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Sleep Study & Getting Started
#1
Question 
Sleep Study & Getting Started
So, before I start, I read the forum rules, and I hope I didn't miss anything and this post doesn't violate them.

I've been trying to get scheduled for a sleep study for quite a few months now.  My primary physician suspected I had sleep apnea last year, but I wasn't having major issues, or at least didn't realize the sleep problems could be contributing to some of my other health problems.  However, in recent months I've had extreme fatigue.  After working an office job from home and being awake about 10 hours, I will often fall asleep shortly after work.  I often sleep 3-5 hours until around 10PM-12AM, then often wake up for a short bit, and then sleep another 5-7 hours until morning.  In recent weeks I've started feeling like my mind was foggy, had trouble concentrating and even difficulty finding words when I was talking, during the work day.

So I've been struggling to get a sleep study, and wondering about the ones you can purchase online.  The one time I talked to the sleep clinic they said the test I'd get would be an  at home test also.  I guess my first question is, has anyone had any experience with the at home sleep studies you can buy online?  Positive or negative comments?


Second thing, I have a ResMed AirCurve 10S, SoClean 2, hoses, masks, etc...  They belonged to my father-in-law who passed away and my mother-in-law gave them to me after she heard I was having sleep issues.  This has all been setting in my closet for many months, thinking it would save me some money once I had my sleep study done.  Unfortunately, over these months of no response from the sleep clinic after many phone calls, multiple referrals, etc...My life has turned into nothing but work, sleep, and generally feeling miserable.  So a couple of weeks ago I decided to study up on CPAP/BiPAP machines, how to use them, clean them, etc...  Then decided to try it out one evening while my wife was close by to monitor me.  It was obvious my initial pressure setting of 4 wasn't sufficient so I ended up moving it up to 5 and then 6.  She said it did seem to help on 6, I still snored some, but not as loudly and my breathing seemed more regular.  But I really wasn't totally comfortable with using it blindly so I left it alone for a little while.  So this weekend I ended up missing a chance to spend time with family, we had made plans, but I ended just needing to rest for a few minutes because I was exhausted at 4PM.  Well a little rest turned into 3 hours of sleep, then I didn't have time to get ready and my plans got cancelled.  So this upset me and I said I'm going to use the machine and see if it can help me.  So I used it 3+ hours one night this weekend in CPAP mode with pressure set to 6 or 7.  I don't know how accurate it is, but it said my AHI was 40.5.  I tried it the next night and slept with it in BiPAP mode with a EPAP of 7 and IPAP of 14.  This seemed more tolerable to me than trying to go to a constant 8 or 9.  I slept with it on for over 7 hours, and my AHI was 4.5 according to the machine.  I know some people will probably tell me it's dangerous or irresponsible, and I'm fine with that, but I've gotten to the point where I'm desperate for some relief.

Finally, being new to all of this, I'm looking for a supplier for hoses, masks, etc...I like the mask I have, but think I probably need to move up to the large size.  I'm a big person and the medium seems a bit small.  So would anyone care to comment on some of the suppliers on the list here, just looking for a reputable place with decent prices.

Anyway, thanks for any feedback and suggestions.  I'm really interested in hearing about the sleep tests you can purchase online.  I'd like to get a proper diagnosis and some guidance on where to start with the machine.  Plus I have insurance, and I'm sure they would help pay for some of this if I can get a prescription.
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#2
RE: Sleep Study & Getting Started
Ended up adjusting my EPAP to 8 and IPAP to 12 last night. 14 seemed a bit much, and I was getting some leaks. Unfortunately, only slept a few hours and woke up with leg cramps and didn't put the mask back on. Not blaming the leg cramps on the CPAP, side effect of Type II diabetes medication and not drinking enough fluids.
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#3
RE: Sleep Study & Getting Started
Hello and welcome.

