Why I Regularly Talk to My Doctor About My Sleep Apnea
Last updated: February 2023
How often does sleep apnea come up in discussions with your doctor? Do you feel it's important to talk about it with them?
Taking care of your health should always be a top priority. That is why it’s extremely important to begin discussing your continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy with your doctor. Especially for those patients who are just starting on therapy, adjustments may need to be made to be a compliant CPAP user.
How often do I bring up sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is discussed at every appointment, just like other health issues. It is extremely important that my doctor knows that I’m wearing my CPAP and getting the full benefit of the therapy. This is the time to discuss any issues or if any adjustments need to be made.
What does my compliance report say?
Not only does my doctor ask me if I’m using my CPAP and how I feel about using it, but she also goes a step further and requests a compliance report for the data off my CPAP.
This information tells her the number of hours a night I am using my CPAP and if I’m still stopping breathing or if my mask is leaking. All this data gives her the tools to ensure that I am getting the full benefit.
How am I feeling?
It’s always important for my doctor to ask me how I’m feeling because the data that she sees from my CPAP may be telling her a different story. I have had patients who wear their CPAP’s nightly, without any mask leaks or events (stopping breathing), but continue to feel fatigued.
Is my sleep apnea controlled?
One of the reasons it’s so important to be talking to your doctor about your CPAP therapy every appointment is that things change, and your once controlled sleep apnea can become uncontrolled.
The compliance report, along with discussing how you're feeling, will give your doctor the information they need to determine if your sleep apnea is controlled.
Is there an underlying cause for the visit?
It is possible that the issue you are seeing the doctor for could be an underlying cause of uncontrolled sleep apnea. When you're not getting a good night's sleep, it can affect so many different health issues.
I know for me, if I don’t get a good night's sleep, my anxiety is high, and I am miserable.
Is it time for an adjustment to my therapy?
It’s always important to make sure that your AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index) is within the normal range. If it’s not, it may be time for another sleep study or an auto titration study to determine your new optimal pressure.
Changes may have occurred, such as weight increase or decrease, new medications, or new life stressors.
Why we need a good night's sleep
To get a good night's sleep, you need to make sure that your sleep apnea is controlled and that you are getting the full therapeutic benefits from your CPAP. This is why it’s so important to make a doctor’s appointment and have a conversation with your doctor.
Do you regularly talk to your doctor about sleep? Tell us your sleep apnea story and share a comment below.
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