Even though CPAP is meant to be accommodating, let's be honest with one another - sometimes it isn't. You have to go to sleep with a mask placed on your face while breathing in pressurized air throughout the night, it simply with some patients - is - not - accommodating. However, CPAP is not meant to entirely alter your lifestyle in this manner, it is made to fit into your lifestyle and enhance your health! So, one of the fears when it comes to truck driving and positive pressure therapy is the CPAP adapting into the lifestyle. Whether you are driving across the country (over the road), running single deliveries (hot shots) or any other commercial driver license holder. Your CPAP device is meant to slide into your lifestyle, not for you to completely alter yours to accommodate the therapy. Slight alterations in your lifestyle are typical as you will have to acclimate to wearing the therapy at night as you sleep. If your CPAP device is causing such a problem that you are having to alter so much of your sleeping habits without a guidance then there is likely something not working correctly. Do some research or speak with your provider. Do not settle for sub par positive pressure therapy.
The reasoning behind my push of the proper mind set to have is that you must meet compliance. Regardless if you are CDL holding patient or not, compliance will be something that is mentioned several times by every provider and health care professional you encounter. The question is, what is compliance? Compliance is a measurement that shows if you are wearing your CPAP machine and how well it is working for you. n regards to the transportation industry DOT and FMCSA physicians will be looking for patients to wear the CPAP machine 4 hours each night for 70% of the nights. This is measured out of thirty consecutive nights. If the machine is used for over 4 hours a night with 22 nights meeting this criteria out of 30 nights then you have met compliance. Even though this task can seem lenient, it can be very strict. If the CPAP machine is utilized for 3 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds, well - this means that the patient is now non-compliant and failed that particular night. And if problems cannot be resolved and one night of non-compliance turns into 9 nights or greater, then the patient is now dubbed "non-compliant" by failing to meet the guidelines. There is an aid with the "30 Day Rule". A patient will typically have between the 30th day and the 90th day after initially starting your CPAP therapy to prove compliance. Within the first thirty days it is understandable that a patient can be still acclimating to the CPAP machine and mask. In overall a patient has at least 90 days from the start of therapy to meet this requirement and allows some time for problems to rise and be resolved.
Compliance does not only encompass the use of the CPAP machine, it also requires a visit to the physician. DOT/FMCSA wants the CPAP machine to accurately indicated that the patient is utilizing the therapy and that a certified physician has reviewed this data and annotated that the CPAP machine is in fact working with the patient compliant. Some physicians are able to download CPAP units in office, but unfortunately a great many are not able to do so. Then the patient must visit the DME (durable medical equipment) company for a download of the information to be completed and provided to the physician for review. A call to the physician ahead of time can help to assure whether the machine must be downloaded before the appointment. It is also important to note that not every physician is certified to read these downloads per DOT/FMCSA standards, so assure this with the assigned physician through DOT/FMCSA first of what physician to use, then assure that this physician can download the CPAP unit and if not schedule a download from the DME provider and ultimately follow up with the physician for the download to be reviewed and noted within the patient chart.
So, this does seem simple. Wear your machine for at least four hours a night and schedule to see your physician approved through FMCSA/DOT within 2-3 months after you receive your machine. I want to warn you of you one major finding. Some patients will turn the machine on and allowing it to run all throughout the night without ever applying the mask resulting in "fake compliance". This is obviously, ludicrous. The CPAP cannot help you if you are not wearing it, but some patients - especially employees in the shipping industry - are forced into sleep therapy to assure public safety. Here is the warning. The modern style of CPAP machines can tell if the patient is breathing or not. This can become an issue depending on the physician that interprets your download and/or the department of transportation. So do not try this, wear the CPAP. It is not worth the risk as this could lead to severe problems that contain your approval for commercial drivers license and health. If problems arise with the therapy think about what the problem is and do some research or communicate it to your providers. Get an answer and solve the issues to assure that your compliance criteria will be satisfied.
I know this is a brief explanation. A large portion of this compliance can be also transcribed to insurance coverage with a few changes. This information is strictly what typical department of transportation/FMCSA is looking for when approving the use of the CPAP therapy as I have encountered in my home state of Oklahoma.