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Update: Stopping PAP until well after surgery - breathing too compromised.
The humidity from PAP therapy definitely triggered some bad stuff in my lungs - wheezing, tightness of chest, coughing and difficulty breathing. I started CPAP one month ago, and on the morning after the first night I woke up wheezing. Called pulmonologist/sleep doc on that morning after, and he said to keep going, scheduled me for pulmonary function test. Kept using the machine, changed to APAP one week later, and at two weeks out I had to stop with the machine because my lungs were really messed up. Saw the doc and he said to stay off of PAP until lungs were better again, prescribed inhaled steroid Advair. One week later, still bad so put me on oral steroids. One week later, I am still a ways to go to get back to where I was pre PAP therapy.

I have gluteal tendon repair and hip revision surgery in 5 weeks, and I want my lungs to be in the best possible shape. I got through surgery a year ago with whatever apnea problems I had, and I can do it again. Lungs working well is more important. I am even wondering if I will get back to breathing easily again beforehand. Certainly hope so. My asthma normally is very mild. I hadn't wheezed since early in 2014 before this.

Thanks to holden4th's link to an article about humidity triggering asthma, I found many more articles about it, and this has happened to other people on PAP therapy. Apparently the best range for lung health for those with asthma is 35-50% relative humidity. Higher or lower can get asthma symptoms going, and certainly did in my case. On Auto, my machine gives out 85%, which seems excessively high to me. I turned it down after the first night, but I think the damage was done. I'm not even sure exactly what the humidity will be on Manual at the various levels when I go back to therapy. I called my DME, got gibberish, and ResMed. ResMed said they'd call me back, and didn't. I'll be after them again.

Perhaps there should be guidance from the machine maker and a warning to those with asthma about what levels of humidity to use. That would have prevented a world of trouble for me.

Here are my two threads about the wheezing for background.


"Perseverance, secret of all triumphs."
Victor Hugo
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G'day Kris. The clinician's manual gives a brief summary of the humidity provided at various pressure settings, but as you say it's around 85% RH at setting 4 and 90 - 100% RH at setting 8. In your case, it's probably best to turn the humidifier off.

Very best wishes for successful surgery - I hope your breathing returns to a satisfactory condition in time.

Apnea Board Moderator


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Hi, DeepBreathing. I read everything about humidity in the clinician's and other manuals, and I'm still not sure what the humidity will be at each of those settings 1 - 8, and need to find out. Having NO humidity is bad, too, since below 35% can trigger asthma. Was told not to do that by the doc. I tried day 2 with no humidity, before the doc told me that, and had desert mouth, so that's another good reason for me not to use none.
"Perseverance, secret of all triumphs."
Victor Hugo
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Are you using your nose for air? The only time I have had a problem was before getting my nose opened up. I quit putting water in my cpap after the nose job. Yes I did turn off the heater.

Was the cpap that you got a used one ?

Best wishes for clearing up your lungs.

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Thanks, Henry! I'm doing everything I can to help the twitchy lungs to heal.

I breathe through my nose when awake, although i do some mouth breathing when asleep, as evidenced by dry mouth.

My machine was brand new, and I have the ClimateLine hose.
"Perseverance, secret of all triumphs."
Victor Hugo
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Hi, Kris. You might want to get a gadget to measure the humidity in the room where you'll be sleeping after surgery. In the summertime with A/C on, I think your room air is going to be well above 35% RH and possibly even above 50% RH depending on the weather conditions.

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Hi Kris the Crone,
I'm sure sorry you are having to stop CPAP but, I know you have had trouble with asthma. I wish you good luck with your surgery.
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Good point, green wings. I have the gadget on order and will bring to hospital and rehab with me. God, I love the people on this forum and the great ideas and input!

(07-09-2016, 08:08 PM)green wings Wrote: Hi, Kris. You might want to get a gadget to measure the humidity in the room where you'll be sleeping after surgery. In the summertime with A/C on, I think your room air is going to be well above 35% RH and possibly even above 50% RH depending on the weather conditions.

And, thanks, trish6hundred, for your good wishes.

One more thing to vent here. I threw out my lower back a week ago, and I cannot sleep in bed. Not on my back, because my apneas are quite frequent when on my back, nor on my side (where I have almost no apneas) because the back spasms get going when I do that. So I am sleeping in the recliner, or rather, trying desperately to sleep in the recliner. Exhausted all the gosh-darned time. Can't walk, can't breathe, can't sleep, can't even lie down. Just want to be anesthetized until this is all over, this painful waiting for the op, the surgery, and the recovery. Wake me up when it's over! Maybe I'll want to live at that point.

"Perseverance, secret of all triumphs."
Victor Hugo
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Gosh I can relate to that. I do not know where I would be if life had not improved.

I have used this form and the great information it has to make my Life better. Adding my measured oxygen information to Sleepyhead and then adding oxygen to my cpap hose has made a big change.

I see wounds heal faster on the outside of my body. I feel that I recover from surgery better (the doctors have been busy removing things).

I find that my oxygen levels without cpap are higher. I have more energy and no longer fall asleep standing up. Being that low on sleep (looking back at what I can remember) put myself and others in danger.

The long term effects of low oxygen and little sleep remain to be seen. I can tell you that the help from this community has made me better.

I thank God for guiding me to this place and the many sharing people here.

Hang in, life can improve, when it does please share yourself with others. Sleep-well

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