For me this forum is a blessing. I knew little about sleep apnea before I was diagnosed. Searching the web for legitimate articles gave me some insight but didn't help me find out about the day to day challenges that OSA brings. I found this forum before I had my appointment with the DME to get my machine. Thanks to advice and info on this forum I was able to ask the right questions and get a data compatible machine (although I should have insisted on one that allows me to read the data on the machine's screen).
I can understand why forums can be bad for some people. If people are are taking medical advice from strangers without seeing a physician that could be bad. Many sleep apnea sufferers have seen their doctors who gave them little help beyond the diagnosis and come they here for more info/advice. These people have been already diagnosed with sleep apnea. They usually aren't trying to diagnose themselves.
I know there are plenty of other forums that are based on medical or emotional needs. If people use those forums in lieu of a visit to their doctor they could end up with more damage to their health. I was on a diet specific forum once with a very vocal member. She was, in my opinion, a nutcase. She had awful advice but because she came across as authoritative, some people listened to her and end up with unhealthy eating and sleeping habits.
Another example of where a forum has been bad was when the Atkins diet was quite popular. On the official Atkins diet there was a gal who reported tweaking the plan and losing almost 200 pounds in 11 months. Many forum members wanted to know her secret and she started her own forum and her own diet plan called Kimkims. She sold memberships to her plan and earned quite a bit of money but she was a fraud. On the forum she sounded successful. However people can post whatever they want. It's not like the New York Times which checks facts before printing an article. There is no lie detector that alerts readers to bogus or fictional info by posters.
04-04-2012, 07:25 AM
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2012, 07:26 AM by zimlich.)
I think they are good and bad for reasons already mentioned. They balance out on the good side for me. We can help a lot with some problems. If someone has no insurance or a doctor or DME who is not helpful we can step in. I have read of complete newbies changing their pressure in the first week- just because they could, I guess- not good. And as the previous poster said, some people give bad advice with such authority. I think the debate about CPAP vs AUTO is one example of bad advice. It's so individual- unless someone is prescribed an AUTO for specific reasons, a CPAP does fine for most of us. Using an AUTO correctly requires that someone has a good, solid knowledge base on how they work and a good prescription. I do think we have become more cautious in our advice as we have learned that too high a pressure can do more harm than good. I think where we (apneaboard) really shine is in making information available. Many people don't even know how to access their data or enter the setup menu without the information available here. They don't know about software. We are also great at helping with mask fitting problems, aerophagia, getting a data capable machine, when to see the doctor. We are also great at education before seeing the doc, having that sleep test, trouble shooting problems with therapy, support and encouragement to use the machine 100% of sleep time, and fact finding. We are always careful to say we are not doctors. Forums are great as a social network, too.
oh don't even start me on the doctors=god routine! my late doctor blithely told me i was wrong when i'd mention such far out concepts as a reaction to a drug - and shrug it off as "Impossible! it can't do that." ok, so who's living in my body, you or me?
my philosophy is that a little knowledge is a GOOG thing, for from that you know that you need to know more.
I think forums are a great thing. Learning from the experiences (good as well as bad) of others can help on our journey.
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
Until I found this Forum a couple of months ago I really had no idea as to what was going on with my machine and my Apnea. First of all I now have 2 different pieces of software to download, and read my data. I was told ResCan was only for DME's and professional sleep people.
Okay, so I had the numbers, what did they stand for? Thanks to people on the forum I now understand what they mean and how to basically interpret them.
SO...YES forums are a great help if you are just seeking knowledge and help to understand your condition and not looking for a medical advice.
I now have a better understandingof my problem and reading my numbers daily I can help control my problem.
I've got to chime in here. This forum is great!
I own a debt of gratitude to Super, Zonk, Paula, Uncle, and the others that keep these conversations alive. Knowledge is power! This forum has enabled me to understand my treatment and take control of it. I don't agree with everything said here, who would?
Note, if you really like the forum send Super $10 for forum costs. He deserves it.