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Old 13-06-2015, 09:16 PM   #31
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Anybody tried apex cpap machine before? Is looking for a cpap machine. Considering between apex and philips
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Old 16-06-2015, 09:48 AM   #32
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Those wif sleep apnea here in this thread.

erm, are yall, erm, on the, erm, fat/obese side? Oops, sorry
You snore during sleep and upon waking up you can feel your throat like sibei dry?
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:34 PM   #33
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Those wif sleep apnea here in this thread.

erm, are yall, erm, on the, erm, fat/obese side? Oops, sorry
You snore during sleep and upon waking up you can feel your throat like sibei dry?
Was recently diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea during the REM phase of the sleep cycle. Rest of the phases seem OK, but because REM is when the body recharges and "rests" it's an issue for me.

If you wake up with a dry mouth it's because you're breathing through your mouth when you sleep. Could be because of sleep apnea, blocked sinus (either allergies or physical defect like deviated septum).

Most people with sleep apnea tend to be on the bigger side. But obesity is not necessarily a symptom.

Same thing with snoring. Most snore, but you may not snore if you have sleep apnea.

Only way to find out is to do a sleep study. You can do it in the hospital (as previous posts have described), or do it at home. My ENT Dr suggested I do it at home through a private company (ERIKG) because it's cheaper and faster. This is the company that NUH recommends I think.

It cost me $300, and I had to wait for about a week to book an important. A rep will come to your place at 9.30pm or 11pm to wire you up, then come again the next morning to collect the equipment. They'll send a copy of the report to you and your Dr in 2-3 working days.

ERIKG also has a 1 month "free" trial where you can loan a CPAP machine to see if helps you. It's "free" because it's not really. You have to buy your own mask. You can choose from 3 types, 2 are $150 and 1 is $250. I find the prices incredibly marked up, but boh pian if you want to see if a CPAP machine will help you. The sales rep I dealt with is knowledgeable about describing each product, but doesn't really give good advice about what suits you best.

In my case, I ended buying a mask which didn't fit properly because of my nose shape. It's long with a bump at the top. The mask I got gave me a blister/sore on the top of my nose where the bump is. I looked this problem up online and it's apparently common with people with my type of nose. But the sales rep didn't say anything. I had to buy another type of mask which is much better.

If you find a CPAP machine helps, I recommend buying your equipment online as other posters have mentioned. Much cheaper. I used a US website 1800CPAP. They ship overseas without a prescription, and the shipping by FedEx is very fast (3 days) and surprisingly reasonable.

The first few nights of using the machine was challenging. It takes a while to get used to. If you tend to toss and turn, or sleep on your side, it will be even more frustrating. But stick with it - you will get used to the mask and machine, if you get a mask which fits properly. My sense is that what type works for you is trial and error.

The hose is perhaps the biggest thing to get used to because it gets in the way. It's best if it dangles over your head so it is free to move in any direction. There are several "hose management" systems available which you can buy. Some people just use a hanger to suspend the hose, if there's something above to hang the hanger from.

My solution isn't that pretty, but it's cheap and works very well. It's simply a bunch of PVC tubing (less than $5 total for the parts), some wire ties and a big clothes peg:



Just sharing my experience over the past month. Hope someone finds it helpful!
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Old 14-11-2015, 11:22 PM   #34
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CPAP machine for travel

Hi,

I have recently been diagnosed with severe apnea from SGH sleep study.
Because I travel a lot, I am looking for good, portable and compact version. Any recommendations?

I saw one brand called Transcend from local retailers. Anyone using this, what is your view? Quite expensive, almost double the normal ones from Philips or Resmed.


Thanks,
Richard
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Old 15-11-2015, 07:54 AM   #35
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Hi,

I have recently been diagnosed with severe apnea from SGH sleep study.
Because I travel a lot, I am looking for good, portable and compact version. Any recommendations?

I saw one brand called Transcend from local retailers. Anyone using this, what is your view? Quite expensive, almost double the normal ones from Philips or Resmed.


Thanks,
Richard
Hi Richard,

I don't know anything about Transcend so I can't comment on it.

I personally use the ResMed S9 Autoset machine. It's widely recommended. The machine alone when not attached to the humidifier is relatively small. It's not tiny, but it's a very good machine and I think it's worth any extra trouble incurred in packing it when you travel.



But CPAP machines sold here are significantly more expensive than if you were to order it online. We're talking possibly even double the price. If you're interested, I can walk you through the process of buying your machine from the US. There's some paperwork involved with the HSA, but it's really very, very easy and convenient. The retailer I purchased from charged very reasonable shipping rates for FedEx 3 day shipping. I was really quite surprised!

