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Swallowing air

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sardonisms +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

I just started using the ResMed AirSense 10 Autoset about two weeks ago. Within a week I had to have them turn down the pressure; it was initially set at 4-14, but I couldn't breathe properly and was waking up several times a night to expel air that had inflated my mouth, so they changed it to 4-9. This already seems fairly low considering some pressures I see on these forums, but my apnea is fairly mild and I am getting better sleep with that plus Lunesta (CPAP can't fix raw insomnia). However, I'm finding myself waking up with a lot of grumbling stomach noises and very unpleasant feelings of air bubbling in my stomach. I have digestion issues which also create excess gas and cause it to be trapped in my chest, leading to lightheadedness, dizziness, and a feeling like I'm overheating. That I am apparently swallowing air with the CPAP is compounding the effect, and that air is behaving the same way as what I experience anyway, i.e. being trapped in my chest and making me feel dizzy and feverish.

I do not think turning my CPAP down any further would be effective against the apnea, and I have been told this will get better as I adjust to the CPAP, so my primary concern is functioning normally during the day (as you can imagine, lightheadedness and dizzy spells make it very hard to get through a work day). Has anyone experienced this, and is there anything you can do on your end, without having pressure adjusted, that alleviates this? Any medication that works (I had Pepto-Bismol on hand so I just took that, but I have never tried anything else specifically for gas), or changes to routine before bed?

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bphillips79 +0 points · about 2 years ago

So I use a Remstar System One bpap and my exhale pressure is 13. This is my second machine as I used a Resmed S8. I've had major belly air ever since I've started. I'm new to the forum and I'm curious to see what folks say to this. You're not alone!

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wiredgeorge +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

The pressure delivered by the PAP machine has nothing to do with your degree of OSA. The OSA needs to be treated by a certain amount of pressure based on your physiology. In other words a person can have mild OSA and need great pressure and vise versa. I didn't understand the air in the gut issue until it happened to me. It has happened about 2 or 3 times since I have been on PAP therapy and at these times I was awakened by PAIN and when I sat up, no doubt where the pain came from as it distended my gut and I belched mightily and that was pretty much the end of the episode. This has been discussed quite a few times and no one seems to know why folks swallow air while asleep. I will grant, it ain't pleasant. I am also pretty sure that Pepto and Phazyme and the like will NOT help as they are intended for GI gas issues not air pushed down into the gut. I would seriously consider talking to a sleep dentist as I am pretty sure that a sleep appliance will not force air into a person's gut.

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Sierra +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Patron

What type of mask are you using?

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Weagle +0 points · almost 2 years ago

I am new to all of this also and have experienced a similar issue.

I don't typically have a lot of gas buildup except when eating dairy, but that's another issue. I've been on an ASV machine for about 2-3 weeks now and other than dealing with a few different masks to avoid air leaks, this "air swallowing" is my biggest issue.

The first night in the machine I woke up with abdominal cramping from the gas and bloating. My machine starts off with pressures between 5 and 9 and ramps up to 10-15. If my ASV machine detects an apnea it then raises the pressures as high as 25. I'm sure the bloating is from the increased pressure. It has gotten more tolerable but still an issue.

I believe this is why I had to switch to a full face mask. I normally breathe through my nose. With all the "air swallowing" I would occasionally but in my sleep causing my mouth to open. Once my mouth opened all the air would just escape there causing my mouth to dry out and wake me up. The last two nights I switched to a Dreamwear full face mask and that seems to have help with the dry mouth. I don't fully wake up any more just close my mouth and drift back to sleep.

I'm hoping over time the bloating will be reduced as my body adapts to this machine.

I hope you can do the same.

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Sierra +0 points · almost 2 years ago Sleep Patron

I have not suffered from this air swallowing thing which is referred to as aerophagia. This link on the causes and possible resolution may be of help.

Aerophgia Causes and Resolution

The issue of letting air escape out of my mouth is one I do suffer from. The best resolution I have found is to use mouth taping. I tried a couple of full face masks, but found I was mouth breathing and would wake up with a sore throat. So I have gone back to a nasal mask and tape. It is not as awful as it sounds. Here is a link to a video on the technique. I am not sure if it would help the aerophagia or not.

How to Mouth Tape for a Better Sleep

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SleepyMommy703 +0 points · almost 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

I had a lot of difficulty with swallowing air and painful gas and bloating at the start. For the most part it got better as I got used to using it. But I did see a big change when they lowered my pressures and it's much better when I'm able to keep my mouth closed. I have a chin strap I use that works pretty well now.

I will say it's still pretty bad if I have a cold and find myself swallowing a lot (like from post-nasal drip). I haven't figured out a way to prevent it when that happens.

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