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[CPAP] I guess i finally have to start Cpap
I'm sure glad I stumbled across the "Apnea Board" last night. And stumbled was the right word.

I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea 9 years ago. I also have pretty bad nasal allergies, the usual, dust, mold, trees, cat, dog etc. which I get some relief from the allergy shots I have been getting for 36 years.

I really didn't want anything to do with cpap. I tried it and couldn't get used to it (cop out, I know). The real problem was my allergies. I'm not sure I will be able to use this with a stuffed up nose. My ENT allergist at that time couldn't understand (or maybe I couldn't explain) why I couldn't use it with a stuffed up nose. On top of that my wife was diagnosed with cancer a month later so that was my excuse for giving up cpap as I took care of here for 2 1/2 years until she passed away. So the last 9 years Mr. Cpap set in the closet unused until last night.

I always felt like I only had sleep apnea when my nose was stuffed up. When my allergies were ok I was ok and would go months at a time without being tired.

Recently I became increasingly tired and started thinking it could be sleep apnea especially because my allergies have been "OK". I thought about a dental device but the dentist wouldn't bite without a new sleep study and I couldn't find a copy of the old one anyhow. So off to the ENT a week ago who checked me over and confirmed it was probably sleep apnea. We discussed cpap, surgery and dental appliances etc. He also scheduled a new sleep test which I am waiting on now.

Last night I was starting to get a little panicky about the way I felt. I was searching the internet for sleep apnea info when I stumbled across this site.

After reading a few posts about others struggles I realized that I WAS NOT ALONE. Some how this changed my attitude bout cpap. I dug the machine out of hibernation and used it last night for the first time in 9 years. Can't say I slept good I woke up many times but I have to admit I feel better after only one night. I also found my old sleep study paperwork packed in with the machine right where my wife left it.

THANK YOU!!! I will be making a donation.

To start with there's a lot I need to learn but it will take time.

1 How to pick the best mask? Don't like either of the ones I have.

2. How to pick the best machine? is their a difference in performance and noise level?

3. Is their a way to deal with a stuffy nose and still be able to use Cpap?

4. What do all the numbers in the sleep study mean?

Believe me, this site gave me the help I needed last night that is greatly appreciated.

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Hi Eddie, welcome here. I'm sorry about your loss but it's great that you have renewed confidence about CPAP now. Sleep apnea doesn't ever give up. I "stumbled" on this board myself and the folks are great.

I have a friend whose father gave up on CPAP years ago. I keep telling him that machines these days are really quiet and masks have gotten smaller and more comfortable.

Getting the new sleep study was a good idea because your pressure needs may have changed since you were first diagnosed. This board encourages the use of data-capable machines which empower you to track your own progress and spot problem areas with your treatment. Your first hurdle after getting the prescription will be to make sure your provider gives you such a machine. Hang in there... someone has the link of recommended machines that collect data.
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(07-16-2013, 07:01 PM)Eddie702 Wrote: 1 How to pick the best mask? Don't like either of the ones I have.

2. How to pick the best machine? is their a difference in performance and noise level?

3. Is their a way to deal with a stuffy nose and still be able to use Cpap?

4. What do all the numbers in the sleep study mean?

1 - Mask is a individual choice, the mask I like might be terrible for you so you need to try the mask before paying for it, On-line suppliers offer mask return insurance (yesterday saw Supplier #1 offering free mask insurance return on Quattro Air) and check with your local DME for their mask return policy within 30 days

2- http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...ne_Choices

3- Neilmed sinus rinse

4- Sleep Study Key Terms http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...-Key-Terms

Sleep Study http://www.sleepoz.org.au/images/FactShe..._Study.pdf

Sleep Disorders; Fact Sheets http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...act-Sheets
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Hi Eddie702,


(07-16-2013, 07:01 PM)Eddie702 Wrote: 1 How to pick the best mask? Don't like either of the ones I have.

Trial and error - sometimes a lot of trial and error.
Many places will let you trial masks for a couple weeks. Pick one, try it until you know if you like it and take it back and pick another model to try if you don't. There are a lot of different masks out there and many people have to try quite a few before they find one that works well for them.

(07-16-2013, 07:01 PM)Eddie702 Wrote: 2. How to pick the best machine? is their a difference in performance and noise level?

Yes, there is a big difference in performance. Definitely consider a fully data capable machine. This will allow you to monitor your therapy. I would also suggest an Auto machine.

