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[Treatment] Help for son!!
#11
Sounds like me about 5 years ago (except I took an extra 5 years to get on CPAP despite having the sleep apnea diagnosis from about 15 or 16 as I recall -- wasted a lot of my latter teen years on mental issues). Glad to hear he is interested in making it work.

You might want to try a chinstrap with the pillows instead of the full face mask. I have the same problem (mouth leaks) and while my initial chinstrap experiments were a failure and I was on a FFM for awhile I'm finally getting it to work (specifically I am using a Swift FX + SP-CHADJ chinstrap).

Definitely talk to the doctor about tightening up the pressure range.

How does sleep apnea work...well that depends on HIS airway. I have considered but not actually gone through with the nasal surgeries, but I understand they can lead to a reduction in AHI and more importantly make it easier to tolerate the therapy. Do not expect them to cure the apnea.

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#12
Thank you all for your replies...they are all helpful!

Eviltim...it is so good to hear from someone that was diagnosed as a teen also. Did you have a lot of trouble as a young child with tonsils, adenoids, sinuses, etc.? I think our hope was that surgery would eliminate the sleep apnea. Otherwise I don't think it would really be worth it as he does not seem to be infection prone anymore. He doesn't want surgery that's for sure.

I think my son would be receptive to seeking advice/support from this board as I know he reads and posts on others about other things. I think I will pass along the info to him and hope he checks it out.

His machine is not an "M" its a 60's series. It seems to be compatible with the sleepyhead software...at least I hope it's accurate. I went ahead and adjusted the pressure to 6-13 to see how he does with that. Also, I thought the ramp was set for 20min but it was only set for 5 so I bumped it up. I'm sure that was making it hard for him to get to sleep.

The chin strap sounds like a good idea as I think he really prefers the nasal pillow. Everything is less than two months old as that's when he first started using CPAP.
Again, thanks for all of the advice and support!!

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#13
realin4

you can change cushions, nasal pillows once per month, filters once per month, complete mask every 3 months, tubing every 3 months, headgear and chamber (if he decides to use the humidifier) every 6 months.

I keep to this schedule because I am fortunate enough to have medical coverage and, this year at least, my portion to pay is zero. Next year is another story.

I think it would be great if your son checks out this forum as he may have questions of his own and he can learn a lot by reading the info here.
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#14
(11-14-2013, 07:29 PM)realin4 Wrote: Thank you all for your replies...they are all helpful!

Eviltim...it is so good to hear from someone that was diagnosed as a teen also. Did you have a lot of trouble as a young child with tonsils, adenoids, sinuses, etc.? I think our hope was that surgery would eliminate the sleep apnea. Otherwise I don't think it would really be worth it as he does not seem to be infection prone anymore. He doesn't want surgery that's for sure.

I think my son would be receptive to seeking advice/support from this board as I know he reads and posts on others about other things. I think I will pass along the info to him and hope he checks it out.

His machine is not an "M" its a 60's series. It seems to be compatible with the sleepyhead software...at least I hope it's accurate. I went ahead and adjusted the pressure to 6-13 to see how he does with that. Also, I thought the ramp was set for 20min but it was only set for 5 so I bumped it up. I'm sure that was making it hard for him to get to sleep.

The chin strap sounds like a good idea as I think he really prefers the nasal pillow. Everything is less than two months old as that's when he first started using CPAP.
Again, thanks for all of the advice and support!!

Oddly enough, no I did not. I've never even had so much as allergies, but when I went to the ENT I learned I have a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates and adenoid tissues. The only time it really bothers me is when I have a cold...then I can't breathe or sleep.

Yeah, the surgery can be daunting, especially when the result is uncertain. From what I've read, the nasal surgeries are not likely to achieve a great result in terms of curing the sleep apnea. Keep in mind that a sleep apnea surgery is considered "successful" if it achieves a 50% reduction in AHI, but if you are able to tolerate the CPAP at the pressure you are prescribed and have no other problems that necessitate surgery, it may not be worth it. I would certainly keep on trying with the CPAP for the time being. It's taken me about 4 months of messing with settings and masks to get to the point where I am really happy night in and night out with the treatment.
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#15
The ramp cannot go lower than 4 and won't go higher than the beginning treatment pressure. Even with you changing the minimum to 6, the ramp only has from 4 to 6 to work with. He's really not going to notice any difference.

I messed with my ramp for a long time, trying to find a way to fall asleep better. Finally just turned it off and that's what works for me.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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#16
(11-14-2013, 02:16 PM)realin4 Wrote: Is it your experience that most people go through this phase of removing the mask for awhile? I just wondered why he didn't remove it much the first couple of weeks. I would love to know if others have had trouble with the constantly changing pressure of the auto machines, especially if set too low.

Hi realin4,

If the headgear has clips, encourage your son get into the habit of carefully checking that the clips are fully mated so they do not pop apart during sleep.

Another thing is, when we first start CPAP therapy the pressure seems a little difficult to breathe against, but within a week or two our chest muscles get stronger and the pressure does not bother us. Then, increasingly, a very low pressure like 4 or even 6 may become uncomfortable and we may take off the mask to breathe more freely.

Some people do best with a fairly narrow range, raising their minimum pressure to just 4 or 5 lower than their max pressure setting. Some find they do best with their minimum pressure set only a little lower than median pressure.

I would suggest a range of 6-14 and after a week asking your son whether an even higher minimum pressure like 7 would feel easier during inhalation. (If I were on a fixed CPAP pressure of 9, I would feel like I am having to work uncomfortably hard to breathe in.)

I wouldn't lower the max pressure setting below the prescribed max. The machine will not go that high, anyway, unless it is needed.

Turning A-Flex on, or increasing it slowly, 1 step at a time, may make exhaling more comfortable.

If he sleeps on his back he will likely need greater pressure, so often it is best to stay off the back. I sleep in a snug tee-shirt with a tennis ball in a pocket sewn right between the shoulder blades, to make sure I never stay long on my back.

Take care,
--- Vaughn


Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment. The Advisory Member group provides advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff on matters concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies - not on matters concerning treatment for Sleep Apnea. I think it is now too late to change the name of the group but I think Voting Member group would perhaps have been a more descriptive name for the group.
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