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Newly diagnosed, have some questions

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BigFootBitMe +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

I have always snored, for 30 years my wife has said I have a problem. Last 6 months all of a sudden I am so exhausted during the day something changed. Sleep test shows I have extreme sleep apnea with over 80 events per hour and oxygen levels dropping to 64%. Kind of explains why I cannot function well during the day.

1) Should I tell my boss? I work for a great company and a great boss, just do not know if its good or bad to tell him. Its a huge world wide company and treats employees really well.

2) What is better, CPAP of BiPAP or does it really matter. Dr. is putting in an order for a cpap, but she might have been saying that as a generic term as she said the company would call me to discuss what machine. So will BiPAP be an option, or does the Dr. have to recommend that. I have emailed her this question also.

3) What happens if the machine turns off or power goes out? Probably silly to worry about that but I am.

4) I have always been a life long mouth breather, she recommends a mask to cover mouth and nose. Any recommendations on a mask. I sleep on my back or roll to my left side, usually only to reduce my snoring. I would assume I could sleep on my back full time now. Does this impact where the hose connects or type of mask. I saw several options in the office, but the office is closed now and only doing phone calls.

5) Do all machines have moisture control, I do get dry mouth while sleeping.

6) Just got diagnosed today, but I 100% knew this was going to be the outcome, been trying to get to this as fast as possible. She said the insurance would approve and a company would call to work out the machine in about 3 weeks. Is it really going to take that long. Of course with the coronavirus everything has changed. I cannot even got back to the Dr's office where they had a bunch of mask options to look at.

I want to get this right to I can sleep and get back to having a life other then working and sitting hear exhausted.

Also I am a diabetic, but not on any medicine, hoping fixing my sleeping will help turn that around, also got XRayed for COPD as I have a real hard time breathing in hot and humid air, but in the mountains I have no problems at all. Just in case the makes and difference on what people might recommend to help me get my life back.

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Sierra +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Patron

1) I don't think it is critical one way or the other, as long as you are getting treatment for apnea. If you are taking insulin for diabetes it would be a good idea to let your boss of fellow employees know, just in case you get into trouble with a low BG.

2) As a first try I would get a APAP machine. The "A" stands for automatic pressure control. I would recommend the ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet machine as the first choice, and the DreamStation Auto as the second choice. If COPD turns out to be an issue, then a BiPAP may be helpful. They provide more pressure, and more differential between inhale and exhale pressure. As a result they can provide some limited breathing assistance, in addition to keeping the airway open. My wife was diagnosed with an AHI of 83 and she uses a ResMed APAP, and averages under 1 for AHI. Here is a package ResMed machine complete with the ClimateAir heated hose.

ResMed AutoSet Package

3) The mask has a vent on it that purges air whether you are breathing in or exhaling. If the machine goes off you will continue to breath in and out through that vent. It is not the most comfortable, and you will wake up fairly quickly in most cases. You will not suffocate.

4) Most people figure out a way to sleep on their sides or back while using a full face or nasal cushion mask. Full face masks tend to be less comfortable, and more problematic with leaks that can be irritating. I would try a nasal cushion type first. The ResMed P10 mask is a common one. There are DreamWear masks that have the hose go over your head instead of down from the nose. Some like it that way.

5) Most machines come with a humidifier and I would highly recommend it. They can also be fitted with an electric heated hose that keeps the air moist without having it condense in the hose (rainout). I would recommend that too.

6) If you have a prescription there are many on line companies that will ship you a machine overnight. However, they may or may not work with your insurance company. The big issue with going on line is that you don't get to try different masks. Getting the mask that you can work with is the hardest part of CPAP. So, you may have to jump through the insurance company hoops. It is unfortunate they are not giving you better service.

I am also diabetic, and I found that using a CPAP has done nothing for my diabetes, despite my ill informed sleep technician telling me it could cure my diabetes. It did not make a difference at all, not better, or not worse.

Hope that helps some. Any questions just ask.

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BigFootBitMe +0 points · about 2 months ago Original Poster

Thanks. Not sure what options I will have with my insurance. But they are sending someone to my house to bring the machine and selection of face masks to help me choose and properly fit it. Not sure if they will have multiple machines to choose from. Will find out tomorrow. I guess my only initial choice will be what they bring. And the Dr said I have to start with a CPAP and if issues they can move me to one of the other options, unless I want to pay out of pocket. As for the diabetes, my hope is better sleep will give me more energy to be more active and being more active will help. With this coronavirus I had the xray for COPD but cannot go to the hospital for the other part of the test for COPD, since my only breathing issues are outside in the heat should not effect me to much inside sleeping. Dreamweaver was the mask recommendation from my Dr. for a full face, which is what she recommends based on my life long open mouth sleeping and feeling like I cannot breath enough through my nose. I hope I can deal with the mask, although this exhaustion during the day is so severe I am praying this helps.

Thanks again Chris

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Sierra +0 points · about 2 months ago Sleep Patron

Automatic CPAP machines or APAPs are not much more expensive than a fixed pressure CPAP. I think the last time I checked they are only about $80 more. The big advantage of an APAP is that it is set for a range of pressures and the machine decides how much pressure you need through the night. With a fixed pressure CPAP you really need to have what is called a "titration sleep test". You sleep over in a lab and they vary the pressure during the night to determine what you need. A titration test is quite expensive, and many insurance companies are now quite happy to pay for an APAP rather than paying for a titration test.

It is good that they are allowing you to try different masks. Getting a mask that does not leak and is comfortable to wear though the night is often the most difficult issue. There is really no way to predict what you will like without trying it. The DreamWear mask is one of the good ones I believe the mask can be converted from a full face to a nasal or to a nasal pillow type without changing the whole mask.

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Sherry +0 points · about 1 month ago Sleep Commentator

1) Should I tell my boss? I work for a great company and a great boss, just do not know if its good or bad to tell him. Its a huge world wide company and treats employees really well.

Once you are being successfully treated, I would suggest telling your boss because you are going to feel better and have a story to tell. I think that many large companies could benefit tremendously by educating their employees about sleep and particularly the dangers of Sleep Apnea. They would have a much healthier workforce. You may be able to influence the company in that direction.

4) I have always been a life long mouth breather, she recommends a mask to cover mouth and nose. Any recommendations on a mask. I sleep on my back or roll to my left side, usually only to reduce my snoring. I would assume I could sleep on my back full time now. Does this impact where the hose connects or type of mask. I saw several options in the office, but the office is closed now and only doing phone calls.

If you can tolerate a full face mask that would be best. I am also a mouth breather but I have been working on proper breathing which has been very helpful. I started with a Kindle Book entitled "How to Breathe: The Symptoms If You Get It Wrong, and How to Fix It" by Sally Gething. You may find that helpful as well. I use a nasal mask. Before I started working with my breathing, I used a chin strap to keep my mouth closed. Some people also do mouth taping.

The most important thing is to keep on keeping on until you get some relief and start to feel better. I know you want your life back!

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