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Tuff Time Adjusting
#1
I'm having a tuff time adjusting to the CPAP concept. My AHI started at 21 and is now 13 after about two weeks of usage. Started out with an Aloha nasal mask, too confining. Swithch to a Swift FX nasal pillow. My supplier says I might have to go to a full face to get under 13. Any feedback would be appreciated. Have I given it enough time to adjust. Will by sleep get better?[/font][/size]
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#2
(03-06-2014, 12:35 PM)AHN Wrote: I'm having a tuff time adjusting to the CPAP concept. My AHI started at 21 and is now 13 after about two weeks of usage. Started out with an Aloha nasal mask, too confining. Swithch to a Swift FX nasal pillow. My supplier says I might have to go to a full face to get under 13. Any feedback would be appreciated. Have I given it enough time to adjust. Will by sleep get better?[/font][/size]

If the nasal mask was too confining, I think that you will be too confined with a FFM. There could be a lot of reasons your AHI is at 13, not just your mask. INHO, two weeks and two masks isn't enough time. First, your body has a lot of healing to do from untreated OSA. Secondly, I would give a mask or any other change a minimum of 2 weeks, preferably a lot longer. If you can download your data and see what might be causing your AHI to be 13, then that would be a good place to start.

Others will have other suggestions/ideas for you.
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#3
Hi AHN,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I'm sorry you are having such a rough time with CPAP therapy.
It can take some time to get used to, I encourage you to stick with it; you haven't been at it that long, don't give up, it does get better.
Don't be afraid to try different masks, that's the hardest part of this therapy.
Hang in there for more suggestions.
Best of luck.
trish6hundred
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#4
I have sort of come to the conclusion that just about any mask will work for us if we give it the time and consideration it needs to become adjusted to us. So with the nasal mask for instance, I understand what you mean by "too confining," however that can be mitigated with continued use and proper fit. It should fit comfortably, not too tight, not too loose.

I suspect the pillows will work for you as well once you find your "sweet spot." Again the rule is don't make the straps too tight because it's the pillows job to inflate and make the seal. Also if you make the straps too tight you might end up with a sore nosey. Some people have found a little lanolin cream on the pillows with help as well. I suspect that is true, and when I once again try mine out I'll be doing that.

As far as your settings are concerned, that's pretty much an issue for your sleep doc folks. I really had a problem starting the pressure at 4. I thought I was not getting enough air until it finally ramped up to 7 or better.

Finally you might talk to your sleep docs about limiting the pressure on the high end for a little while to say about 12, to help get the pillows mask working properly.

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#5
I also had difficulty with pressure at 4. Particularly for newbies everything is so new and you don't know what it should feel like. There is a learning curve and you will need to give it time. Don't give up. After being on CPAP a while, you become more confident with it and discover it is helping rather than hindering. In the beginning it is mind over matter. You learn to decipher what feels right and what needs to be adjusted as you go. retired_guy used the best phrase "when you find your sweet spot". I have been on therapy since late November. I would say more often than not, the nasal pillows feel natural to me now.

I couldn't tolerate starting out at pressure of 4 during my titration sleep study. Combined with having to get used to putting a mask on, I had trouble with the smothering feeling. I presumed it was the mask. I commented I thought CPAP was supposed to help me breath easier and I felt like air was being cut off from me. They turned up the pressure for me and it was more tolerable. When I got my machine home I had that same smothering feeling. I looked at the settings and saw they had it set to start ramp at pressure 4. I had read enough on this forum to know I could turn the ramp feature off. That helped me a lot.
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#6
AHN, I agree with others to stay with nasal pillows longer. You don't say what software you are using and I am not familiar with your cpap machine. Most likely your AHI is being compromised by leaking-the most common problem for all of us.

If you can use your software to see your data you will be able to pinpoint what's causing your problem. In the beginning I over tightened my nasal pillows. The other common problem with nasal pillow is mouth opening which sort of defeats the pillows. You might try a strap or chin pad like I use. Post some of your data from your capap and you will get help interpreting the results. This is a common phase so just be patient.
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#7
It would be unlikely that you need to change masks as long as you are able to USE the mask you have and it isn't leaking EXCESSIVELY.

More likely the settings need to be adjusted on the machine, but the DME can't change those without the doctor's prescription but they can SELL YOU (or your insurance company) as many masks as they can justify even marginally.

You will benefit from being able to read your data but most of us don't have a Devilbliss so can't help you are as easily in setting that up.

Sweet Dreams,

HerbM
Sleep study AHI: 49 RDI: 60 -- APAP 10-11 w/AHI: 1.5 avg for 7-days (up due likely to hip replacement recovery)

"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
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#8
CPAP requires some getting used to, I am almost two months in now and there are still nights I just can't tolerate it for more than 4-5 hours. I have woken up in the middle of the night clawing at the mask to get it off. It's a mindset, and it takes some getting used to. The benefits for me far outweigh the desire to stop using it so I continue on my road. There are actually nights now where I sleep the entire night with the mask on and don't wake up once. It will get better you can be assured of that.
If everyone thinks alike, then someone isn't thinking.
Everyone knows something, together we could know everything.
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