I also have several different masks for sale if you're interested. They've been used a few times, but cleaned and disinfected. It took me a while to figure out which was the best mask for me so I had to go through a few. The local distributor I went to for my first mask made a hard sell to me and the mask didn't work very well for my nose shape. It actually caused a blister, and they had no idea what to do about that!

It was also twice the price online, and even with shipping still a much better deal! So I've made my mask purchases online thereafter after reading up on my own.

PM me if you want to talk about these things!
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Old 16-11-2015, 07:05 PM   #36
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I have recently been diagnosed with severe apnea from SGH sleep study.
Because I travel a lot, I am looking for good, portable and compact version. Any recommendations?

I saw one brand called Transcend from local retailers. Anyone using this, what is your view? Quite expensive, almost double the normal ones from Philips or Resmed.
I used to travel extensively for work too, and use a Resmed S9 Autoset. I also bring along and use the humidifier during the winter months.

I've *always* wanted to get a more travel friendly unit. The main complaint I have of the S9 is the size of the power brick. While the unit itself is not very large, it can't work without the power brick, so you need to take that into account, and unfortunately, it's huge.

After about a year, I started looking for a more travel-friendly CPAP machine. At that time, my main requirements were, it must be an AutoCpap, and preferably with a humidifier (for winter, where the air is usually extremely dry, because a number of my trips included countries with 4 distinct seasons).

The short list were:
a) Transcend AutoEzEx USD530 new, USD350 refurbished; +USD140 for heated humidifier.
b) HDM Z1 Auto USD875 new. No heated humidifier.

Yes, as others have mentioned - buy it online, and import it from the US. I'm sure these prices are less than half of what you were quoted locally.

However, ultimately, I went with neither, and continued using my S9.

The Transcend, with humidifier, came up to about the same size as my S9 + humidifier. I'm only saving the weight of the power brick, and I'm giving up a lot of features of my S9. Auto-start, detailed data recording (which I can read with SleepyHead software, just to name a few.

The HDM didn't have a heated humidifier, and at the time I was looking into it (which was very early on), there were a number of reports of the unit failing, and requiring it to be returned for warranty service. At that time, it didn't seem very reliable (and I've not kept up to see if this has since changed...) + all the disadvantages of the Transcend too.

Also, I had read how there were some who have trouble adjusting to using 2 different machines - and so, they prefer to just have 1 machine instead. And so, I wanted to replace my main unit, with the 'travel friendly' one; but the features I would have to give up didn't seem to balance against the weight/space savings.

Also, you will *always* hand carry your CPAP machine when you fly. I eventually rationalized that reducing the size of my CPAP carry bag won't make a very significant difference too.

And after careful consideration, I stuck with my S9, and am still using it to date.

If you're not too set on having the smallest possible unit, 2 other units that were recommended when I was searching were the Resmed S8, and the DeVilbiss IntelliPAP. They aren't as tiny, but their power bricks are either built in, or really small, and so you save a bit of space that way.

Last edited by dreant; 16-11-2015 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 20-11-2015, 11:52 PM   #37
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Thanks Dreant for the advise.
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Old 20-11-2015, 11:53 PM   #38
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Thanks Shu for advise.
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Old 25-11-2015, 12:04 AM   #39
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Is your apnea operable?
Had a friend that went to Mount E that did tests and op but eventually grew back cartilage due to young age, 13 I think. He uses and swears by his cpap.

Discovered mine quite a bit later in my 20s misdiagnosed as asthma early on. Did a study and op at SGH covered by insurance. Before op I would have significant difficulty breathing on days with bad allergies or in winter areas where 1 side basically shut itself.
Post op I can always breath through both and I think i have maybe a 80% breathing out of a normal person where I won't realise if I don't think about it since I still have minor cartilage that could not be burnt away in one nostril.
Breathing became better when I cleaned up my diet and use a neti pot whenever I bathe, the squirt bottle the doctors give is usually quite rubbish.
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Old 25-11-2015, 03:37 PM   #40
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Is your apnea operable?
Had a friend that went to Mount E that did tests and op but eventually grew back cartilage due to young age, 13 I think. He uses and swears by his cpap.

