dx OSA Oct/2012. Husband and I are CPAP "duelies" for 6 years now. Respironics system one and Swift FX for her nasal pillows. Husband has ResMed AirSense 10.
SF East Bay Area, California
Hi Rick and welcome to the forum.
Are you using the ResMed Airsense 10 Auto CPAP? What are your current settings? Are you using the ramp feature? What settings were recommended/prescribed by your clinician?
Do you have a copy of your sleep study results? In this report should be a figure for AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index). Any level over five is indicative of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If your number is 30 or greater than 30, your level of OSA is considered to be severe. CPAP is the first, most effective and least invasive of all the treatments for OSA. CPAP or XPAP is the gold standard for treatment of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea is related to a number of different medical conditions, but it happens even to those who are in pretty good shape and without any lung problems. There are studies that demonstrate genetic tendencies, as sleep apnea tends to run in families. Because my husband and I have OSA, our children are 98.7% likely to develop OSA sometime during their lifetimes. My brother and my sister both have OSA. I suspect my father had it as he snored so thunderously, but not everyone who snores has OSA. We'll never know for sure because he never had a sleep study done. OSA tends to worsen with age and with changing conditions (lack of fitness and weight gain). Having a sleep study done and finding out that you have obstructive sleep apnea is a great gift...because now you can do something about it. And it's worth getting the best treatment for it because untreated OSA will likely lead to an entire host of health ills (diabetes, high blood pressure, car accidents, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, stroke, kidney disease, CHF - even cancer and early death). My husband's father, who also snored thunderously, developed all of these ills along with all the diabetic complications. But he also was never sleep tested, though we encouraged him to get a study done. The thought of being hooked up to a machine made him never want to know. It was really too bad. We tried to show him that CPAP is just a different way of sleeping and once acclimated to it, you never give it another thought. And that's usually because you just feel so much better when the apnea is adequately treated...much less sleepy and fatigued during the day. Our pleas fell on deaf ears. He died 5 years ago. My father died 10 years ago.
So...let's get your therapy up and running. Your difficulty breathing out against pressure most likely is related to your treatment pressures and settings. This is a common complaint of patients who are using fixed, rather than auto CPAP and/or who are not using ramp for comfort. Please answer the above questions and we'll try to help you more directly.
I'm so sorry you experienced a dry socket. Those are really painful!
I'm 66 and had one of my 4 wisdom teeth removed last year about this time. It had broken in half, down to the root. Once removed, my nighttime TMJ dental device shielded the area from CPAP pressures and air and I didn't get a dry socket, so I went through it all very well. Only trouble was, the wisdom tooth that was removed was an anchor tooth for my bite. When it went missing, this threw my jaw out of alignment once again because of bite changes in the daytime. So, I got a lot of pain from that. My TMJ dentist fixed the problem for me and I was pain free and only a few hundred dollars lighter for the adventure. I hope I get to keep the other 3 wisdom teeth!
Do you have the sleepyhead application yet? You can get it for free online. Sleepyhead will allow you to see your own sleep data so you can determine whether your dry mouth is caused by mask leaks. All you will need is an SD card and an SD card reader to interface with your home computer and the sleepyhead App. Your CPAP machine may already have an SD card.
The Silent Night mask liners tuck in very nicely so you don't have excess fabric wafting in your eyes or tickling your nose. You can see a good picture of them at cpapXchange.com. The liners really do take away the sweaty feeling.. These ones are reusable.
Hi Bundy and welcome to the forum.
There's some good news here: It doesn't even matter if you had a bit of a cold on the night of your sleep study. It's not possible for a cold to produce severe sleep apnea. An AHI of 46 is really pretty bad. You definitely have OSA. Waiting for your sleep test would not have improved your situation.
You are being treated with very light pressure. That's really OK if that's what you need to treat your condition. You can get the sleepyhead application for free online. You'll need an SD card and an SD card reader to interface with the application on your computer. Sleepyhead will allow you to view your own data on a daily basis to see whether your treatment is working for you or could be improved. You will get to see what kind and how many events you are having (which all affect your sleep architecture even though they are not all a part of the AHI). Good on 'ya for getting your own machine!
Please post next with type and model of your machine, mask and mode of treatment (Fixed CPAP or Auto CPAP or XPAP). View your own sleepyhead data and ask away. We're happy to help in any way we can.
As you have already found, our brains are very good and quick at making associations. The associations that your brain has made in this case are: mask = insomnia, and, no mask = relaxation and sleep.
