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[CPAP] Is CPAP forever?
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deldigger Offline

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Post: #1
Is CPAP forever?
My doctor (Pulmonologist) wants me to take another sleep test, one year after I started on CPAP. My question is, does anyone ever actually get off of the CPAP? Should I expect someone to periodically review my progress to see if I need to continue with this therapy?
03-08-2012 12:21 AM
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greatunclebill Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Is CPAP forever?
(03-08-2012 12:21 AM)deldigger Wrote:  My doctor (Pulmonologist) wants me to take another sleep test, one year after I started on CPAP. My question is, does anyone ever actually get off of the CPAP? Should I expect someone to periodically review my progress to see if I need to continue with this therapy?

welcome to the forum.

i guess it's technically possible to get off of cpap if you are very marginal to begin with. apnea is a physical thing with the throat closing, so for the vast majority of cpap users they have the machine til death do they part. the cpap is not going to cure you if that's the question. peoples numbers go down because of the cpap, but will go right back up if therapy is stopped.
03-08-2012 12:28 AM
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Is CPAP forever?
I think some folks' sleep apnea is caused by excess body fat. Or at least the excess body weight puts them "over the edge" as far as what is considered "sleep apnea" (AHI over 5.0).

For those who have mild or even moderate OSA, weight loss might do the trick to get AHI below 5.0 cmH20. Likewise, there are many slim folks who still have severe OSA, and it has nothing to do with their body fat.

The question of whether or not someone will be "on CPAP for life" would depend upon (I think) whether or not they are overweight to begin with. If they lose weight and get down to their ideal weight and they still have AHI over 5.0, then I'd say that they are on CPAP for life.

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03-08-2012 12:54 AM
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Ltmedic66 Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Is CPAP forever?
I agree with all of the above. I would add that there are also some therapies, such as physical therapy designed to correct loose muscles in the throat that may also reduce or eliminate the need for CPAP.

In general, I think CPAP is for life. However, I also think that OSA is an evolving disease process that may change over time (or the person may change over time). I would not think occassional repeat sleep studies are unreasonable, especially if the patient is having complications.
03-08-2012 01:47 AM
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zonk Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Is CPAP forever?
Sometimes sleep apnea is genetic run in families.
People with narrowed airways and overcrowded mouth bigger tongue more likely to have sleep apnea than most and being overweight is a factor but just being overweight not necessary have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition not a disease and for me don,t mind CPAP for life at least i,m not confined to a wheel chair or on dialysis machine or waiting for an organ transplant.
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03-08-2012 02:36 AM
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tombarelybreathing Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Is CPAP forever?
I agree with Zonk. I would much rather have sleep apnea...at least if you are going to have a health problem it's good to have a "treatable" problem.

I would think that because sleep apnea is a changing type of condition, your doctor is being proactive in requesting another sleep study...myself I would be glad to go and get another study to make sure that my therapy is working.

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03-08-2012 08:24 AM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Is CPAP forever?
It seems very few people cure their apnea and get off CPAP.

It is important to realize that this is not because CPAP is "addictive" in any sense. If you have apnea, do CPAP for a while, and then quit, your apnea is probably not going to be any worse than if you never did CPAP at all.

Well, it is addictive in some sense. Apnea is probably doing harm to you every night. It's like the death of a thousand cuts. If you've been living with this for years and years, your mind and body become somewhat adapted to the harmful effects of apnea. If you do CPAP for a while, you may well find it very hard to sleep without it if you quit CPAP. Your health will probably not be any worse than if you had never done CPAP.

I think of apnea as being somewhat like having a heavy drinking habit. CPAP is like stopping drinking. If you drink a fifth of vodka before bed every night for 5 years, and quit drinking for a few months, then you start drinking again, you may it hard to handle your usual amount of alcohol for the first few weeks until your body readjusts.

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03-08-2012 06:37 PM
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JudgeMental Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Is CPAP forever?
There is quite a variance in your pressure, (6-16) in my opinion, so maybe the Doc has put that way to start and now, a year later, wants to fine tune your pressures. A year is a mightly long time to wait to adjust the pressure however.

As Tombarely said, I think you are lucky to have a proactive sleep specialist to work with. How do you feel about it? have you run some software and observed your AHI. Do you feel as though you have made some progress in your health and sleep? All things considered, financial that is, if you can afford it or insurance, medicare will cover it. I say go for it. Its painless.

Yesterday is history; Tomorrow is a mystery; Today is a gift; Thats why its called "The Present".
03-08-2012 07:21 PM
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