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[Equipment] Elevation and oxygen
#1
Elevation and oxygen
I am diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, and religiously use my res med 10. When I sleep at around 3,000 feet or less I consistently score 3 to 7 events per night. I have confirmed this at least 100 evenings. Unfortunately, I live in Colorado Springs, at an altitude of 6,000 feet. While at that altitude I consistently score in the high teens or greater. I have theorized that the difference in scores must be due to the different levels of oxygen in the air at these different elevations. 

I would love to know whether anyone else has a similar experience? I have been reading about oxygen concentrators, and have been wondering whether this “supplemental” oxygen could replicate the better scores I get at lower altitudes. I would love to hear any thoughts on this question.
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#2
RE: Elevation and oxygen
I don't know if supplemental oxygen would help you but I can offer what my experience has been so far as I'm working on getting on supplemental oxygen. My long term AHI at home (similar altitude to your home) has been typically 1-2 but I don't feel rested. When I travel to sea level my AHI isn't significantly different. I've been doing overnight oximetry and found that my oxygen saturation is under 90% for an hour+ most nights. I have heard that many people do see changes at altitude when they live lower, and I see higher AHI when I go up in elevation as well. But it's usually fine when I come home from lower elevation.

You should post some charts and see if anyone can help suggest changes to your settings that would help. Also consider doing an overnight oximetry test to confirm if you need oxygen or not.
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#3
RE: Elevation and oxygen
I actually just did the opposite (going from low elevation to higher) and I didn't notice much of a difference.  In fact, my numbers stayed pretty consistent.  However, everyone is different, so, could be related to elevation.

For the record, I went from about 910 feet to 8100 feet for some camping for a week.  The biggest difference for me was not using my humidifier, as it's recommended not to use it due to power draw on my battery unit.

--j
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#4
RE: Elevation and oxygen
Have you noticed whether the increase in events is due to Central, Obstructive, or Hypopneas?
As you go higher, Centrals tend to increase. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3227706/

This study looks at the ability for CPAP to work at 3 different altitudes.
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#5
RE: Elevation and oxygen
(07-28-2019, 10:34 PM)Mogy Wrote: Have you noticed whether the increase in events is due to Central, Obstructive, or Hypopneas?
As you go higher, Centrals tend to increase. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3227706/

This study looks at the ability for CPAP to work at 3 different altitudes.

Yes.  The human respiratory system is complex with a lot of kinds of feedback.   Strange things happen at altitude that aren't easily explained by direct physical effects of pressure and O2 concentration.
Get the free OSCAR CPAP software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#6
RE: Elevation and oxygen
I think everyone is different.  Some people have no issues with their xPAP at altitude and some see significant changes.  Mogy is correct - centrals increase.  

I spend a ton of time at just under 9000 ft and I was seeing so many centrals that my doc prescribed an ASV (at my expense) despite the fact that I don’t need one at home in Denver or when I travel to sea level for work.  I used to micromanage my settings based on altitude and could see some wild swings in AHI if not.  

I would suggest posting some charts from Oscar.  At a minimum the board can help determine if your settings are correct, and if necessary steer you towards a more effective machine.  AB is a wealth of information and there are some fantastic people that can really help optimize your therapy.

Good luck!
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#7
RE: Elevation and oxygen
Hey you guys-Thanks to everyone that has responded so far. I have tried to send a reply to each of you, but I can’t seem to figure that out. I am really grateful for the help. I am normally working off an iPhone, but should have access to a computer ina couple of weeks.
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