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New CPAP user (sort of)Headaches every morning
#1
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New CPAP user (sort of)Headaches every morning
                        So this is a bit of a long story, back in March I did an at home sleep study. They found my AHI to be a 23, and RDI 26.5. I spent 13 minutes with o2 sat level below 88%. I had 150 obstructive events, 4 hypopneas, and 177 RERA's, all while on my back, I'm a back sleeper and fat. So that probably doesn't help me lol. I can probably find the paperwork if that is something anyone needs to see.

 Anyways I got approved for a machine and I had no idea what to expect so they got me a Resvent iBreeze (it was awful), then my Dr. couldnt even get reports off of it, and the DME set my device up wrong, so I was set to 3 for the lowest pressure, and constantly felt like i was suffocating. I honestly thought it was my own issues, so I didnt have very good luck with compliance, I would rip the mask off in my sleep and not even realize till morning. When I think back to those times I was having more headaches than usual, but I didnt really put 2+2 together. Since I wasnt using the machine long enough, or consistently enough they were not as bad.

Fast forward a few months, and the DME got me a Resmed Airsense 11, and they set the pressures correctly and I have def seen improvements in my BP (which wasnt high before, but now its like 113/67, pretty good for someone as fluffy as I am lol), and feeling somewhat more rested I think. BUT, I wake up with headaches EVERY SINGLE MORNING, and they will not go away unless I take advil (and that is not a long term solution for me, I am not big on taking pills, and I dont think thats the answer.) I have been scouring the internet to figure out why this could be happening, and I just cant find an answer that seems to help me. I am so frustrated.

I mostly got on this journey because my husnand has alot of episodes of snoring, not breathing at night and falling asleep whenever he sits down, so I decided to get a sleep study to encourage him to do the same, he did and he is now waiting on his machine. But I have to say he is getting a bit nervous considering how this is working out for me, and he has a CDL so he HAS to be compliant.

A couple weeks ago I thought it might have been me with the mask too tight, since my fitting was kind of a joke (sitting in a chair, and took like 30 seconds), so I loosened it up significantly, following some instructions I found online to get a good fit, and even have tried switching to an old mask of a different style, and no matter what I just feel like its squeezing the back my head all night and then I wake up with a sinus headache.

I have tried increasing my humidity, lowering my machine to the ground, put a humidifier in my room etc. Last night I set the machine on the hard wood floor (just to try it down low, like I have seen recommended), raised the humidity from 5 to 8 and I woke up in the middle of the night in a serious rainout, like pouring water out of my mask (or that's what it felt like at 2am lol). I do keep my room cool, and don't have a heated hose, but I am so confused as to what is causing these headaches. I was not prone to headaches before, unless they were the self-inflicted indulgent weekend headache lol.

I would like to just stop using it for a week and see if these headaches go away, but my insurance will definitely pull the device if I am not compliant, so I just don't know what else to do. When I mentioned my headaches at my last pulmonologist appt she just brushed me off and said its probably allergies. I am not great at advocating for myself I guess, so I just let it go. I would just hate to have come this far in this whole process to just quit. 

I put an SD card in my machine last night, so I do have one night of OSCAR data but its all greek to me. According to my machine I have been having great numbers when I use it. (Last night was a bit of a struggle due to the rain out and trying to get my mask dry so it stopped gurgling and drowning me.) 

I also sent a message to my Dr. this morning, so I am waiting to hear what she has to say. I am just at a loss, so any ideas or help would be AMAZING!! Is it possible I just have a sensitive head? I know when I wear anything too tight on my head it can cause mild headaches, even a tight pony tail can be uncomfortable for me at times, but I have never had something reoccur like this, and not go away when the pressure is relieved.

Please help! Sorry for this LONNNG post, thank you!!!

Diana
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#2
RE: New CPAP user (sort of)Headaches every morning
Your are using your Airsense 11 Autoset with a range of 8 to 16 cm with EPR 3 and experiencing some RERA and low "unknown apnea" UA. I see a classic patternof upper airway resistance with very high intermittent flow limitation and snores. This is the root of any apnea or RERA that you have and of your unsatisfactory sleep. The pattern of very high flow limitation and snores with periods of relatively low flow limit suggests a positional element to your airway obstruction and resistance. Ultimately, I think this can be resolved fairly easily by avoiding sleeping positions or extra pillows that cause your head to tilt forward or "chin-tucking". In some cases a soft cervical collar woks well, but I think for now, I'd like you to read our positional apnea wiki and think about your sleep position and use of pillows to see if we can get a clue how to resolve this.

