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Tue, Aug. 20

New product reduces irritation, lines from CPAP masks

Dear Dr. Rosenberg:

I wear a CPAP mask. I wake up every morning with an ugly red line where the mask has been. It's embarrassing. Do you have any ideas as to what I might do? I've tried several masks and they all leave me with the same lines.

A: There is a new product out called RemZzzs CPAP mask liners. These pads create a soft, absorbent barrier between mask and skin that reduces or eliminates skin irritation and pressure marks. The liner is specifically designed to interface with most masks. It's made of natural fibers and absorbs moisture. It sits between the mask and skin. It has been shown to prevent red marks and skin irritation caused by the silicone lining in the masks. I have prescribed these pads with good results for many of my patients.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg:

I am going to be a first-time mother. I am weighing the pros and cons of breast-feeding. I have several friends who tell me that breast-fed babies do not sleep as well. Is that true?

A: Actually, in the first three to six months, breast-fed babies nap less and have more awakenings for feeding. However, their total sleep time is no different than the bottle-fed babies. By 9 months, most studies show that their sleep habits are the same as bottle-fed babies.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg:

I had a sleep study done a few months ago. The study showed that I had a form of sleep apnea called Cheyne-Stokes. My doctor told me this is a form of central sleep apnea. They want me to return to the lab for treatment; however, the sleep doctor also said that my heart should be checked out. Why?

A: Cheyne-Stokes central sleep apnea is common in patients with hearts that don't pump effectively. It is a central apnea in which the brain fails to signal the respiratory system to breathe periodically. In between, patients tend to take deeper and deeper breaths while sleeping and then stop for as long as 10 seconds or more. We believe the apnea is caused by a weakened heart and a central nervous system that overreacts to low oxygen. In any event, it is advisable to do some simple studies of the heart such as an echocardiogram when central sleep apnea is discovered.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg:

I have a very hard time waking up in the morning. It takes me nearly one-half hour to get going. This started about the time I changed my sleep/wake schedule. My new job demands that I get up earlier at about 5 a.m. However, I go to bed earlier and get the same amount of sleep as before. Any ideas?

A: Your earlier awakening probably coincides with a period when you are in deeper sleep. In addition, your body temperature is probably lower at that time. This also promotes deeper sleep and it is harder to wake up. We call this phenomenon sleep inertia. In time, your biological clock should adapt and it should be easier to wake up. If not, see your healthcare provider.

Dr. Robert Rosenberg, board-certified sleep medicine specialist, will answer readers' questions by incorporating them in future columns. Contact him at askthesleepdoc@yahoo.com or via mail at the Sleep Disorders Center of Prescott Valley, 3259 N. Windsong Dr., Prescott Valley, AZ 86314.

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