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[Pressure] Problem with Exhale Pressure
Problem with Exhale Pressure

Hi Everyone,

I have been a member of this forum for a while and have benefited greatly from the information here, however this is my first post so please bear with me. Unsure

Recently a problem has developed with my therapy that I need help solving. I have been using the ResMed S9 Auto and the AirFit P10 very successfully for almost a year. Last night I fell asleep as usual and woke up after a couple of hours with great difficulty breathing. There was plenty of air flow coming into the pillows from the machine, however it seemed like I was working very hard to exhale, almost hyperventilating! I checked the mesh vents on the mask and it seemed like there was very little air coming out. Eventually I had to remove the mask and shut off the machine, which was very upsetting as I've had 100% compliance since I began the therapy.

My mask is clean, including the vents. and appears in good condition. Tonight I will use a new set of pillows to see if that helps. The EPR on my machine is set to 3 and up until now that has worked fine.

My question, is this a mask problem, or could it be a problem with the S9 (about 1 1/2 yrs old)?? I really don't know where to start in diagnosing this issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much!
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RE: Problem with Exhale Pressure
Hi Diane0515,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
You do have to change those pillows every so often, because they get soft as they wear out. Usually, a set of new pillows is a little firmer. Hopefully you do better with the newer pillows tonight.
Edit: You could turn EPR back to 2 and see if that will help you; end edit.
Hang in there for more suggestions.
Much success to you as you continue your CPAP therapy.
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RE: Problem with Exhale Pressure
Sometimes we just have a bad night for no apparent reason. Hopefully that is your situation and you will make up for it with a nice night tonight.

I think just in case the machine has become confused, I would unplug it for 10 minutes or so, then plug it back in and let it "reboot." I would also check to make sure the EPR did not somehow get turned "off." You mentioned it's set to 3, but it also needs to be turned on.

Short of that, try not to worry much about it and see if it doesn't resolve by itself tonight.
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RE: Problem with Exhale Pressure
Ive had that happen in a nasal mask though ive never used pillows. Once I could breathe in fine but after a bit I figured out it was some swelling in my nasal passages that for some reason only seemed to block my exhale.

You might also check your machines filter.
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RE: Problem with Exhale Pressure
Thank you for the suggestions! They are very much appreciated. Thought I would report back on my progress as it may help someone else. Basically I checked out all of the suggestions mentioned and made two changes:

1. I rebooted the S9 by unplugging for a few minutes.
2. I replaced the pillows on the P10 with a new set.

I am happy to report that peaceful sleep has returned!! I have no way of knowing for sure which made the difference, however I did notice a difference in the feel of the new pillows. There were firmer, while the old ones were softer, and were perhaps collapsing or compressing a bit when the pressure ramped up. Just a guess on my part.

So appreciative to have everyone's input!!! Thanks


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RE: Problem with Exhale Pressure
This mask does not seem to vent as much as the Swift FX I had at first;Ithere is more going on here than a larger vent and better dispersion, there is actually less air coming out. if you plug the hose and try to blow through the mask (the CO2 vent being the only opening) it is very difficult. So I wonder if the venting is actually enough for lower pressures.

EPR is a comfort feature rather than a therapeutic feature. So if you can, turn that down as much as possible, because turning it up lowers the amount of CO2 venting that happens between breaths.

That said, if you were "working very hard to exhale", it many not be a CO2 venting problem at all. And in that case, EPR may be the fix rather than the problem.

Also, I am a normal-sized adult, but the medium pillows seem to not allow as much air as the large (the small is like going to the children's department at Sears; I can't imagine that size working for any adult). It might be good to experiment with sizes. If you have a "for her" set, try the largest one, which is actually the normal "medium".
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