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[Pressure] Finding the right Pressure
#11
Hello, winpig. I'm sorry to hear that you're having so many difficulties with your CPAP therapy, but I am glad that you've found the Apnea Board. It's a great place for problem solving. Welcome!

I was extremely sensitive to breathing with the CPAP pressure when I started my therapy last winter.

I would recommend that you experiment with finding a pressure that's comfortable enough for you that you can sleep with it, and then keep the pressure there for at least a couple of weeks.

I would also look for whatever setting your machine has that controls exhale pressure/pressure relief/ and see where that is set. The right setting for that can also make a big difference in feeling comfortable breathing out against the pressure when you are getting used to the machine.

SleepyHead is a great tool. It does take some time, though, to figure out how to use it and what all the acronyms and definitions are.

I think it's possible that you may find that you have to lower your pressure below what's necessary to get good therapy for a short period of time so that you can get used to breathing with pressure.

It's pretty common to take off the mask during the early stages of therapy. I took mine off a few times even after I'd been using the therapy for as long as two months.

I got a new, more comfortable mask last week. First night, I took it off. I really think that we have to get used to the feel of our particular mask on our face and to breathing with the pressure from the machine.

Until we do, sometimes we're going to take off the mask in our sleep. If it happens frequently, to me that may mean there's a comfort issue that needs to be solved.

For now, get ready for some problem solving and summon up all your patience. Things do get much, much easier but it will likely take some experimenting on your part.
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#12
Hi Winpig,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I know CPAP therapy can take some getting used to but I encourage you to stick with it, keep trying. Hopefully, you can get to where you are using it every time you sleep.
Hang in there for more responses to your post and much success to you as you continue on your CPAP journey.
trish6hundred
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#13
(05-23-2016, 01:35 PM)Winpig Wrote: Do you think I should go with 11 instead? I am open for suggestions.

I would move it down until you can sleep comfortably with whatever pressure works. Then if your AHI is still too high, move it back by about half a centimetre at a time, then when you are used to that move it up a bit more, and so on.

By the way, ten centimetres is very close to 1% of the ambient air pressure at sea level. So the machine is not blowing all that hard, even though it may feel like it.

Ed Seedhouse
VA7SDH

Your brain is not the boss.

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#14
Quote:By the way, ten centimetres is very close to 1% of the ambient air pressure at sea level. So the machine is not blowing all that hard, even though it may feel like it.

another way to look at it is to stick a straw 4 inches into a glass... and blow. if you can make bubbles come out, you've just blown *harder* than 10cm/h2o water pressure!

so, yeah, it's VERY little pressure.


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#15
Thank you all for the warm welcome & advice, my biggest problem lately is actually staying asleep, about an hour ago I got up and basically gave up on sleep, I might have gotten 2 hours of sleep last night, at best.
"I'm not asleep... but that doesn't mean I'm awake."
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#16
(05-25-2016, 05:14 AM)Winpig Wrote: Thank you all for the warm welcome & advice, my biggest problem lately is actually staying asleep, about an hour ago I got up and basically gave up on sleep, I might have gotten 2 hours of sleep last night, at best.

Consider Melatonin to help you stay asleep. It is a naturally occurring chemical produced by the brain when we go to sleep. As we get older the production of Melatonin does down and some studies indicate that possibly there is a connection to poor sleep quality with the lack of melatonin.

You can google Melatonin and Sleep and get references. It is NOT a sleeping pill. For most it does not put you to sleep, it simply helps you stay asleep once you managed to get there.
I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
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#17
I have tried melatonin, Valerian root and other natural remedies. The most effective treatment for me in past year has been the discovery of kava. It seems many people are misinformed about this root (as I was sometime ago). Thanks to kava & good sleep hygiene I have had wonderful results not only improving my overall sleep but I also managed to stop drinking alcohol and a life long battle with Benzodiazepines.

After my last post early this morning, I decided to take a hot shower, lay down and it give it one more try. I put my mask on and next thing I know, it was 2pm. I actually woke up feeling better than most nights. I have my pressure set at 10.5, from the original 13 it was prescribed to me. Based on all the advice I have read on this forum I plan on keeping this setting for at least 14 days. I will up it in .5 increments until I reach a setting that benefits me the most.

Also, since I have an older machine, I have to buy a SmartLink card reader separately and I will do that as soon as I have available income. I realize that this will be the best way to interpret and monitor my sleep and ultimately find the appropriate pressure setting for myself.
"I'm not asleep... but that doesn't mean I'm awake."
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#18
Another option may be to talk to your doctor about placing you on Bi-Pap which provides a lower exhale pressure than inhale.
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#19
Hang in there, keep reading. I would like to hear your findings. The information that comes out of the different links is so good, more like GREAT.

I have improved my sleep with cpap. I have been fine tuning it and learning what to do, adjust and understand. It is worth the effort.

The waking with a pounding head that was so bad as to not want to move or open my eyes is gone. I still get discomfort that will go away with extra oxygen. Still falling asleep if inactive, but no longer when standing.

I keep reading and learning from the more experienced members. I also find that the folks that are newer ask questions that lead to a lot more information.

Keep up the efforts, you can help me on my trip to a good nights rest. ThanksSleep-well

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#20
(05-25-2016, 03:37 PM)wxmcpo Wrote: Another option may be to talk to your doctor about placing you on Bi-Pap which provides a lower exhale pressure than inhale.

The machine I use now (though somewhat ancient, compared to other member's devices) has a SmartFlex exhale pressure relief function that is very similar to a Bi-pap machine. It allows me to chose between 3 different settings that drop the pressure when I exhale, each setting drops the pressure by 1 cmH2O, I have it set at 3, which drops it by 3 cmH2O.

What I am really interested in getting is an APAP, but I need to wait a bit on it, until I can see my GP and also get my medical insurance sorted out.
Quote: I keep reading and learning from the more experienced members. I also find that the folks that are newer ask questions that lead to a lot more information.

Keep up the efforts, you can help me on my trip to a good nights rest.

Thanks Smile, last few days have been dicey, getting used to the CPAP is tricky, but thx to this forum I finally have the pressure at a comfortable level and I am (trying to) keeping a positive attitude because I know it's going to pay off in the long run!

I have been devouring this forum & will continue to do so. Knowledge is power, as they say...
"I'm not asleep... but that doesn't mean I'm awake."
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