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Interpreting Events Correlated with Small Mask Leaks
#1
Interpreting Events Correlated with Small Mask Leaks
   

I am including a screenshot of last night's Oscar data because it so clearly illustrates my question.  I have very little mask leak since getting a Memory Foam AirTouch F20.   My question is how do small mask leaks relate to events: hypopneas, obstructive and central apneas, and flow restrictions? Do very small leaks actually precipitate any of these events that you can see on my graphs? Or are the events themselves artifacts, i.e., not real, when they occur very close in time to these small leaks? I am pretty sure these small mask leaks happen when I move from my back to my side or side to back (and last night I was changing position quite a bit), so it is unlikely I can improve on that much, but I'd just like to understand what's going on better.
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#2
RE: Interpreting Events Correlated with Small Mask Leaks
I think if we saw similar graphs of individuals that are "normal" or without a diagnosis of apnea, we would see numerous artifacts or events. I have no doubt that the events happen, but the significance of a 10 second pause in breathing, or a fluctuation meeting the definition of a hypopnea, or breath-hold as we change position at night are all easily disregarded, and part of a normal night of sleep. At this level, your sleep disordered breathing is "treated" and while we can more closely examine the events, or make changes to pressure settings, I think it's mostly a waste of time, since the true measure of therapy is how you feel. Your pressure is moving within a 2-cm span, and that's pretty good. Your leaks are brief spikes that appear to be brief seal leaks. You seem to be doing great.
Sleeprider
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www.ApneaBoard.com

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#3
RE: Interpreting Events Correlated with Small Mask Leaks
I am still curious about whether the events that happen right when the little spikes in mask leak happen are true events, or artifacts.  If they are true events, it means that events can be quite sensitive to small fluctuations in mask leak.  Just call me "curious" or "a little nuts."
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#4
RE: Interpreting Events Correlated with Small Mask Leaks
I Re-read SleepRider’s comment and I guess he is answering my question; small momentary changes in mask pressure really can precipitate events, just as a posture such as a tucked chin, can creat obstruction. The night before last I clasped my hands behind my head which pushed my chin down an sho’ ‘nuff got me a obstructive apnea. The point of the CPAP treatment is to assist with the other reasons for airway collapse due to obstruction in the airway itself.  So it is useful to understand that a moderately higher than usual AHI number comprised of rolling over several times precipitating events can safely be ignored, unless I also feel poorly upon awakening, as well. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, SleepRider.
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