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[CPAP] Fixed Pressure vs. Auto Pros and Cons
#1
Question 
I have been debating about getting a new machine that adjusts the air flow automatically. I have had decent luck with a fixed pressure machine for the last 7 years. It seems like it hasn't been working as well lately. Sorry no data yet I will compile some and add to this thread soon. I have read where some do not like the auto adjust machines as well. What are some of the pros and cons to each?
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#2
As far as I can tell, there are no cons to the Auto machines. (Apap)

If you purchase a Cpap, then you can only use one straight pressure.

If you purchase an Apap, you can set a pressure range to adjust to your needs, and if you want to go back to using a Cpap, you can do that on same machine. (So two machines in one.)

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#3
In addition to what Opal said that an APAP can do CPAP, the price isn't much different. If single pressure is what works for you, I wouldn't change, but when the day comes your results start to degrade, the APAP will help you get back on track to identify your ideal pressure.
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#4
I think the comments about not like them as well refer to the automatic changes in pressure, not the machines themselves. Some people find that the pressure changes disrupt their sleep resulting in an overall worse result. As others have pointed out, if that happens to be you then you can just switch into CPAP mode.
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#5
I've always used let the algorithms of the Autos to have their way with me. Many factors have an impact on your therapy demands, with sleeping position, weight change, and alcohol usage coming to mind as being front and center. CPAPs dont have any flexability to tweak your therapy. One thing to consider with Autos is you have to keep your ranges in check. Letting an auto run amok with a wide open range is not going to end well. Pressures outside of your sweet spot (pressures too high or too low) will cause degradation in therapy.

And as mention earlier, an auto can be configured to run as a straight PAP device if need be.
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#6
Hi gmapes,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I would get the AutoPAP for the reasons mentioned in the other posts.
If you decide that you don't do well with a range of pressures, (for example, 7-20 CmH2O,) you can set it up to do fixed-pressure, (for example, 14 Cm H2O,) like what you are doing now.
Good luck to you as you continue your CPAP therapy and also on your machine decision.
trish6hundred
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#7
Thanks everyone. I had read where a few people had sleep disruptions with the auto. I was unaware that an auto machine could be set as a fixed but it makes sense. My next machine will be auto and if need be i can set it fixed. I think as of now my therapy is starting to degrade with the fixed machine. I had just read some horror stories about the pressure changes with the auto machine and wasn't sure what I should do. Thank you to everyone that commented you have been a big help
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#8
(08-31-2016, 01:06 PM)gmapes Wrote: Thanks everyone. I had read where a few people had sleep disruptions with the auto. I was unaware that an auto machine could be set as a fixed but it makes sense. My next machine will be auto and if need be i can set it fixed. I think as of now my therapy is starting to degrade with the fixed machine. I had just read some horror stories about the pressure changes with the auto machine and wasn't sure what I should do. Thank you to everyone that commented you have been a big help

Just don't let them set your machine wide open at the start.
You already know your effective therapy level and don't want the machine to waste time getting to it. I'd set it at maybe 1cm below your current pressure and let it go two or three cm. above that.
if it flat tops at the high end you can increase it.

Ed Seedhouse
VA7SDH

Your brain is not the boss.

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#9
I've noticed that my therapy needs do change, as MaskUpSleepWell mentioned. So, I love the autoset machine that adjusts to meet those changing needs. When first selling the idea to my sleep doc of switching me to an auto machine, he didn't say anything negative about them, only mentioning that there were no clinical studies showing APAP is "better" than CPAP. I don't know if that is still true, since that conversation happened before home studies with an APAP machine became numerous.
David
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#10
APAP is the way to go. It can be used as a CPAP, if desired or a tight range can be set around a pressure and then monitor what the APAP algorithm does within that range based on breathing patterns. Pressure needs definitely change quickly. Even things as simple as head position on a pillow or levels of sleep change my pressure needs.

(Not medical advice, just my experiences).
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