Hey everyone, it’s Medicine Mondays… but on Tuesday! Today is just a quick post for a “Sleep Apnea Update“.
Sleep Apnea Update
I got my APAP machine yesterday. It came with a humidifier too, which is nice. The guy helped to explain how to put it on and I looked at the different mask types. In general, the mask types are “nasal pillows”, “nasal mask”, and “face mask”.
Nasal Pillows are the most minimalist version with very little face coverage, good for people who claustrophobic. It’s basically just these small plastic “pillows” which fit over your nostrils.
Here’s an example:
Nasal mask is kind of the most common version, which is a mask that fits over your whole nose. It’s kind of the middle of the road version.
Here’s an example:
Face mask is what you’d expect which covers the nose and mouth. This is the largest version and is mostly for people who have nasal congestion/obstruction and/or feel the need to mouth breathe.
Here’s an example:
So how’d it go?
Well, first time’s the hardest right?
After buying some distilled water for my humidifier, I tried it last night and I’ve been having some difficulty. I didn’t think having the nasal mask would bother me too much, but it’s difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep with this stuff on your head.
Additionally, I guess I’ve never really noticed it before, but normally when I’m breathing I breathe through my nose. However, if I actually concentrate on breathing it’s easier for me to breathe through my mouth. When you’re laying in bed with this thing on your head that’s keeping positive airway pressure on you, it’s hard to not think about breathing. As such, my brain wants me to breathe through my mouth — which you can’t do.
For this reason, I think I may need to convert over to the full face mask.
I understand now why insurance companies want to prove people are actually using this machine before paying for it. I can imagine it would be difficult for many people to deal with this. In general, the guy told me it takes about a month to get used to it and then you won’t be able to live without it.
How does the payment work?
Well, I imagine this is may be different for everyone. However, from my understanding, most CPAP/APAP machines are on a rent-to-own model. You have a co-pay for the initial setup, instructions, and equipment. There is probably a range here, but it sounds to me like $60-80 is normal. Then after that you have a monthly co-pay of $20-30, which I imagine depends on your equipment and insurance. After 13 months you own the machine.
However, you need to prove that you used the machine 21 of 30 days over the first 90 days. By “used”, it means you used the machine for at least 4 hours of 21 days. I can imagine this will be very difficult for people when they just get the machine. Like I said, it’s very difficult to change how you sleep. I can see many people getting frustrated and taking off the mask, just to try to get some sleep the “normal way”. To be quite honest, on my first night, I only managed 4 hours before I took it off. and I’m not even sure I slept at all those 4 hours. I’m hoping this gets better with time.
Also, it’s probably a good idea that for people to know that there are things you will need for maintenance. If you have a humidifier, you’ll need distilled water. Additionally, both the machine and the masks have their own filters which you will need to replace regularly. These extra expenses aren’t too big, but just something to be aware of.
Well. Sleep hygiene is important… so we keep trying.
The guy said it takes a month, so we’ll give it a month. I’ll update you guys on how things are going later on.
Also, I think I may try to invest in a new pillow since they make special pillows for CPAP/APAP users. If I get one, I’ll let you guys know.
Just another Sleep Apnea Update.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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