Sleep in Peace. Medicare Pays for Sleep Apnea Devices
Reprint of an
Juan Salvo from the Article Codex website,
Introduction by Dr. Don Rose,
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.
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
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
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.
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Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles
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