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Unsuccessful CPAP user - need help/advice
RE: Unsuccessful CPAP user - need help/advice
You might try watching tv with it on or reading a book before you go to sleep this might help youget used to it. That is what I did it worked for me.
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RE: Unsuccessful CPAP user - need help/advice
(06-17-2018, 02:25 PM)AGold28 Wrote: I’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea for a few years now. Originally I was diagnosed with central sleep apnea and given a bipap machine. I was never successful using it and stopped wearing it. Then I met my fiancé and my sleep apnea really affected our relationship,. We’re engaged and have to sleep in separate bedrooms, i constantly fall asleep while we’re watching tv shows and he feels hurt and alone. 

In order to help things I went to a different doctor and did another sleep test  was diagnosed with obstructive NOT central and given my new machine (Philips Respironics) and I’ve tried both nasal pillows and a full mask. The pressure starts at 4 and goes up to 13. I’ve gotten to the point that I can fall asleep no problem. But once it gets to the the max pressure I wake up feeling like I’m choking and suffocating. I’ve had sleep apnea for years and I’ve never woken up feeling like I’m choking except when I’m using a machine (other than being exhausted I have no real symptoms) but I CANNOT sleep with this thing. The most I’ve been able to sleep is about 2 1/2 hours total but most nights it’s 30min to an hour. I asked the doctor to turn it down so I could get used to it and have it slowly raised back up and all they agreed to do was 12 and said any lower isn’t doing me any good, I said well neither is me not wearing it! 
Any advice? It’s really really putting pressure on my relationship and obviously my health.

Hi, AGold28,
                 I hear your frustration.   Wonder why they gave you a new machine if you still had the old one?  It was a slight bit more suited, but not the right machine, if the second doctor gave you a CPAP he was only trying to treat OSA and not Central (which will still be there and not be treated by the CPAP machine) as he should be treating both.  To be fair I have no idea what your results were back then and what they are now.  However, I feel the doctor should have seen CA events as well as OSA events.
I agree with SleepRider that the doctor should be treating both and sometimes I wonder if doctors in the USA, Canada and Australia where insurance companies are involved are caring for the patients or their pockets?
When the machine went up in pressure did you feel you could not breath out?  If this is the case then the Expiry Relief is not turned on, it is called something else by others =  The most subtle differences in CPAP machines can often mean the ... be it C-Flex or A-Flex (Philips Respironics), EPR (ResMed), EZEX (Transcend), it all reduces the pressure when you breath out and helps a lot if you are new to CPAP/APAP.
Also the doctor is not doing his job if he has the machine set to start at 4, it is far to low for a lot of users and they feel air starved, it is also to low to deal with any apneas you may have and will take longer to react to any you do have.  I would think most people would need 6 or 7 as a low setting, however, if it is a CPAP it will be at a fixed pressure and when you complained to the doctor he should have checked the pressure relief was turned on.  The pressure he has it set at might well be correct for dealing with OSA, but he has made no attempt to deal with your CA events.
Without seeing any data it is not possible to say how bad either is or if you have a combination of both OSA and CA.
SleepRiders comments may well be valid as a doctor should know one from the other, but as we have not seen any data we can't say which doctor is right if any and if you should have a different machine all together.
It is a sad fact that insurance companies appear to start off with the cheapest option and then if that does not work move to a more advanced and expensive machine.
They think it saves money, but I doubt it does by the time they pay for doctors time and administration of it all.
I would go back and see the Sleep Doctor again, but first, if your machine is data capable, get sleepyhead and post some data so that you can get a little guidance as to what to say to the doctor and so as you now what to say to get the machine and the treatment you really need.
Not all doctors are bad and sometimes it is easy to jump to the conclusion as to what they are thinking, but sometimes they have to work to insurance restrictions.  Sometimes though it makes you wonder!
Here it is NHS (National Health Service) restrictions and budgets that cause problems, where they would only give someone a CPAP and not an APAP, this has changed a bit though.
Did you get a copy of your sleep study results?  Even that would help.
I am NOT a doctor.  I try to help, but do not take what I say as medical advice.

Every journey, however large or small starts with the first step.

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