Your CPAP pressure increas9es are the result of flow limitation which causes snoring and arousals, however I think you might benefit from a minimum pressure of 9.0 which will result in actual pressures of 9.0/6.0 (inhale/exhale) with the use of EPR which causes your expiratory pressure to be below your effective therapy at your current settings. EPR ill remain an important tool to treat flow limits, but you need to have the higher pressure to compensate.

Positional apnea http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...onal_Apnea
Soft Cervical Collar: http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...cal_Collar
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

____________________________________________
Download OSCAR Software
Soft Cervical Collar
Optimizing Therapy
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How To Deal With Equipment Supplier


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 (sort of)Headaches every morning
Could that be causing headaches that I never had before I started using a CPAP? Also, full disclosure I messed with my settings yesterday (I know, bad lol) my EPR was set to 2, I will change that back and my pressures were actually set 6-16 I upped it because I still feel a little short of breath when I first put the mask on and lay down. 

I'm sure I'll get a slap on the wrist from my Dr. about that, but when I bring up the headaches to her, she just brushes them off. Tells me my therapy is working great, and its probably just allergies, but this has been MONTHS of intermittent headaches since starting. I just didnt put it together until I started wearing the mask more consistently and for more than 2 hrs at a time.

It was a really awful struggle with the first machine with my base pressure set at 3 (I was practically suffocating), and the ramp kept turning itself back on. I thought I was allergic to something in my house, got rid of candles, air fresheners, bought a big air purifier for the house, changed cat litter brands/scents. I have been going crazy with this, not to mention my anxiety of worrying that there is something wrong with my brain or something lol. Finally looked back at roughly when the headaches started and there was a direct correlation to starting with the CPAP, and increasing headaches with continued use.

I definitely sleep on my back like 100% of the time, when I intentionally lay on my side I wake up in the mornings on my back. I will review those articles to see if I can fix that. I wonder if the collar would just eliminate the need for a CPAP? I only really started snoring like this since I got fat after having my twin girls. My husband tells me I am not snoring with the mask on, but it definitely looks like I am based on Oscar data (It wouldn't pick up his snoring next to me would it? He snores like a train quite regularly)

Sorry, I'm just so frustrated and my Dr keeps the "you have to use it, or they are gonna take it away from you and you'll have to do everything again with a new sleep study to requalify threat" yet doesn't really offer a solution for the headaches.  It like a hangover headache but without the fun the night before. SOOO frustrating, and also draining because I try not to take Advil for them.
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#4
RE: New CPAP user (sort of)Headaches every morning
Keep the EPR at 3, but increase the minimum pressure by 1. That keeps your exhale pressure the same as prescribed, but gives you the additional benefit of the higher EPR. We use EPR or pressure support to directly treat flow limitation.

Correcting chin tucking is both easy and effective. If you can find a comfy chair, do the simple experiment described in our article. Breathing normally, just relax and let your chin fall toward your chest. You will probably feel increasing air resistance or even snoring as you relax further. Be aware of tensing your throat to counter the effect of the chin tuck. This resistance is what happens when you sleep, and in cases of mild sleep apnea consisting of mostly hypopnea and respiratory effort arousals can account for nearly all of the airway resistance and obstruction in a diagnostic test. Pay attention, it is not sleeping on your back, it is the bend in your neck!
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

____________________________________________
Download OSCAR Software
Soft Cervical Collar
Optimizing Therapy
Organize your OSCAR Charts
Attaching Files
Mask Primer
How To Deal With Equipment Supplier


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 (sort of)Headaches every morning
@OP - Two items with regard to your husband's situation:

1) Tell him that CPAP usage is highly individual. He will not necessarily experience the same problems you are having. He may be among the lucky few who have zero problems from the beginning. He may be among the majority to have a few issues to work through (not the same as your issues) and are successful with persistence and coaching.

