement in the technology over the last 10 years to make it worth pressing the issue or perhaps paying for one myself. The newer ones seem smaller and have computerized readouts, but are those more bells and whistles rather than important improvements? There seem to be remote data transmission options, but are those needed or used?

In addition to the machine itself, has there been real improvement in the masks. I use the triangular full nose mask that has also been around since I started. There has been some improvement in the gel inserts in those, and moving the air escape hole from the bottom of the mask to the top helped with condensation problems. I see that there are smaller versions now, but wonder if people find them better or not. I tried the nasal pillows initially, but found that they dried out my nasal cavities too much.

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[-] Arch +0 points · over 2 years ago

YES, there have been many improvements in machines and in interfaces(masks, nasal pillows). I got my first machine in1999, I was given a Renstar Pro and a Gold Seal mask. Since then I have tested over 60 interfaces and used 3 different autopaps. I now use an S9 Resmed AutoPAP and either Phillips gel nasal pillows or F&P Eson nasal mask. The S9 is amazing, very quiet and I have the Heated hose on it. The heated hose eliminates "rainout" (the condensation buildup when using a heated humidifier. You can also find the program online to download the memory card from the S9 and see graphs of pressure changes and events during your sleep. So, YES the new machines are quieter and superior to the old beast you are using. The interfaces are greatly improved and much more comfortable. I think interfaces should be changed every 6 months as the soft rubber hardens over time, requiring tightening the mask more and causing a loss in comfort. Nasal pillows absolutely need humidification and in fact require higher humidification than a nasal mask.

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[-] MikeJ +0 points · over 2 years ago

Thanks. This is very helpful. I might even consider trying the nasal pillows again. I am very good about changing the interfaces. The blue gel portion of the mask begins to take on a greenish/grey tinge over time. Insurance has actually been good about covering the cost of replacement supplies. My younger brother who had sleep apnea was not good about changing the interfaces,and he died at 58 of a heart arrhythmia. I don't know that there is any connection, but I wondered if the mold or bacteria that grows in those was a factor.

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[-] 2Sleepy +0 points · over 2 years ago

Mike J

I tried 3 different interfaces in the sleep lab in January. There were huge differences between the mask and nasal pillows. I decided on nasal pillow which I find comfortable and least confining. I have not had a problem with feeling dry. In the sleep lab, the tech set my humidification level @ 3 (range 0-5). It was perfect for me and the humidification can be asjusted easily at home, by turning a dial.

I am not familiar with equipment that was used 10 years ago. When I think of the rapid advances in all high tech equipment over the last 10 yrs,, it seems like there must be significant improvements. Just my opinion.

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[-] Bhek +0 points · over 2 years ago

I just got my machine yesterday and it has an auto sensor for humidity and room temp as well as a heated hose, ramp up feature, is almost dead silent and the data card is used as backup to a clip on modem that sends the data daily to the website and an app on my phone. I'm really impressed with the tech.

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[-] Sherry +0 points · over 2 years ago

I think the improvements are very significant. I had used the same machine for 20 years. It was still running and worked well. However last year I got a new machine and it so much more user friendly and certainly more travel friendly!

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[-] Arch +0 points · over 2 years ago

For those of you still using 10 year old or older machines take a look at this site. I am not an employee of this company and I am only using it as an example of the new machines available and much the technology has changed. I am using an S9 Autopap with humidifier and heated hose. I also have the programming so that I can look at the information collected by the S9 and see how well I am sleeping and what my pressure ranges were throughout the nite.

http://www.resmed.com/us/en/consumer/products/devices.html

Joe

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[-] UnderstandingCerisePartridge8352 +0 points · over 2 years ago

I have been in the field of sleep for over 17 years. The new CPAP/Bilevel machines are vastly different than the ones we used to have available. Course, I still run into the older machines, which are still running quite well. Seems that some of the newer machines do not last as long as the older models. My favorite clinical model is a 10 year old ResMed unit that is still running great. In fact I have about 4 of them in a box. In 2013 I closed the 2 bed lab I co-owned with a doctor in Georgia and boxed the units up. After 10 years of use, they were still champs.

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[-] GoodCoffeeOstrich9205 +0 points · over 2 years ago

I am a Respiratory Therapist and have been providing treatment for sleep apnea since the mid/late1980's when the diagnosis of sleep apnea was in its infancy. My organization opened a 4 bed sleep lab in 2008. Much has happened in the past 30 yrs in the ability to recognize and diagnose sleep apnea. Initially it was all about Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but then with improved treatment, it became apparent there were other forms of sleep apnea such as Centrals and Mixed. The area of sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment is still evolving. Needless to say there have been huge advancements in technology both in the way the machines sense apneas and respond as well as the trending capabilities and the data that can be retrieved by physicians and your equipment provider. That is not to say that the older machines are no longer effective, because they are, and I still see many older machines and the folks using them are very satisfied and doing well. It is so important to follow up with your sleep physician and your equipment provider so that issues can be addressed early. It is so easy now with the technology to allow one to transmit the data in a variety of ways including Bluetooth or download a memory card to a program via your computer or smart phone. You are able to view how well you are doing as well as transmitting the data to your provider. These sites also have helpful tips and tutorials to assist in fitting your mask or pillows interface, troubleshooting issues you may be experiencing etc. With the changes in health care today, some insurance companies are requiring data to "prove" that the individual continues to use and benefit from their Pap therapy before they will pay for new supplies or a replacement device.

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