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Old 16-02-2011, 19:19   #1
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Sleep Apnea . . .

I was just diagnosed with a fairly bad case of sleep apnea, to the extent I'll be using the CPAP system when I sleep.

Anyone out there actively cruising with this problem? I'd like to hear from you on the ins n outs.

Tks

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Old 16-02-2011, 19:28   #2
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my old friend clive,currently crossing the atlantic on his chinese junk.
has a 12v breather unit

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Old 16-02-2011, 19:43   #3
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You will really like the difference in the way you feel. I poo-poo'ed the notion for quite awhile, but my better half finally put her foot down. I'm glad she did. My attention span, energy, libido, were all improved. Plus, no longer do I snore loud enough to bust the hatch over the berth! (That definitely pleased my wife.)

Although we're presently on land and don't have to worry about the power issue, that is one of the things you must resolve. The CPAP machines come standard with an AC power brick and they look at you funny when you talk about needing 12 volt. At first, they wanted to sell me an outrageously expensive "portable" power pack, with lithium batteries that was anything but portable. I passed on that, figuring I'd use the inverter if I had to.

When I got the machine, though, I started looking at over. The power pack converts the AC to....(wait for it) 12 volts! Consuming 5 amps max. Mine is a Phillips unit. Well, that was easy. The input plug is a standard 50-cent laptop plug. That and a 12 male plug with 4 feet of lampcord and into the 12 v plug it went. No problem. The unit is happy, I'm happy, the wife's happy.

You might have some problems adjusting to sleeping with the mask on. It took me a few nights and it is sort of weird. We made jokes about my wife sleeping with the poor guy from "Alien". Give it a few nights and once your body starts feeling the improvement, it will be pretty much self-reinforcing. Stick with it, though.

Some people toss and turn so much they find the mask and tube get pulled around and jerked off. I don't have a suggestion for that, just hope that's not you.

Good luck with it.

ID
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Old 16-02-2011, 20:44   #4
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Hi SabreKai,
We have a friend we buddy boat with around the Sound. He uses a CPAP powered by a Honda 1000 watt generator running in the dinghy. He gets eight hours sleep on a tank of gas!

John
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Old 16-02-2011, 20:53   #5
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Good to know, thanks all. We just ran into the same problem with my wife.
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Old 16-02-2011, 21:03   #6
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ID completely nailed it on his response. I use a Resperonic's unit and don't have a problem on the boat. I use the house inverter and just plug it in.

When you get the C-PAP your going to fight it. The mask is very hard to get used to. Try taking some ambien for a while to get to sleep quickly. Also, I use a mask that only goes over my nostrils which was better for me then the full nose mask. After you get used to it, it will be the first thing you pack when going on a trip.
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Old 16-02-2011, 22:12   #7
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I have the same problem. I take the Cpap unit on the boat all the time and use the house batteries with an inverter to power it. no problems to date at all.

On a side note, for the first few months I hated slleeping with a mask on my face and would throw it across the room in the middle of the night. Now I cant live without it. No more waking up feeling hungover, lots of energy from the time I wake up.

The mask has a subliminal effect on me too. As soon as its on, my body knows its time for sleep and off I go. Its the adult equivalent of a child with his favourite teddy.

Cheers
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Old 17-02-2011, 04:17   #8
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My son inlaw has a moulded silicon rubber unit that he uses, it basically holds his tongue forward in his mouth by suction / vacuum. Trade name Aveo Tsd. It works for him. Keeps the airway open AND stops snoring. Not pretty but it works and doesnt require electricity etc.
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Old 17-02-2011, 04:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Pope View Post
My son inlaw has a moulded silicon rubber unit that he uses, it basically holds his tongue forward in his mouth by suction / vacuum. Trade name Aveo Tsd. It works for him. Keeps the airway open AND stops snoring. Not pretty but it works and doesnt require electricity etc.
A friend claims that taping a couple of tennis balls against his back worked for him. The theory is that the apnea happens while sleeping on your back - and the balls somewhat discourage that! No electricity needed there either.
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Old 17-02-2011, 08:43   #10
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A friend claims that taping a couple of tennis balls against his back worked for him. The theory is that the apnea happens while sleeping on your back - and the balls somewhat discourage that! No electricity needed there either.
That's a cure for snoring. Sleep Apnea is quite different.

