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How Common is Sleep Apnea? Do People Tolerate the Masks Well?


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A friend was recently diagnosed with two kinds of sleep apnea, which according to the doc meant that he had to wear the mask with the long tube. He couldn't stand it and gave up. I am very uninformed on this topic so would appreciate information and personal experiences.

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if your friend did not go to a doctor that specializes in sleep disorders, I'd encourage consulting one; my PCP referred me several times to sleep clinics, and each time recommended the masks that look like gas masks; I tried that but did not tolerate using them; the specialist had me try various, less intrusive options, and I have been using one for 5 or 6 years with success

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There 's a ton of info out there but from my experience (yes I have sleep apnea), gold standard is CPAP Machine, surgery has a 50/50 chance of being successful.  Most that have had surgery retuned to CPAP.  Inspire, no thanks, infection, soreness back of tongue, must have surgery after 2 years to replace the battery within the device that is implanted in the chest.  There are tests to measure blood oxygen levels, mine was at 65%, not good.  Other pulmonary test are performed before they declare you have sleep apnea.  Depending on the severity of the apnea, some, like myself, may use nasal pillows which provides much more freedom and movement in bed.  Best advice is, "don't ignore it."

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7 hours ago, Thomas_Belgium said:

Hi, I have a Bpap (same machine as Cpap but different settings) with a nose mask (ResMed Swift FX) but there are other very good masks available, I got used to it after two nights.

I used that machine for a year. Got a lot out of it

When I.moved I foolishly forget the machine 

 

But I realized I'd   not  need  it any. . more 

That's just me

 

 

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I've used a CPAP for several years, took to it right away and don't like sleeping without it.  I take that as an indication my body likes it, too.  Important to realize there are many different options for masks, and a new patient should insist that the doctor/equipment supplier make changes as necessary until the right mask is found.  I'm currently using the ResMed Airfit N20, which is a nasal mask with pretty substantial headgear, but because I toss a lot it keeps the mask on securely.  But that's me.  Bonus for folks with sleep partners, a properly functioning CPAP should greatly cut down on snoring and other night noises.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think it is pretty common.  We have a friend who has it and used a mask.  The mask seriously degraded his sleep quality.  He doubled up on his inhaled medicines that he uses for allergies and he no longer had to use the mask.  I think my husband has sleep apnea, but he's in denial about it.  I have a touch of it, but I control it by always sleeping on my side.

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Sleep apnea is a common medical condition which can be classified as Central Sleep Apnea or Obstructive Peripheral Sleep Apnea (OSA).  OSA is much more common although one can have a mixed picture.   The risk factors for OSA include a neck greater than 18.5 inches in diameter, obesity, smoking, enlarged adenoids and a severe overbite.   One can suspect OSA by symptoms such as loud snoring, daytime drowsiness, inability to concentrate or witnessed stoppage of breathing while asleep.  A simple questionair the Epworth Sleepiness Scale has a series of questions with a selection of answers.  After taking this brief test, a score of over 13 indicates that there is a possibility of OSA.   OSA is not something that should be ignored.   An overnight sleep study either in a sleep center or one of a selection of good quality home tests done under a doctor's guidance will determine if you have sleep apnea, how severe it is and will lead to distinguishing which type of sleep apnea predominates.  

CPAP is the quick fix.  It can be difficult to get used to, but even 4 hours a night of use can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, sudden death and hypertension that go along with OSA.  Most people tend to either adjust to it quickly, or give up, but with persistence, most people can get accustomed to it.  

Long term, weight loss can make a big difference and it does not have to be massive weight loss.  As little as 10 to 15 pound weight loss can diminish symptoms greatly.  

Smoking cessation will of course benefit you in many ways and decrease in OSA is just one of them.

Enlarged adenoids and tonsils can be removed and can give significant relief.  

Inspire is an implanted device that stimulates you to breath when is is noted that you are not doing so.  

These are just a few of the basic facts about OSA.  There is lots of information on line.   IF you think you or someone you know may have OSA, take the Epworth test.  It takes about 2 minutes and it can confirm whether you should be concerned or not.  Honesty in taking the test is of utmost import.  

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/5/2024 at 8:19 AM, Lucky said:

A friend was recently diagnosed with two kinds of sleep apnea, which according to the doc meant that he had to wear the mask with the long tube. He couldn't stand it and gave up. I am very uninformed on this topic so would appreciate information and personal experiences.

Late to the party.  Here’s my experience.  I’d wake up routinely around 2-3am.  I convinced myself it was probably something going bump in the night etc. On the weekends, I’d sleep in until noon or 2pm easily. I convinced myself I probably needed it because I was working too much during the week. I finally used a snore counting/recording app on my phone. I heard it for myself - the same snore, silence for an extended period of time, then jolting gasping for breath.  I use the term same snore sound, because I heard it from my dad decades prior. I was a teenager and didn’t know any better, but I knew it probably wasn’t healthy. My dad passed shortly after my 17th bday from a heart attack in his sleep. Sleep apnea is no joke.  

I wear the CPAP religiously, and luckily I didn’t have too many issues adjusting to it.  I sleep mostly through the night.  I wake up now consistently around 6am maybe 8am on the weekend if I allow myself to sleep in.  
 

I have since lost 40 lbs since diagnosis, but still find my sleep is crap without the cpap. I’ll happily wear the cpap if it means better quality of life.  
 

Less serious side stories, I have had friends nod off on car rides mid conversation.  Turns out yeah sleep apnea for them. They were getting such poor sleep they’d be nodding off unless they were actively engaged in things.  I’d encourage your friend to stay the course, and track his sleep quality / how he feels the next day. 

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My husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea and came home from the doctor with the machine. He took one look at it and said he’d never use it. “Anyway, you go to bed feeling fine, and you just don’t wake up in the morning. What’s the matter with that? Sign me up.

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11 hours ago, Whippoorwill said:

My husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea and came home from the doctor with the machine. He took one look at it and said he’d never use it. “Anyway, you go to bed feeling fine, and you just don’t wake up in the morning. What’s the matter with that? Sign me up.

It’s like wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle.

I’m not wearing a helmet - I don’t want to live through a crash. 
- you want to wear a helmet IN CASE you do live through one.  Least if you still had reasonable brain function, you would have some choices in the matter.  
 

like sleep apnea, the best case scenario is passing in your sleep.  The more likely scenario is a decade+ of shitty quality of life before additional health issues start piling on.  Then one day, a stroke or heart attack disables the person.  I’d rather avoid/delay that future if I can do reasonable actions to prevent it.  My experience though is different than others I realize.  

 

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4 hours ago, BeamerBikes said:

It’s like wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle.

I’m not wearing a helmet - I don’t want to live through a crash. 
- you want to wear a helmet IN CASE you do live through one.  Least if you still had reasonable brain function, you would have some choices in the matter.  
 

like sleep apnea, the best case scenario is passing in your sleep.  The more likely scenario is a decade+ of shitty quality of life before additional health issues start piling on.  Then one day, a stroke or heart attack disables the person.  I’d rather avoid/delay that future if I can do reasonable actions to prevent it.  My experience though is different than others I realize.  

 

Yeah.  I was diagnosed about four years ago and my doctor said that any chronic health issue is made significantly worse by apnea:  hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, obesity.

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I got diagnosed back in 2001 when I fell asleep at the wheel and ran off the road. Woke up in time to stop the car, fortunately.

the machines have gotten a lot better and smaller through the years. The masks haven’t caught up. 
 

I use a nasal mask. It’s not a big deal unless you make it one. NOTHING beats the feeling of getting a good nights sleep with a well fitted CPAP

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