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Newbie with (lots of!) questions
#21
I'll let others figure out your charts as I'm not that good at the analysis, but did want to mention the headaches. It took a good full 10 days before the headaches went away - at least the ones associated with not enough oxygen. I had something else going on causing headaches, but it wasn't as fierce as the low oxygen ones. You should start noticing a good lessening of them if your AHI stays below 5 for several days!
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#22
Well, don't congratulate me yet people! (see chart)  Sad

I have no idea why I could have such great results the previous night, but such awful results last night. I'm starting to doubt the accuracy of these results to be honest! I guess a leaking mask is somewhat to blame for a lot of it, but not all of it by the looks of things. Maybe I need to up the minimum again? Pretty worried about this to be honest... looks like for large periods of the night I was barely breathing at all! Am I right to be alarmed?

First step I guess is to try to get the mask to fit better tomorrow night. I'm not sure why I had such big leaking problems though, because I ran the mask fit test before going to sleep and it told me that all was good. I am a restless sleeper though, so maybe in my sleep I'm moving into positions that push on the mask.

On the nasal pillows, the biggest problem was that they hurt the inside of my nostril quite a lot. Not sure if it was the air pressure or just the way the nasal pillows touched the sides of my nostrils, but there's no way I'd be able to sleep like that. I also thought, what with the chin straps and trying to glue my mouth closed with dental strips, was it really any less hassle than just wearing the full face mask in the first place?

That's interesting to hear on the headaches! Of course, after last night's results I'm probably back to square one with them. But nice to hear that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel, because to be honest, I'm feeling pretty disillusioned with it all after last night!

[Image: 32818765364_38d1a0de58_k.jpg]
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#23
You're doing a great job of convincing me not to try pillows! The reason why I tried the DreamWear during my sleep study (and ended up taking that home from the DME as my mask) was because it is not invasive. I breathe through my nose, but nothing is IN my nose.
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#24
(03-26-2017, 10:41 AM)super10 Wrote: Well, don't congratulate me yet people! (see chart)  Sad

I have no idea why I could have such great results the previous night, but such awful results last night. I'm starting to doubt the accuracy of these results to be honest! I guess a leaking mask is somewhat to blame for a lot of it, but not all of it by the looks of things. Maybe I need to up the minimum again? Pretty worried about this to be honest... looks like for large periods of the night I was barely breathing at all! Am I right to be alarmed?

First step I guess is to try to get the mask to fit better tomorrow night. I'm not sure why I had such big leaking problems though, because I ran the mask fit test before going to sleep and it told me that all was good. I am a restless sleeper though, so maybe in my sleep I'm moving into positions that push on the mask.

On the nasal pillows, the biggest problem was that they hurt the inside of my nostril quite a lot. Not sure if it was the air pressure or just the way the nasal pillows touched the sides of my nostrils, but there's no way I'd be able to sleep like that. I also thought, what with the chin straps and trying to glue my mouth closed with dental strips, was it really any less hassle than just wearing the full face mask in the first place?

That's interesting to hear on the headaches! Of course, after last night's results I'm probably back to square one with them. But nice to hear that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel, because to be honest, I'm feeling pretty disillusioned with it all after last night!

super10, a CPAP learning curve is often highly erratic because people have so little control over what they do in their sleep. Don't pay too much attention to the results of individual nights. If you have a bad night, expect to do better the next night. Maybe even ignore the charts for a few nights and focus on the quality and duration of your sleep and whether you are starting to feel better yet.

Mask leakage is clearly a significant factor in your CPAP results to date. Leaks are very common with full face masks, especially with higher pressures. Mask position is very important because the seal is long and not custom fitted to your face. The mask is bulky and many sleep positions will cause it to press against a pillow or the bed surface. The connecting hose may tend to pull the mask out of position. A beard may also make it difficult to achieve a satisfactory seal with a full face mask. Learning to limit your sleeping positions and control the supply tubing can be quite a challenge. And I haven't even mentioned the worst potential problem, waking up with major facial pain from overtightening the mask in an effort to prevent mask leakage.

Now let's talk about nasal pillows. There are several possible causes of nostril pain when wearing nasal pillows, or when you take them off. First, the nasal pillows may be the wrong size for you. The P10 pillows come in small, medium and large, and the size is marked on the front. Next, I already discussed the common problem of the straps being too tight, and what to do about it - you may not realize that nasal pillows need only light pressure against your nostrils to seal, very different from a full face mask. Finally, if you turn your face far enough to the side, the end of the rigid frame inside the headgear strap will press against your bed pillow and put sideways pressure on some part of your nose, either the septum or part of a nostril. Learn to avoid or move away from that positioning of your head.

Gluing your mouth closed to prevent mouth breathing while using nasal pillows is a very bad idea as there is a significant risk of air starvation while you sleep. The P10 does not have a safety valve like full face masks do.

As I already explained, most people learn very quickly to breathe through their nose once they decide to try it. Practice helps. Chin straps are often unnecessary except maybe to help hold the P10 straps in place on your head. I use one not only for that reason but also because I like to feed my CPAP tubing through a loop on top of my head, which keeps the tubing out of my way when I turn over in bed.
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#25
Thanks OpineCone, lots of food for thought!

Maybe I should stop posting my charts for a while as I get used to it, because you can see from last night's chart that I'm super confused about it all! How do you go from 27.35 to 0.6 overnight??  Huh

What I did last night is switch to the nasal pillows and persevere with them. They do still hurt my nose, but I played around with them a bit and it was at least tolerable last night. I've made the strap as loose as I can, but I think I just have a bigger head than the 'one size fits all' headgear caters for!

I did also tape my mouth... tonight I'm going to try it without taping my mouth, and just with the chin strap to see what happens. I'll personally be amazed if just the chin strap stops me breathing through my mouth, but it's worth experimenting because I'd rather not tape up my mouth unless I have to.

