Note: The Philips DreamStation Go is a medical device. It should be used under proper advice and supervision of a doctor.
Snoring – A Skeleton in the Closet:
Since my cancer remission, I have taken an honest evaluation at my health and wellness. That’s when I decided to confront a skeleton in the closet which I have been ashamed of – my sleep apnea (a.k.a snoring problem). I have my long-suffering husband to thank for bearing with it for so long (20 years to be exact!). I had no idea my sleep apnea has worsened over the years but I do know that:
- I wake up feeling tired and not well rested, regardless of how early I slept. I feel fatigued easily.
- I am becoming increasingly forgetful, like my mind is foggy.
- I suffer from regular migraine attacks and headaches.
- I have become more short-tempered and irritable.
- I can’t seem to absorb and retain new information as quickly as before.
All these symptoms were clearly taking a toll on my mental and personal well-being. Initially I was ashamed to admit that I have sleep apnea as more men than women suffer from this condition, and it’s also partially linked to my overweight but I have come to a point where I decided, I needed to seek medical help for myself and my family.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Simply put, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a serious sleep disorder that occurs where the relaxed throat muscles close in and blocks the intake of air into the lungs (thus interrupting sleep). The blockage can be so severe that it blocks oxygen going to the brains and lungs. An obvious symptom is loud persistent snoring that regularly sounds like the person is choking (it is!) and when that happens, it can be fatal.
Lack of good rest as a result of prolonged interrupted sleep, if gone unchecked, may also lead to serious ailments including heart diseases and stroke. Medical statistics have also proven that sleep apnea sufferers are more likely to fall asleep while driving or being forgetful and careless, resulting in accidents or mishaps.
CPAP to the Rescue
I decided to consult an ENT specialist in June last year at my husband’s insistence so that I can have a simple sleep study done. It was confirmed that I have severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Once the diagnosis was made, treatment was prescribed immediately by my ENT doctor, Dr. Goh Yau Hong.
Among the non-invasive treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea sufferers is the use of the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine that delivers calibrated pressure of airflow through the nose during sleep. This machine basically delivers vital air into my lungs and body allowing me (and my husband) to rest well sans the loud snores.
For the treatment to be effective, the CPAP machine needs to be properly calibrated and monitored by an ENT doctor or a trained medical technician. CPAP machines will produce reports on my sleep quality as a summary for the ENT doctor’s reviews.
Under the supervision of my excellent ENT doctor, I have been using the Philips DreamStation CPAP machine for more than 6 months now. I chose the Philips DreamStation machine among other brands and models for its user-friendly features and sleek design. Since the CPAP machine will be a permanent fixture in my bedroom (right next to me) now, I really didn’t want to buy one which looks like a hospital device.
To use the CPAP machine, I have to wear a specially designed mask that fits well onto my face so that the constant stream of air can be delivered to my nose when I sleep. It took me about a week or so to get used to the mask but the results were immediately ‘tangible’.
My husband tells me that literally within a night or two of using the CPAP machine, my snoring stopped COMPLETELY! After a month, the medical technician confirmed through the report from the machine that my sleep quality had improved significantly. I feel the difference too! I am more refreshed and alert upon waking, and less lethargic throughout the day.
Philips DreamStation Go from Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care
When we were packing for our 2-week trip to Finland last December, I was in a dilemma – I couldn’t decide if I should bring the CPAP machine along or survive two weeks without it. I was advised that since the CPAP machine is a medical device, it is best to hand-carry to avoid any loss or damage. However, the original Philips DreamStation can’t fit into my usual hand carry bag. I was so happy that two weeks before our vacation, Philips launched a smaller, more portable version of CPAP machine called the Philips DreamStation Go! The timing couldn’t be more perfect.
At first glance, the new Philips DreamStation Go won me over with its extremely compact design. It is lighter, smaller and weighs much lesser than its predecessor. In fact, it looks more like a compact radio clock than a medical device. I can bring it along for my staycations and overseas travels without any issues.
Portable but just as Powerful
Using the CPAP machine to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be a life-long option for snorers like me. The Philips DreamStation Go has intuitive features that empower users to manage our usage. These include:
- Easy to Read Info: The display offers simple, informative display of my use either overnight or across a range of days. These include the amount of good sleep I had and percentage of my mask-fit. The information is displayed via simple charts and numbers. Nothing too technical for us, end users to decipher. Having these information at hand encourages me to continue my usage of the CPAP machine, much like how we use the fitness tracker watches to monitor our heart rate, our steps, calories burned etc. In the event a more detailed report is needed, a micro-SD card slot gives users the option to save these vital details for your doctor’s use.
