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[Treatment] struggling to breath
Hello, this is my first post.

I am 52 years old and diagnosed with sleep apena 6 weeks ago.

I had a short stay in hospital reciently, they had me hooked up to a pulse  oximeter. It alarmed every time I dropped off to sleep. Nurses  weren't  to concerned but suggested I have a sleep study. So I had a home sleep study which found that I  have moderate severe apnea, ie AHI of 26hr on side & 67 on my back.

I am currently  trialing Apap machines, first Resmed airsence 10 autoset but had trouble  breathing against the pressure. It was like the machine overwhelmed me to the point I couldn't  breath out, but it had me down to 7 aps an hr when working . Pressure 6-15

I am now using a Dream station auto. This machine I find more comfortable  but my aps are higher now ie 16-20hr.

I am struggling with both machines,  not sleeping  well, as soon as I drop off to sleep I stop breathing even on the machine and awake. Most of my aps are centrals.

I bought  a pulse  oximeter, it showed me my 02 sats dropped  to 82 shortly after dropping off to sleep, even with pap machine. I am worried  about my breathing, I find I am always thinking about it. The oximeter also alarmed  on pulse variation.

I am having  the titration study  next week, hopefully  they will do a lung function test as well.

In the meantime  I will just hang on  and hope I don't  wake-up  dead.

I have read many  posts and see I am not alone with this struggle, I am thankful for this forum as it has already helped me to get data from my machine and alowed me so share my struggle.
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Hi Robo64,
You can try the flex setting on the DreamStation to help with the exhale pressure. I would set it to 1 or 2, and see if it makes a difference.

It's good your having your titration next week. In the meantime, try to sleep on your side, and stay off your back.
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I started with my flex set at 3 on my DreamStation, which helped a great deal. After i became used to breathing against pressure I changed my flex setting to 2 and then a few weeks later to my present setting of 1. I plan on turning flex off soon. I tried A-flex which provides even more relief, but my AHI went up slightly so I went back to C-flex. I just noticed my profile still shows C-flex+. I need to chance that.

"....respiration,—a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered necessary to our easy existence...." Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens- 1837

I use FlashPAP to load data from a FlashAir III wifi sd card in my machine to my computer and display it with SleepyHead .
robysue's Beginner's Guide to SleepyHead
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Hi Robo64,

Welcome to the Board. It will be interesting to see the results of a titration. You mention that most of your Apneas are Centrals. Be sure to talk with your Sleep Doc about the Centrals. A standard CPAP/BiPap machine has limited ability to deal with Centrals. In fact the treatment can cause an elevation in Central events. Stay in touch and good luck with your titration. There are lots of very helpful people on this Forum. So, no matter what problems they find you will find great suggestions here.

Apnea Board Member RobySue has posted a Beginners Guide to Sleepyhead Software here:  http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...SleepyHead

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Robo64.. come back on a regular basis to this forum (contribute much as well) for a wealth of info regarding your sleep apnea. Next weeks titration should greatly help to futher smooth out your transition to CPAP therapy. I would take the tritation folks a copy of this (your) post when you go next week. Its a good description of your concerns.
Yesterday is history; Tomorrow is a mystery; Today is a gift; Thats why its called "The Present".
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82 O2 is lower than it should be, but you are not going to wake up dead from it. You are on the right path and there are still things that can be done to help you along. Don't worry, this stuff does work, but does need some work to get it just right. Hopefully your sleep study will be what we call a "split study", most often the path is do you have apnea, does CPAP work, do you need BiLevel, do you need ASV? A split study will do two of these steps in one session, sometimes they can do three. As they step along if they find one that works then they stop and send you home to give it a longer trial.
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Hi Robo64,
WELCOME!to the forum.!
Good luck to you at your titration and much success to you with your CPAP therapy.
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Thanks for all your replies,

I started with a flex pressure of 3 on the Dreamstation but have reduced this to 2, which I am coping with ok.

Does pap treatment cause asthma like systems, some times I wake up with the machine trying to give me more air than I can take, I have to stop using machine. It feels like asthma, ie struggle to breath out.

I don't know if I am worrying myself, but some of the graphs I look at look bad to me. The EncorePro software does a waveform graph that shows over a minute of no breathing, its a central with several pulse presures form pap that didn't appear to get me going again. I will post the graph when I work out how tto do it.

Thanks again
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Quote:...some times I wake up with the machine trying to give me more air than I can take..

I remember that feeling. Your machine is probably operating at a pretty high pressure and it's hard to exhale against it. You feel like you're drowning in air. You will likely get used to this and after a while it won't worry you any more. If you can't overcome that feeling, first try increasing the flex (or change the setting - there are A-flex and C-flex settings but I don't what the difference is). If that doesn't work you might need to consider a bilevel machine which can give a larger pressure difference between inhale and exhale.

Quote: I will post the graph when I work out how tto do it.

See here: http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-How-to-HOW-DO-I

Apnea Board Moderator


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Oh yes I have problems exhaling, there are machines just for that. BiLevel machines let you set a specific pressure for exhale, set it where ever you need it. To get one you typically need to fail APAP. For Resmed its called VPAP AirCurve, Your manufacturer has one also, I just don't know the name of it.

Don't worry, but do pay attention. Nothing happens quickly with sleep apnea
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