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3rd week use questions
#1
Hi Friends - OK - 15 straight days of using the new CPAP machine - so hooray for sticking with it. The last three nights I've had decreasing AHI readings - from 7.7 to 5.7 to 4.9. The first week, all the readings were more like 12 to 17. 90% pressure varies from low of 8.5 to high of 11.

Three questions: 1. I have the amara view minimal view minimal contact full face mask. I started with a small and after a week switched to a medium. It still leaves red marks on my face for the first hour of the day and I can't get the headband to not hurt my ears by halfway through the night. I'm going to try out a nasal pillow mask - but know that my mouth often falls open when I sleep. Any tips on how I can get a nasal pillow mask to work for me?

2. I am using the DreamMapper software for data. I tried to download the SleepyHead, but my computer security protections won't accept it. Is there a phone number to call for help with the SleepyHead software?

3. How long does it take to notice positive effects from using a CPAP? I'm still tired in the afternoons - which is the symptom that prompted my doctor to first send me for the sleep lab tests.

Thanks! Jane
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#2
Hi Jane - congratulations on the good start!

1. I'm not familiar with the Amara View, but I don't think it should hurt your ears if fitted properly. There is a fitting guide on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as_SIYwFQTw

If you do go for a nasal mask or pillows, it may take some training to get over mouth leakage. You can try a chin strap, which gently holds the jaw closed. Alternatively try the "Tongue-suck method". See this description by member DariaVader:

Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night


2. SleepyHead is a "clean" program but there is something about it which upsets some of the security programs. This is discussed in these threads:

http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...workaround

http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...-as-Trojan

There's no phone help line. SleepyHead was developed as a public service by a fellow apneac who is also a programming genius. He did it in his own time, at his own expense, so there are unfortunately no funds for a formal help system. If you post in our software support forum, you will find some members who are both subject experts and very happy to help.

3. Some people get immediate improvements, but for most of us it's a bit of a journey. As you get more comfortable with the therapy and dial in the minor adjustments to really optimise things, you will feel gradual improvement.

DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
I found that the top centre (over the head) strap can be adjusted shorter to lift the side straps above the ears. This will pull the mask up against your nose and you won't need as much tension on the side straps. Also, the air pressure will help inflate the seals, but 5 is fairly low. Once you can use SleepyHead you probably will find that you can increase you starting pressures. My ramp start pressure is 9, which does a nice job of sealing with comparatively loose straps. Even an eighth of an inch makes a difference in leaks and comfort. It also helps to wash the mask every morning and my face every night; those oils let the mask slide about and leak.
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#4
I left this response in your other thread

Hi JaneAM,
I know you've heard this many times, but the hardest and most challenging part of therapy is finding the right mask. If you want to try a nasal pillow mask and you know that you breathe through your mouth or that your jaw drops open, then a chin strap is a must.

Start practicing keeping your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

Place your tongue to roof of mouth with tip of tongue behind front teeth, then gently suck upwards.
This places your tongue in a natural position and seals the back of your throat, so that no air can escape if your mouth falls open. You can practice during the day too. It takes some time, but will work if your persistent. I was able to get rid of my chin strap after a couple months once I perfected this. It's worth a try.

Nasal pillows work great, but choose a pillow size larger than what is recommended. The pillow should not be inserted into the nostril too far, only just a little. Most of the pillow should sit just under the nose and not be worn tight.
OpalRose
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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