Forum · Anyone has experienced cpap machine seem not to work well when traveling to different altitude?

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[-] PatientOrangeRedMoose8572 +0 points · 10 months ago

Hi, I am new to this forum and just found MyApnea while researching this issue. I have been using a resmed aircurve 10 since 2015 when I was dx with mild sleep l apnea. I live in Santa Cruz, California and this week I came down to Mexico City for the first time with my cpap. Once here I feel as if my machine does not have the power I'm used to, and the other day I detected a jump to 10 events per hrs. (From 1 to 1.5 normal). I double checked for leaks both in the mask and tuve and have not found any, I also called the provider and they referred me to speak with my doctor. The provider said the altitude would not affect the machine. Has anyone experienced something similar with an altitude change? Could it be affecting the machine or Me? Thank you

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · 10 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Interesting problem to solve. Do you keep track of therapy by monitoring https://myair.resmed.com/Default.aspx? Have mask leaks gone up which may indicate some issue is the cause rather than the altitude issue? If you find it altitude a good guess is that your prescribed pressure(s) may need to be tweeked. Not sure how much even a doctor will be able to advise as this is sort of an arcane problem regarding altitude.

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[-] PatientOrangeRedMoose8572 +0 points · 9 months ago

Thank you for the reply. I did check the site but my machine is not able to connect from here. However I did increase the pressure and it seems to be working better. It could also be the voltage is lower than usual in this house.

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · 9 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

I believe Mexico operates at 220V. You must be powering your machine via a step down transformer and they are proportional with regard to input to output AC voltage. Thing is, most US electrical devices are intended to be run between a pretty wide range of voltage so I suspect your issue is more altitude related. If you can get ahold of a multimeter, you can check the step down transformer voltage out. It is possible that a lower voltage causes less air push out of your CPAP.

Since the myair feedback isn't possible in Mexico City, get a copy of the Sleepyhead software and ask folks who use it how to make it work so you can monitor your leaks and AHI. That might help you fine tune your pressure setting a bit better.

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[-] DanM +0 points · 9 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi PatientOrangeRedMoose. The Resmed Aircurve is capable of compensating for altitude. However, your body might need time to adjust. When I travel to higher altitudes with my Resmed, I do not experience problems with my treatment, but my breathing does change. At higher altitudes, I find I sometimes feel lightheaded, and I definitely seem to drink more water! I encourage you to speak to your sleep physician or you equipment provider if you do not think your machine is functioning properly. Wiredgeorge makes a good point as well about using Sleepyhead software to monitor your treatment. If you are interested, the software provides quite a bit of helpful data. Best wishes!

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · 9 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

If anyone saw the San Antonio Spurs play a couple nights ago, the game was in Mexico City @ 7900 ft. The Spurs lost and definitely were affected by the altitude and these are young guys in great shape. Every shot came up short for the most part. I have been at 11-12K feet at times when I traveled a lot and it was said it takes a certain length of time for your body to develop red blood cells and lung capacity to increase. Thinking about this, I might wait a bit to see if your body stabilizes to the altitude and the AHIs may go down on their own; especially if the Resmed machine compensates (didn't know this).

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