(04-19-2016 05:39 AM)kowlooner Wrote: My first question also has to do with nasal pillows, specifically whether they’re suitable or not. My pressure setting should be 13 cm, and I’m wondering if this is too much for nasal pillows. I saw something that said they’re better suited to pressures below 10 cm. Does anybody out there have experience with nasal pillows and higher pressures?
Second has to do with the brand. I’m looking at the Fisher & Paykel Icon, and therefore also at the F&P nasal pillows and / or nasal mask. The mask seemed reasonably comfortable when I tried it on at the supplier’s office, but I didn’t try the pillow at that time. Has anybody had good experiences (or bad experiences) with Fisher & Paykel equipment?
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Welcome to the forum.
Since you're starting out, here are a few recommendations:
1) Make SURE you get a paper/digital copy of your CPAP prescription. This will be key for a number of reasons. You might need it for travelling, you might need it to order CPAP supplies, etc.
2) I don't use a pillows mask, so I can't speak with experience, but my impression from reading is that many nasal pillows users have higher pressures, certainly well above 10cm. The search for a mask that suits you is very individual - what works well for one may be a dismal failure for another. You just have to try a few to see what works for you. Also, masks are all compatible with all machines - don't assume you need to use a ResMed mask with a ResMed machine - the hose connections are standardized.
3) Request a copy of your Sleep study report, the complete report, with all data. It may seem obscure at the beginning, but it may be important later, and the data is YOURS, and you have a right to it. You can't count on getting a copy later. For example, the HMO that did my sleep study is out of business, so I am left with whatever paper records I have.
4) From reading on this forum, I would guess that the 2 most common brands are ResMed and Respironics. F&P might be third - not sure. But I wouldn't be as concerned with brand as some other things. If I were starting today, I would want a machine that (a) is fully data-capable, and (b) is auto-adjusting.
Some suppliers will try to provide a basic CPAP machine, that doesn't deliver any data other than hours of use. Here these units are referred to as "brick" machines. The chances that you may find a good Sleep Dr or Respiratory Tech that can help you dial in your therapy appear to be fairly low. The result is, you will likely have to do this yourself. The only way to do this is to monitor the data yourself, which is only possible if the machine records the data and makes it available. Here is a link to Archangle's wiki with useful information on a variety of topics, including your questions:
5) I am recommending you go for an Auto-adjust machine. Any Auto-adjust (APAP) machine can be configured to operate as a fixed-pressure machine, but the reverse is not true. An APAP machine is like having two machines in one. Some sleep centers will send patients home with a loaner APAP machine for a few nights, as a form of "Titration study" to determine suitable pressures for your treatment. If you have your own APAP, you can do this for yourself any time you choose. An APAP has other advantages, but these should be enough.
6) Avoid any machine that is not supported by the SleepyHead software. Most recent models of ResMed and Respironics are supported, or support is being added. Some models of F&P are supported, but it gets pretty sketchy after that. IMHO, SleepyHead is the best software for monitoring your therapy, and understanding what is going on, enabling you to make informed decisions or even just to know what questions to ask.
Here is a list of currently supported machines:
* Philips Respironics System One (CPAP Pro, Auto, BiPAP & ASV models)
* ResMed S9 models (CPAP, Auto, VPAP)
* DeVilbiss Intellipap (Auto)
* Fisher & Paykel ICON (CPAP, Auto)
Current ResMed (AirSense) models and PR DreamStation models are already supported or are in process of being added.
Good luck on your journey.