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New guy checking in
#1
New guy checking in
Howdy Folks,

I just found this site and the OSCAR software and holy crap!! Y'all know a lot about sleep apnea... alla y'all- members, staff, advisors, alla y'all- I feel, unarmed Tongue

I'm a retired US Navy veteran and was diagnosed by the Veterans Administration Healthcare System with a heart arrhythmia (Premature Ventricular Contractions or PVC's) in 2012 and sent for a sleep study as there's a statistical link between heart arrhythmias and sleep apnea. I was diagnosed with moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea which surprised me as I had none of the classic symptoms of sleep apnea- I knew I snored but as far as I could tell I slept like a gorilla and felt adequately rested. The VA issued me a Resmed S9 Auto and full face mask (the model of which I no longer remember) which began a 2 year battle that I ultimately lost after going through numerous adjustments and every mask the VA had in its inventory- that machine wound up sitting in my closet for the next 5 years.

In 2019 I moved into the Armed Forces Retirement Home and after being here for a while began to wake up every morning with my nose completely blocked and a headache. I was referred to an ENT clinic where I was told I had a deviated septum and swollen flanges and a corrective procedure was performed that relieved the blocked nose but the headaches remained. Then I was sent to a neurologist who asked me if I had sleep apnea. She told me to try to start using my CPAP again and even though it leaked and woke me up frequently the headaches subsided.

In July 2020 I got another sleep study which again indicated that I had moderate OSA and the recommended treatment was APAP. I now have a Philips Respironics DreamStation and Resmed F30i mask. The mask was remarkable, it got the tube out from in front of me and was comfortable and at first I had good results but the machine would eventually set pressures during the night above 15cm and a couple of times above 19cm that would cause my mask to leak and wake me up. I managed to get the leaks somewhat under control by continuously tightening the mask until it was literally clamped to my face. During this time I was getting AHI's in excess of 10. I read somewhere on the internet that enabling AFLEX might help with mask leaks so I got into the machine's advanced settings and turned on AFLEX with a setting of 2 and while I was there enabled OptiStart. The result was a drop in AHI's to 5-6, pressures in the 10-12cm range and NO MASK LEAKS- I was actually able to significantly loosen my mask Smile But I've also read that enabling AFLEX can diminish therapy effectiveness.

So after this long diatribe my question is have I compromised my therapy by enabling AFLEX or are the lower AHI's an indication that I've improved it?

Thanks
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#2
RE: New guy checking in
Welcome!

It would be hard to say which of the several changes ultimately led to the drop in AHI.  For example, maybe the mask fit was better, perhaps the flex, although I don't really see how, or maybe it was a combination that took several days to take effect.  

We don't normally advise people to make adjustments nightly because any one night's variation is going to mean different results in the report even without changes..  We'll advise coarse changes initially, but then we adopt a short wait-and-see approach for several nights before we feel confident that more needs to be done, or that less needs to be done; it can go either way.

All that said, if your AHI numbers are steadily dropping to 5 and lower, you're going in the right direction.  I find it encouraging that you are willing to experiment, but also that you're driven to improve your sleep and overall health.  Many are so overwhelmed with the entire diagnosis and their changing health that they dig in and become much less willing to tackle their own issues.  So, good on ya!  Thumbs-up-2

Please, if you have the capability, download the OSCAR software after reading up on it, and post some data nights so that we can see what's going on.  At the black marquee at top, look for OSCAR.
Contrite, and wiser.
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#3
RE: New guy checking in
Welcome Aboard. You will find the people here are outstanding. Thank you for your service.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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