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Readjusting to CPAP, lots of questions

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SleepyMommy703 +0 points · about 7 years ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

This is likely going to be a long one, but I'm really trying hard to get on and stay on the CPAP this time around as I really need some improvement in my overall energy and health.

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea when I was 29, but I couldn't tolerate the mask at all and didn't try again until about 3 years ago. I think I was just so desperate for some sleep and to not feel so tired this time around I tolerated the mask quite well. I used it usually at least 8 hours a night and even for the occasional naps for about 10 months, but had so many side effects and issues, with minimal noticeable improvements, that I gave up. The one thing it did do for me was reduce my almost daily headaches. My energy level was still very poor in the morning, and I still needed to nap quite a bit, but I do feel like I had a little more energy later in the day. But I was having terrible bloat and pain and getting chronic sinus infections that made it really hard to use. It also dried my eyes out terribly and made it impossible to wear contacts anymore. While some of that was issues with leaking I think most was just the air flow from the front of the mask during the night.

I went back on with my old machine about a month ago and after a week of use, but the pressure it was giving was all over the place so replaced it with a Resmed AirSense 10. I've been using it for about 10 days now but have a few questions and problems.

  1. I'm getting horrible bloat from it again. This morning was the worst and when I woke my abdomen was terribly distended and painful to the touch. I read about how I may need a pressure adjustment, but I don't quite understand this because the pressure is automatic. Any useful tips on how to deal with this?

  2. While I don't wear contacts anymore I can tell my eyes are getting really dry already. I don't think it's a matter of leaking I really just think it's all the air circulating around from the front of the mask. I try to turn the hose so it's pointing the other direction but it still hits the pillow and blows back enough to dry my eyes out. When I was wearing contacts drops didn't help much, but I can try that again. Any other way to alleviate this? Aside from wearing goggles to bed? lol

  3. I'm also wondering about the scoring on the My Air site. In particular when it comes to leaks, does it register a leak if it's coming from my mouth? I'm still having an issue with waking with an extremely dry mouth, but the last two nights my score showed a perfect 20/20 so it seems like I'm barely having any leaks. Just curious because I really don't feel like my lips are opening but I think my jaw is dropping enough that the air is circulating into my mouth before going down to my esophagus and I can't figure out how to stop that from happening. I have a nice wide chin strap that is doing a better job than the one I used last time. And I can't wear it any tighter and still manage to sleep. I am going to try and get heated tubing next time around so I can bump up the humidifier too.

Also along those lines do these scores really mean anything? I'm just wondering if they are just to be motivational or if a high score really accurately reflects effective treatment.

I think that's all I got for now. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks!


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pattyloof +0 points · about 7 years ago

Humidity will help, and you can use a humidifier in your room if you want which might help.

I use an over the counter eye ointment which helps quite a bit.

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barbz +0 points · about 7 years ago

I'm getting horrible bloat from it again. This morning was the worst and when I woke my abdomen was terribly distended and painful to the touch. I read about how I may need a pressure adjustment, but I don't quite understand this because the pressure is automatic. Any useful tips on how to deal with this?

I can help you here. I had that problem, and still do to some degree. You are swallowing air. This is very common. When it is too uncomfortable in the morning, I take something for gas relief. Another trick I use is unflavored Seltzer water. Any carbonated drink can help, but I am trying to cut out sodas. The carbonation seems to make that air trapped in my stomach break up...and pass easily.

You do not mention the type of mask you use. When I used a full face, I would sometimes put Lansinoh, an ointment for breastfeeding mothers, on the part of the mask that touches my face. Lansinoh will not harm your mask as it is pure lanolin. Petroleum products can. The thin film of the ointment helped create a better seal ****You might just need to try different adjustments with your mask to control this. I also keep an eye ointment handy.

I am not familiar with your machine, so I cannot help you there. Just keep at it. Sometimes the simplest adjustments can bring amazing results.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · about 7 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

I thought folks who claimed to be swallowing air were... well, I didn't believe it till it happened to me. I felt incredible pain in my gut that woke me. I sat up and there was NO DOUBT about air in my stomach as I sat on the edge of the bed and released it in a storm for what felt like 10 minutes (hyperbole of course). I didn't drink anything and went back to sleep but it has happened only twice during my course of therapy (about 3 years I guess) but it does happen. I would think a medical pro could take a stab at why it happens. I used the same mask for most of this period without swallowing air.

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