The first thing you need to do is download the OSCAR program for your computer. This will give you the data you need to make the most effective adjustments to your therapy. There is a link to it at the top of the forum page. You'll need an SD card of any brand but no larger than 32 GB in size. Then you can post your charts here for review. There's really no way to make any suggestions without it.

Next...get rid of the SoClean. It's completely unnecessary and can cause problems with your equipment and worst of all, your health. Do a search here and you'll find all the testimony you need to back this up. Keep it simple and just use soap and water as all the manufacturers recommend.
My get-up-and-go musta got up and went.  Cool

Download OSCAR for your sleep data.  
https://www.sleepfiles.com/OSCAR


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#4
RE: Sleep Study & Getting Started
OK, the machine has an SD card in it.  Do I just have to pull the card and plug it into my desktop pc to use OSCAR with it?  I did look over some of the info on OSCAR here, looks like it provides lots of data.
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#5
RE: Sleep Study & Getting Started
Correct. 
Make sure the card is in the machine each night and that it is unlocked. In the morning, take the card and put it in your computer's SD card reader, and launch OSCAR. 
You'll see everything needed about your sleep session to make an assessment.

When you're done with the card, make sure you remove it and put it back in your machine....always keeping it unlocked. The program will prompt you to remove the card when you close it. You're good to go for the next night.

Here's some more info on how OSCAR works and what information it gives. Also, pay attention to how your graphs should be laid out for posting.
http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php..._The_Guide
My get-up-and-go musta got up and went.  Cool

Download OSCAR for your sleep data.  
https://www.sleepfiles.com/OSCAR


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#6
RE: Sleep Study & Getting Started
   
This is the chart from my 2nd try on the machine, we adjusted on the pressures a bit at first.  Family would wake me up if I was still snoring.
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#7
RE: Sleep Study & Getting Started
OK...you are getting the ball rolling. Looks like you have a lot going on here. Take a look at this link on how to arrange your chart so the most important data is displayed. http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...ganization

I'm going to let the more experienced members make suggestions as I'm not that familiar with bilevel machine treatment. 

But, the first thing I see is that you're using straight CPAP mode which delivers a fixed pressure all night...9 cm. To make the most use of a bilevel machine, you would need to set an IPAP pressure and EPAP pressure, one for inhale and one for exhale. It appears that hypopneas and obstructive apneas are your biggest issue. 

Let's let some of the experts take a look at a new chart organized according to the link above. 

Good luck. You're in good hands here.  Wink
My get-up-and-go musta got up and went.  Cool

Download OSCAR for your sleep data.  
https://www.sleepfiles.com/OSCAR


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#8
RE: Sleep Study & Getting Started
   
This is my data from my 2nd try in BiPAP mode.  The break in data was a bathroom break followed by leak issues I finally got resolved.
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#9
RE: Sleep Study & Getting Started
This is from my 4th day technically.  I had issues the night before and didn't end up using the CPAP much.  I ended up taking a 2-3 hour nap yesterday afternoon w/o CPAP, then slept just over 4 hours with it on after being back awake for quite a few hours.  Alarms woke me up at around 6:30AM.  AHI seems horrible on this, not certain how to interpret the rest of the data.  I did try to cleanup the charts so they are easier to view.

On a positive note, I just got a call and I'm scheduled for a sleep study in about 2.5 weeks.

   

Thanks for any insight or help anyone can provide.
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#10
RE: Sleep Study & Getting Started
Typically, Hypopneas and OA's are caused by too low of an exhale pressure.  Not knowing if you need any bi-level support, I would try bumping the EPAP up to 10 and leave the IPAP at 12. Report back here with the results. Also, avoid sleeping on your back. This is the worst position. Try to sleep on your side.
Crimson Nape
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com
___________________________________
Useful Links -or- When All Else Fails:
The Guide to Understanding OSCAR
OSCAR Chart Organization
Attaching Images and Files on Apnea Board
Apnea Helpful Tips

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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