Forum · question about pulse oximeter

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[-] KindPinkGuanaco9781 +0 points · 10 months ago

I purchased a fingertip pulse oximeter to check my oxygen level during the night since my oxygen levels before cpap were waaaay low. I haven't had a reading lower than 95% when I have checked.

Is this the correct method to get a reasonable check on my oxygen level or does the pulse oximeter have to be more sophisticated than a fingertip one? Last night's reading: Usage 7.75 hours, mask seal good, events 5.5 per hour. Still tired. Still struggling.

Thank you for any response.

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

Your AHI indicates that you may have mask leak issues or some other issue causing that problem. I have a Pulse Oxymeter that is the wrist watch type that has a rubber sleeve that goes over your finger. I bought this type because I was sure that a finger tip unit would fall off. If your meter stays put and you have good O2 levels, that is a major win. Mine were in the low 70s for extended periods and that is the reason I purchased mine. I think they are fairly accurate; probably not medically accurate but if you stay about mid-90s, I think that proves that therapy is proving effective in terms of blood oxygenation! Time to look into the AHI... a little high I think.

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[-] KindPinkGuanaco9781 +0 points · 10 months ago

WiredGeorge--Thank you so much for this. I double checked my mask seal number: 12 out of 20, marked good. Not perfect though for sure. My mask seal numbers are all over the map and I've done this for about 8 months now. I went and got a second opinion from a boarded pulmonologist and I was reassured that my AHI of 8 was a bit high but okay for my age? I'm not quite sold on that yet. I don't think this daytime sleepiness is right at this point, although I see here I am not alone. Just feel this is affecting my quality of life too much. Sometimes I feel that it is gradually getting better--just slowly. Other times I am none too sure. Appreciate this--

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

Hi KindPinkGuanaco. Good to see that you are monitoring your AHI, mask leak, and oxygen levels. If you can get a better mask seal, then great. Most modern machines are capable of compensating for minor mask leak. If your AHI continues to be a little high, it might be worth considering asking your physician about a slight pressure change to see if it helps. Best wishes!

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

This is an interesting set of issues. Seems a tweek somewhere will get the AHI under control but the AHI may not be all that high to be causing daytime sleepiness. When the doc tells you the AHI isn't bad for a "person your age", it makes me wonder. The positive air pressure from the machine SHOULD be keeping your airway open and your AHI should be close to nothing. If this isn't the case, something is amiss. Dan suggested a tweek in the pressure may be the answer.

I will also say that I once had HORRIBLE mask leak due to my full face mask in my mouth and not under my chin. My AHI would bounce up into the range you now are experiencing and I began associating mask leak with higher AHI. I have since sort of toned down that assumption and do recognize my Airsense 10 must be compensating for leakage. Last time I had mask leak at about 20, I had NO events at all during then night so moderate mask leaks probably are compensated for like Dan described. I also have switch almost exclusively to an Amara View mask. WIth high pressures I need a full face mask but this thing has no center pillar and fits under the nose and not over the nose. I usually have ZERO mask leaks with this mask. Only downside is that the headgear straps are a tad narrow and bite a bit. The straps just above my ears sit a tad low and pinch my ears so I need to be careful positioning the headgear. My wife made me a small cushion I slip under the back of the head gear and that totally eliminates the bit on the upper portion of my neck. I can roll onto my side without disturbing the mask. My other mask is a Simplus and it is easily bumped. The headgear is more comfortable but the mask tends to leak just a tad and air can get in my eyes unless I use mask pads. I use this mask infrequently since the Amara View suits me a bit better. Anyway, ramble off. Follow Dan's advice and see if the pressure needs tweeked!

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[-] KindPinkGuanaco9781 +1 point · 10 months ago

Thank you both for this help!

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