I started CPAP therapy a year ago. My biggest concern was cleaning the machine. I'm an RN, and all CPAPs brought into our hospital from home must be checked by a Respiratory therapist first to make sure it is clean and works properly. The things we've seen come out of machine hoses...from thick mold to live roaches. I work 60-70 hours/week, and just didn't know how I would manage the cleaning. My Aetna insurance allowed me to buy the SoClean with my FSA account. I never smell the ozone after letting the machine sit closed for 2 hours as instructed. When I've traveled and been without the cleaner for even a day or two, soap and water don't do the same thing. My machine smells musty and stale until I get home to my SoClean again. Recently I was thrilled to find a small ozone cleaner on Amazon for $45 that is portable. I connect the hose to the cleaner and leave the mask attached and place them both in a plastic bag I tie closed with a string. Works pretty well. Ozone breaks down after a couple of hours to regular oxygen. After a year of use, my machine is fine, my hoses are fine, and my masks are fine.
If one has the time and energy to clean and dry their equipment properly.... Great. Many of us just don't. My sleep doc said I've most likely had OSA since I was a child... Yes, I've been tired that long and am now trying to catch up on 40+ hours of sleep. It's taken me a year to really get all the components to fit and create a successful result. I am so greatful for my SoClean... It keeps me and my husband both compliant with our therapy. And without finally getting diagnosed and on CPAP therapy a year ago...I honestly don't think I would have lived another year.
An extra note:. My husband couldn't stand the Dreamwear with the heavy hose attached directly to the top. We rigged up a smaller hose to transition between the regular ClimateAir and the DreamWear. Of course Phillips doesn't recommend it! But my husband is USING his machine now every night all night and his AHI is finally in the normal zone. And he looks & feels better.
You'd be amazed how often nurses and doctors are rigging up old supplies to create a new therapy. It doesn't always require the FDA's approval. The goal is improved patient outcomes.
My DME is completely worthless and only wants to collect the $$$ from the insurance companies. DME's will be the last cash cow struck down by insurance... Just as local pharmacies can't always compete with mail order pricing.
I place it on a gauze and place at the edge of myask.
The AirSense 10 for Her is EXACTLY like the AirSense 10 Autoset except that it also has an alternative algorithm in addition to the standard one. It also provides pressure up to 20. My average pressures are 12-14. The alternative algorithm actually responses quicker to apnea spells, to treat the more common type of apnea in women. Although my husband gets better results using the for Her algorithm, too. We bought his off Amazon for about $500 with the heated hose included.
Often the doctor or DME provider aren't a lot of help if they haven't experienced it. I've learned any mask over my nose is going to leak air into my eyes, and they were dry before I started CPAP. I also tried the liners, boomerangs, etc....and they didn't much help me. For a long time I used the Amara View mask with with a Quattro Resmed headgear. I also did the AirSense face mask, trying both small and medium cushions.The medium felt better because it would fit lower beneath my mouth, without being too tight on my nose.
But may favorite these days is my DreamWear Full face mask. Finally keeping my numbers under 4 usually under 2.
Hang in there...good luck. I've been at it for about 11 months. At 58 yrs old, I was so exhausted I could no longer even think straight. Seriously thought I was developing early Alzheimer's. It's taken time, hut I'm starting to get back energy I thought I'd never see again.
Make sure you changed your settings from nasal mask to pillows. I don't know if it would make any difference in the reading, but it might effect how the machine is interpreting the average leaks every mask has.
One factor that helps with leakage for the DreamWear is having both the correct headframe and nasal cushion. I had to go down to a small head frame and small nasal cushion because the medium frame (standard) was too loose. I really prefer the medium width cushion but the opening went beyond my nares. On CPAP.com, they have really good videos on fitting the head frame...DreamWear also comes in a Large head frame as well.
I now use the DreamWear FFM because my pressure would blow my mouth open with my apnea and wake me up. I love the full face mask. Exactly like the nasal cushion, but with the cushion coming further down over my mouth. I still mostly breath through my nose, but the FFM makes sure my airway gets the pressure, not my mouth. And I've been able to go back to sleep on my stomach for the first time in almost a year! AHI <2 most nights.
It takes time. I've been diligently working at this for about 11 months. Have tried at least 6 different masks in that time until I found one that worked the best. For me, it's the DreamWear FFM. Anything over my nose caused too many leaks & broke down my skin. Try to be patient! And learn all you can!
