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I was diagnosed with OSA -- obstructive sleep apnea about 28 years ago. I am now 64. I have used five different CPAP and now BiPAP machines during that time.
There have been considerable upgrades in the quality, size, portability and effectiveness over the years.
As others have said, it takes time to find the most comfortable mask.
I probably went through 10 to 15 different styles to find my current one.
IF YOU ARE LUCKY ENOUGH TO FIND A RESPIRATORY THERAPY OR PULMONARY SPECIALIST'S CONFERENCE, IT IS WORTH ATTENDING.
USUALLY YOU CAN VISIT THE VENDOR'S BOOTHS AT NO COST, and without actually registering for the conference.
I HAVE SEEN SIX OR SEVEN VENDORS AT A SINGLE CONFERENCE REPRESENTING DIFFERENT MANUFACTURER'S MACHINES AND MASKS STYLES DISPLAYING THEIR NEWEST PRODUCTS AT THESE SHOWS.
Ask the person who services your machine or the medical tech who fit you, when the next show will be coming. He or she is probably planning on attending to receive ongoing continuing education credits required for maintaining state license.
The most comfortable mask style (for me) is using nasal pillows. These are small inserts which only enter nares (the nose or nasal passage) about .5 inch.
I did not like the masks which covered my entire nose, even after trying several models to find the proper size to snugly fit around my nose, without pressurized air leaking out and drying my eyes while I slept. I found these full nose masks bulky and uncomfortable especially when I changed position while sleeping (i.e., rolling over, etc.). In order for me to get a tight enough seal, I needed to increase the tension on the velcro straps so much that the area between my upper lip and my nose actually hurt when I woke up in the morning.
If you find that you have a dry mouth each morning, it means that during your sleep you have been mouth breathing. Ask or a chin strap. This is a special additional strap that attaches to your headgear and keeps your mouth from opening while sleeping. (I think my copay was about $10.00, but it sure helped !)
TECHNOLOGY CHANGES: You should anticipate upgrading your machine every four to five years. Usually by then your rental agreement (through your insurance company) has fully paid for your machine.
HOWEVER, be warned, your provider will NOT tell you that your machine is now fully paid for and that you own it free and clear. You must ask. Otherwise, they are more than happy to continue accepting your co-payment (forever, I guess).
Keep your old machine!
You do not need turn "turn it in" or trade it in when you purchase a new model. It is always a good idea to have a spare in case of an emergency. I had one machine's electronics 'fried' in a power surge during a lightning /thunder storm.
I have used both CPAP and BiPAP machines. A CPAP is a continuous pressurized air pump; a BiPAP is a bi-directional pressurized air pump. The Bi-PAP makes adjustments for both inhaling and exhaling, which I found more comfortable.
As to your original question of how long a forty-five year old with sleep apnea should expect to live, I would think 80 to 85 should be realistic with no problem.
Weight loss and exercise will likely improve your chances to not only live to that age, but to actually enjoy it. Please understand that this last comment is a "do as I say, not as I do" comment. I immediately lost about 25-30 pounds following my initial OSA surgery twenty five plus years ago (but have lost little weight since-- a few pounds each year) and do not get (realistically) any exercise.
I have gone through 2 machines, 1 with a humidifier and 1 without.
I have also gone through 2 nasal masks and 1 full face mask.
I have told my expletive deleted sleep doctor that I have found that I don't see any difference when I use and don't use the stupid machine.
The docotr has told me that he expects me to wear the mask at least one hour a night, I won't even do that.
When I do wear the stupid mask, I wake up and found that I have torn it off of my face.
My sleep doctor told me at my last appointment that "he is worried about me" but he refused to say what he is worried about.
I called his office and questioned them, all I was told was they didn't know what he meant but he could have meant that he wanted me to have another sleep study.
Based on my past experience with his office and sleep studies, I told his office what they could do with the sleep study.
The last time I went through a sleep study with his office I had to show up three different nights for a two night sleep study as the tech's no showed on one of the nights.
I am not going to waste my vacation time to go through that again.
I asked his office if they could do a study that started around midnight, as I work second shift. His office told me no way.
It is either 8PM or 8 AM(for people who work third shift).
Neither of thise studies would help me.
Now about the DME he uses because of my insurance company, that is another problem.
He set up an appointment with them to get me my third mask.
I arrived about 5 minutes before my scheduled appointment at building I had been to for all of my previous appointments. However all I saw was a For Lease sign in the window. It seems that they moved about 8 months earlier and failed to notify any of there customers that they had moved.
I called one of there phone numbers and was told that the office was now about 10 miles south of where I was.
When I arrived at the new location, they were very upset that I was late, whose fault was that.
About 10 minutes later a person comes out hands me box with a new mask in it and tells me I can go home, no fitting or anything like that.
Then the next day I get a rental bill for the machine in the mail, they informed me the insurance company only paid a co-pay and not the whole bill.
I called the billing department and told them I was very upset with the way they treated me and the fact that I was never notified of there location having been moved.
I next asked them where I could return the machine to as I was not going to pay that bill.
I got put on hold and when the person came back on the line, I was told not to worry about it, that I really owed them nothing.
Upset in TN
He snored so loud I could not believe it. Then he would be quiet for a short time (I guess not breathing), make a loud noise, wave his arms wildly, and snort and snore again. This went on and on without him waking up and I could not believe it.
He always slept in another room at home as his wife could never get any sleep. Even in another room it was hard to sleep in the same house with him.
He ended up getting some kind of throat surgery a few years ago that sounded very scary but he did it. It made a huge difference and helped him a lot.