Discovered mine quite a bit later in my 20s misdiagnosed as asthma early on. Did a study and op at SGH covered by insurance. Before op I would have significant difficulty breathing on days with bad allergies or in winter areas where 1 side basically shut itself.
Post op I can always breath through both and I think i have maybe a 80% breathing out of a normal person where I won't realise if I don't think about it since I still have minor cartilage that could not be burnt away in one nostril.
Breathing became better when I cleaned up my diet and use a neti pot whenever I bathe, the squirt bottle the doctors give is usually quite rubbish.
Allergies != OSA... OSA != allergies. They can be related, but they aren't the same thing.

I had turbinate reduction done for my allergies in the past, and it sounds a lot like you had this procedure done. Unfortunately, the clearing of nasal obstructions rarely cures OSA - it can help with with CPAP treatments.

Several surgery procedures are available to help with OSA, but in most cases, they aren't recommended. If a CPAP can work for you, doctors will prefer that as it isn't as invasive.

I've had UPPP, but it hasn't helped much, and I do not recommend it. First, this surgery hurts - it redefined the meaning of pain for me. I kid you not when I say this procedure is painful.

I do sleep a little better, but I still snore (loudly), and while my AHI did improve, it still remains unacceptably high. I still need my CPAP for a good night sleep.

Second, which my doctor didn't really mention, was it altered my sense of taste; after the surgery, when I mentioned it to him, did he then tell me that this does affect some people, and it has been known to get better over time for some... however, it never did for me.

It's hard to describe the change, but after my surgery, coke now tastes like water - I am no longer able to taste certain things; but I can't tell what I can and can't taste. (Chocolate is different but mostly fine, and root beer tastes normal to me...).

Another possible surgery my doctor said to consider next, if I still want to fix it with surgery, is Genioglossus advancement - but I'm not too excited about it, even if it can help, because it will change the shape of your face.

Ultimately, the best treatment for OSA is the CPAP. Having had surgery before, I can't recommend it, and I'm sure your doctor would discourage you from it too.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:47 AM   #41
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I too would avoid surgery, even "simple" procedures. There's no guarantee of success and it's invasive. I had/have deviated nasal septum and surgery didn't fix it. It gradually came back. Not as bad, but not a complete fix. It might have made my sleep apnea better as thinking about it, I used to need an afternoon nap before the surgery but less so after. But I still felt tired.

If the CPAP treatment works, stick with it, even if it's troublesome. I find that after you develop your own system and routine, you get used to it.

The question then is whether it works for you. I don't know if most people feel immediately better once they start using a CPAP. I didn't. But I'm sticking with it as I gather it might take time. It's only been about 2 months for me, and the first few weeks were bumpy as I tried to get used to it.

Keeping records is helpful. Dreant mentioned SleepyHead, which is a nice piece of software which helps record the facts of each night's sleep from your CPAP machine. If you can, keep a journal of how you felt and take note of what you did, or didn't do, that may have resulted in how you felt. You'll eventually see a pattern. Then you try to reproduce what you did when you recorded a good night's sleep.

What also helps is if you minimise other causes of poor sleep. Look up "sleep hygiene" and try to meet those standards. If allergies bother you, then try to minimise them. I too rinse my nasal passages. But I use the squirt bottle by Neilmed. It works quite well. And the salt packets are convenient.

Finally, there's exercise. If you're on the hefty side, losing weight can help minimise apneas. Even if you're not, regular exercise is good for your general well-being.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:42 PM   #42
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Shu & dreant, so y'all sleep wif your CPAP machine every nite?
So did your quality of sleep improve noticeably? ie. you wake up now feeling much fresher than b4? One thing I want to ask: since sleep apnea causes hypertension, do you have hypertension and is it lower now due to your usage of the CPAP machine. Are you also on hypertension medication (if you have hypertension)?

Is there anybody here who has or suspect you have sleep apnea and do not have a body weight problem? I mean, generally sleep apnea afflicts ppl with weight problem more than slim ppl?
(Sorry if my language is insensitive.)
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:35 AM   #43
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Hi Addict,

I feel slightly better, but can't say it's a huge difference. Still monitoring. Sometimes it takes a while. Everyone's different. The sad fact of CPAP treatment is its upfront cost is quite high, it's a bit inconvenient, and some patients may not see any benefit. Unfortunately, the only way to find out is to try it. Some local vendors offer to loan you a machine for a "free" 1 month trial if you buy the mask for "hygiene reasons". But the mask is marked up (anywhere between $150 to $350!).

I'm not on any hypertension medication. Sleep apnea can be a risk factor of hypertension, but having one does not mean you'll have the other.

Bigger sized people tend to be associated with sleep apnea because of the physical nature of the condition. That said, even people with a healthy body weight can have sleep apnea. Everyone's different. Only way to find out is to do a sleep study.