My sleep doctor here in the US and her NP both encouraged me to find my best pressure settings. Anymore, most insurance only pay for 1 night in a sleep lab and then turn you over to the DME. My DME is worthless, gave me no choice of masks or machines. When I specifically asked for a mask that was newly on the market, I was told I couldn't have it because they couldn't return it once it was open. I had done some research before I met with them, as well as read many of my sleep doctor's published research on women with sleep apnea. I continued doing research and discovered the ResMed AirSense 10 for Her. Demanded the DME get one for me. They had no idea it actually operated on a different algorithm. All the DME wants is the largest profit margin. My settings were 4 cm - 20cm, often hitting 14 during the night. THAT much of a pressure change woke me up as well as blew my mouth open even after trying several chim straps and tape. I adjusted the minimum pressure to 10 since 95% was at 12 and placed the maximum at 16. Also changed over to the DreamWear FFM. Awesome not having anything over the bridge of my nose of tube in front, either.
My husband decided he wanted the AirSense 10 for Her, also. But even with a RX from his doctor, the DME wouldn't fill it. They wanted him to have another sleep study. Ridiculous and a huge waste of resources. Just as well...found an online supplier that was perfectly happy with the RX as written, and gave us a much better price. Also provided much better support for any issues or questions we had, than the local DME.
I'm an RN with a Master's in Nursing Education. Adjusting your insulin or BP pills without guideance or real knowledge could be dangerous or even deadly. This is air holding your airway open. It's the DME's wanting to keep you from adjusting your setting yourself. Your doctor or NP wants you to to take ownership of your OSA and learn to manage it effectively.
And when I go see my sleep group, my SD card records every change Ive ever made. The doctor writes a broad range (4-20) which covers the entire range for the machine.
I love my So-Clean. My biggest concern starting therapy was having time to clean it regularly. My husband had a CPAP and only used it about 6 months due to the cleaning and not getting it dry by bed time.
I'm also an RN and have been for almost 40 years. Even emptying the water daily and cleaning the container and hose, my unit quickly had a stale odor. I also know I have MRSA in my nasal airway...most healthcare workers do. Whether it's necessary or not, it sure does save time and the unit is always fresh. My husband started back on his APAP, too, and got a second So-Clean for him. Seems our equipment is lasting longer as well.
When we travel we leave the water tanks at home, and despite washing the masks every day, it just isn't the same as the So-Clean for us. The hoses machines smell "musty and stale" and I generally carry some essential oil with me to help cover up the staleness without the So-Clean.
If your current system works for you with good results, that great. If you're new to CPAP therapy and are wondering where you'll find time to do all this extra cleaning and maintenance...you might find it helps you use the CPAP more regularly.
How detailed was your home study? Did they do video? The hospital study does collect more data than a home study so that could be beneficial to get adequate control.
Oh, I want to be just like you when I get my machine! I have been tires,my whole life, did the exercise/healthy diets. So many other tests, treatments and meds that I've tried...but have NEVER not been tired.
I've been a nurse for 35 years, most of it on nights ..because, welll..y'know...that SLEEP thing.
Got to where I couldn't even remember how I meant to finish a simple sentence. I can stay in be for 12 hours and sleep 9 or 10 hours (I think) but still wake up exhausted.
But I've cared for patient after patient who religiously use their CPAP. They claim it changed their lives. And then I also care for patients who I can count their respirations from the other end of the hall from their snoring. And now I'm starting to connect the dots and see why those without the machines are more chronically ill. Many had CPAP orders...but 'it's too much trouble.' What's trouble is all the health problems without a CPAP.
Absolutely... as your sleep deprivation builds over time and your brain cannot refresh....it can influence anything the brain is remotely involved in.
I was just diagnosed....mild...but am petite with a small airway. My doctor said I've probably had this since I was a child. People still joke and laugh about snoring. But now we Know that snoring is never good and should never be left untreated.
Go have a test. Search for "sleep deprivation" and see if you recognize some of them in you.
The center I did my sleep exam said 50% of their patients are children. I have been tired for 50 years. I would sleep for 10-12 hours but still be tires when I woke up. I am hopeful this will be the missing piece.
Don't wait like I did and suffer for another 30 years.