In British Columbia the government medical services plan does not routinely pay for any portion of CPAP therapy testing or equipment. In some circumstances the Ministry of Human Development may help pay for costs, if you qualify for therapy under their rules, and you can meet minimal usage requirements of 80%. You either need to be currently covered by the Ministry or you can make a one time appeal for purchase based on financial need and you will have to provide your income tax returns and a financial statement to begin the process.
The cost of therapy is dependent on the machine that works to treat your condition and the mask you choose that works properly for you. If you have Extended Health Insurance with a private company then they will often pay some portion of the total cost. If you are trialling CPAP with us then we will do a pre approval with your insurance so you know what they will pay before you have to decide on purchase.
For testing we will test you without an initial prescription but we must report all findings to your physician. CPAP therapy can only be initiated by prescription from a physician. We would urge you to discuss these issues with your doctor before seeking testing. Your physician may play a key role in assuring the best treatment. Sleep apnea may affect many other health issues which will need a physician to be part of the treatment team.
We urge everyone to make an appointment to come in and see any of our therapists. We will see walk in patients as we can, but those with appointments will take precedence. Simply call our main office to book an appointment after you have a prescription from your physician.
The initial testing at Sleeptech is usually an overnight oximetry. This is a small clip you will wear on your finger overnight that will provide us with a tracing of your oxygen levels. We are looking for 4% drops in your oxygen, which is something you cannot do while awake. Oximetry will identify approximately 70-80% of those people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If this test is negative for sleep apnea yet your symptoms indicate excessive tiredness, by standard questionnaires then we may suggest a second test. This is referred to as a level 3 test that will evaluate oximetry values in relation to airflow and related effort to create that airflow. The hospital testing is called a polysomnogram and incorporates all of the above testing as well as leads to muscles in your legs/arms and face. It monitors all of this data in relation to your EEG, or brain wave activity during the night.
In Canada you do not require a prescription to purchase a CPAP mask. To purchase a CPAP machine will require a prescription. This may vary depending on your Extended Health Insurance provider.
It will depend upon the extended health benefit insurance company that you deal with, but with proper documentation and the company allows direct billing we will bill directly. The catch is some companies do not allow us to direct bill under $1000.00.
Sleep apnea is a chronic medical condition where the affected person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep. These episodes last 10 seconds or more and cause oxygen levels in the blood to drop. It can be caused by obstruction of the upper airway, resulting in obstructive sleep apnea, or by a failure of the brain to initiate a breath, called central sleep apnea. It can cause and worsen other medical conditions, including hypertension, heart failure, and diabetes.
Doctors diagnose sleep apnea based on medical and family histories, a physical exam, and results from sleep studies. There are different kinds of sleep studies. If your doctor suspects you have sleep apnea, he or she may recommend a home-based portable monitor. One might also be referred to a sleep specialist who may order a polysomnogram (also called a PSG) which is performed while sleeping overnight in a sleep laboratory.
The multiple negative effects of untreated OSA leads to poor general health. Untreated OSA throughout our life can contribute to a shorter life span. The greater the severity of OSA, the greater the risk for: High blood pressure, Stroke, Heart Attack, Diabetes, Obesity and other health issues.
The preferred treatment for OSA is called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). The patient wears a mask over the nose that allows a machine to apply a small amount of air pressure to the back of the throat. The tongue and soft tissue are kept out of the airway by this cushion of air which prevents the pausing in breathing associated with OSA. Oral devices may also be used to treat OSA. They work by moving the lower jaw forward, pulling the tongue away from the back of the throat. This treatment is generally less effective than CPAP therapy, especially in patients who are obese. There is surgery that can be performed in the treatment of OSA. Surgery is not often used for treating OSA in Canada. CPAP may eventually be required anyway and may not work as well after surgery.
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. The CPAP machine delivers a positive pressure to the airway to hold it open. Positive air pressure is delivered by a mask worn during sleep. CPAP will prevent snoring and airway obstructions. There are no serious side effects. APAP stands for Automatic Positive Airway Pressure. The machine will adjust throughout the night to changes in the patient’s pressure requirements. This may be more comfortable for some that require higher pressures to prevent obstruction of the airway.With BiPAP, a higher pressure is used to breathe in (called inspiratory positive airway pressure, or IPAP) and a lower pressure is used when breathing out (called expiratory positive airway pressure, or EPAP).VPAP stands for Variable Positive Airway Pressure. These are primarily for treating the central apneas associated with Cheyne-Stokes respiration, or for treating Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) if that’s the main sleep disordered breathing problem rather than Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA.)
CPAP delivers a positive pressure to the airway to hold it open preventing snoring and airway obstructions.
The average time for noticeable relief of daytime symptoms is about 2 weeks. Some feel better much sooner. Others may slowly feel better over a few months.
With both CFLEX and EPR, the air pressure is reduced slightly for only the first part of exhalation, making adaptation to CPAP therapy more comfortable for some.