If you are looking for mask leak advice, helps to know what pressure(s) you machine is set to and what type mask.
Rick, Pain is not normal with CPAP. Can't even begin to guess where the pain comes from but the alternative to CPAP is a dental appliance which helps eliminate OSA. From what I understand, an AHI of 19 falls into the range where an oral appliance would be effective. Hopefully one of our resident sleep dentists will give you some advice but it seems like PAP therapy may be the wrong path for you. At least talk to a sleep dentist. I kind of think the the lack of heated water in your machine has much to do with these problems but again, I am not an expert. What type machine is it?
When I was prescribed a Bipap vs another type machine, I asked why. I didn't hear any of the issues you bring up but was told that since I required the highest pressure (25), it made exhaling easier with a lower (21) exhale pressure. Guess I was getting smoke blown up my nose?
I suspect that since there might be more than one reason and only one specific to your medical needs, chatting with the doctor who changed the prescription might reveal the answer most accurately.
Sounds like your pressure settings are not set for best results, How long have you been using this machine and how were the pressure settings derived? A titration study by a sleep doctor? IF that is the case, the study needs to be redone but the results need to be discussed with the doctor who made the prescription.
Most people who have reported on various surgeries have found them painful and sometimes ineffective. Your problem is the struggle with CPAP. The snoring and feeling tired are effects of OSA and not the cause so find a solution where CPAP IS effective. Sounds like your mask issue is at the root of your inability to use CPAP. I use a boil & bite mouth guard and I don't drool nor does it come out. It keeps my mouth shut as my jaw otherwise tends to droop when I sleep and the mouth guard eliminates the problem You didn't mention which mask you use but I use an Amara View as it is most comfortable and has lowest leaks for me (maybe not for everyone?). The reason I felt tire during the day and dropped off to sleep at very very inopportune times is low blood O2 levels at night for LONG periods. When you stop breathing (OSA), your blood O2 can drop dangerously low.
Not sure snore apps on your phone will get to the core of your sleep issues. Get back in and get another sleep study followed by a titration study to get a good prescription and figure out how to make therapy work rather than give up on it.
I would really be concerned if my pressure was changed if it had been effective in reducing sleep apnea events. Why was this called for? The sleep therapist didn't know what else to do regarding your daytime fatigue! It seems reducing your dose of the sleep-aid drug is moving you in the right direction. I would advise you to be wary of the sleep therapist and follow the decreasing dosing of the sleep med in consultation with your family doctor. I really don't think there is ANY difference between a pressure of 7 and 8 and doubt you have noticed the difference.
How were you able to set up the various parameters like pressure without a current titration study? Glad you are happy with the results but I would be curious about the actual results like AHI in particular. How is that number?
That is really great news. I am struck by how often folks are disappointed in their sleep doc. Fortunately, I never met or saw mine (I think he may be a ghost or machine or something). Not sure why the humidifier makes a difference. Beyond my understanding of the therapy. I keep my humidifier on 3 on a ResMed machine and have turned it off and not felt a difference. I also turned off ramp completely as they set it for 20 minutes when I was given the machine and I just laid in bed waiting for pressure to build. The diet you have been on shows a lot of will power. If you can figure out how to bottle it, I would be happy to market it for you and get very rich. Keep us up to date on progress!
Welcome Random... Glad you are getting deep sleep but I am not sure some of assertions are quite on the mark:
"I don’t know all the science behind it, but I know these machines get you into a really deep sleep state, and it is somewhat artificially regulated because it’s not the same sleep you’d get naturally. I believe I read that the sleep cycles are fixed for something like 30-45 minutes."
A PAP machine of any sort doesn't have some diabolical sleep state control mechanism. You hit REM sleep because your sleep isn't interupted with OSA events. I think that when you go on the internet and read stuff, you should probably fact check the results. Sleep cycles are not fixed at anything.
Second point; turning off your CPAP and continuing to sleep is counterproductive as far as treating OSA. If you turn it off and sleep an hour and a half without the benefit of therapy, you are losing a large chunk of therapy; this is likely not a real healthy way to avoid being a morning zombi. I don't know why you feel groggy for an extended period of time but that might be someone someone else can take a stab at or requires a chat with your doc but coming out of sleep with white noise and increasingly louder noises? I doubt that is harmful but it just doesn't click for me. Talk to a real sleep specialist and not some internet self-appointed guru (like me bwhahahaha) and you are more likely to find some real answers.