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Newbie here - questions before getting machine
Hello everyone,

I was just diagnosed with sleep apnea  after doing a home sleep study. My AHI came in at 16, so I guess that's moderate sleep apnea.

I'm still waiting for the medical supply store I'm working with to run my insurance and schedule an appointment, but this store came highly recommended, and I should be set up within a few days.

Anyway, this is just a little bit about me. I only went in for a sleep study because my mom noticed how badly I was snoring when I fell asleep on the couch during a Thanksgiving visit. Apparently the snores echoed throughout the house. Worse than that, I was also loudly snoring when I took a nap at my girlfriend's house during the Christmas holiday, and her parents could hear it from one floor below. That's when I kinda knew that I needed to go have a sleep study done.

I did the study a few weeks ago, and I just kinda figured that everything would come out normal and that I could just use some sort of nasal strip to help eliminate the snoring, but I was surprised to see that my O2 sats had dropped during the night, going as low as 83%.

So now I'm just waiting for the call from the supply store so I can get fitted and get the machine. I've always felt super tired and I'm an overnight worker, so it was hard to tell if it was just because of my crazy work schedule or something else. I could stand to lose a few pounds and I'm in the process of that as well, but I was told that my soft palette is quite low and I have a larger than normal tongue and tonsils, so weight loss might not be a total cure.

So now I'm just looking at the support forums because the diagnosis came as a bit of a surprise to me and I haven't been given any machines or masks yet. I was shown a Philips Dreamwear nasal mask that looked nice - I like the fact that the hose is out of the way - but I turn in my sleep, so I'm not sure what's best for me.

Thanks for reading, and if anyone can offer some suggestions, I'd love to have some sort of knowledge before going in to be fitted and everything.
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G'day stereoswimmer, welcome to Apnea Board.

The good news is that now you've been diagnosed you can start to fight this insidious disease.

I suggest you read up on some useful links from member archangle.

There is a wide range of machine makes and models on the market. I suggest you stick to either Philips Respironics or Resmed. These are the two market leaders, and you'll find a lot more information and support for their machines. You need a machine which is fully data capable. It's not always easy getting on top of this therapy, and full data is incredibly important. Unfortunately there are some "bricks" on the market, which only give you compliance data and not full efficacy data. You should also insist on an auto-adjusting machine. (Some doctors prefer fixed pressure, but if you get an auto machine, you can set it to fixed pressure if required).

To help interpret the data, get hold of the SleepyHead software. There are other programs available (including from the machine manufacturers) but in my experience SleepyHead blows them away. Once you've got your machine and the software, we can help you interpret it.

The mask is often the most difficult part of the therapy. Every face is a different shape and size, and there are a bewildering array of masks on the market. I personally prefer a full-face mask and the Fisher & Paykel Simplus seems to be the most successful across a range of people. If you prefer a nasal pillows mask, try the Resmed P10, or the Philips Dreamwear that you mentioned. It's not unusual to go through several different masks before you get one to suit you, so ensure there is some kind of return warranty in place.

Some lucky people get an instant response to CPAP therapy and wake up from their first night feeling fantastic. For most of us it's a bit of a journey, often having two steps forward and one step back. But stick with it and you will see some significant long-term health results. And you will no longer be disturbing people with your snoring!

Finally, another quote from archangle: If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.

Apnea Board Moderator


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Hello stereoswimmer, welcome to the board.
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Welcome stereoswimmer! Your journey has begun. Sleep Apnea is not something that can be cured by taking a pill and forgetting about it. It takes commitment and work on your part but the rewards are great. The good news is you've found the right place for help and guidance. DeepBreathing has given a good overall list of what will happen as you begin treatment. Aside from making sure your CPAP is FULLY data capable and can be set to APAP (Auto CPAP mode which can adjust itself for your needs), your first big decision will be what mask to try first. Things to keep in mind; are you a mouth breather, do you toss and turn a lot, do you feel claustrophobic at times? Everyone is different, that's why they offer so many choices. The 3 basic types are full face mask (FFM), nasal mask (seals around your nose) or nasal pillows (two little pads that rest under your nostrils). As stated before you may have to go through trying a few different ones before you find what works for you. Typically when you first pickup you equipment you are given a breakin period that you can change out the mask at no cost to you.

Good luck with everything and please use this board when you have questions, it has helped many a folk.

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(01-17-2017, 12:25 PM)Cranberry Ray Wrote: Sleep Apnea is not something that can be cured by taking a pill and forgetting about it.

That would be great, wouldn't it? Too-funny

Welcome to the board, stereoswimmer. We are in the same boat. I too am starting to get used to this. I tried 3 years ago, couldn't get used to it, and quit. This time I will be more patient, as apparently there is no other way to deal with this problem.

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Thanks everyone for the information and the welcome. I just called my DME supplier and they said it'd be 2 to 3 weeks in order to get things fully taken care of. Is this a normal time to wait? I guess I just want to start this so that I can start making progress and getting better sleep.

I'm also pretty lucky that I have amazing insurance through work, so I can definitely request an APAP machine. OH! And one more thing that I see is pretty split on this board. One of my co-workers who has apnea swears by the SoClean. I'm not going to take the plunge just yet, but after hearing conflicting messages, I'm not sure if I want to at all. Who knew it could be such a divisive issue? Tongue
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Can you go to your DME office and pick up your auto cpap and try different mask on for fit ?

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As I think you already are aware you need to get a fully data capable unit and use SleepyHead software.

That will allow you to understand your therapy and if you choose to tweak it.

Finding the right mask is also very important, so don't hesitate about changing it. Be a pain in the neck to your DME about it.

Since your DME says 2-3 weeks ASK what specific machine you are getting, get the specific model number, the tell then you will get back with them as to its acceptability to you not latter than tomorrow. (in the meantime you can check here) If its anything other than respironics or resmed i'd give an immediate no.

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Stereoswimmer, be sure to notify your DME of your expectation for an auto CPAP, and preferably specify the brand you want. Most likely they will have no problem with that, but you need to do this to avoid delays after they have approval. If they come back with the usual "your prescription is for CPAP", either have your doctor specify auto, or use a different DME. The delay is probably for insurance approval and setting an appointment, and is not unusual.

I am biased to prefer the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset. It has a much better exhale relief option to Cflex/Aflex, and has two auto algorithms for addressing obstructive events, normal/fast and soft. The Philips machines are good, but not the equal. The exception to that advise is if you intend to run on 12 volt power, the Philips machines are easier to use on batteries, while the Resmed needs an up-converter to 24 volts and must use its propretary power cord.
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Hi stereoswimmer,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I wish you good luck as you start your CPAP therapy, hang in there for more responses to your post.
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