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[CPAP] Pressure Setting Question
Hi everyone, newbie CPAP user here.

I was fortunate enough to come across a sleep study in Chicago which funded two overnight studies for me in order to address OSA and insomnia both independent of one another as well as together. I'm still in the sleep study, however, I decided to purchase my own machine instead of using theirs for the at-home portion of the study.

Based on the sleep center's recommendation, I went with the AirSense 10 Autoset (heated humidifier) and just received it. I'm beyond excited to start using it and will hopefully feel what it's like to wake up feeling rested!

Here's my question: I won't receive my sleep study results (AHI, etc) until after the study is over in 90 days, however, I saw the prescription when ordering my machine and it had me at a pressure of 8. Now, out of a possible 20, I assume this is very low? I'm also hoping this can give me an idea of my AHI since I'm dying to know.

Can anyone shed some light on what a pressure of 8 treats? i.e., AHI greater or less than 5?

Thanks for your help! I'm so glad I came across this informative board!

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(12-15-2015, 05:33 PM)alemap_pc Wrote: Here's my question: I won't receive my sleep study results (AHI, etc) until after the study is over in 90 days, however, I saw the prescription when ordering my machine and it had me at a pressure of 8. Now, out of a possible 20, I assume this is very low? I'm also hoping this can give me an idea of my AHI since I'm dying to know.
Not everyone need to be on a higher pressure, everyone is different
Try straight 8 or auto range, something like 7 - 10 and see what it works out
Monitor the results using SleepyHead http://www.sleepfiles.com/SH2/
Its matter trial and error to find the sweet spot, need some patience and time

Welcome and good luck
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By definition, sleep apnea involves an AHI >5.
As for a correlation between Pressure and AHI, none is known to exist.
You may be mild to severe as far as AHI.
8 is on the low end of what people are prescribed.

Since, you're going to titrate on your own (well actually you have a starting pressure from the study,)
Let the Autoset work around the 8 range to find "sweet spot" in pressure.

What's lacking is knowledge of what type of apnea was found in your study.
If obstructive, then the Autoset should work well for you.
If mixed or clear airway apnea, then you may have "jumped the gun" by getting the autoset.

Fortunately, the Autoset is smart when it comes to clear airway apnea; and it will score the apnea; but not increase pressure.
Following your results with software will provide insight into effectiveness and type of apnea.

Kindest Regards,


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Hi Alemap_pc,
Welcome top the forum!

The pressure number of 8, that you're referring to, is the displacement of water in centimeters. As stated by other members, this pressure has no coloration to your sleep apnea number. The AHI number is a combination of apneas, both clear and obstructed, and hypopneas. The number refers to an average per hour of sleep.

For more information on your CPAP and sleep apnea terminology, I am including links to your AS10's clinician manual and a link on sleep apnea acronyms.

AS10 Manual:

Sleep Acronyms:

For more information, click on the "Wiki" link listed at the top of any page.

Good Luck!

Useful Links -or- When All Else Fails:
Posting SleepyHead Charts in 5 Easy Steps
Robysue's Beginner's Guide to Sleepyhead
Apnea Helpful Tips
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Working with the numbers relating to OSA can be extremely confusing. It will take you a good while before you will be well versed in some of the CPAP/OSA numbers and how they relate to your malady. The number (8) as related to the pressure that the Sleep Physician prescribed for your therapy does not lend much to the knowledge of the severity of your apnea condition. et; mild,moderate or severe. That particular obscure diagnosis should come later after all the titration tests are in. The presently prescribed pressure setting of (8) is only what the techs determined was the maximum average pressure needed to keep your airway open during the majority of the time that your test was run. It may not have stopped all events, but enough to set a median. It is a very good chance that the present pressure setting will be changed over a period of usage.
Since this is all new to you and the importance to use a CPAP machine; I think that I would use the (8) setting as prescribed and not to worry about anything else. Adjusting to CPAP usage is frustrating for most. You have a top of the line machine that if used properly can make your sleep more comfortable and perhaps deter any future health concerns. Visit this forum frequently and you will learn from a whole wonderful world of sleep apnea folks that started just like you.
Yesterday is history; Tomorrow is a mystery; Today is a gift; Thats why its called "The Present".
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Most people find that getting the mask that works best for them is the most difficult part of the process.
If you ask others, they will have their favorite mask; but we are unique; and what works for one person my be terrible for another person.
You may have to try 3 or 4.
You might read the mask reviews by board members:
And, the Wiki can be useful -- link at top of page.
Within the Wiki is a list of Acronyms.
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Hi alemap_pc,
WELCOME!to the forum.!
I wish you much success as you start your CPAP journey, and hang in there for more responses to your post.
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Wow! Thank you all so much for the warm welcome and feedback. I've been on this board for only two days and I've learned so much!

Luckily, the sleep center doctor gave me the machine suggestion based on my study results and what would be best for me, so I'm hopeful that it was the right choice and investment. Fingers crossed!

Now to find the right pressure and mask!
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Nothing wrong with the number 8 - it was my pressure on the non-auto machine!
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Your machine is auto adjusting, meaning it detects signs of flow restriction, snores and flow patterns to increase or decrease pressure through the night. A pressure of 8 suggests a constant CPAP pressure with the auto-algorithms locked out. Putting the machine into Autoset mode, with a minimum pressure of 7 and maximum pressure of 12, might reveal you have a need for varying pressures through the night, depending on your sleep position (side or supine), or sleep stage and other factors. That is why people use an Auto machine.

What we don't know are the parameters of the study you're enrolled in, and whether changes to the pressure or use of the autoset mode are consistent with the study method. Anyway, except for the study, for most new users with that machine, a pressure range would be more likely recommended rather than fixed pressure.
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