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[CPAP] Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
#1
Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
So, I'm 22. Diagnosed about 8 years ago with sleep apnea but I haven't gotten around to using my cpap very much. Since diagnosis i have lost about 90ish pounds in weight, so i was hoping that would've improved or solved my apnea issue because i was overweight. 7-8 years ago was when i last had a sleep study.

However, I recently started using it again after awhile and on the nights that I am actually able to fall asleep with the mask on, I wake up shortly after feeling as though i cannot breathe.
I wouldn't say gasping for air, but i definitely want the mask off. It almost feels as if i'm not getting enough air. Even though i am breathing normally through the mask.
I know it probably isn't waking up from a bad dream, or having a panic attack. I'm very familiar with those.

I have a pressure of 5.0cmH20, on my cpap.
When I am not using my cpap, I never wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air. I usually never wake up period.
I usually sleep soundly all through the night, and while i don't feel extremely rested in the morning; Getting to bed at a good hour and getting on a schedule, will usually let me wake up in the morning feeling relatively rested, but  i do also hate mornings.


So, my question is then; What do you think I can do to help myself fall asleep and stay asleep? Is the pressure to high? To low?
Thoughts on this would be nice.

Thanks Big Grin

P.s, I wouldn't have any useful data to post from my cpap. I have not managed to fall asleep or stay asleep for longer than 30 minutes to an hour before i either wake up and take it off, or i wake up with the mask on the floor because i sleep on my stomach. (sorry)
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#2
RE: Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
My opinion is that a low pressure doesn't cause a feeling of being starved for air. A pressure of 5 cm means that the pressure is 5 cm higher than what it would be without the mask. I think it's a matter of not being used to breathing through a mask. We wake up, notice the restriction of the flow of air into our lungs, and panic. But the mask doesn't restrict the flow enough to harm us. The way to overcome it is to get used to wearing the mask. That takes time, and every time you sleep without the mask you increase the amount of time it will take. You can commit to wearing it every time you sleep, all the time you are sleeping, and that will eventually get you to where you want to be.
Sleepster

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
RE: Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
When I first got a machine that had RAMP on it, I thought I would give that a go.
However, I found there was a pressure between 5 and 8 where I felt I was not getting enough air from the machine so as I could breath without any effort.  I found I was breathing faster than the machine was able to supply air.  If that makes any sense to anyone?  I found once it got past that pressure it was fine and I could breath fine, even though the pressure had gone higher.
So I stopped using the RAMP function for this reason.
It may be this effect you are getting, neither enough or to much air so you end up fighting the machine to get air through it.

The only other problem that can happen is when you try to breath out, the pressure is too great for you to breath against.
However, at a low pressure like yours, I don't think that would apply.

How does it feel when you start the machine without using the Ramp?
If you do this and you find yourself fighting the machine, it might be what I was experiencing.
If so, I would try increasing the pressure slightly to see if the problem goes away.

There are lots of videos on YouTube to show you how to do this.

The other point is, do you still need to use a CPAP machine? Have you been checked or checked yourself in any way?
Oximeter or any home test?
I am NOT a doctor.  I try to help, but do not take what I say as medical advice.


Every journey, however large or small starts with the first step.

Sleep-well
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#4
RE: Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
I'd try a pressure of 7 and see how that feels.  I'm still new, but I've found if the pressure is too low and I have any stuffiness, I feel like I'm not getting enough air.
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#5
RE: Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
Hi darklazer32,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Better luck this time around with CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#6
RE: Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
With your young age, and significant weight loss, a new sleep study would not be out of the question. Although you think there is no useful data, that may not be so. It sounds like you manage to doze off and are awakened with a sense of distress about your breathing or the mask. There may be an apnea (or several) recorded immediately before you remove the mask. Those could be obstructive, in which case a higher pressure is obviously needed, or clear-airway (central), which might mean you have some sleep transition apnea, or possibly you just don't need CPAP. I'd look at the data, and consider getting an updated test.
Sleeprider
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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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#7
RE: Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
A pressure of 4 or 5 is considered a pediatric pressure, ideal for a child or small adult. You are older now. Most of us START at a pressure of at least 6-8.
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#8
RE: Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
Just fyi, I was unhealthy and overweight. I’ve lost 230#s over the past 2 years and my OSA got much better but my CAs have gotten serious over the last 3 months! Most people who lose significant weight do not usually get cured of sleep apnea. Usually once diagnosed, you will be on a machine for the rest of your life. I too think you need a new sleep study for better pressures! Good luck
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#9
RE: Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
Pressure is to low.
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#10
RE: Waking up, feeling unable to breathe with mask on
I'd consider a new sleep study and possibly raising pressure to 6, maybe 7. But certainly talk to the doctor about consideration on the need for the sleep study.

Dave
Dave

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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