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New to CPAP, Sleep Apnea

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dano9258 +0 points · over 4 years ago Original Poster

So over the past year I've noticed I'm always tired no matter how much sleep I got. Would wake up alot in the middle of the night, and originally thought it was our bed. We got a new bed and it didn't help too much. So I went to get a sleep study done and our insurance was going to make us cover ~$700 for the test alone. I found an at home test for $250 and got my results showing I have severe sleep apnea. Looking into the symptoms, now I can't believe I didn't realize it sooner. I ordered the Resmed CPAP machine and the nasal pillow mask and tried it. It took a little getting used to but after about a week, I fell asleep several times with it. However, one night my wife said I would stop breathing and sound like I was choking on air, so I became afraid to use it (I am sometimes a mouth breather). I ordered a full mask, as well as a full mask that sits under the nose and over the mouth. Of all the masks the one that sits under the nose and over the mouth seems to work best for me as I like to sleep on my side. However, I still can't get used to using the machine. I try it for about an hour and then rip it off and go to sleep without it because I can't fall asleep with it. I'm using the ramp feature and EDR feature. I've tried turning them off as well, and still the same.

1) How do I get used to it to where I fall asleep quickly with it? 2) Any suggestions for using the nasal pillow mask other than the strap to keep my mouth closed? My nose gets blocked alot too by congestion which worries that I'll suffocate if I use that mask too. 3) Any other solutions to look at other than CPAP?

Please help me out any way you can. I understand CPAP is hard to get used to for many, but I feel like its impossible to fall asleep with and then just don't use it. I need to get good sleep! My eyes are severe bloodshot in the mornings sometimes and can't wear contacts anymore because of this.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · over 4 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi dano9258

Unfortunately there are no magic solutions, at least none that I have found yet.

Many nasal pillow users (myself included) find that they resolve nasal congestion rather than compounding it but I don't think the same applies to constrictions caused by allergic reactions. I use antihistamines when I have swollen sinuses.

Defusing the brains alert files can help lessen the awareness.

One way to do that is to wear the mask while you are awake, perhaps reading or watching something with the mask on until you can more easily tune it out.

Relaxation routines might be worth consideration.

Immersing yourself in a new hobby or interest could provide a helpful diversion.

It seems to me that by the time many people are diagnosed with severe apnea they are already sleep deprived, confused and stressed out.

Adding a CPAP machine significantly increases the level of stress and anxiety.

Perhaps CPAP machines should come with counselling sessions.

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PJK +0 points · over 4 years ago

Hi Dano 9258:

Im into 6 year of CPAP . First 6 months were horrible . Every difficulty that can occur . Feeling of smothering , " alien " attached to face , constant leaks , irritation , roll over issue from side to side . Mask too tight or too loose .Pulling of mask in sleep and not knowing doing so - or knowing and still doing so . Wave of water and humidity or total desert mouth . On and on - a Full face mask for first 3 years left permanent indentations on face where mask came into contact . Switched in year 4 to RESMED 10 and nasal pillow - heated hose . FAR better but still more work to do . Failures on my part to clean hose and mask weekly - issues related to possible mold etc . as huge issue re allergies began year 4 .Did not change filter on machine monthly - failed to replace hose and mask every year or earlier . On and on . Now use chin strap as first on to keep mouth shut and therefore no more desert mouth . Have become very focused on daily reports ( CPAP data ) which for months ( data ) I would ignore .

Score now as low on occasion as 6.5 AHI - but initially 5 years ago was at 37 AHI and was one of the sleep deprived dead . Would fall asleep at any time as completely exhausted and was unsure why .Work and marriage suffered - kids too . Mis diagnosed for several years . For years had no sense of waking up " refreshed " . Do you remember that - and how great that was . ?

I gave up on using any sleep advisor or specialist with Apnea -as they did not help . I studied the on line clinical guide for RESMED CPAP and now have mine set at 7-18 pressure . I was dying for more air at 6- 12 - in last 3 years this huge help . But there may be some experts in your area who would be helpful . I could never find one .

I decided that I was going to do the CPAP all out - no matter how difficult it was and have stuck at it so far . This new Years I have decided to super focus on it with the new RESMED APP, called " My Air ". This charts me every day on my computer ( wireless ) with results on several issues and scores me on each . This has been a huge help and encouragement . One other thing re money in this ,is , although not without a concern , secondary to almost any other purchase save perhaps on food . Its critical to my health and ability to function from day to day and thats that ! Ill spend on this without question -now - whereas before I was stingy with purchase of equipment . If I was sure it would work I would purchase pliiolws and even an ape bed if that would help - but there are some out there who would take advantage .

So keep going - keep at it - if you do not and the apnea continues, or gets worse , it will effect every relationship you have and your entire life . Its that important .!

Be well and apnea free- rested !


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Camaro1969SS +0 points · over 4 years ago

Say i am new to this site and i was wondering if you or maybe put me in the right are i have sleepyhead and i was wonder if you can or tell me where to got to see if you could look at my chart on sleepyhead and see if i need to raise my min and max pressure ?

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Sierra +0 points · over 4 years ago Sleep Patron

You need to post a daily report that shows the apnea events at the top as well as the pressure and flow graphs.

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