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New CPAP User - Having Problems
New CPAP User - Having Problems
Hey all,

I am a new CPAP user, and a new user to this board.  

About me:  I am 50 years old, 5'7" 230 lbs. married 18 years.   My wife has been complaining for years about my snoring. Although I never realized I had apnea she claimed I would stop breathing in my sleep. I didn't believe it could be as bad as it is, because I never woke up gasping for air except for that one time she tried to push my mouth closed while I was sleeping.  Sufficed to say I sprang up in bed very angrily.  That is the only time I ever woke up gasping for air.  In the past I avoided having my apnea checked out because of the potential cost involved, having insurances with high deductibles... that, and I'm not the one that had trouble sleeping, but we have recently got some decent insurance, so I decided to move forward with having it checked out, both for my health and my marriage.

So, I consulted with a neurologist who had me do an at home sleep study which revealed severe sleep apnea.  Apparently I stopped breathing several times per minute and my lowest oxygen level was in the 60s.  Yikes!  I don't know how accurate the study was though, since it was done at a time when I had severe pain from cervical radiculopathy which is now on the mend from medication.  

OK, so it took me a couple of months to get the CPAP machine, which is a ResVent iBreeze 20A with built-in humidifier, heated tube.  I started using it on April 13. So far I have not been able to get a full night sleep while using this machine.  It has woken me up in the middle of the night every night since using it for various reasons.

My initial prescription was 5-20 and I started out with an F&P Vitera full face mask (medium size).  I chose full face mask because I do sleep with my mouth open most of the time.  I am fine breathing through my nose, but my nasal passages frequently get clogged up either due to positioning or allergies. 

Well the first week did not go well. I am a side sleeper and the mask kept leaking, probably when I was switching positions. I would wake up with so much air blowing into the mask it would make my cheeks puff up, and the machine would not ramp down even after turning it off and on again, so frequently I would just give up for the rest of the night.  When I would try putting it back on and using the mask fit feature of the machine, I found myself having to tighten the mask so much that I would wake up with pain on the bridge of my nose.  I would have to wake up and readjust the mask several times per night.  

During that first week, I tried altering the various settings on the machine to see if that would help, and really nothing did.  Then I did something I was apparently not supposed to: I changed the minimum and maximum settings to try and find something that wouldn't blow air so hard into the mask that I couldn't breathe it all in.  I found that a setting of 7 seemed most comfortable to me, but even at 7, I eventually ended up having the same problem; too much air blowing into my face.   I also didn't know that changing those settings was a no-no until I went back to the medical supply company to try a different mask.  Apparently there is no charge to try new masks on for the first 30 days, and they don't even want the old ones back.. so I picked up a Resmed Airfit F20 (medium) to try and also followed up with my neurologist.

The doctor adjusted the settings to 7-12 and also enabled rcare and ramping, but now I have a new problem; my allergies seem out of control and I have a sore throat when swallowing. This causes me to wake up in the middle of the night too -- either my nose is running or my throat is sore and I take off the mask. I do sometimes drool in my sleep so sometimes I would wake up with the mask full of drool (I know, ew).  The doctor wanted me to stick with the mask and settings I have for a while and see if I get used to it, but at this point I am not because I think the machine has made me sick, which is weird because I've been very diligent about cleaning all parts of the machine every day. I'm using just regular unscented bar soap and water.  I run soapy water than clean water through the tubing and hang it up to dry, and I wash out the humidifier chamber as well, and refill it with distilled water just before bed.  I initially had humidity set for 4 but upped it to 5 because I would wake up with a really dry mouth (this used to happen to me without the machine as well).   

The thing I hate the most is that I was given a machine without wifi and so in order for the doctor to tweak the settings I have to make an appointment, schlep the whole thing there and make a co-payment of $40.00.  I also have to remember to take the SD card out periodically , put it in my computer and upload the data to the resvent web site manually.  According to the medical supply place, models with wifi are in high demand so that is all they could give me so it is what it is, but it's a pain.

I've sent a message to doctor to see what to do next but figured I'd introduce myself here since I'm interested in your opinions. I attached a therapy report from the web site for the last week. 

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RE: New CPAP User - Having Problems
You came to the right place! There will be plenty of good advice that you will receive.  Bigwink
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