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When I Exhale, Is It Leaving The Mask?
#1
When I Exhale, Is It Leaving The Mask?
Hello,

My name is Joey. I'm brand new to this forum as well as using my CPAP machine.

I'm on here because I need answers and I'm having a hard time finding them.

I recently got the Airsense 10 with the AirTouch F20 face mask and automatic pressure settings (4-10cm), and I swear it feels like when I exhale, my breath isn't escaping. A couple times during the night, I found myself gasping for air. I'm not sure if it was psychological or not.

I did some research and found that a lot of people have problems with the new F20 elbow because of the filter over the air holes, so I used a pocket knife and removed the filters, which helped a little bit, but of course now it's super noisy.

The other issue I'm having is that I don't notice the valves in the elbow doing anything, ever. Are they supposed to close when I exhale to allow the air to escape? They don't seem to move at all.

I feel like I'm losing my mind. I've had insomnia for months and all I want is a good night's sleep. They're putting me on Lunesta but I'm not going to take it until I know for sure I'm getting enough oxygen and everything is functioning correctly.

Help!
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#2
RE: When I Exhale, Is It Leaving The Mask?
Hi Joey!  - Welcome

The Anti-Asphyxia valve only closes when you lose pressure in the CPAP's hose.  This prevents the hose from filling with discharged CO2.  During normal operation the air pressure is sufficient to prevent this from occurring.

Your starting pressure setting of 4-cmH2O can be a reason for feeling like you're gasping for air.   Most CPAP users find a starting pressure of 7 or 8-cmH2O provides a more comfortable feeling.

- Red
Crimson Nape
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com
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Useful Links -or- When All Else Fails:
The Guide to Understanding OSCAR
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
RE: When I Exhale, Is It Leaving The Mask?
Yes, your exhaled breath is escaping through those small holes. The purpose of the filter is to quiet the air flow as you have noticed.

The two flaps you see are the anti-asphyxiation valves. They close when the machine is creating air pressure for your mask. If your machine shuts off, those valves open so you can still breathe.

Most people find 4 cm pressure to be too low and leads to feeling like they cannot breathe.

Please download and install OSCAR and put a SD card (2 to 32 GB, not larger) in your machine. After a night's use, import the data into OSCAR and post a screenshot of the Daily page in this thread so someone can see what is happening.
Useful links
Download OSCAR (current version is 1.2.0)
Best way to organize charts
How to attach charts to your post

Membership in the Advisory Members group does not imply medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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#4
RE: When I Exhale, Is It Leaving The Mask?
Thank you for the info, I will do that. I feel more comfortable taking the Lunesta now.

I'm so freaking tired.
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#5
RE: When I Exhale, Is It Leaving The Mask?
Agreed with the others. I too would suggest that bump in Min pressure to 7. If you've not been using EPR, add that at 3 full time. Exhale Pressure Relief will add comfort. I'm not too surprised you're having a few issues. It isn't normal to have an alien strapped to your face, blowing air on you from the umbilical cord attached to the Mother PAP ship. But this alien may make your life a lot healthier if you befriend it.
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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