Oz, you are right about the pavlov response. It knocks me out now.
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Old 17-02-2011, 10:48   #11
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OK, here's a slightly different perspective ...

Several years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and perscribed a CPAP. After getting used to the contraption I loved it for all the reasons mentioned above.

Well, the following spring I bought a bicycle and started biking to work once in a while. I enjoyed it, went on longer and more frequent rides, then something very strange happened ... my old body got in decent shape! And guess what, the sleep apnea and any snoring just completely dissappeared! The CPAP sat idle for many months collecting dust.

Then winter set in, the bike sat unused in the garage, and in short order both the snoring and the sleep apnea crept back, and I was back on the CPAP.

Spring is just around the corner and the bike will be pulled out of hibernation. I fully expect to be completely cured once again.

I talked to my doctor about this, and he said "Yes, of course getting your body in shape does wonders for sleep apnea!". Unfortunately, the medical community in this country are programmed to prescribe every treatment EXCEPT "Get your ass off the couch and get in shape!"

Keep in mind that I am not, nor was I ever considered "overweight". But just toning up the muscles and improving the whole cardiovascular thing through exercise did the trick. I'm looking forward to weaning myself off the "Darth Vader" machine once again, and staying off it this time!
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Old 17-02-2011, 10:59   #12
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Well, this is a sailing not medical forum, but I'll add that my doctor came right out of the gate and said if I lost 30 lbs there was an 80% chance it would go away. I don't think the medical community is programmed to prescribe but more that the patients aren't willing to "get off their ass and get in shape" - IMO of course.
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Old 17-02-2011, 11:04   #13
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Thanks for the replies every one. In addition to the other problems I am having, this was like getting hit by a bus. Wristwister, you are quite right, the modern medical business is all about selling things, not curing things. I'm off to the lab again next Tuesday, so I expect they will figure out which mask and what not. In the mean time I'll look into the dental appliance mentioned, and also the surgical aspects. Getting in shape is primary, The scale screamed in protest when i stepped on it. I won't tell you what it said, too embarassing.

In the mean time, I'm going to rejig the boats power system, for more batteries and another panel. I like the idea of using 12v directly, why bother losing energy by converting it twice from 12-120-12v.

Sabre
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Old 17-02-2011, 11:40   #14
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Wear you CPAP mask to feel better while you are trying to loose weigh. It is great odds that if you get anywhere near your ideal weight you will markedly improve your sleep apnea or cure it. Be aware that sleep apnea is a major factor in the cause of accidents due to your mental state, drowsyness etc.
I am a physician that does surgery for sleep apnea and I always advise weight loss over surgery but it takes a lot of work on the patient's behalf and their success rate is poor.
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Old 17-02-2011, 12:29   #15
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CPAP here for the past 6-7 years, and the GoodKnight 420 series runs on 12 volts and is very low power (about half an amp at my low pressure setting of 7). I wired a 12V outlet by the bed and made a cable; the original wall-wart is there as a backup. I keep one CPAP on the boat and another at home.

By the way, don't let the sleep center send you to those rip-off DME providers (Durable Medical Equipment). They will try to charge thousands to your insurance for machines you can buy online for $300 or so, and will limit your ability to keep trying interfaces (masks, nasal pillows like the light Mirage Swift, etc) until you find one you like. Just get your prescription and shop online. I use cpapplus.com and they have been great; there are plenty of others as well (no connection with them, just a happy customer).

Also, it is good to know the setup trick for your machine; they typically have a secret button that allows changing pressure and ramp settings, compliance timer, etc.

(On the 420, you get to the hidden menu by simultaneously pushing the unmarked button under "Go" and the "Information Access" button for one second. The latter button steps through the settings, and the On/off and Ramp buttons adjust the parameters up and down. Obviously, don't meddle with pressure settings unless you know what you are doing, but this can free you from the tyranny of the home-care provider industry.)

Cheers and sleep well! Getting a CPAP gave me my life back, and the bonus is no snoring...

Steve
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