Better CPAP Therapy – Advice from Customers

Ideas for better CPAP therapy are always a priority for us.  Over the past two months, we asked more than 400 customers questions about their CPAP therapy, in the hopes that we could use their responses to offer better monitoring ideas and suggestions for other customers to improved their own results.

Customer Advice for Better CPAP Therapy

Although many people are still using older CPAP machines, the newest machines offer wireless connectivity and allow users to monitor their own sleep therapy like never before. In particular, new CPAP machines monitor hours of use, apnea events, AHI(shallow breathing), mask leak, and provide maintenance reporting. Obviously, a large percentage of people are interested in improving their therapy even though they might not be monitoring or even using current technology.

Do CPAP Users Monitor Their Therapy Results?

We started our survey by asking whether or not they actively monitored their CPAP therapy results. 43% of our respondents monitored their results at least monthly. Of course, this leads to another question of what type of monitoring is done and does it prompt the user to affect any changes in therapy. Furthermore, another 25% reviewed the results with their physicians during their scheduled appointments. Surprisingly more than 30% of CPAP users did not monitor their CPAP therapy results. We can surmise that most people in this category either don’t have a newer CPAP machine with the appropriate technology or that they are completely satisfied with their overall treatment and impact it has on their lives.

Nevertheless, 60% of the respondents thought that if their machines offered more functionality and better monitoring capabilities, monitoring their therapy would be less of a chore and they would make more of an effort to understand the reported results.

Survey Results 2016: CPAP Users Who Monitor their Therapy

These same respondents informed us that only 25% or 100 people monitored their results via the downloadable software or an app that connected with the machine data. The remaining 75% either relied on their sleep doctors to monitor their therapy with them, or simply did not monitor the results at all. Of course, if you have read our blog at all, we are a firm believer in becoming knowledgeable and understanding how the therapy impacts your life. Empowering the user brings positive results and a higher quality of therapy.

May 2016 survey data on how CPAP users monitor their results

How Do CPAP Users Know When to Replace Parts?

Since the majority of people do not use monitoring software, we were curious how our clients know when it’s time to replace replaceable parts such as cushions, headgear and filters. Nearly 30% wait to replace mask parts when they become uncomfortable or start leaking and are unable to continue therapy. Another 44% keep a schedule independent of their machines. Even though this is the easiest solution, only 8% rely on apps or machines alerts to remind them to replace equipment. The rest of the respondents rely on the following:
• Reminders from their equipment providers
• Online sales with free shipping
• When they inspect the parts and find them dirty or worn
• When they remember
In addition, many customers felt it would be a nice feature to be able to sign up for reminders. At The CPAP Shop, we send out reminders based on the Medicare replacement schedule with a 10% coupon to use toward a purchase.

May 2016 survey about scheduling CPAP equipment maintenance

May 2016 Survey on CPAP machine monitoring capabilities for better CPAP therapy

Are CPAP Users Invested In Improving Their Sleep?

Not surprisingly, our clients take their CPAP therapy seriously, and genuinely want to continually try to improve the quality of their sleep. Happily, 29% have modified their diets to loose weight, 31% have incorporated exercise into their daily routines, and 20% have started a nightly bedtime regiment to help prepare them for a good night of sleep.

However almost half of our customers rely only on the CPAP machine for a better night of sleep because they say the therapy works great!

 

May 2016 survey on CPAP users incorporating healthy habits

Will CPAP Users Help Others Succeed with Therapy?

We are advocates for sharing knowledge about CPAP therapy, so we wondered if any of our customers wanted to share their own experiences. Over 30% of our customers were eager to help others by answering CPAP therapy questions, sharing their challenges and stories. We can not wait to share their insights in our blog with all of you!

May 2016 survey about willingness of CPAP advocates

Advice from REAL CPAP Users

Finally, we asked our customers if they would offer one suggestion or piece of advice to others for better CPAP therapy results. These are the most common and heartfelt responses:

“I found listening to soothing music on head phones helped me.”

“Before going on Medicare, get all your supplies.”

“I LIKE THE CPAP SILENT NIGHT MASK LINERS, BUT I ADD ADDITIONAL SCOTCH TAPE TO ATTACH LINER. USE LINER FOR ONE WEEK.”

“Incorporate cardio exercises to improve and enhance your CPAP Therapy.”

“Use mask liners. Better seal, quiets minor leaks and its more comfortable. Mask seals can be cold on the skin and a constant reminder you are wearing a mask.
Keep trying different masks until you find one that works for you. “

“Get checked regularly.”

“I use Pad A Cheek products”

“Clean your equipment each week.”

“I recommend getting a So Clean 2 – it eliminates the need for daily maintenance which is a problem for a busy professional.”

“Use a CPAP pillow

“Discipline yourself to adjust to the treatment, and stay on a sleep routine.
Use the machine faithfully. One night without it will make you feel sleepy all day.”

“Don’t be afraid to try multiple masks and chin straps

“Get past the attitude. Curing sleep apnea is essential , try, try, try and make it work. There are lots and lots of different masks, nose pillows, and machines and one will be better than another for each individual. “

“Change masks and tubing often. Make regular scheduled appointments often. Check equipment regularly.”

“Figure out what style mask works best for you and use it every time you sleep! I have been using machine(s) for over 14 years now. AND STAYING ALIVE!
Having a good, positive attitude has helped me to adjust to sleeping with a mask. The reward for waking up in the morning – feeling great and refreshed – is really worth it!”

“Lose weight!”

“Use the machine and stop whining. I have used CPAP nightly since December 2000 and has saved my life and marriage. “

“This industry will change over the next five years so much so it will amaze us.
Do not be discouraged if you find the mask to be a problem. It would help if better information were available, but knowing that it is not uncommon to try different models before you find success.”

“Be patient, results do not happen overnight. Over time you will notice a difference.

“Keep trying it if , at first, you aren’t comfortable. I have talked to so many people who hate wearing the masks. So did I at first, but my quality of sleep is so good now!
In my case, just using the app has helped tremendously. I really try hard to not get lower scores. I really compete against myself.”

“Don’t waste your time setting up appointments and buying replacements items from the medical center. buy online!”

“Try to keep shaved or put something on face to help seal mask to face.”
“Don’t let insurance force you to buy cheap equipment.”

Thanks to All Who Participated!

Of course, we could not have said it better ourselves and we thank all of those participants who shared their time and advice to help others achieve compliance.

Chris Vasta

Author

Chris Vasta

Over a 10+ year career at PHH Mortgage managing a $100 million portfolio, Chris Vasta learned the ins and outs of the business world. He learned how to establish business relationships, lead a multi-prong team, and implement strategies for long-term growth. In 2007, Vasta used that experience to transition his role into president of The CPAP Shop. Over his tenure, Vasta has been involved in everything from website design to warehouse layout. His hands-on approach with customers has evolved into an in-depth understanding of the challenges of beginning and adhering to sleep therapy. He often provides his insights on product…


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