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As the founder of CPAPBabes, Stacy Erickson Edwards is making it her mission to raise awareness of sleep apnea and the importance of receiving the right diagnosis early on, encourage people to appreciate the CPAP machine, which is the gold standard of treatment for sleep apnea, and empower people to use the machine with confidence and a sense of pride.

She discusses the tendency of people to associate sleep apnea and CPAP machines with overweight, unhealthy, older people, so it came as quite a shock to her when at 32 she received the diagnosis herself. But it is precisely these stereotypes—which are not at all reflective of reality—that are so detrimental and cause people to feel self-conscious about the diagnosis of sleep apnea, reluctant or embarrassed about using the machine, and ashamed for needing it. Edwards explains that this can easily lead to untreated cases of sleep apnea, which pose a threat not only to people’s health but to public safety. Among other topics, she discusses sleep apnea in kids and how untreated sleep apnea can be misdiagnosed as ADHD, the growing number of sleep apnea diagnoses among millennials, how the personalization of CPAP masks and machines could help change the stigma attached to them and make people more excited about using them, and a common problem with auto-adjust pressure machines.

Get in contact with Stacy Erickson Edwards on Instagram and check out her website at cpapbabes.com.

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