Patients show up for annual checkups all the time and come away with the diagnosis of Idiopathic Somethingsitis. Idiopathic is an excellent word. It’s used to single out unknown spontaneous conditions that are making you sick. Cool right? It gets thrown around all the time in the medical community. It’s like a crutch for doctors. It’s the hold by beer of unexplainable diagnoses. “Your Johnson is falling off, Mr. Jones, and I don’t know why. You have Idiopathic Penisattachmentsitis. Completely rare, because I just made it up, but will require you to take these blue pills, I only learned about last week, for the rest of your life…” There’s Idiopathic Hypertension (Unexplainable High Blood Pressure), Idiopathic Hypersomnolence (Unexplainable Excessive Sleepiness), Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy (Unexplainable Heart Failure). A host of Idiopathic things exist.
But when heavy CPAP patients unexplainably stop using therapy and they start having comorbidities of obesity, which is a big set of words here for things making you sick because you’re overweight, the light doesn’t go on. They classify everything else they don’t understand as idiopathic. Why not Idiopathic AntiCPAPsitis (Unexplainable Stoppage of CPAP Use). I made that up right now, but it’s as real a thing as there is. Wouldn’t you prefer having that in your chart if you stopped using CPAP instead of CPAP Failure? It’s like they’re stamping it on your forehead. “Mrs. Smith, you are a CPAP Failure. Your health is never going to amount to anything in your life if you don’t straighten up and breathe right. I mean it. At checkout, have the nurse write that on your face somewhere and see me in two weeks.”
Ask anyone who wears CPAP that stopped using CPAP and most will tell you it was because of the mask. It was too tight. It made me claustrophobic. Breathing on it was hard. I couldn’t catch my breath. It hurt my face. We’ve heard them all. There’s no one perfect mask to answer all of these problems that patients face. They are all real though. CPAP masks have a host of issues and pain points that readily are brought up in any discussion among patients. They are quick to point out what caused them to switch a mask for another. The diehard CPAPers have probably tried at least five masks in their life before they found one they could live with. The important thing is that they were encouraged to not give up by their doctor or loved one. They kept going back and swapping out masks.
Many of the reasons associated with CPAP “failure” are due to the interfaces being uncomfortable. And uncomfortable masks are direct extensions of poor fit. The wrong size destroys the lifecycle of a PAP user all the time. Sometimes it’s laziness on the part of the clinician. Sometimes it’s lack of time. Sometimes it’s the patient’s face. Sometimes a DME won’t carry much in the way of product line because they can’t afford it, so the selection is limited. Sometimes they’re so loyal to a brand or pricing they refuse to carry options. It’s the ugly side of the business, but it’s true in cases. It puts the patient at a disadvantage.
Tasked with finding the right mask starts with comfort. Every industry person can admit that. Comfort drives compliance. If they don’t, then ask them if they would enjoy wearing an Iron Maiden on their head at night? The answer will be no. “Then find me something comfortable. I refuse to be a CPAP Failure!” is your followup. Something that fits well and doesn’t leak. Something that doesn’t have to be tight. Something lightweight. Something with minimal skin contact. Something called Bleep – DreamPort Sleep Solution. We’re all of that and a bag of chips. So avoid the dreaded diagnosis of Idiopathic Somethingsitis and don’t fall victim to the destructive lifecycle of CPAP Failure. Do something about it. Check us out and try it for yourself.
If you love your CPAP unit, but think the mask is uncomfortable, contact us at Bleep. We may be able to help put the comfort back in your therapy and give you a reason to resume it. We are the creators of Bleep – DreamPort Sleep Solution, an alternative to traditional CPAP masks. Visit us at bleepsleep.com and check out our Crowdfund initiative. We Give a Bleep About Sleep.