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[CPAP] APAP 12 setting too high?

Brand new to the forum. 27 year old female 120 lbs diagnosed with sleep apnea a few weeks ago. I got my APAP machine this Wednesday with a full mask covering nose and mouth and a pressure setting min/max 5-12 and have had just plain horrible experiences thus far. Sad The first night I wore it, mask was not a problem. Put it on and everything felt good and lied down to go to sleep. I scuba dive so it sorta just felt like i was wearing a scuba mask and felt like i was pretty comfortable. Had some issues falling asleep but when i did i would get immediately get woken up by air slamming my face and then feeling like i couldn't breathe due to the high air pressure and would have to take off my mask. This happened a few times for a few hours and then i literally felt like i was about to have a nervous breakdown so had to take it off and go to bed without. I called my dr and he recommended i practice with it in front of the tv and last night i again tried that out and put the mask on and everything is fine until the machine auto raises to the 12 pressure setting and then i can't breath comfortably and have to take the mask off or reset my machine. I feel like this 12 pressure setting is too intense for me... is that normal? Is the setting set too high for me? Can i change it myself if my doctor is taking too much time to get back to me? I am now having nightmares about being suffocated and cannot image trying to sleep with it that high again and just don't know what to do Sad i am just so exhausted and just want to feel better Sad
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Hi Liz,


You're in the right place!
Folks are here that have gone through the same thing you have.

Lemme guess: Doc tossed you a machine and told you to use it every night.
Not so fast!

For a beginner 12cm of pressure feels like getting your brains blown out.

Glad to hear you're a scuba diver! That exp helps.

First thing you want to do, I think you need to exchange that machine for the AutoSet model.
It will auto-titrate you and provide full data logging for SleepyHead.
(A Resmed S9 Autoset will also do the job well. )
I do not own an A10 but someone else here can show you how to program it.
Anyone else out there using the A10 (possible non-autoset?)

Download the free SleepyHead software and folks here will help you get started and
that will allow you to adjust your machine and tell when you are getting decent quality of therapy.

Problem #1.
Your machine is not adjusted well *for your needs* right now.
You need to adapt to the therapy and the fastest-easiest way is setting ramp off and
starting low pressure of 7cm, high pressure 3cm - 4cm above that.

So, Low = 7, high = 10cm

Wear it and start it up while reading a good book or watching TV for a least an hour.
(This is like decompression in reverse)

Your body isn't going to like it at first. It needs to adapt.
After a few hours you might begin to wonder if the machine is still working. You've adapted to the pressure and probably be ok to sleep with the machine now without distress.

Hang in there and do like my sig says. Persist!!


"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." - Thomas Foxwell Buxton

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I'm confused by the advice to exchange the machine since OP states she has the Autoset.

Liz, you can lower that max pressure for a bit while you're getting adjusted. Better to approach it slowly than to give up in frustration which is what happens to many people who don't find a helpful forum like this. It isn't necessarily that the pressure is wrong for you, it's that you aren't used to it.

Also check out the exhale relief feature (EPR) if you haven't done that yet. You can drop the pressure on exhale by up to 3cms pressure. This might help as you work back up to 12 (if you need to be at 12 -- that remains to be seen).

You can get the clinician manual by using the link at the top of the forum page. The clinical menu is where pressure and other settings are. Also get Sleepyhead installed so you can track how you do with any changes you make to the settings.

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Hi lizard2122,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more responses to your post.
Much success to you with your CPAP therapy and getting used to it.
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Quote: Had some issues falling asleep but when i did i would get immediately get woken up by air slamming my face and then feeling like i couldn't breathe due to the high air pressure and would have to take off my mask.

It needs to be kept in mind that your therapy pressure won't rise unless there is a restricted/blocked airway. It sounds like you are sleeping supine (on your back) & that is very undesirable. Some might say an upper pressure limit of 12 is not enough to keep your airway open. If you are sleeping supine, then it certainly won't be. But high PAP pressures can produce undesirable effects such as central apnoea, & aerophagia, so the lowest effective upper pressure is what we strive for. My advice would be to avoid supine sleeping & if necessary adopt some of the measures to stop, on this forum. Try to create a mindset of "I must not sleep on my back" each night, before retiring. If you find yourself on your back, immediately turn onto your side.
Best of luck,
[Image: signature.png]Keep on breathin'
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