For people who suffer from sleep apnea, CPAP therapy can be a godsend. But traveling with a CPAP device can be cumbersome. There are other choices.
‘Sleep Apnea Travel’ is the subject of the September edition of CPAP Chat set for Wednesday, September 2 from 7 – 8 p.m. (ET), hosted by Eric Cohen, inventor/engineer and president of National Sleep Therapy.
While there are a few lightweight, portable travel CPAP devices on the market, Cohen says some people prefer not to bring CPAP on trips. He will discuss two effective short-term options that may work for some:
- Provent – Works without batteries or electricity – fits over the nose and creates back pressure to treat sleep apnea. Must be fitted and can take a week to get accustomed to.
- Oral appliance – Moves the jaw to aid air passage while asleep; resembles a sport mouth guard; an alternative when a patient can’t tolerate CPAP.
Although CPAP is the gold standard for treating OSA, some people use one of these options in place of CPAP while traveling, or take them along as a backup.
CPAP Chat, marking its second anniversary, is the world’s only virtual support group for individuals with sleep apnea. The monthly sessions, on the first Wednesday of each month, are free and open to all. The unique town meeting-style conference call regularly attracts participants from about 10 states who ask questions, share tips, and get advice from noted sleep and health experts.
Cohen says airlines, cruise ships and train and tour operators will make special accommodations if a CPAP user needs to transport and/or use their machine on route. There’s a portable, lightweight model with multi-night batteries, and a model with a solar-powered charger.
Over 20 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, though 80% remain undiagnosed. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. Chronic fatigue is associated with type 2 diabetes and depression, and is a factor in many traffic and workplace accidents. Studies also show that insufficient quality sleep can be as much a factor in obesity as too much food and too little exercise.
CPAP Chat has extended a challenge to participants between now and the October 7th session when fitness and nutrition guru Tim Mills will pay a return visit to check their progress. Mills is offering a free, no-obligation 10-minute one-on-one consultation to help people get on the right track. Those who take the challenge are invited to share their progress with the group. To join the better health challenge at no cost, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just prior to the session on Wednesday, September 2nd at 7 pm (ET), call 1-800-204-6655, enter access code 342-2187#. Questions may be submitted in advance either via Facebook or email email@example.com . For more info, visit www.cpapchat.org.
By Stanley Hurwitz / firstname.lastname@example.org