Shu & dreant, so y'all sleep wif your CPAP machine every nite?
So did your quality of sleep improve noticeably? ie. you wake up now feeling much fresher than b4? One thing I want to ask: since sleep apnea causes hypertension, do you have hypertension and is it lower now due to your usage of the CPAP machine. Are you also on hypertension medication (if you have hypertension)?

Is there anybody here who has or suspect you have sleep apnea and do not have a body weight problem? I mean, generally sleep apnea afflicts ppl with weight problem more than slim ppl?
(Sorry if my language is insensitive.)
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:21 PM   #44
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No, I don't use it every night. There are phases where I use, and stop using it. Mainly, it's the inconvenience that puts me off using it. (The cleaning, and I don't always sleep very well with it...) But, most often, I stop using it after a trip (where I had to pack and move it, and then I usually don't bother to unpack and start using it again...)

But yes, when I do use it, I wake up very much well rested. It should be a good reason for me to keep using it, but sometimes it's just a chore... I always use it on my trips, because I'm there for work, and a good night rest is essential; but on some nights, the mask does bother me. I have 3 different masks, and rotating between them sometimes helps. Unfortunately, my favorite mask is the one that fell apart first, and it doesn't work well anymore...

You're at higher risk of hypertension (and a whole bunch of other ailments) if you have OSA; but it doesn't mean that OSA causes it. I've never been checked for it, and am not on any medications for it.

My current weight is about 80kg, I was previously around 95. (my weight loss started about 1.5 years ago, when I started regular exercise; it dropped for about the first 8 months, then stabilized to my current weight)
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:31 AM   #45
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Hello,

Several users have written to me asking for details on how to import a CPAP machine. I've decided to reproduce one of my replies here for everyone's benefit!


The process for importing the CPAP machine is very straight forward. The whole process takes just under a week from ordering to delivery through the vendor I used.

There are only 4 steps.

1

The first thing you need to get is a letter from your doctor. All it needs to say is you’ve been diagnosed with OSA (or any sleep disorder) and he’s prescribed you treatment with a CPAP machine. Or something to that effect. It can be quite a short memo. My doctor wrote it on the spot, and it didn’t seem like it was the first time he was writing one. Once you get it, scan it into a soft copy.

Next, order your machine. I use http://1800cpap.com/ for four reasons. First, they sell to international customers without needing to see a prescription. Don’t worry, they’re legitimate. It’s just that US Federal Law only requires machines sent to a US address to be accompanied by a prescription, not exports. Second, their FedEx 3 day shipping rates are very competitive. I paid US$50 I think for my machine which was a few KG and quite bulky. While US$50 isn’t a small sum, it’s cheap considering it’s a 3 day door-to-door delivery by FedEx for a rather bulky item. Third, their prices are competitive and I’ve never been let down by them. Fourth, there’s a 10% discount code which you can use. Just enter “take10” when you check out.

After your place your order, take note of the FedEx number.

2

You can now apply for the free HSA license. First, download and complete this form.

The “HS Code” which the form asks for is 90192000.

Do note that every CPAP related device needs its own approval. So if you’re buying a machine and a mask, make sure both have their own entries in the form (you will notice the form allows you to do this).

Email the following to HSA_MD_SA@hsa.gov.sg :

1. The completed HSA form
2. The receipt/invoice from your vendor
3. A copy of your NRIC (front and back)
4. Your doctor’s letter

You’ll receive an acknowledgement email. In a few days (could be as fast as the next day) you’ll receive another email stating you’ve been granted permission.

3

When your FedEx delivery reaches Singapore, the local office will call or send you an email informing you that you need a HSA license. This is why it’s best to write to HSA right after you order so that you have import permission by the time the machine arrives in Singapore.

All you need to do then is to forward the HSA email to FedEx. The agent who liaises with you will provide you his/her email address.

Note that this doesn’t always happen. I once bought a CPAP mask that went through customs without any hassle. But another time, my machine was stopped, and I’m pretty sure yours will be too. So better safe than sorry!

Once FedEx receives the HSA permission slip, the delivery will be arranged.

4


The last thing you need to do is pay 7% GST as your machine has a declared value of over S$400. FedEx will pay for it first, then bill you later with a $10 admin fee! No choice, that’s how it works. So expect a bill from FedEx within a month of delivery.

There’s a little bit of paperwork that has to be done but it’s quite straight-forward. I’ve bought items from 1800-CPAP three times now and I’ve had no problems with any of the steps.
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Last edited by Shu; 10-01-2016 at 09:35 AM..
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