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SleepyHead and comparing AHI results
#1
I have been a cpap user for years but I'm new to SleepyHead (a week).

The information you get is wonderful and a little overwhelming as I get up to speed as what everything means.

I have been experimenting a few nights switching between nasal pillows and a nasal mask to look at the sleepyhead results.

I am curious if it correct to make a general statement that a lower AHI between two masks would indicate that that would be a better mask for you.

For example:

AHI 1.8 for nasal pillows
AHI 3.5 for nasal mask


makes me think that nasal pillows are the optimal solution for me.

Leaks do not appear to be an issue and I do recognize that I need more days/weeks of data to see patterns.

I gather that AHIs below 5 are good but the lower the better?

Thx!
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#2
Hi! Welcome to Apnea Board!

The only meaningful data you can collect over a few nights is the leakage one. The AHI number could be just a coincidence. You need a longer period of repeated testing to say that pillows cause lower AHI.

But if it turns to be true, then you should go with the higher performing one, if it doesn't cause any comfort issues.
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#3
For a good example, I have posted results from my last two nights in another thread, using the same equipment. I am a long time PAP user, and am completely compliant, but one night was way better than the other night, for no known reason. So I agree with Doom_NX, you would need maybe 1-3 weeks on each mask, then (besides comfort) if you saw a trend, it may make sense to act on it, but only if comfort is a non-issue between the two.

Comfort = better sleep overall, and your numbers are very good with either mask it seems. It would be interesting to see if you get more or less leaks with one mask over the other.
*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional. My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
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#4
I have been told time and time over by those who know far more than I do that mask choice should have zero impact on AHI, but I don't believe it. I use a Quattro Air as my primary mask (now that I have mostly conquered it's tendency to allow jaw drop to the extent that I wake up with the bottom of the mask clenched in my teeth) and my AHIs are substantially better-I mean like way better-than with my Mirage Quattro even comparing nights with zero leaks using both masks.

I cannot explain it, but I have auditioned so many FFMs (10 or more) since I started PAP therapy in April that it's one of the few things I feel qualified to talk about. To be clear, I kept trying new masks to eliminate nose trauma and leaks but I couldn't help but notice significant AHI differences as an adjunct.

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#5
Hi botha,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more responses to your post and best of luck to you.
trish6hundred
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#6
(10-27-2013, 08:42 AM)botha Wrote: I have been experimenting a few nights switching between nasal pillows and a nasal mask to look at the sleepyhead results.

I am curious if it correct to make a general statement that a lower AHI between two masks would indicate that that would be a better mask for you.
I've not used nasal pillows but comparing nasal mask vs full face mask ... nasal mask works better for me .. lower leak and AHI
Full face mask leaks like a sieve, AHI reading is not reliable with high leak rate

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#7
Thanks for all of the input today.

My goal is to maximize my benefit from cpap and this input helps!

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#8
(10-27-2013, 12:38 PM)old dude Wrote: I have been told time and time over by those who know far more than I do that mask choice should have zero impact on AHI, but I don't believe it.

Well, it is true that, everything else being equal, the mask choice really should have zero impact on treatment efficacy and therefore AHI. The mask is simply the interface whereby your airway is pressurized to the treatment pressure.

Now, the wrench that I slipped in there was "everything else being equal". By the same logic, everything else being equal, the mattress you sleep on should have no effect on your sleep comfort. But of course, not everything else is equal. If you have a mask that is significantly more comfortable than another (even if the difference is only subconscious and you can't tell while trying them on while awake), the more comfortable mask is going to allow you to get better quality sleep.

When I was first getting used to CPAP therapy, at one point I had adjusted my mask straps too tight. They felt fine when I was sitting at the side of my bed, but when I lay down and tried to go to sleep, I could only tolerate about 5 minutes before having to get up and remove the mask. It was only two days later (after one full night of zero sleep and a second might of mostly no sleep) when I tried loosening the straps that I realized what was happening and switched masks to one that was a better fit for my face.
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#9
(10-27-2013, 12:38 PM)old dude Wrote: I have been told time and time over by those who know far more than I do that mask choice should have zero impact on AHI, but I don't believe it. I use a Quattro Air as my primary mask (now that I have mostly conquered it's tendency to allow jaw drop to the extent that I wake up with the bottom of the mask clenched in my teeth) and my AHIs are substantially better-I mean like way better-than with my Mirage Quattro even comparing nights with zero leaks using both masks.

Who said that? I mean it seems to me like it could definitely effect it, particularly if a mask leaks so much that it compromises the machines ability to deliver effective therapy (and even record AHI correctly).


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