2) Don't let him set up his mind for failure. He needs to succeed because your livelihood depends upon his CDL. Perhaps he can set up a mantra like I did. Constantly remind himself that this therapy is good for him, that the gear is not an alien threat, that the gear is a friend, that it can help regarding other health issues he may have, that his ability to provide for the family depends upon it. Repeat the mantra several times during the day and especially in the evening and while going to sleep. Time after time, day after day.
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#6
RE: New CPAP user (sort of)Headaches every morning
Oh I definitely have restriction from doing that (thanks double chin lol). Even in bed before I got my CPAP I would feel myself relax, start to drift off,  chin drop and then catch myself snore a couple times and wake myself up. Which was partially what prompted me to start this journey. I guess I assumed that the machine would help with that. 

I just went on Amazon and ordered the Caldera Releaf cervical pillow, should have it in a couple days so maybe that will help. I also had ordered one of those cervical contour pillow things this past week in hopes that would help the headaches, thinking it was maybe positional. I haven't seen any change with using it so far. Other than its just not very soft and comfortable to sleep with.


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#7
RE: New CPAP user (sort of)Headaches every morning
I have not seen much success with memory foam cervical pillows. The whole point is to get the chin up, and for some reason people tend to put their head on the higher edge of the pillow and make the problem worse. You may be an exception. The Caldera Releaf collar has worked well for members that have reviewed it in the Reviews forum area. Your problem with headaches and poor sleep has a solution, and sometimes it takes some experimentation to find the best, and most comfortable aid. The headaches come from constantly being aroused to a lighter stage of sleep as your body detects dropping oxygen levels or increasing CO2. This leads to a lack of deeper sleep stages and a buildup of CO2, both of which match the symptoms you have discussed. Above all, keep using the CPAP and posting data as it gives us a report-card on your progress to address this problem.
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

____________________________________________
Download OSCAR Software
Soft Cervical Collar
Optimizing Therapy
Organize your OSCAR Charts
Attaching Files
Mask Primer
How To Deal With Equipment Supplier


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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#8
RE: New CPAP user (sort of)Headaches every morning
(10-25-2022, 10:54 AM)clownbell Wrote: @OP - Two items with regard to your husband's situation:

1) Tell him that CPAP usage is highly individual. He will not necessarily experience the same problems you are having. He may be among the lucky few who have zero problems from the beginning. He may be among the majority to have a few issues to work through (not the same as your issues) and are successful with persistence and coaching.

2) Don't let him set up his mind for failure. He needs to succeed because your livelihood depends upon his CDL. Perhaps he can set up a mantra like I did. Constantly remind himself that this therapy is good for him, that the gear is not an alien threat, that the gear is a friend, that it can help regarding other health issues he may have, that his ability to provide for the family depends upon it. Repeat the mantra several times during the day and especially in the evening and while going to sleep. Time after time, day after day.

It definitely does have to work for him, we have our own logging business and he relies on his CDL to sell and deliver firewood, and we are in the process of getting our of tractor on the road to move our own heavy equipment and logs. 

I have been trying to stay positive with my issues just so he didn't get negative about it. We know a few other people who have CPAPs and swear by them, so I think that helps. 

But this headache stuff has been such a frustration for me that I have recently vented to him about it. Hopefully I can figure this out myself, I do think the therapy helps me, but the daily morning headaches kind of knock the wind out of my sails.

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#9
RE: New CPAP user (sort of)Headaches every morning
(10-25-2022, 11:21 AM)Sleeprider Wrote: I have not seen much success with memory foam cervical pillows.  The whole point is to get the chin up, and for some reason people tend to put their head on the higher edge of the pillow and make the problem worse. You may be an exception. The Caldera Releaf collar has worked well for members that have reviewed it in the Reviews forum area.  Your problem with headaches and poor sleep has a solution, and sometimes it takes some experimentation to find the best, and most comfortable aid.  The headaches come from constantly being aroused to a lighter stage of sleep as your body detects dropping oxygen levels or increasing CO2. This leads to a lack of deeper sleep stages and a buildup of CO2, both of which match the symptoms you have discussed.  Above all, keep using the CPAP and posting data as it gives us a report-card on your progress to address this problem.

Even when I didn't have headaches before I got my machine? I guess that's what has me confused, because in theory I should have had headaches before starting CPAP if those issues were there before. I guess I am just trying to find other possible solutions. To me, I think its something to do with the mask straps aggravating nerves in my head/neck or something.

I am planning to send back that memory foam pillow (its uncomfortable, and doesn't seem to help anything anyways) I bought that before I joined here and was looking at the forum extensively.
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