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[Equipment] New Cpap user question
RE: New Cpap user question
(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?
. . .

Hi kowlooner,
Welcome to the forum. Welcome

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.

PAPing in NE Ohio, with a pack of Cairn terriers
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RE: New Cpap user question
Thanks Becker44A for all the information and also for the welcome to the forum! I really appreciate the time you took to write out all that advice.

I’ve been looking around at CPAP stuff for some time, so I’ve got a rough idea of what to do, but getting straight advice from this forum is super great. I’ve got the written prescription of course, but not (yet) the full report from the sleep study. I requested it and I think should get it when I do the follow up in a few months.

I’m looking mainly at Fisher and Paykel stuff because of international shipping issues. At one online supplier, the reviews look pretty good for the F&P Icon+, but I was just wanting to see if there were any folks here on this forum who could add some insight on the brand. Also F&P specifically because of the SleepyHead software compatibility. I might open a separate thread about these questions though since it doesn’t seem like there are a whole bunch of F&P product users.

And Annahms33, I’m interested in your experience with nasal pillows since it looks like you were using them with rather high pressure. After changing to the nasal mask, do you feel it’s any more cumbersome? Any soreness or marks on the nose or anything? Probably need a few days or a week to really tell, I guess. Anybody else have nose pillow experience?

In any case, I’m looking forward to reading more opinions! And thanks again!
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RE: New Cpap user question
I did not do well with the nasal pillows, when they would get to the higher pressures they would not stay on my nose and even when I held them in place, they would hiss because the pressure was too much for them. I would have to shut off my cpap and restart....so much for trying to get quality rest, they also hurt my nose very much, very tender nostrils in the morning. Switching to the nasal mask was so much better! I did not have to fight to keep it on and I slept so well. First time in a week that I have felt this good. Also, with the nasal pillows I felt like they were actually blocking off my breathing because they were not the right size for me. Hope this helps....
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RE: New Cpap user question
Annahms, thank you! That's kind of the info I was looking for on those things. Maybe nasal pillows also work better for people who have been doing CPAP for a while. The main thing for me is to find something that's reasonably comfortable and that I'll use. Thanks for sharing your experience!
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