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First couple of days with CPAP- Need help!

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Andrea +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Hello- I picked up my CPAP machine on Friday. I tried wearing it for the first time last night. The mask is great, I had no issues with operating the machine. The problem is that I feel like with the Mask on, I was not getting enough air, like I had to breathe heavy and it ultimately caused me to want to open my mouth. I ended up taking it off.

Is this normal? I am assuming I need to make some adjustments but I am not sure what? Higher? Lower?

Has this happened to any one else?

Thank you,

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Sierra +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Patron

Andrea, welcome to the forum. Unfortunately this is a common situation when the machine is not set up properly for comfort. Did they do any setup and testing in the office when you picked it up? The usual problem is that these automatic machines (if it is one), have a default out of the box pressure setting of 4 cm of water minimum and 20 cm of water maximum. For most people 4 cm of pressure is too low to feel comfortable. If you can give more detail about what specific model of machine you have, I can give you some better help.

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Andrea +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Wow thank you. It is a Philips product and I do think they set it at 4. Let me go look at the specific details. I was hoping it was something like this.

Ill get back with the specific machine...

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Andrea +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

its a Philips Dream Station

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Sierra +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Patron

Ok, one option would be to go back to your provider and ask them to increase the minimum pressure to 6 or 7 cm if it is set lower, and the ramp start pressure to 6-7 cm. The ramp start pressure cannot be set higher than the minimum pressure.

If you want to set it yourself it would be helpful to know where the machine is set to now. To do that you have to go into the Provider Mode Screens. To get into Provider Mode you have to hold down the ramp button and the control dial button at the same time for 5 seconds. See page 4-18 in the manual at the link below.

DreamStation Tech Manual

If you could post what your setting are in the Therapy Screen. Also go to the Info screen and find out if there is a 90% Pressure value(s). Post them here and we can go from there. To get back to your user menu select the Home icon.

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Andrea +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Thank you so much. I am not a gadget person so this is out of my realm.

I have figured out how to change it.

I am going to try 6.5 tonight. I hope it works.

THANK YOU

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Sierra +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Patron

If you have figured out the Provider menu. I would suggest three changes:

  • Minimum pressure: 6.5 Cm
  • Smart Ramp: enable or on
  • Ramp Start Pressure: 6.5 cm

This should hold your pressure at a fixed 6.5 cm until you fall asleep. Then it will let the machine start controlling it in Auto starting at 6.5 cm.

Once you get your feet on the ground, I agree with bonjour's suggestion to use SleepyHead. It is free, but if you can get good AHI results and a good sleep, it may be more that you want to bite off at this time. The goal for treatment is to get under 5 for AHI, and ideally down to the 1.0 range.

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bonjour +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

Andrea, I am a strong believer in utilizing data to make suggestions. I strongly recommend that you download and install Sleepyhead (free) and post your nightly charts with these charts Events, Flow Rate, Pressure (not mask pressure), Leak Rate, and Snore. If you had a ResMed machine the Flow Limit also.

Sleepyhead will let you/us look at what is happening down to a breath by breath basis for the entire night if needed.

I would prefer to see you (well antone) with an Auto-CPAP because it is more versatile and if you are typical your needs will change over the roughly 5 year life of your machine.

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sleeptech +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

As suggested above, you may just need a little more air to feel comfortable. This is not unusual. Also, you could consider a mask that allows you to breathe through you mouth.

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Andrea +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Thank you all. I increased to 6.5 which was much better. I still had trouble falling asleep with it. Not sure if it is mental or physical. Trying again tonight.

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Sierra +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Patron

Your next best step may now be to download SleepyHead and view what you machine is doing during the night. The machine can provide you with some summary numbers, but to see the real detail you need to use SleepyHead. It is free software and runs on a PC or Mac, and needs a SD card reader to get the data off the SD card in the machine. If you don't have a SD card reader, you can get small portable ones that plug into your USB port for as little as $5 at places like Walmart. If you are interested here are some links:

SleepyHead Download

SleepyHead Basic Manual

The value in looking at your data is that you can see when you are having apnea events and at what pressure. If for example you see that your machine is running about 10 cm over the night, then you know you will have room to move up your minimum pressure and ramp start pressure a little higher still. I started with my ramp start pressure as low as 5 cm and that was not comfortable. Over time I have increased that based on comfort in going to sleep and now have it set at 9 cm.

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