I'm a few months into my CPAP treatment for OSA (AHI of 16 during my sleep study, not horrible but worth treating). It's going pretty poorly. I'm having a number of issues, none of which my clinic seems to be interested in or capable of helping me with. I'm shopping for a new clinic, but in the meantime I could use some advice...
My biggest problem is the pressure pulses. I'm using a Respironics Dreamstation & Dreamware nasal mask, and no matter the settings I choose (start pressure, ramp pressure, smartramp vs. not, etc.), I get absolutely bombarded with pressure pulses within a minute or two of turning on the machine. They always occur at the very end of my exhale - a one-second blast of pressure, then one second back at whatever pressure I was at, then another one-second blast of pressure. It makes it borderline impossible to go to sleep. It also means I take off the mask after a few hours every night because I just can't tolerate that thing blasting away at my sinuses all night. I've broken four hours only seven times since the beginning of July.
A related problem is that the machine is recording numerous events while I'm awake, making the AHI number meaningless. I'm using SleepyHead, and I always see a huge cluster of Pressure Pulses and events before I fall asleep, followed by a 40-60 minute stretch of slower breathing and barely any events or pulses at all (obviously sound asleep). Then things get interesting. It always goes back to more clusters of pulses and events, but I can never quite remember when I was awake or asleep. I've tried looking at my FitBit Charge sleep data and matching it up, but I can't really spot a pattern. The respiratory rate and tidal volume graphs would suggest I'm awake at those points, but I'm not really sure. This is important because if I'm having clusters of events while I'm sleeping, I need to raise my pressure. If I'm awake during those times, then I'm consciously breathing and likely keeping my oxygen up.
I think my answer is to buy a recording pulse oximeter. Ultimately if my SpO2% is holding up I'm probably ok and just need to focus my energy on tolerating the treatment. Does this make sense as a next step? Got any other ideas?
I'm having some other issues too (mainly mask discomfort), but I've rambled long enough and will post those under a new thread in the coming days.
Thanks again for your help.