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CPAP & chest pain
#1
Hello All,

Newbie here with a question.

I was dx'd with severe sleep apnea 4 months ago. After a couple of months of CPAP use, I went to the sleep technician and I told her that I was having a lot of trouble getting used to the mask and that I felt starved for air. She increased my ResMed S9 pressure to 15. I've tried to get used to that level, but now it seems like there is too much pressure to exhale completely.

My chest has been hurting for the last couple of months and I'm wondering if the CPAP machine is the cause. Also, I had my yearly visit with my cardiologist and he put me on the treadmill, got my heart rate up to 160, and he said that my heart is fine.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
John
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#2
Given that you had your heart checked out and it's fine, I'm more comfortable saying that yes, the pain could be due to the CPAP---your chest muscles are working harder to exhale against the pressure and it can take them a while to get used to it.

Are you using EPR on your Resmed S9? If so, what is it set for?

And what was your original pressure set at? And when you were feeling "starved for air" were you using the ramp? And how much did the doc increase your pressure by when you complained about feeling "starved for air"?

I'm wondering if the pressure increase was really not needed and the problem was something else---like the ramp starting too low.
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#3
Either the ramp setting or the EPR setting need to be adjusted. I turned my ramp off after several months of trying to "get it right". Off was the right setting. Now, anything less and I feel smothered.

CPAPs are not capable of inflating our lungs as they are not ventilators. They cannot even inflate a balloon. Yet some people experience chest pain shortly after starting CPAP use. You would think with our snoring and our struggling to breathe, that pushing against the CPAP air would not be any more difficult.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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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#4
(11-24-2013, 11:23 PM)John108 Wrote: My chest has been hurting for the last couple of months and I'm wondering if the CPAP machine is the cause.
Anything to do with chest discomfort, better be reported to your doctor, maybe its nothing but better be nothing than something else
When I complained to the doctor, he sent me for lung function test
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-t...opics/lft/

You did not put the model of the S9 in user profile, model name shown next to stop/start button
The Escape models don,t tell you anything beside how many hours using the machine each night
AutoSet and Elite are data capable machine reporting AHI, leak, etc..

If you,re finding hard to exhale against pressure, EPR at level 3 might helps somewhat, some folks find breathing with bi-level machine is gentler and more comfortable as exhale pressure can set lower which can make a world of difference especially if one need higher pressure












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#5
In theory, working to exhale should not cause chest pain. The muscles of the chest wall don't work that hard on the exhale, that is more the sides (your ribs)and your diaphragm muscles doing the work - if the pain is centred around the sternum or under the breast, it bears being checked out, although the likeliest cause is costal chondriitis, an injury to the connective tissues of the costal region. This is normally not CPAP related. At any rate, any chest pains bear examination, although your heart is not the most likely cause at all. I would consider adjusting your pressure release settings (EPR on Resmed machines) and changing your ramp pressures nonetheless.
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#6
Hi John108,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more responses to your post and best of luck with your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#7
John, I had similar symptoms in the beginning, not sharp pain, just a dull ache. I think I am sensitive to exhale resistance and because of that I was holding air in my lungs. I awakened feeling suffocated and gasping for air. I am not much of a snorer. Some of my apneas are central, but now that my mask, my machine, and my body are better tuned my AHI is less than one.

Others are asking about which model Resmed you have. This is important. Make sure you have the Autoset or Elite. They both are fully data capable and help you greatly in analyzing what's wrong. the EPR thing was a big relief for me. It senses your breathing pattern and backs off the exhale pressure. That ONE single thing made a huge difference for me. Hang in there, this too will pass.
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#8
Read the OPs post. He did go to the doc who put him on a treadmill. Heart is fine.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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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#9
Wow!!! Thanks for all of the replies.

I'm not sure what model I have as I'm on the road on the way to pick up grand kids for the Thanksgiving holidays. I think that the display shows the air pressure with the word "autoset" next to it. I left the machine home for tonight. I'll look for the model tomorrow and post more info tomorrow.

Thanks
John
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#10
OK, I'm back in town.

My unit is the ResMed S9 Auto-Set. The EPR setting is at "full time" and the EPR level is set to "2."

When I turn the unit on, the pressure goes to 5.0 quickly and then slowly ramps up to 9.0. The max pressure setting on the unit is 15 and the min pressure is 9.0. The max ramp is set to 20 minutes.

My AHI level the other night when I used the machine showed 17.

So, what does all of this information mean to a lay person like me?

Thanks,
John

P.S. My family doctor took a chest x-ray on Monday that showed all normal. He is setting me up with an appointment with a pulmonologist. Until I see the pulmonologist, he recommended that I not use the CPAP machine. Till then, I'll use my fingertip oxygen sensor at night and set the oxygen level to alarm at 85 to wake me up so I can take a few deep breaths and get off of my back.
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