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Trying to understand apnea and cpap
#1
I am a newbie that has just finished a sleep study that found obstructive sleep apnea. My question is: can the cpap machine eliminate me from HAVING the apneas? Or will it just help me to breathe through the apneas that are going to always be there no matter what?

I know this is a question for my doctor, but my post-appointment study is not for a few weeks yet.
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#2
G'day KCap, welcome to Apnea Board.

An apnea event occurs when your airway collapses, blocking the flow of air. This might be a collapse of the soft palate or the back of your tongue into the airway. CPAP works by applying gentle pressure to splint the airway open, preventing the blockage. So, it prevents apneas occurring, but only while the machine is running. It doesn't "cure" your sleep apnea, but "treats" it.

Hope this helps.
DeepBreathing
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#3
Hi KCap,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I wish you good luck with your CPAP therapy, hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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#4
(10-27-2016, 04:23 AM)KCap Wrote: I am a newbie that has just finished a sleep study that found obstructive sleep apnea. My question is: can the cpap machine eliminate me from HAVING the apneas? Or will it just help me to breathe through the apneas that are going to always be there no matter what?

I know this is a question for my doctor, but my post-appointment study is not for a few weeks yet.

+1 on DeepBreathing's explanation.

An obstructive apnea occurs when something blocks your airway, the CPAP air pressure prevents that from happening. So you don't really breathe "through" an apnea because it didn't get a chance to happen.

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#5
Since you have time before your appointment, you want to be prepared to get the best machine possible, that will give you full efficacy data. This will let you be in control of your therapy, once you start. This wiki may help, http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...ne_choices

If your study did not include time on a CPAP machine for titration, then assuming you have obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may either recommend a titration study or prescribe an auto CPAP for self-titration. With a good machine like the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset, it is very easy to find your optimum treatment pressures. A titration study can help identify the best CPAP pressure for the night of the study, but it is not infallible, and will cause a significant delay until you get treatment. Did your study include titration?
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#6
Yes, this was actually my second sleep study. The first did not include a mask at all. For this second one I used a whole nose/mouth mask. I actually hated the pillows and the nose mask. The full mask felt so much better. So I did have time on a CPAP machine for titration.

I guess I asked my question because I can swear I still was having apnea events where I would wake up, even though I felt the air pressure was good and I actually liked having the mask on. I had those little wake up moments like I always do. So, since my doctor's appointment is still a few weeks away while they "read" my results, I'm trying to figure this whole thing out!

Scores from my first study with no cpap:

AI was 0.4, HI was 18.1, and AHI was 18.5. REM AHI was 34.8. (Moderate obstructive sleep apnea exacerbated to severe degree in REM sleep.)

Thanks everyone for your answers! Smile
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#7
(10-27-2016, 04:05 PM)KCap Wrote: Scores from my first study with no cpap:

AI was 0.4, HI was 18.1, and AHI was 18.5. REM AHI was 34.8. (Moderate obstructive sleep apnea exacerbated to severe degree in REM sleep.)

Thanks everyone for your answers! Smile

The way the numbers work:

(Apneas + Hypopneas)/hours asleep = AHI

You averaged 0.4 apneas and 18.1 hypopneas per hour with no CPAP (18.5 AHI).

In REM, your AHI went up to 34.8 but I don't know the apnea index or hypopnea index.
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#8
Then your next appointment will be to discuss your results, give you a prescription and discuss any questions you my have. This is a good opportunity to look at the prescription, which will likely have a pressure recommendation for CPAP. What you want to do is request either a pressure range, or recommendation for auto CPAP. That way, if you have a cold, or other change in health, weight, etc. then you will have a better auto-adjusting CPAP. It can help avoid a future sleep study as things change, which can save time and money. Insurance pays the same for fixed or auto CPAP, so that should not be a factor.

The two big players for auto CPAP are Philip Respironics Dreamstation Auto, and Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset. They are both good machines with integrated humidifiers, heated hose options and many good features including full data. They work a bit differently, with the Dreamstation responding to apnea and obstructive events with slower more gradual pressure changes than the Autoset, and using a form of pressure reduction called Flex, rather than the true bilevel exhale pressure relief of the Autoset.

Good luck at your upcoming appointment.
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