Diagnosed with severe sleep apnea in April 2015 and placed immediately on Bi-pap. I struggled with things initially and for the first 38 days with my pressure set at EPAP 5 and IPAP 9 my AHI for those 38 days was 19.9. My doctor put me on auto pressure and my AHI dropped to 11.82 over the next 16 days. Since then I have been back and forth between a set pressure and auto pressure with not much relief. I did have a stretch where my AHI dipped below 5, but only for a short while and then it spiked again at 12.5. I really didn't think I would get down and stay below 5 (which is considered treated) and I would be dealing with it forever.
I finally decided to change my pressure back to a set EPAP 4 and IPAP 7 and reduced my AHI to 6.6. I still wasn't there though and I was having a large amount of mask leaks despite tightening the mask to the point where it was putting a lot of pressure and pain on my face at night. So I decided to lower the pressure to as low as it would go. I put my EPAP and 3 and IPAP at 6, loosened my mask and hoped for the best. My first night my AHI was 7.1, but the next night it was 2.9 and the next night it was 1.5 and the next it was 3.0. In the last 31 days I have had only one night (June 1st) where my AHI was above 5 and I have had 7 nights below 2. Overall for the last 31 days my AHI is 2.7. Not only that, but the amount of mask leaks I have had has been almost non existent (0.74% of time above Leak Rate threshold) and most of that has been when I've gotten up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.
I think I finally have it figured out and have been sleeping so much better and even longer than in the past. I still get tired during the day though and find myself dozing off in my recliner, but I truly do feel better when I wake up in the morning.
Most masks use a silicone seal that works in conjunction with air pressure to complete the seal. Over tightening defeats the design and is very uncomfortable, You might try slightly pulling the mask away from your face immediately after turning the CPAP on. This will allow the air to expand the seal and might allow you to wear it a little more loose. Since there are some many face structures, you might try other masks models. Each one will fit a little differently.
Statistics prove that people who have more birthdays live longer.
Master Chief: I just don't see 6/3 being an adequate pressure for sleep apnea.
Something is just not right.
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