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CPAP and Oximeter - Some Newby Questions
Hi All,

I’m new here, so please be gentle! (though happily that seems very much the norm.) I’d really welcome comment from you folk who are successfully using CPAP.

Having been diagnosed with mild/moderate SA I tried several machines over a 3 month period and various masks but with negligible success. Full face masks have a big perimeter to keep leakfree and no matter how impossibly tight (or loose) I used them, major leaks developed as my face relaxed. With smaller masks, mouth leakage became dominant. Strapping jaws closed helped a little but as lips relaxed the lips became a major leak point. I even tried taping my lips closed – DON’T do it! (Apart from the very real inherent dangers, you lift off a layer of skin each time you remove the tape. It hurts!)

I’m now looking at mouth devices rather than CPAP.

Some questions - Should I persevere with CPAP? Any pointers? Can one learn to keep lips closed (when asleep!). What of Buteyko breathing which some recommend – is it a management option?

On another matter. To gain some understanding of my blood oxygen levels I’ve purchased a Contec CMS50E Oximeter and am slowly coming to grips with it. The user manual is very poor but so far I’ve managed to record SO2 levels overnight, upload to a PC, generate and print reports. Although older data remains stored on the PC I can see no way of recalling it into the Conec software for further analysis. Has anyone managed this? Has anyone found a good English language instruction manual? (I’m very impressed with this technology itself, but the documentation is woeful and the software worse. It can for example show as previews a range of print options, but actually prints something else.)

Thank you in anticipation


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Hi John,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I'm sorry you have had a bad start with CPAP therapy. I know it can take some getting used to. There are so many masks out there so I would encourage you to try again and just keep trying different masks, 'till you find the one that works for you.
I don't know anything about the data-management software or oximeters, so hang in there for more answers to your questions.
Best of luck to you and I hope you will re-consider trying CPAP therapy again.
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You can download a free copy of the latest Sleepyhead 0.9.8-1 software which now allows you to view and print the data from the contes oximeters.

CPAP is the gold standard in OSA therapy. There are hundreds of masks to chose from, maybe a hybrid mask would work for you. Which brand and model of PAP machine do you have? If it has data capability you can view that data on your computer using Sleepyhead software and perhaps track down why you have problems with leaks.
Also tell us more about exactly which masks you have tried.
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Hi Trish and Bwexler,

Thank you for your thoughts. I'll look into Sleepyhead. Regarding hundreds of masks to choose from Bwexler, that's part of the problem! Here in Australia it is probably dozens rather than the hundreds in the US, but it is still a pretty daunting number of options. Similarly with machines - there are far fewer here than in the US. With masks costing hundreds of dollars each and machines costing thousands, there are limited opportunities to shop around. I'll compile a more detailed list of what I've tried, but briefly - I've used both the Resmed and F&P machines, with masks ranging from the little Pillario nostril type to full face masks. The best I found simply covered my nose - reasonably comfortable, minimal facial leakage, though still prone to leakage past lips, even with a chin strap.

I'll make some order out of my maze of trial and discard data and post soon

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