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New CPAP User Here
#1
New CPAP User Here
Hi There!

I was recently diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea (AHI ~25) a month ago and FINALLY got my CPAP (Phillips Dreamstation).  I know it takes a couple weeks to get acclimated to it (i have only been using it for a few days), but thought i would post some info about myself, my initial results, and some questions pertaining to them.

Over the past few years, I have noticed I seemed to be getting less and less sleep. Waking up at least 5 times a night, Weight gain, always being exhausted at work and the drive home was miserable.  I kept putting off a sleep test because i thought a change in lifestyle would fix it.  So i changed what i ate, started working out a bit, no results.  So i finally went to the doc, and had my sleep study.  It SUCKED (reverse pun?).  I got ~25 AHIs the first study. with about 12% rem sleep time.  Titration test, my AHIs came down to 12, but i only got 5% REM.  

Right before i got the cpap, i went to the doc and got a testosterone test and found out it was fairly low as well (~250).  The doc said this could be due to my sleep apnea, and is compounding the sleepiness issue, since low t makes you sleepy in addition to not getting enough sleep.  So if I get my AHIs down to <5 for about a month, and get my testosterone rechecked, it *should* be higher.  If not, its the man shot for me.  

Now the fun stuff...

I am using nasal pillows as i know i absolutely hated the nose mask thing during the titration test.  My Current pressure is 12 per the doc, I have not turned on Auto yet because I wanted to get a baseline on the 12 so I could tell if it would make a difference, is this the correct approach?  

Per sleepy head, over the last 3 nights my AHI is lower (3.96,8.1,4.97).  Is it normal to have this much variation? Also, I have noticed that the majority of my events are clumped up into a 2 or 3 hour window each night.

The first couple nights, i noticed that my mouth would eventually open and would wake when trying to breath through my mouth.  So last night I tried a chin strap, but my lips would still open and I would try breathing through my mouth again.  I distinctly remember waking 3 or 4 times due to this sound/odd feeling each night.  I have heard some people tape their mouths, but I would rather avoid that if at all possible.

I dont think I can post images yet so my charts will have to wait a bit.  I am looking forward to getting them on here to get input on how I can improve my experience.


Glad to be here!
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#2
RE: New CPAP User Here
G'day plight. Welcome to Apnea Board.

What you're describing sounds typical for many new users. It takes a while to get accustomed to sleeping with a plastic alien strapped to your face blowing air up your nose! Shock

Variation in AHI is quite normal at first - it will settle down over time. The main thing for now is to ensure the mask is comfortable and doesn't leak. Quite a few people do tape their lips but personally I would avoid it. If you do need to do so, maybe try a single strip of narrow Micropore running vertically - enough that your lips are aware of it, but not enough to prevent your mouth opening if you need to gulp a breath.

Alternatively (and preferably) do a search for the tongue stick method - basically you place your tongue up against the palate behind your upper teeth and use that to create a seal.

I have to say I went straight to a full face mask and it's fine for me - that might be your best bet if nothing else works.
DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
RE: New CPAP User Here
Welcome!

You mention "the majority of my events are clumped up into a 2 or 3 hour window each night".  That could be due to position (you rolled onto your back or tucked in your chin), or might the related to REM among, there are other possible explanations too.

For the mouth breathing, try wearing a soft cervical collar.  It worked for me where a chin strap did not.  It also prevents chin tucking and so might result in a lower AHI score.

I had my T checked recently and it was low.  This is after a year and half on CPAP with low AHI.  The doctor that I saw said that sleep apnea is the first thing he asks about when he sees a low level.  I had that covered so it is supplementation for me.  I am hopeful this reduces my daytime tiredness.  
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#4
RE: New CPAP User Here
If you choose to tape do a test. Tape as you would for a night. Put your cpap on with pressure.
Now open your mouth. If you cannot or it is difficult your tape or technique is wrong.

I use a generic sports tape that has a very gentle stickiness on skin.

The other suggestions are right on.
Fred Bonjour - Project Manager and Lead Tester for OSCAR - Open Source CPAP Analysis Reporter 
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#5
RE: New CPAP User Here
Hi plight,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Good luck to you with CPAP therapy, Hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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#6
RE: New CPAP User Here
Plight,

Welcome,

It took me almost a month to even feel normal in bed let alone sleep. I'm only a few months a head of you and can say things are getting better with the help of people on this board. Unfortunately, my doctor is not nearly as instructive as people are here. I guess we all have a vested interest in our success. I'm using the same machine and have found lowereing the Aflex to 1 was a great help as higher settings caused my machine to lag near the top of my breath which I found distracting.

Best of luck.

GuppyDRV
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#7
RE: New CPAP User Here
4-8 ahi in the first week is good. If you can't get a nasal mask working, like me. The full face masks aren't that bad and I got use to it quick enough.

when you get your charts up after 4 posts or put a gap in the url to the chart in http://imgur.com/
you will get some good advice to fine tune.
mask fit http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...ask_Primer
For auto-cpap, from machine data or software. You can set the min pressure 1 or 2cm below 95%. Or clinicians commonly use the maximum or 95% pressure for fixed pressure CPAP, this can also be used for min pressure.
https://aasm.org/resources/practiceparam...rating.pdf
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#8
RE: New CPAP User Here
Thanks for the words of encouragement!

I think I figured out why my high numbered events were clumped into groups, that is when I tried sleeping on my side. Which I normally don't do, but been trying because I hear it's better. Normally I'm a back sleeper. So I guess I tuck my chin when sleep on my side or something. I'll be getting a soft cervical collar today to rest it out.

Also, at what point do you start seeing "results" from the therapy. I'm only about 20% ahi events post treatment but I really don't feel like I have any more energy.
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#9
RE: New CPAP User Here
(07-04-2017, 09:02 AM)plight Wrote: .  .  .   I'll be getting a soft cervical collar today to test it out.

From experience; Besides the proper circumference, check the width of the collar as well.

Sleep-well - Red
Crimson Nape
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com
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Useful Links -or- When All Else Fails:
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Attaching Images and Files on Apnea Board
Beginner's Guide to Sleepyhead and OSCAR
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#10
RE: New CPAP User Here
Here is a link to my results from last night.  I slept on my back the entire time last night.

https://imgur com/a/8ZheX (space in between imgur and com as suggested, if this is against policy please let me know and it won't happen again)

Any insight would be appreciated!
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