PAP machines…it’s not just for snoring anymore! As a Respiratory Therapist I'm approached all the time about someone's significant other snoring and asking if I think they need a Pap (CPAP or BiPAP) machine. Well, possibly…but there’s many other factors that can get you a script for a CPAP or BiPAP.
OSA Occlusive Sleep Apnea is due to upper airway obstruction ex: floppy airway, obesity, deviated septum, alcohol use etc. CSA Central Sleep Apnea is when your brain isn’t telling your lungs to breath. Certain medical issues can cause this ex: stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, cervical spine injury, chronic drug dependency etc. There’s also a combination of both.
“It’s uncomfortable”, “I feel suffocated”, “I can’t sleep on my stomach”, “It dries my mouth out” are many excuses I’ve heard for not wearing your Pap. What’s the big deal if you do or don’t wear it? One immediate factor you’ll notice if you wear it is feeling well-rested. “I have more energy”, “I’m not tired all the time”, “I have a sharper mind”, “I don’t feel depressed”. Being compliant with your pap machine can help you lead a more productive energy filled life! Reasons that may not be as noticeable but certainly important are decreased blood pressure, less chances of diabetes, heart-attack, stroke or even sudden death.
There are many ways to ensure a comfortable, quiet peaceful rest with a PAP machine. Decrease the heat, expand the slope so that it doesn’t feel like you’re breathing a tornado during initial wear, SmartStart, more humidity… Also, there are numerous full face masks, pillows, nasal masks, and so on. The sky is the limit on headgear comfort. An experienced respiratory therapist is key for finding the proper fit. They know the right questions to ask and help you achieve a comfortable and compliant night’s sleep on your Pap machine.
If you are with a SNF or Hospice agency and want to know more about how ProCare’s Respiratory Program can help your patients improve compliance and gain the therapeutic advantages of PAP therapy, please call us. We are here to help. Our main number is 208-322-5055. Just ask for Rebecca!
Written by Rebecca Hindman, RT