Forum · New CPAP User with concerns

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[-] InventiveNavyBlueTurkey3606 +1 point · over 1 year ago

So I'm being lazy here. I'm sure much of what I seek can be found by searching through the Forum but hopefully a helpful soul will save me that arduous task.

A little background.. Recently diagnosed with long term Apnea that has over time begun to cause pulmonary hypertension and through that breathing difficulties. I'm 37, not obese and not unhealthy. The breathing problems are the most telltale sign something was wrong that led to the eventual apnea diagnosis. I just started using my machine. Besides the to be expected discomfort of getting used to it, having a hard time falling asleep etc... It seems that it is actually making my breathing difficulties worse. Is this part of a adjustment period where my somewhat atrophied lungs are having to work more than before due to more airflow? Or is this something of a concern? Air pressure set too high? Or perhaps the machine is aggravating the condition?

Any help or suggestions would be most welcome and wonderful. Thanks.

-L

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[-] DanM +1 point · over 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi @InventiveNavyBlueTurkey3606. A number of patients say they experience difficulty breathing while using the machine in the early days of therapy. For many, it is simply part of the adjustment period. It is more challenging to exhale against incoming positive air pressure than simply exhaling against room air. Many patients adjust by practicing wearing their treatment while doing other tasks such as reading or watching television. If you suspect the air pressure is set incorrectly, I encourage you to speak with your equipment provider and ask them to check the machine settings. Hope this helps!

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[-] UnassumingOrangeRedCormorant9252 +1 point · over 1 year ago

One possibility which may or may not be applicable in your case is that your machine could be set to a wide range which is usually from 4 to 20. As a result, at the low pressure, you might feel like you are gasping for air. You also might have a situation in which the machine is taking too long to get to the right pressure to deal with hypopneas/apneas.

To see if your therapy is optimal, I would download sleepyhead, which is free software.

https://sleep.tnet.com/resources/sleepyhead

If you need help in interpreting the data, many folks at cpaptalk.com are very helpful. You can decide if you need to go back to your doctor for further consultation or if this is simply an issue that your minimum pressure needs to be very slowly raised with careful monitoring of the data.

[+] [deleted] -1 point · over 1 year ago
[+] [deleted] -1 point · over 1 year ago
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[-] maryann +0 points · about 1 year ago

HI, I'm new to this all, I have just started using my CPAP for 2 nights ow and I am having some issues with anxiety, almost what I feel is panic attacks in the afternoon early evening. Is this anything anyone has ever heard of or had happen. I would really like some one to discuss this with.

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[-] DanM +0 points · about 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi Maryann. I agree with @wiredgeorge about discussing this with your physician. If you feel it is anxiety around wearing CPAP, then I have had many patients tell me that practicing wearing their treatment while reading or watching TV has helped. Sometimes using the machine in another room in the afternoon or evening while doing another task can help you adjust the feeling of the mask and the air pressure while helping take your mind off of the treatment. Hope this helps!

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[-] maryann +0 points · about 1 year ago

HI No it is not when I wear the CPAP it is only since I have been using it the last few days and these panic attacks come on in the afternoon. It doesn't have anything to do with wearing the mask. That doesn't bother me at all. There are some older blogs out there that say some people have had this side effect but I was wondering if anyone here , sonce this seems to be a newer site, has had the issue.

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[-] DanM +0 points · about 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi Maryann. I am not aware of CPAP being the cause of an issue like you describe unless it is the anticipation of having to use the CPAP. However, since you say wearing the mask doesn't bother you at all, maybe it is worth a conversation with your physician to explore other reasons for the panic attacks. Best wishes, and I hope you find a solution!

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · about 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

I haven't hear this happen but your primary care physician likely set you up with a sleep study and then then the prescription for the equipment you are using. I strongly suggest you sit down with this doc and discuss the issue as they have the training and insight to offer educated suggestions on a course of action while folks on a web forum like this one as not in a position to make that same type medical advice. PAP therapy won't be effective if it is causing secondary issues like anxiety so follow up with your doc as soon as possible! Good luck and let us know how things work out.

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