I’ve used a CPAP machine now for a couple years and my main issue is it can cause my eyes to dry out a bit. I ended up getting an eye mask and it really helps alleviate the eye dryness. It does not completely eliminate my dry eyes, but it really helps cut it down.

I’ve read others use goggles that are available to wear when sleeping.  I like the softness of the eye mask and the ease of sliding it up my forehead if I need to see while I’m wearing my CPAP mask.

Please keep in mind, this works for me but may not work for others. I hope it does help

Personal Sleep Apnea Nontechnical January 6, 2010

Most video games, especially console games, have varying difficulty levels. Usually a game will default to normal mode. Then for a real challenge you can choose hard mode. Unfortunately I was living life on hard mode for decades.

Everything was so difficult for me to get through. School, the US Navy, college, and  getting through a normal day was a constant challenge. I’d have to push myself so hard to accomplish anything. If I hadn't always been so tired so many things would have been so much easier.

I can tell now what it is like to live with OSA as I have a new frame of reference from which I live my daily life. I didn’t know for the majority of my life that how I felt was not normal. Sleep for 10 hours and wake up tired. Tired all day and every day. Wishing for a nap in the afternoon. Barely able to stay awake in the evening. Inevitably if I was asked how I felt my default response was, “I’m tired”.

My wife couldn’t take my horrible snoring and gasping when I slept. In the evening while talking to my wife I would literally doze off in the middle of a conversation. Thankfully she got me to finally go pursue my tiredness with my doctor and follow through with a sleep study and on to an OSA diagnosis. I’m not thankful for having OSA, but in a way I’m thankful it was something that can be identified and remedied. I now sleep every night with a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine.

A CPAP machine is basically a small air compressor with a hose attachment. The hose attaches to a face harness which has a soft plastic piece which fits in your nostrils. The air pressure generated by the machine inflates the throat which stops it from collapsing while you sleep. In my case I stop breathing while I’m sleeping around every 3 minutes. When the air way closes up your body then has to jolt itself awake to keep from suffocating. This means a person with OSA never gets into deep REM sleep. I can tell you never getting that REM sleep makes life a bit difficult!

I’ve read forum posts about how it can be so hard for a lot of people to adapt to using a CPAP machine. It is too bad because it would change their lives. I hope someone will come up with something better than having to inflate a person every night. Fortunately I’m the type of person who can weather discomfort. Having a hose connected to my head blowing air up my nose all night isn’t exactly comfortable, but sleeping without it means a day of semi-wakefulness.

Sleep does become a bit of a chore. There is no lying down, getting comfortable, and drifting off to sleep. I don’t care though, I’d rather live the rest of my life awake rather than wandering around in a constant haze.

When I woke up the first night of using the CPAP machine at the sleep study clinic it was one strangest feelings of my life. I woke up and I wasn’t tired! The technician who woke me up asked me a serious of questions the first being did I feel alert. I replied that I actually did feel alert. I had never felt that way before in my life. I didn’t realize how a person is supposed to feel after sleeping.

This web site would not exist if I was not using a CPAP machine. I’ve wanted to create software on my own all my life, but I just couldn’t do it.  I was just too tired after getting through the day of work and life.

With my first son it was tough. For the first few months, with the sleep you get with a newborn, I felt like death warmed over. Normally if I get little sleep I wake up feeling sick to my stomach and my body and mind would just hurt. Now I’m still tired if I don’t get enough sleep, but I can get through the day without much problem.  During the 2 years I’ve used the CPAP machine I’ve probably only napped a few times even having to care for two young children. Absolutely amazing :-)

I normally would not divulge something of a medical nature to the public about myself, but if this helps one person find out they have sleep apnea and they get help then this post was well worth it.

If you suffer from constant tiredness no matter how much you sleep. If your significant other tells you that you gasp for air when you sleep. Please talk to your doctor and see if you can get referred to a sleep specialist. A sleep study is very expensive, so hopefully your insurance will cover it. If you have OSA and you can stand the CPAP machine it is well worth it. It will literally change the rest of your life for the better.

I only wish my OSA had been diagnosed and dealt with decades ago. I would have accomplished so much more of what I wanted to do. It is always better late than never though!

Personal Sleep Apnea Nontechnical September 14, 2009