a CPAP machine perched on the tallest bar of a bar chart with graph lines behind it

My First New CPAP in 15 Years

If you’ve been following along, my CPAP of 15 years died in September 2020. After a long process of renting a CPAP, taking an at-home sleep study, and scheduling appointments with my sleep specialist, I was finally approved for a new CPAP. I was surprised to see how much the CPAP has evolved over 15 years.

Heated humidifiers and compliance tracking

CPAPs now have heated hoses for the humidifier. I have never used the humidifier on a CPAP. I think it’s mostly due to laziness. However, I think the heated hose is a great new feature.

My doctor explained that the insurance companies now want to track to see if we are actually using our CPAP. The amount of data that is tracked these days does concern me. However, I understand the expense of a CPAP and the insurance company’s reasoning behind tracking our usage.

Seeing and using my own CPAP data

The tracking now gives me an idea of how I’m doing with CPAP. I was able to download an app to my smartphone and log in to see my sleep stats. The new machine tracks how long I slept, how many apnea events I have per hour, how many times I adjust my mask, and if there were any leaks.

I find this information useful on days where I feel sluggish. I can check-in and see that maybe I didn’t sleep as long as I thought I did. Maybe I adjusted my mask more often than usual. I find that if I’m adjusting more often, it’s because I haven’t tightened my headgear recently. So there can be positives with the tracking.

I like the auto-power feature

My new machine will also turn on and off without hitting a power button. I didn’t like this feature at first. However, now I really like it.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and for whatever reason, I’ll need a break from CPAP. Now I can pop off my mask and within 5 seconds, it turns itself off. Then I can put the mask back on, take a breath, and the machine will start again.

More mask choices

The selection of masks has expanded within the last 15 years. I have been using the nasal pillow mask for years. I liked the fact that it didn’t cover my whole nose. That mask seemed to leak, though.

The new mask I use is a similar style, but there are no pillows. Now the mask just suctions to my nose. This new mask doesn’t leak as much, and it’s also quieter.

Don't put off follow-up visits

I am happy that I finally got myself back to the doctor and upgraded my CPAP. Life can get very busy and we put things off, especially things we don’t enjoy, like doctor appointments. This experience has taught me to be more diligent about my health.

By sharing my story, I hope that I can encourage someone out there not to put off your doctor follow-up visits like I did. We need to stay proactive when it comes to our health journey.

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