Virtual Support Group Draws Sleep Sufferers from 10 States

'CPAP Chat’ Is in Its Second Year

Nobody slept through it.

Sleep sufferers from 10 states joined the fact- and fun-filled conversation during the February edition of ‘CPAP Chat,’ the world’s only virtual support group for people with sleep apnea, health professionals and anyone interested in the topic. Now in its second year, ‘CPAP Chat’ is free and anonymous.

While most participants were New Englanders, callers also hailed from as far as Texas, California, Florida and Nevada. Jody Breton, a Registered Respiratory Therapist at National Sleep Therapy (www.nstherapy.com) which sponsors the forum, joined guest host Stanley Hurwitz. A Maine resident, Breton has 35 years of clinical respiratory experience.

The discussion centered around proper CPAP equipment use and maintenance and issues related to mouth and nasal dryness, and skin irritation that can result from improperly fitting masks. Questions also focused on proper humidification, equipment sanitizing, and using CPAP in cold weather, and when you have a cold. Callers shared anecdotes about their sleep apnea and how spouses have dealt with their snoring, and how new, small CPAP units travel well on planes and ships.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the largest health issues facing America today affecting some 43 million people, yet the vast majority of sufferers remain undiagnosed. Snoring is a major indicator of sleep apnea, and is often the tipping point for people to have a sleep test. The therapy of choice is CPAP (pronounced see-pap), Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, in which a steady airflow keep air passages open for uninterrupted sleep.

The March edition of CPAP Chat will be Wednesday, March 2 from 7 – 8 p.m. (ET). To participate, just prior to the session, call 1-800-204-6655, and enter access code 342-2187#. Questions may be submitted in advance either via Facebook or email info@cpapchat.org . (Free sessions are the first Wednesday of each month at 7 pm – ET. ) One participant in this session will be randomly drawn to receive a $25 Amazon gift card. For more info and to register to win a mask, visit www.cpapchat.org

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