- Info on the Go: The Philips DreamStation Go comes with a “DreamMapper” app that allows users to read our summary reports and other treatment pertinent info from the convenience of our smart devices. Connected to my iPhone via Bluetooth, I can glance at my usage stats and save it for future reference. In fact, I can take screenshots of my reports and update my medical technician periodically; saving doctor visits for only essential follow-ups.
- Coloured Touch-Screen Display: The coloured touch-screen display adds to the ease-of-use. The interface is very intuitive– much like a smart phone where users can access functions with a swipe and touch. In fact, I use it as a life-style fitness device to control my sleep apnea!
- Easy to Set-up: The Philips DreamStation Go comes ‘Plug and Play’. The manuals complement the intuitive features to make it very easy to calibrate to suit our needs. This includes setting the RAMP time (the amount of time to ease into your prescribed pressure) and FLEX settings (the amount of fluctuating pressure when breathing) as well as the prescribed treatment air pressure settings.
The intuitive and easy-to-use interface together with the easy to read summary of the Philips DreamStation Go CPAP machine means that as a user, I am empowered to manage my sleep apnea treatment with the guidance of my ENT doctor and/or medical technician.
Comfort, Convenience and Continuity:
The Philips DreamStation Go has other convenient features that assimilate into my lifestyle seamlessly. These include their trademark Philips DreamWear Nasal Mask. The design and make of the mask (breathing apparatus) which accompanies the CPAP machine is important. Not only does it ensure effective airflow, its comfort is essential to ensure uninterrupted sleep and prolonged use.
When I first started my treatment, I was using an external 3rd party’s mask that was costly and uncomfortable. Since discovering the Philips DreamWear mask, things have improved dramatically.
The Philips DreamWear Nasal Mask has some revolutionary features. These include:
- Top-of-head Tube Connection: This truly made it different. By connecting the tube at the top, it reduces the occurrence of obstruction at the chest level allowing me to sleep more naturally and hug the hubby!
- Soft Silicone Frame: The silicone material is so soft and natural, it is really very comfortable and I can hardly feel it even when it brushes across my face during sleep.
- In-frame Airflow: Integrated with the silicone frame is the tube that allows airflow. This increases comfort and convenience.
- Interchangeable Cushions and Gel Pillows: These are phenomenal! Regardless of what the device can do, it’s the apparatus that touches the nose that makes the use of it effective and comfortable. The interchangeable cushions and optional gel pillows make airflow to the nose more effective and yet comfortable. They come in a variety of sizes to ensure good fit.
- 12mm Micro-Flexible Tubing: The Philips DreamStation Go uses 12mm tubing as compared to the 15mm tubing from other brands. This means that the tubes are smaller, thinner and more flexible. Together with Philips’ own DreamWear masks, it really makes the masks less obtrusive – ensuring a good night’s rest.
- USB Charger: I am able to charge my phone from the attached USB charger thus reducing the use of space and clutter on the bedside table.
- Battery Pack (optional): The optional battery pack acts allows the Philips DreamStation Go to be used up to 13 hours without being connected to power supply. This is really handy especially on long flights or on long transits, even for camping trips. The battery pack doubles up as a backup power supply when used at home to provide uninterrupted use in the event of a blackout.
Compact For Travel:
The Philips DreamStation Go measures 15cm in length and width and 5.8cm in thickness without the battery pack. This square design makes it easy to pack into our hand carry bag during our overseas trips. In fact, it was so inconspicuous, none of the customs officer questioned me at all when we crossed the immigrations in Singapore and Finland. We packed the Philips DreamStation Go with the optional travel kit that allowed us to pack in the electrical cables as well.
I have been in denial thinking that snoring is due to my fatigue hence I try to brush it aside but had I not sought proper treatment, I would be doomed to face severe health issue as a result of prolonged poor quality sleep and insufficient oxygen intake.
The use of the CPAP machine is a tested method for non-invasive treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. However it can be a lifelong treatment plan, so the choice of machine is critical. It must empower the individual as well deliver convenience and comfort. I have my Philips DreamStation Go to thank for my uninterrupted sleep now both at home and during my travels.
For more info on the Philips DreamStation Go, please visit: https://www.philips.com.sg/healthcare/solutions/sleep-and-respiratory-care/dream-family
The Philips DreamStation Go can be purchased from the following distributors:
- Junnimed Services Pte. Ltd.
- Medworx International Pte Ltd
- VitalAire-Avattvon Singapore Pte Ltd
You can find their contact details at this link.
Disclaimer: I received a set of the Philips DreamStation Go and the DreamWear for the purposes of this review. All opinion on the use, as always, is authentically ours. Please consult an ENT doctor prior to purchase and use of a on CPAP machine.