CPAP is hard. Proper education during the set-up and beyond is critical. Another key factor for success is support from your healthcare provider, family and friends, or other CPAP users (here’s our post about a study that shows patients with family support have better CPAP compliance).
In this blog post we provide info about five of the best online support groups and educational resources for PAP users.
First, a couple of definitions:
What’s a CPAP wiki? A CPAP knowledge-base, just like Wikipedia, that users can use to learn more about all things related to CPAP and can contribute by editing articles, creating and formatting new pages and moderation content. Usually includes a clear list of topics that need further contributions and editing.
What is a CPAP user forum? This is an online support group where you can ask other CPAP users and sleep professionals questions about your therapy and diagnosis. Usually the forums are set up like message boards for different categories and you can post your question and receive answers. These forums are usually very supportive and moderated (for good behavior and to make sure users follow the forum rules). Even if you don’t set-up your own account (which is usually free) you can view the message boards as a guest and search for questions that other users have asked that may help you.
Now, the sites:
- CPAP user forum (HIGHLIGHT: Includes an inspiring thread of CPAP success stories here)
- CPAP wiki with 183 articles as of 6/7/2016
- CPAP set-up manuals
- Supplier lists
Hosted by the American Sleep Apnea Association, this site is a directory of free CPAP user groups across the United States. A.W.A.K.E. stands for Alert, Well, And Keeping Energetic.
- Educational content about sleep apnea, diagnosis and treatment
- Directory of user groups across the country
- Resources for starting an A.W.A.K.E. group in your area
- Links to other American Sleep Apnea Association resources, such as their CPAP assistance program.
CPAP.com, online supplier of CPAP devices, supplies and accessories, hosts this comprehensive online community.
- CPAP user forum (HIGHLIGHT: Read this post: Building Your CPAP Support Team)
- CPAP wiki with 106 articles as of 6/7/2016
- Product challenge. Forum users can request to participate in product challenges to test new equipment and compare it to their current equipment and provide their feedback. Learn more here.
Free CPAP Advice.com
Hosted by The Lanky Lefty, a registered polysomnographic technician in Elk Grove, California (check out his entertaining and informative YouTube Channel video series here).
- CPAP user forum (HIGHLIGHT: Threads
- Reviews of CPAP masks
- Educational content on sleep apnea diagnosis and CPAP. Including touchy subjects like CPAP & sex.
- YouTube channel (link above, includes educational content and product reviews)
Wake Up To Sleep
This is Resmed’s (major PAP equipment manufacturer) sleep apnea support community. The site includes:
- Educational content about diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea
- Links to register for MyAir, a free web app for ResMed AirSense 10 PAP machines to track usage, events per hour and mask issues. Includes options for emailing or texting you usage alerts, treatment tips and encouragement messages.
Are there other forums, online communities or educational resources that have helped you with your CPAP therapy? If so, please share in the comments below so that this post can be updated.
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