Your job now is to get your brain to make a new association which will negate the old associations. This new association should be; mask = relaxation and sleep. Now troubleshoot...what can you do to make this new association happen? If this were me, I think I would handle it this way: I would put on my mask while still up and awake (but nearing bedtime) and read a book (something I find very pleasant). I would read until my eyes began to get tired and I started to feel sleepy. Then I would have a "chat" (silent thinking) with myself: "Wow...I'm feeling really sleepy with my mask on...I don't want to fall asleep in this chair/sofa/recliner...I think I'll go to bed now and hook up (with my machine)". Once in bed and hooked up, with my machine on I would continue the "chat". "My mask is on and my machine is going and I'm feeling very sleepy. It's safe for me to go to sleep now. I'm so thankful for this mask and machine for how it makes me feel so rested in the morning. I will always sleep with my mask on...this is my lifeline...what a blessing. CPAP is my best friend ever.....I'm feeling really relaxed now...It's OK to go to sleep this way...I like this." I would keep the conversation going until sleep sweeps me under and my very last conscious thoughts are something, anything, positive about my CPAP treatment.
If I found myself wide awake after this restful "talk", then, without judgement in any way, I would just get up out of bed and out of the bedroom (with mask in hand), go get a cup of soothing tea and linger over it, put the mask back on and grab my book once again. The book must not be a wild adventure story...just something fun and relaxing. Then, after putting my mask back on, I would read until my eyes got heavy again. Then back to bed. Repeat this as many times as you need to until you finally fall asleep with your mask on and your machine running. Your desire/need for sleep will overcome you...with your mask on.
Repeat this process each night until your brain transitions with the new association: mask = sleep, comfort, relaxation, sweetness, a good refreshing night, etc.
Never, ever, fall asleep without your mask on and your machine running. It isn't safe for you to do that anymore. Tell yourself that over and over again. Believe it...because it's true.
Our brains are amazing tools and are quite malleable. You may be surprised at how fast your brain picks up again on this way of sleeping. The keys in working with it are patience and persistence. You must outlast your brain. You can do this!
I hope so, too. With the vitamin D, make sure the amount he takes per day is not over 1,000 IU..
He owes it to himself and to you to find out his sleep apnea status since his surgeries. He doesn't have to do CPAP to have a sleep study. He can ask to have a home study done. He'll wear a wristwatch-like device on his wrist and a thimble-like thing on his finger. Nothing will poke him and there won't be anything on his face or anywhere else. Plus, he'll get to sleep in his own bed. All the sleep study will do is provide information that he can use for his health and well being. No one is going to force him to do anything. No one is going to argue with him. It's for his benefit...and yours.
The sleep study numbers speak for themselves. They tell how low his oxygen levels go with his apneas. They show how fast his heart beats when he struggles to breathe. They display how many apneas happen to him in his sleep and what his average is per hour. This is news he could use....or not, but at least he could then make an informed decision for himself.
This is all so interesting. I really do appreciate the information.
Even 6 years ago, getting on a forum made all the difference in our success with CPAP, too.
I'm so sorry for my comments about Canada. From what I've read in just the last 2 days (on a separate apnea forum), Canada probably has the edge concerning how they are treating their patients and managing issues around CPAP treatment (and that's even with the problems getting treated that many obstructive sleep apnea patients experience there).
I've been posting without really being up to date. I used to help out on the ASAA forum in the 3 years before that forum disbanded. At the time, that forum was really into guarding patients in the areas of prescribed treatment and diagnoses and in the doing, actually discouraged patients from getting timely access to make their therapy more comfortable and limited learning about how their CPAPs work. Everything had to go through the doctors and respiratory/sleep specialists. That takes oodles of time, all of which was occurring in the critical CPAP adjustment period. Looking back, this was probably the #1 cause of CPAP treatment failures. Canada, on the other hand, has taken the bold step of empowering their OSA patients to learn for themselves, adjust their own pressures as needed and fine tune their machines to match their needs. I truly don't know how all the changes get noted, but somehow, everything seems to fall into place and the system with its' patients is so much the better off for it.
In the USA, we've been a little slow to catch on, due to all the dinosaurs living in the past on this issue. I've had it explained to me this way: If diabetics are allowed to adjust their own insulin doses to meet their own needs (and a mistake in the doing could cost them their lives), should we OSA patients be blamed if we tinker with our little blower? Well...my mind got blown away with that one!...which is a very good thing.
So, my sincerest apologies to any who've been concerned about my comments...and thank you again for pointing out my lack.
It's good that he doesn't seem to be holding his breath in his sleep as much.
He needs a follow-up sleep study to determine whether/how much his sleep apnea has improved since his surgeries. If the new sleep study shows that his AHI is still 5 or more, you'll need to decide what further treatment he needs. CPAP is the most effective and least invasive of all the treatments offered for obstructive sleep apnea. To be successful at it, the patient really has to "buy" into it. It takes time, persistence and patience to adapt to this entirely new way of sleeping.
Calcium Citrate Supreme has the proper balance of magnesium along with the calcium and also includes a small amount of vitamin B6. A great iodine supplement is sea kelp in tablet form, very inexpensive and 1 per day. Calcium and magnesium together, when balanced properly, is very calming.