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Wife won’t use cpap

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needhelp99 +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

My wife has severe sleep apnea. I talked her into getting a sleep study done because she snores really loud and constantly is waking up gasping for air. As soon as she falls asleep she is awaken by a snort or gasping for air. This continues through out the night every night. I don’t think she has a minute of uninterrupted sleep. Her test revealed she has 120 events per hour. She received her cpap but says she can’t stand to wear it. She has tried different mask and has tried to wear it when awake to get used to it but doesn’t help and just doesn’t try anymore. This affects her life in every way. Always tired, up in the middle of the night every night, grumpy and angry, weight gain, and is affecting our marriage. I think we’ve lost out on all hope. I know this will only affect her health for the worse in the long run so any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

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Sierra +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Patron

Yes, that is really severe sleep apnea with an AHI of 120, and it really needs to be treated. There are a few things that can impact comfort and acceptance of the CPAP.

First is the mask used. There are many different types and manufacturers. Which masks has she tried and what does she not like about each one? I may be able to suggest some alternatives.

The second is the adjustment of the machine for comfort. What brand and model of a CPAP is she using. Do you know what the pressure settings are? What are her main complaints about using the machine? I may be able to suggest some improvements in the setup of the machine.

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needhelp99 +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

She has a Resmed Air Curve 10 and all brand new. She has to use the full face mask because of how severe it is. Not sure what the pressure was set at but they changed it a few times to see if it would help. She basically freaks out once she would put it on saying it feels like she can’t breathe. And the few times she did fall asleep with it on she would take it off in the middle of the night without realizing it. I also noticed she would still snore while wearing it.

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Sierra +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Patron

An AirCurve 10 is a BiLevel machine that is more complex and capable of higher pressures. Higher pressures and a full face mask tend to be more uncomfortable, and a full face mask also tends to leak at higher pressures which can be very annoying.

One common issue with feeling like you can't get enough air to breathe is that the initial pressure is too low. If she is using a ramp up in pressure you can adjust the ramp start pressure. By default the pressure can be as low as 4 cm and that makes me feel like I am suffocating. I think it should be at least 7 cm. I have my machine set at 9 cm for the ramp start.

Can you figure out if a ramp is being used and what pressure it is starting at? The machine should display this pressure when it first starts.

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needhelp99 +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

Yes ramp is being used and looks like it starts out at 4

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Sierra +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Patron

That start pressure would likely feel very suffocating. The next thing you need to know is the minimum pressure. The ramp takes the pressure up to the minimum pressure over the ramp time that is set. If you press the round button when it is running and ramping up it may display that. The other way is to go into the Clinical Menu and check what the settings are. If you do that, you have to be careful not to change anything that you don't want to change. You do that by holding the Home key and Round button down at the same time for 5 seconds.

However, the best thing you could do if you want to get into the details of how the machine is set up is to download a freeware program called OSCAR. That lets you look at the detailed data captured on the SD card every time you run the machine. It can be displayed so you know exactly what is going one each night. It also displays current settings. It requires a PC or Mac and a SD card reader. The SD card is located on the left side of the machine behind a small door.

Another option is to go through the Clinical Manual for the machine. It tells you what all the options are. There are kind of two ways to go with this. You can use OSCAR to figure out what is going on, and then change the settings yourself. Or, you can use that knowledge to ask the sleep clinic tech to change them. If your clinic is cooperative then that is the best way to go. For something simple like changing the ramp start pressure I could tell you how to do that. That would be the first thing I would try to make it more comfortable.

The best starting point would be to look at the data with OSCAR and determine what is going on when your wife feels like she is not getting enough air, and what is going on when other issues occur during the night. OSCAR will also give you some idea whether or not the pressures are set too low or too high. You can post a daily report screen here to get comments.

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PutSleepApneatoBed +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Commentator

Successful CPAP treatment is a journey —and not always an easy one. Successful treatment requires the right machine, mask and settings. But, together, you’ve managed to take the first, critically important steps: your wife has been diagnosed, is in treatment, and has a machine—thanks to you! Bravo, good husband! It probably wouldn’t have happened without you.

Now you need to work together with your sleep doc on finding the right mask (many of us go through five or six to find the right one—kind of like finding the right husband, come to think of it) and she will also need the correct pressure settings.

But keep at it. Good quality sleep is life altering for the good and worth the battle…..

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needhelp99 +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

Ok I will have to look into that. Thank you very much. Just hope I can get her back on board and knowing all the health risks associated with untreated sleep apnea she’ll do what it takes because I can’t wear it for her lol.

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