a flashlight shining a light on a CPAP machine, used to treat sleep apnea, covered in dust, cobwebs, and spiders

A Second Try With CPAP

Not everything deserves a second try...certain foods don’t. Neither do some clothing styles (I don’t think parachute pants will ever make a comeback, but of course that’s just my opinion) and some companies. In life, sometimes things do deserve a second try.

I believe continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is one thing that deserves a second try.

Why reconsider CPAP?

If you’ve tried CPAP in the past, perhaps you’re thinking, Why? I’ve tried it once several years ago and it was uncomfortable, loud and I’m not sure if it helps.

If that’s your thinking pattern towards trying CPAP, I understand. But in avoiding CPAP, your body and mind are likely feeling the effects of untreated sleep apnea.

Aren’t you tired of that (no pun intended)? Aren’t you tired of nodding off all the time, dealing with brain fog, slow processing speeds, a complaining bed partner, overindulging in caffeine? I could go on, but you get the idea. Hang on...I thought of one more thing. Sometimes second tries really work and your life is better for it!

Other reasons people give up on CPAP

One reason I recommend trying CPAP again is that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing patients try it again and succeed. Someone could give up on CPAP for a variety of reasons outside of the CPAP itself. They had a bad technician, or the tech is good but they had a bad night. Perhaps they hear several bad things about CPAP before trying it and unknowingly they have a negative attitude towards the machine.

Maybe the individual is highly anxious and now the anxiety is treated. Sometimes people who are receiving treatment for anxiety, but are still somewhat anxious didn’t receive the correct mask to help with that issue. My point is, there could be several reasons why it failed, outside of the CPAP itself.

How to give CPAP another try

If this article or your symptoms convinced you to give it another try, let me suggest how you might move forward. Talk with either your family doctor or a sleep specialist. Tell them your story (you don’t need to mention this article unless there’s a referring bonus and in that case, my name is Aaron and my address is...okay I am joking, well, maybe not) and they can get you set-up with a sleep study.

Getting rediagnosed

More than likely you’ll have to get a re-diagnosis with sleep apnea before they can move forward with CPAP. You can do it one of two ways: through a home study, this is a simple way to go and will work just fine. The second way is to do an in-lab study; they could potentially start you without CPAP and once you meet certain criteria (referring to sleep apnea events and sleep time) they could initiate CPAP the same night, they call this a SPLIT study.

Suggestions to help you restart with CPAP:

  • New mind set - Look for success stories in your friends and families. If you can’t find any there, look online.
  • Masks - Masks have come a long way in the 10 years I’ve been a sleep tech. Ask your technologist for different masks to try. Three different types are nasal pillows, nasal, and full face. Be honest with them. If you don’t like initial ones they bring out, you can ask to try a few others.

What do you think? Have I made a good enough case for you to try again?

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