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Newb with a few basic questions
#1
Hi there -- new forum user here.

I have a few quick questions if you don't mind. I haven't fully read everything yet so I'm obviously still learning. Please excuse any technical errors in my post if you see anything glaringly obvious.

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My wife has been complaining of some horrendous snoring on my part for awhile now so I had a sleep study done (primary doc --> sleep doc --> sleep study). I glanced at the 'official' test results for about 30 seconds (and don't currently have a copy) so as best as I recall, I had ~55 apnea events/hour while sleeping on my back and ~16/hr while sleeping on my side. This apparently averaged out to 20/hr (guess I slept on my side more than my back). O2 sats dropped to 85%. The tech woke me up at 1AM to put me on the CPAP machine but I was unable to fall asleep after that…not from discomfort; the mask was perfectly comfortable. I just couldn't shut my brain off and was too awake to fall back asleep, if that makes any sense. So they couldn't properly titrate me. They DID mention that they heard my horrible snoring in all sleeping positions.


My sleep doc set me up with a home health place ("Lincare"). They ran my insurance numbers and said I would owe $565 initially and then $180/month for 10 months….after my insurance paid, so roughly $2,400 over a year. Too-funny I completely forgot to ask what equipment they were quoting.

After some quick research online it looks like I can get fully set up with an auto-adjusting CPAP machine + mask for ~$1,000 from Supplier #1 -- a ResMed AirSense 10 plus a full face mask.


1: I'm currently about 40lbs overweight (5'9", 210lbs, 29yr male). The sleep doc suggested weight loss as a long-term solution, which I am completely on board with. Do you find that weight loss fully cures your need for a CPAP machine, or do you find it is still helpful after dropping some weight?

2: Does anyone have any experience with needing to remove the mask multiple times per night? I have a 2-year old, and my wife is pregnant with twins due in a few months. I'm pretty sure I'll be up several times/night for awhile after they are born. Is this going to mess with the machine at all, or mess with the statistics it tracks?


Thanks for any advice for suggestions you might have for a new guy!
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#2
(05-22-2015, 08:21 PM)SparticleBrane Wrote: My sleep doc set me up with a home health place ("Lincare"). They ran my insurance numbers and said I would owe $565 initially and then $180/month for 10 months….after my insurance paid, so roughly $2,400 over a year. Too-funny I completely forgot to ask what equipment they were quoting.

That's nutz! Now granted, I am not a fan of Lincare. But even if I were I would think that's nutz. Call up your sleep doc and ask them to give you a written prescription that you can take anywhere, especially to one of the on-line suppliers.

(05-22-2015, 08:21 PM)SparticleBrane Wrote: After some quick research online it looks like I can get fully set up with an auto-adjusting CPAP machine + mask for ~$1,000 from Supplier #1 -- a ResMed AirSense 10 plus a full face mask.

Make sure it is an AirSense 10 AutoSet, or an AirSense 10 Autoset for Her. (even if you are of the guy persuasion).

It needs to be an autoset because you will probably be on your own (with our help) for tweaking the thing.

The "for her" machine offers an additional mode that might or might not be of any particular use to you. So for the same bucks, it makes sense.

(05-22-2015, 08:21 PM)SparticleBrane Wrote: 1: I'm currently about 40lbs overweight (5'9", 210lbs, 29yr male). The sleep doc suggested weight loss as a long-term solution, which I am completely on board with. Do you find that weight loss fully cures your need for a CPAP machine, or do you find it is still helpful after dropping some weight?

2: Does anyone have any experience with needing to remove the mask multiple times per night? I have a 2-year old, and my wife is pregnant with twins due in a few months. I'm pretty sure I'll be up several times/night for awhile after they are born. Is this going to mess with the machine at all, or mess with the statistics it tracks?


Thanks for any advice for suggestions you might have for a new guy!

As to the rest of this, I think the cpap therapy is likely a life long thing. In my case I hope it is because it has done many incredible things for me in addition to the obvious snore, falling asleep in my cheerios, sorts of stuff. I would not give up my machine if some doc did tell me I was "healed."

It will not hurt to turn off the machine and remove the mask periodically during the night. You will want to turn the "ramp" feature off probably, because otherwise the machine has to go through the ramp stuff each time you turn it back on, and that could compromise your therapy a little.

...and welcome to the site!
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#3
Oh, and by the way.... While you're playing "let's make a deal" with your supplier, ask them to include a Resmed P10 pillows mask in addition to the full face mask. That way I won't have to talk you into dumping the FFM later when you realize that life begins at the point of contact with a lovingly caressive P10 pillows mask. Sooner or later everyone will get one. Resistance is futile.
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#4
Thanks so much for your response and info. I've done a bit of research about the AirSense 10 and read something about the "for her" version having some extra info; I'll have to look into that. Good suggestion about the ramping-up feature each time I put the mask back on.

