(03-18-2014, 11:27 PM)space45 Wrote: I just do not see the NEED for a doc script to buy a cpap machine
, welcome to Apnea Board!
I tend to agree with you that prescriptions should not be required for CPAP machines. It's highly unlikely that improper use of CPAP will cause imminent deadly harm to someone who is educated in how to properly use a CPAP machine. It's not like we're dealing with highly-addictive narcotics, here. If one chooses to "go it alone" and self-treat by performing their own titration, I would first recommend that they become fairly well educated on the proper way to do that, preferably using a fully data-capable auto-CPAP machine and using data-reporting software (ResScan, SleepyHead, EncoreBasic, etc) for analysis. Analysis software for personal computers is available free of charge for many of the more popular machines. Download instructions are in the Private Files and Links Forum
That said, I must express some caution here: There is a difference between sleep apnea treatment
and sleep apnea diagnosis
. It may be a mistake for someone to assume that they have sleep apnea simply because they snore, or have other sleep apnea-like symptoms. There are other medical issues that may be causing these symptoms and for us to assume that it's obstructive sleep apnea at the heart of the issue may be an incorrect assumption. For that reason, around here we usually recommend that if at all possible, patients should undergo a proper sleep study for diagnosis. By undergoing a sleep study, they may find that they have other medical problems causing the symptoms and that it's not related to sleep apnea at all. In such cases, administering CPAP treatment might actually worsen the symptoms. Or, a sleep study patient may find that they have central sleep apnea (CSA) for instance, which would warrant a different type of treatment than what is used for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Apnea Board exists for patient empowerment and we always like to see clear-thinking members here take a more active role in their own treatment - patients should have the right to make their own medical decisions, after all. That approach generally helps to provide a more successful outcome. We also exist for patient education, and we believe that involving medical professionals (when possible) also helps to provide a more successful treatment outcome. It's really a more balanced approached, and not the "wild, wild west of self-treatment
" that some have accused us of. And it's the polar opposite of what some
haughty medical professionals with huge egos proclaim - (the types who say something like "As a state-certified, trained sleep doctor, you should just trust me and do what I tell you - there's no way that you as an untrained patient can ever understand all the issues involved with sleep apnea treatment
A good sleep doctor will take the time to help educate the patient and answer questions. Bad sleep doctors sometimes think they are too busy to answer questions posed by "ignorant, untrained patients
"-- they almost demand blind acceptance of their "medical dictates
" with no explanation given. If you find a good sleep doctor who listens to you and helps you to take a more active role in your treatment, that's a very good thing.
I'd say educate yourself and use as many resources as you can-- through your own reading and research, opinions of other patients here on the forum, your doctors and health care professionals' advice and any other tool you can use to make an informed decision.
Once you've done all you can do using available resources, then of course, you as the patient have the right to make those decisions yourself, and you shouldn't have your freedom of choice taken away by some overly cautious "nanny-state" government who seems to be saying "We know what's best for you" or "We need to protect you from yourself".
Just my personal opinion, of course.