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Having a hard time
A little background on my issues. I had a sleep test done on July 3 2011 and was diagnosed with OSA with an AHI of 29.1 and pressure of 11. The day after the sleep test I felt great, even with being woken up to have the mask put on. I was prescribed a machine and mask and had the lady from a local hme give me the run down.

My first mask was a full and I just couldn't get the hang of it. They changed me to a Swift LT nasal pillow. I started using it and was doing ok but still not sleeping through the night and still not feeling rested. I called the hme to see if I could try a different mask and found out they were out of business and I was being serviced by Lincare. Could get nothing out of them. It was so bad I told them to come and get the machine. They wouldn't do that so I basically just stopped using it after about 6 months of getting no relief. I didn't know about this forum then.

I purchased a mouthpiece and it seemed to work. At least it stopped my snoring so my wife could get some rest. But now it doesn't seem to be helping and I am walking around in a fog.

Last night I decided to try the swift LT again. Now we get to the real problem. I put the mask on for about half an hour to get used to it. I was starting to doze off but would arouse with the feeling I couldn't breath. I did finally fall asleep but woke up with the same feeling about an hour later, feeling like I couldn't breath. This was the issue before when I gave up the machine. After these episodes I usually just turn the machine off for the night.

Sorry for the long post but any suggestions would be appreciated so I can start to feel better. I do have sleepyhead downloaded but don't have any data to enter yet.
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Even if you haven't been able to sleep with the mask yet you do have some results that could help. Give them to Sleepyhead and verify what your pressure readings are actually doing. Your sidebar says 11, which is certainly high enough that you shouldn't be having a problem feeling like you can't breath, so perhaps something else is going on. In Sleepyhead you will see if you have had any events during that "twilight" time when you think you're going to sleep but you end up waking back up thinking you can't breath. It could be you are not breathing, which could be caused by excessive CA events.

But the name of the game is you need some stats.

So............... Use the machine, make sure it's running at your prescribed pressure, make sure you are not sleeping on your back, and feed the results to Sleepyhead so you can begin to find out what's going on.

Finally, the one thing I absolutely know that will not cure sleep apnea is to quit using the machine. So make up your mind to not entertain that as an option. You can figure this thing out even if it takes different masks, a different machine or whatever.
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I am new to cpap and while some of these guys think 11 isn't much, when my out pressure gets up there (would be 13 for me since I am using an epr of 2) I feel like I can't breath OUT. This makes me feel like I can't breathe. Now, my sleep doc (who is himself a hosehead) said not to be so fast to think it is the pressure too high, but maybe not high enough to keep you breathing, so bear that in mind, but I am fairly certain it is the sensation of breathing against that 11 and I am just not accustomed to it. Could be that you would do much better on an APAP with some EPR.
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Hi JPR, welcome to the forum.

I think Daria is on the money. It's a sensation I describe as drowning in air. There's plenty coming in, but you can't exhale. You might find EPR or Flex will help - it lowers the pressure a few points during exhalation and overcomes that feeling that you can't breathe.

Have a look at the clinicians manual to see how to set it for your machine. There's a link for CPAP setup manuals at the top of each page in this forum. There are dozens of different manuals available, so Just make sure you follow the instructions to get the right one.

I second what Retired Guy said - download and install SleepyHead to give you a highly detailed look at what's happening with your breathing. There's a link at the top of the page.

Nobody ever said CPAP therapy was easy - it takes some work to get it right but the results are worthwhile. And it's the only guaranteed treatment for sleep apnea.
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Thanks for the replies. I am thinking the biggest issue maybe sleeping on my back. I will continue on but go to my side tonight and see how it goes.
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I thought a CFLEX would reduce the exhale pressure but evidently not. You would be amazed how much difference that makes. Here's another idea for what it's worth. Lower your pressure to where you are comfortable and then gradually increase it.

When I had a constant pressure machine that worked for me.
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Cflex on it max setting will decrease the pressure by 3 cm. However unlike Aflex it doenst smooth the transition from drop in pressure rise pressure. Nor does it drop the pressure of slightly nearing the end of inhaltion as Aflex does.

Tried my wife on Cflex but the constant pressure all the way up on inhale made her feel like the machine was making her take a deeper breath than she intended.

On the flip side of that Aflex set for to much relief made her feel as if she had to pull the last part of her inhale thru the machine.

Theres a sweet spot with either Flex type for most folks and some like none at all.
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(12-12-2014, 07:59 PM)jpr Wrote: Thanks for the replies. I am thinking the biggest issue maybe sleeping on my back. I will continue on but go to my side tonight and see how it goes.

(12-31-2014, 03:40 PM)jpr Wrote: My sleep study was the on the night of July 3/4th. They woke me up about 6 am and I felt great and haven't felt that good since.

Hi jpr,

You have a fully data-capable CPAP machine. If we look at the data together we may be able see what's going on, so you and your doctor can make small adjustments weekly or monthly, to optimize the settings.

Perhaps it would help to post some screenshots/data from Sleepyhead, so we can better see what may be happening.

At the very top of the forum, in the (extra) Important Threads section, the first one is the thread for discussion of SleepyHead. If you have any questions about how to install and use SH, that would be a good thread to post questions in.

Take care,
--- Vaughn
Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment. The Advisory Member group provides advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff on matters concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies - not on matters concerning treatment for Sleep Apnea. I think it is now too late to change the name of the group but I think Voting Member group would perhaps have been a more descriptive name for the group.
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jpr, You describe the same issue I went through when I started therapy, Now everyone handles things differently for sure , but for me it was the EPR setting on my machine, it was set on 2 and when I changed it to a 3 I could sleep through the night, I also went a step further and changed my mask. the main thing is to keep with it, make some changes and give it time, I still have up's and downs mainly for me it's getting used to the equipment, but on a rough night I still feel better in the morning.

Mr. Van Winkle
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