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CPAP no Dr/Rx
#1
My dentist sent me home with a device that recorded sleep events. I have like 300 a night. I need (as my son tells me) to get a CPAP. I don't have insurance and really don't like the idea of a sleep center where people "spy" on me sleeping. I'm weird like that.

Firstly, is there a CPAP machine that will adjust the settings to be right for me, foregoing the need to see a Doctor?

I don't mind paying cash and buying a machine outright.

Secondly, what are the top three machines on the market?

Thanks in advance.
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#2
Hey Zzzsleeper! Welcome.  In order to purchase a PAP machine legally in the US you must have a prescription written by a doctor, dentist, etc.  your dentist or gp could write one for you.  You can also check out Supplier #30 who allows you to purchase a prescription based on a questionnaire, but I'm not sure if they require you to purchase through them.  

As for machine choices - if you are titrating yourself at home, you should definitely go with an APAP, which will allow you to set a high and low pressure range.  As you gain some experience and data with it, you can use the data to see how effective your therapy is and tighten your settings to improve your results.   I would say the vast majority of us (on APAP) started with a wide pressure range like 4cmh20-15.  You would start the same way and dial it in from there.

Given that you are paying out of pocket there are really 2 machine choices:  the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset, and the Philips Respironics Dreamstation Auto (700 series).  They are excellent, effective, fully data-capable machines.
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#3
Hi Zzzsleeper,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for morre answers to your questions and good luck to you as you start your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#4
Thank you so much, after calling around all day, they want me to pay upwards of $3000.00 for a sleep study (price inflated due to their expectation of insurance). I can't see paying that for them to tell me things I believe I can figure out on my own. Your information has been very helpful.
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#5
The device you got from the dentist did an at-home diagnostic sleep study. Although it doesn't give as much detail as a sleep study in a lab, it gives enough for a diagnosis. You certainly have the option of asking the dentist for a CPAP prescription and then ordering a machine online. The dentist would probably prefer to sell you a dental appliance, and won't be much help in getting your CPAP settings fine-tuned, but lots of people on the board can help with that. You will want to download Sleepyhead to view your data; see the link at the top of the page.
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#6
(03-08-2017, 01:52 AM)Zzzsleeper Wrote: Thank you so much, after calling around all day, they want me to pay upwards of $3000.00 for a sleep study (price inflated due to their expectation of insurance). I can't see paying that for them to tell me things I believe I can figure out on my own. Your information has been very helpful.

There are some very good alternatives to obtain a prescription.  First, if your dentist will agree to prescribe CPAP, any supplier will send him a standard form for him to complete that will let them sell you equipment.  It's very easy for your dentist to do on your behalf and does not require a sleep study.  Talk with your Dentist's office and see if he would be willing to do this.  You can see an example of a standard Rx form on Supplier #1 website at the bottom of the page under Assistance.  If your dentist is a helpful person, just print that off and have him sign the form an fax it in where you want to buy equipment, you're done.

Supplier #30 provides a prescription service for as little as $99.  Look on their web page and select the GET A PRESCRIPTION option. For $99, they give you a questionnaire to complete, and have a staff physician review that information.  Assuming your symptoms and responses match a profile for sleep apnea, you receive a prescription within 2-days.  They also offer a home sleep study for about $399.  This gives you a valid sleep study recognized by most insurance for reimbursement.  If you are not using insurance, then you don't need this more expensive option.  You can use the prescription anywhere, but obviously Supplier #30 wants your business and they do offer reasonable prices for new equipment.

Good luck, and be sure to spit in the eye of the person that told you $3000 for a sleep study.
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#7
You want to have a legitimate test.  You can suffer from obstructive or central apnea.  I have a bit of both.  You want to make sure you have the right machine for what is your problem.  The machines can be a CPAP, BiPAP, or SVPAP. They can be bought online at discount and used for substantial savings.  Setting them up is no hassle, as long as you get an AUTOMATIC.

Also, you want to get the right type of mask with the right fit:  nasal mask, full face, or total face.  To legitimately get the machine and mask you need an Rx.  Mask requires either replacement or replacement parts periodically.  Don't chuck old masks, they have parts that can be scrounged.  Masks can get pricey.  Again, there are places online that can have them on the cheap.
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