I was reading up on various types of masks. Right now I'm looking at the FFM because I also tend to have chronically congested sinuses. It seems like one of my nostrils is almost always clogged up (it varies which side is clogged). When I accidentally sleep on my back (I say "accidentally" because when I wake up my throat is quite sore from snoring), I think my mouth relaxes and opens and I turn into a mouth-breather. Thus my leaning towards the FFM. I'm generally a side-sleeper but I've noticed over time that my shoulders can sometimes feel like they've been beat with a bat when I wake up, so I'd really like to start sleeping on my back if possible. Still…might be worth looking into the P10 pillows you mentioned.
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#5
Hi SparticleBrane,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more responses to your post and much success to you as you start your CPAP journey.
trish6hundred
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#6
Hi Sparticle! I agree with everything R_G says. (Bound to happen sometime!) Wink

Anyways, nasal congestion is usually fixed by being on the CPAP therapy. Mine was/is. So don't worry about FFM due to congestion. Masks are very personal, and most people don't need FFM, unless you are an incorrigible mouth breather. I'd recommend try the P10 or other pillows first, then a nasal, then a FFm if the others are not working out.

Until you get the machine, try to keep off your back. I think the Pillos will work easiest for multiple risings during the night. And good luck with your little ones!
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#7
Thanks all! I'm really looking forward to getting some good sleep (and sleeping in the same bed as my wife…I started sleeping in the guest room a few months back so she could get some sleep at night).

I've got the normal symptoms, as best I can tell: snoring, always tired, feeling like I got hit by a truck when I wake up, my memory sucks, etc. Thankfully my BP is normal.
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#8
(05-22-2015, 09:29 PM)SparticleBrane Wrote: I was reading up on various types of masks. Right now I'm looking at the FFM because I also tend to have chronically congested sinuses. It seems like one of my nostrils is almost always clogged up (it varies which side is clogged). When I accidentally sleep on my back (I say "accidentally" because when I wake up my throat is quite sore from snoring), I think my mouth relaxes and opens and I turn into a mouth-breather. Thus my leaning towards the FFM. I'm generally a side-sleeper but I've noticed over time that my shoulders can sometimes feel like they've been beat with a bat when I wake up, so I'd really like to start sleeping on my back if possible. Still…might be worth looking into the P10 pillows you mentioned.

Yep. All that and more can go away when you start therapy. The beat up shoulders, the clogged up nosie.... all of that.

Get the P10. Maybe even a chinstrap with it, although that's not a given yet.

Before therapy, and use of a pillows mask, I was never able to breath effectively through my nose. What I found out is the pillows help to keep your sinuses open and happy all night long even during those times when you might have a bit of a cold. I can even breath through my nose during the day now as well. The other thing I found out is that "bit of a cold" for me has never turned into a full-blown really bummer sort of a cold since I've been using cpap and the pillow mask. Since I have COPD issues, this is just one more reason why I would never give up my machine even if all of the medical world declared me "healed."

The other happy dance I do is because for the first time in many many years I can sleep on my back as well as my side. And I do that throughout the night.


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#9
I personally am comforted by the FFM but can see many do like the minimal face contact of the pillows. You'll notice that, even with a FFM, you'll breathe thru your nose most of the time.

QAL
Dedicated to QALity sleep.
You'll note I am listed as an Advisory Member. I am honored to be listed as such. See the fine print - Advisory Members as a group provide advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies. Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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#10
Got the machine yesterday, had my first night last night. ResMed Airsense 10 Autoset for Her -- I got the "Her" version even though I'm male due to reading various reviews about how it records more info or something like that. Also got the Airfit P10 nasal pillows.


A few thoughts:
  • The machine was pre-set to start at a pressure of 4, likely during the ramp-up period (?) This felt...like it wasn't enough air, if that makes sense. After it slowly increased the pressure it felt like I could breathe much easier. I think I'll set that minimum to somewhere in the 5-6 range. The machine is in the autoset mode. I believe my doc specified 5-15 so maybe I'll try that, but honestly it's a crap shoot since I was never properly titrated during my sleep study.


  • The nasal pillows initially seemed comfortable but my nose was pretty sore in the morning. I slept on my side a bit and it seemed to push on my septum a bit, and the tips of my nostrils are sensitive. I put some Aquaphor on them and hopefully they'll feel better soon. I noticed when the machine started to hit the 12-13cm point, I just couldn't keep the nasal pillows from leaking. Might have to play around with the different sizes.


  • I didn't sleep much (mostly due to getting used to having this thing strapped on my head, thinking too much, and hose management). Hopefully I'll sleep more tomorrow. I think the small amount I did sleep went well because I didn't feel nearly as bad as normal when I woke up this morning. I'm still a bit tired and yawning some but not too bad.


  • The machine is practically silent from my perspective. There's a white noise machine going in my bedroom so that probably helps drown out any noise. There's a very light inhalation noise but that's about it and I can't really hear it unless I'm specifically listening for it.


  • The SleepyHead software is pretty cool. It's amazing the amount of information these things can record.


  • It seems if I'm on my back and asleep my mouth might open slightly, which allows incoming air from the machine going into my nose to exit (loudly through my mouth. Definitely weird to feel that entire 'loop'.

  • My wife said I really didn't snore (a huge plus!) but she could occasionally hear it leaking and probably one or two instances of the 'loop' phenomenon I just mentioned.


According to SleepyHead my AHI for last night was 6.28. Much better than the 16 (on my side) or 55 (on my back) that I had during my sleep study.
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