To be honest, I don't feel like I had an amazing night's sleep, but I guess the effects are cumulative? I don't know... sometimes I'm not 100% sure that I even have sleep apnea at all, which could be why my charts are all over the place because the machine can't work me out! lol

[Image: 33524269542_b846d01644_k.jpg]
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#26
On Taping. To either prove or disprove its safety I suggest a test, Actually 2.

First set up as if for the night with the taping that you have been doing. Then initiate a power failure, Poweroff your machine (unplug it).


Test 2 but have your partner do the same while you are sleeping.

You decide what you are comfortable with.
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#27
(03-27-2017, 08:26 AM)super10 Wrote: Thanks OpineCone, lots of food for thought!

Maybe I should stop posting my charts for a while as I get used to it, because you can see from last night's chart that I'm super confused about it all! How do you go from 27.35 to 0.6 overnight??  Huh

What I did last night is switch to the nasal pillows and persevere with them. They do still hurt my nose, but I played around with them a bit and it was at least tolerable last night. I've made the strap as loose as I can, but I think I just have a bigger head than the 'one size fits all' headgear caters for!

  << snip >>

To be honest, I don't feel like I had an amazing night's sleep, but I guess the effects are cumulative? I don't know... sometimes I'm not 100% sure that I even have sleep apnea at all, which could be why my charts are all over the place because the machine can't work me out! lol

super10, you need not be confused. Even people who don't have sleep apnea at all commonly experience significant variations from night to night in the quality and duration of their sleep. CPAP treatment will help you to sleep more like a normal person but will not make you sleep unnaturally well. That being said, congratulations on again demonstrating to yourself that you are capable of excellent CPAP results at least sometimes. Sometimes can grow into more often if you keep trying.

About the P10 strap being tight on your large head, exactly what did you do to make the headgear as loose as you can? Did you separate the top and bottom straps as widely as possible, maybe even wider than this?

             

And did you remove any clips that would restrict the separation of the straps?

Even if you did all this, there is at least one more way of reducing the strap tension: cut away part of the fabric lengthwise along part of the upper and lower straps. I did that successfully myself before I discovered just how wide I could spread the straps of an unmodified headgear. But maybe your head is larger than mine.

If you want a clue as to why last night's sleep did not feel amazing to you, consider that it may take a while for you to adjust to changing conditions in your body. For example, normal sleep includes beneficial stages which you may have missed out on for a while and which you will resume naturally as you continue working with your CPAP.
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#28
I guess part of me still isn't 100% convinced that I even have sleep apnea at all. So far I've had 1 bad chart, 1 terrible chart, and 2 remarkably good charts. Could the readings on the bad charts be because all the leaks messed with the accuracy of the machine, and actually the 2 good charts are my normal reading? Maybe that's just wishful thinking? I suppose the way to tell would be to set the min/max pressures on the machine to 4 for a night, and see what my readings are... because I guess the machine would still detect the sleep apnea episodes, but wouldn't be able to correct them. That way I'd get a rough idea of how many apnea episodes I'd be having if I wasn't using a CPAP at all... if it's a lot, then I must have sleep apnea. Maybe I'll try that next weekend.

Part of the problem at the moment I think is that I'm still not totally comfortable sleeping with a mask or the nasal pillows on... I've slept some every single night I've done this, but I've also spent a lot more time laying there trying to sleep than I do normally.

Yep, I'm wearing the headgear like the guy in the picture... but that's a good tip about cutting the headgear a little. I might try that if it causes me pain again tonight.

Tonight's experiment will be sleeping with the nasal pillows and the chin strap, but without taping my mouth. We'll see how it goes... I'm anticipating a chart of many leaks in the morning!  Grin
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#29
super10, that's a creative idea you have, to spend a night next weekend doing a somewhat primitive home sleep study. If that's the only way to convince you that CPAP treatment will be worth the effort then you may have to do it, even though it flies in the face of most of the advice you will get here. If sometime during the experiment you feel that you need more air, you should probably go back to your regular CPAP settings right away, even though it may be the middle of the night. There is no reason to put your body through more oxygen deprivation than is neccessary to convince you that you have significant sleep apnea and need treatment.

On another subject, I believe you may soon find yourself blocked from posting more charts - typically this happens when you reach the limit of your attachment usage allowance. You may then have to delete one or more of the charts you already posted in order to post a new one.

Here's how you can stretch your allowance in the future:

Post your SleepyHead Data from Imgur

This method will also allow you to post charts in higher definition if that becomes necessary later.
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#30
Thanks OpineCone! It's not so much about me proving to myself whether CPAP therapy is good for someone who has sleep apnea or not though, I know that is the case. It's about me being unsure of whether my results so far prove that I personally have sleep apnea at all, considering I've never had a sleep study and am self-diagnosing.

I've been using Flickr to host the pictures so far. I'm going to stop posting them every day now though, unless something interesting happens that I want to share.

Last night's results were pretty good using the nasal pillows and chin strap without taping my mouth (Apnoea Hypopnea index = 1.41), so perhaps I won't need to do that after all, which will be great.

I was slightly distracted sleeping last night as I could hear air leaking around the nasal pillows, so kept altering the positioning of it. Yet, looking at my charts this morning my large leak percentage was 0.04%, so I guess the machine will tolerate a certain amount of leaking?

My main problem at the moment I think is getting sleep of long enough duration. The quality of my sleep may be better now with the CPAP, but I'm not comfortable enough with it yet to sleep right through the night without waking up and finding it hard to get back to sleep. I probably only really got 4 or 5 hours last night, so feel tired. But hopefully as I get used to it, I'll sleep longer.
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