Sleep in Peace. Medicare Pays for Sleep Apnea Devices


Reprint of an article by Juan Salvo from the Article Codex website,


Introduction by Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert




Some people feel snoring is worse for the person hearing it than for the snorer, but this is not the case. In fact, snoring may be a sign of a serious condition called sleep apnea, which can cause a feeling of fatigue when awake. It can also be life threatening, since one may not get enough oxygen while sleeping. Fortunately, the article below discusses how Medicare may provide assistance for those who suffer from sleep apnea. --Don Rose




Heavy snoring has largely been regarded as a nuisance by spouses and roommates, a funny facet by friends and usually ignored or neglected by the sufferers themselves. Far from this, snoring causes sleep deprivation in both the sufferer and the bed companion. Sleep deprivation, in turn, leads to a variety of consequences, from daytime sleepiness to generalized fatigue and sometimes, complications such as hypertension and diabetes.

The physical root of bad snoring is usually a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder in which the inner walls of the throat and nose collapse when breathing at sleep, causing the person to stop breathing for short periods of time, usually about 10 seconds. This may happen several dozens of times a night.

The negative consequences of sleep apnea arise mainly from two reasons: although not being awaken by snoring, a person with sleep apnea gets significantly less sleep than normal. In addition, the oxygen supply in the blood is severely affected during the apnea episodes. This contributes to a general state of fatigue, but also affects the way the body regulates blood pressure. A consequence of this disruption is a longer-term development of hypertension, which leads to a dangerously elevated risk for heart attack and heart disease.

Even though obstructive sleep apnea is so common and its consequences are so serious, few people seek help and get proper diagnostic. In part, this is because it is widely assumed that health insurance plans will not pay for such studies and treatments. This used to be true in the past, but a general awareness among the medical community led the public health experts to take the issue seriously. As a result, Medicare has decided to cover the costs associated to diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

What to do? It is simple. If you know or suspect you may suffer from sleep apnea, either because you are aware of that or your spouse is having a hard time, go see your doctor. He or she will ask questions and decide whether a diagnostic test is necessary. In such case, you will be subject to a ‘Polysomnography”, a procedure that monitors your parameters while sleeping. Medicare requires this test to be performed at a specific facility known as “Sleep Lab”. As in the movies, you will spend the night at this place, and the operators will test you.

Should you be diagnosed with moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor will prescribe a device called Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP), a mask that gently blows air into your nose while you sleep, preventing obstruction from occurring. Both the polysomnography and the
CPAP devices are covered by Medicare.

Knowing this, you should consider seriously about talking to your doctor if people refer to you as the “snorer”.

About  Juan Salvo


Juan Salvo is a Science educator and a Science and Health writer. He manages the web portal and contributes to other websites. Some of these are DNA Testing Encyclopedia and Lose Weight Strategies.


The article above is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License. The information provided is, to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate. However, while Life Alert always strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy. Readers are encouraged to review the original article, and use any resource links provided to gather more information before drawing conclusions and making decisions.


Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

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