PR System One Auto (I thinks it's the 560 model, someone will correct me if I'm wrong) and ResMed S9 AutoSet are probably the best machines out there. Both are very quiet compared to older machines - most newer model PAPs are pretty quiet.

(07-16-2013, 07:01 PM)Eddie702 Wrote: 3. Is their a way to deal with a stuffy nose and still be able to use Cpap?

I deal with mine by cranking up the heated humidifier and cranking up the heat on my heated hose to prevent rain-out (condensation in the hose). I've had a stuffy nose for as long as I can remember - pressure + humid air from the machine clears me right up.

(07-16-2013, 07:01 PM)Eddie702 Wrote: 4. What do all the numbers in the sleep study mean?

Depends on what they are labeled. Give us an idea of what the numbers are labeled and we can probably let you know what they mean.

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Hi Eddie702,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your wife.
It's good that you are getting another sleep study as your needs may have changed from your first study.
The newer machines are much quieter and the technology is much better now so that will help you. There are many masks to try and that's the hardest part of the therapy but you have to give it a chance because it takes time and patience.
Hang in there for more responses to your post and of course, feel free to ask as many questions as you need. You'll find there is lots of help, information, and GREAT people here on the board.
Best of luck to you.
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When selecting a CPAP mask, the first question to ask is whether you are a mouth breather or a nose breather (when your allergies are not acting up). If you are a mouth breather, your choices are to go with a full face mask, or attempt to become a nose breather by use of chin straps and other techniques.

For nose breathers (and nose breather wanna-be's), you now have the choice of a nasal mask or nasal pillows. A nasal mask is like a full face mask, except that it only covers your nose and stops at your upper lip. Nasal pillows, instead of sealing around the nose as nasal masks do, seal around the nostrils.

Nasal pillows are less invasive and will be less likely to trigger claustrophobic responses. They also do not obscure your sight line as much, and you can wear glasses with them. However, they will tend to feel like there is more pressure to exhale against, they have a more directed airflow up the nostrils that can be quite disturbing, and, although there are many exceptions, they _tend_ to be less preferred with higher pressures (say 10 cmH2O and greater).

Finding the right mask is one of the main hurdles in getting accustomed to CPAP therapy. Find some place that will let you try out different masks and keep trying them out until you come across one that you like. Give each one a decent chance to see if you can get accustomed to it.

With regards to allergies, you can put a fine filter into your CPAP machine (Respironics machines come with a coarse and a fine filter that you use together, I don't know about others) which will actually filter out all of the allergens from the air you breathe as you sleep. In addition, particularly with humidification added, many people find that the CPAP pressure tends to help clear out any congestion and keep it clear.

Zonk gave you links to a good article about machine selection, and to several places with definitions of the various terms. There are also threads on this board that discuss the various terms and data you can get from your CPAP device.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have. We've all been there.
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Thank you all for your time and your advise. Greatly appreciated.
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Eddie702, welcome, I look at this as a journey that we are all on, hope you stick with it and just ask for any help or support we have all been there.
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What to add the others have not already said so much betterer?

Sleep apnea is a throat thing, not a nose thing, so it is not related to your allergies. Unless the allergic reaction also swells up the throat to the point of closing, but that would be a deadly allergic reaction. Sure, there may be some tissue swelling but not to the point that you would have "severe" sleep apnea.

A humidifier will probably be a good thing for you. It will really help with the allergy symptoms.

For all the alphabet soup on your study, check out these:

I think Zonk linked to it but also check out this article:

Do not hesitate to ask a question! It's probably been asked before so we know how to respond. We've been trained well.
Apnea Board Moderator

Breathe deeply and count to zen.


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(07-16-2013, 07:01 PM)Eddie702 Wrote: 3. Is their a way to deal with a stuffy nose and still be able to use Cpap?

(07-16-2013, 07:30 PM)zonk Wrote: 3- Neilmed sinus rinse

I also suffer from allergies and often have a stuffed up nose. I can't stress enough how much the Neilmed nasal rinse helps. I also use nasal gels and nasal saline sprays but when my nose is stuffed up before bed, these don't help. Only the nasal rinse cleans out the gook. I do the rinse as close to sleep time as possible so that I can put my mask on and start the cpap machine almost immediately after the rinse. This + using the humidifier keeps at least one nostril clear throughout the night for me to sleep well.
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