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Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here
I've had my CPAP for about a year now, and I do feel it has improved my life. I regularly assess what contributes to a good night sleep.
  • don't eat within 2 hours of bedtime
  • don't use humidifier in summertime
I have seasonal allergies, so I have been trying to minimize nasal congestion
  • shower before bed
  • use nasal rinse
  • use sprays recommended by allergist
  • ....trying to figure out the magic bullet
I like Dreamwear mask the best, but when I am already slightly congested I use Amara full-face mask so in case I breathe though mouth here and there I am still good.

My machine is set 4.5-8 without aflex or cflex enabled. 90% pressure is generally 6-6.5; when it is above that my sleep is generally not good. Should I lower range to 7?
AHI average is around 5. My best nights are around  1.5. Do I need a goal of getting to a lower AHI number? My DME said 5 or lower means I'm good. 
A low AHI corresponds seems to correspond to a lower 90% pressure...when it gets above 6.5 it is always a higher AHI...I am wondering it this is directly related to level of my nasal congestion?
I also wonder if my sleep issues are mostly related to seasonal allergies/ nasal congestion (and not apnea). I see other people on forum with much higher pressure settings.

On the other hand...my average sleep (with CPAP) is 7 hours a night, and I feel great with a 5 AHI average.
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Started CPAP on May 29, 2012 with Phillips Aflex machine. For 5 years, AHI never got below 35 to 40. Changed Drs in July, 2017, had new sleep study, was prescribed a Phillips Dreamstation Bipap and AHI is now down to 6.2 ( last night).  First doctor was way too non-chalant about my results.  After 2 weeks on Bipap, I keep asking myself " Why did I endure the first results for so long?". Needless to say, my wife is super PO'd at me for waiting so long. Why this post?  Don't wait if you are not happy with your results. I lost 5 years of decent sleep because of a stubborn streak as big as the Ozarks.
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In June of 2016 I was in a car accident and broke a couple bones in my neck. I was sidelined for a three months and have since made a full recovery without surgery or long term treatment. While I was in the hospital, I was heavily medicated, some nurse told me I had sleep apnea. Can you believe that?
Twenty years ago, my Dad had the surgery for removal of soft palette tissue, tonsils and all the other associated snoring stuff. Dad was the loudest snorer ever. Everyone knows now that does not work for apnea and the success rate is so low that doctors aren't recommending the procedure. So is sleep apnea hereditary?
I am 36 now and all I can do is reflect about my experience. I could write the details about drinking problems and depression. I could go on and on about the way I quasi slept and would not. I have battled sleep for a very long time. In my best estimate, I've been battling this sleep issue since 2002 because that is when I first went to the doctor for advice about depression.
I met my lady 3 years ago and she has since been an angel! She kept telling me that I snore loud (which I knew that) but she said she would have to lay her hand on me to see if I was still breathing. She was awake because I was "snoring so loud but worried You was dead because You would go very long periods of time not breathing at all." She said she was worried.
So, with much time of having to be laid up on the couch with my neck propped and braced, I didn't have to run all over the state fixing broken factories. Fine time to do that sleep study!
The sleep doctor gave me Ambien and the sleep study was over. The results were an AHI greater than 35. O2S was slumping. A bunch of other sleep performance indicators seemed bad he said. He explained things fast and he didn't dumb things down for me. Ultimately I have severe sleep apnea but he didn't have good numbers because of the length of time I was on the CPAP machine during the sleep study. Onward and forward with treatment!
I am very fortunate to have a primary care doctor that's wonderful. I am lucky to have a friend in the office of the sleep doctor. I'm most grateful to my lady for not helping me stop breathing while I kept her awake and making me get treatment which I didn't know that I needed, and for putting up with all the syndrome.
I am no longer on antidepressants. I don't drink anymore. My energy levels keep going up. I feel pretty darn good!
I have convinced my treatment resistant father to buy a machine and he can't sleep without it now!
In summary, I have not experienced anything negative with my APAP. Sleep is good. I'm not bragging, I understand the trials of mask fit and human-machine compatibility, but I got the right mask and the right machine the first try. I'm lucky! For those out there that are fighting it, don't get discouraged! Take it from a former drunk and depressed jerk like me, the therapy works. It works wonders.
I've been 100% compliant. AHI is 2.0 on the 60 day average. I'm getting high AHI of 5 or 6 once or twice a month. I'm using Philips Dreamstation with humidifier and heated hose. I use the humidifier and heated hose every night. Humidifier is on 5 and hose is on 3. I use the ramp feature. Currently set to 8-20 cm H2O. My 90% is around 12. I'm comfortable with the machine. My full face mask is a Fisher and Paykel Simplus size M. I am a mouth and nose breather so this is the best option for me. I'm at 9 months of use and now understand enough about my sleep that I am trying to get my AHI to 1 or less. My prescription is for APAP 7-20, I just increased to 8-20. I'm going to wait a month and go to 9-14cm H2O. See how I do! 

Thanks for keeping this forum here, I learn a lot here. And best wishes for those new to therapy and keep trying to those struggling.

Jesse
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(09-07-2017, 07:49 AM)JesseLee Wrote: So is sleep apnea hereditary?

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs because of the particulars of the anatomy of the throat and airway. These anatomical features vary between individuals, but they do tend to run in the family. Think about how common other anatomical features such as a big nose or long arms are shared between a father and a son. So I would say that it is indeed hereditary, to some extent at least.

By the way, I encourage you to start a thread in main forum and show us your SleepyHead screenshots. You have a very wide pressure range and narrowing it down properly will probably improve your numbers and the quality of your sleep.
Sleepster
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It's been awhile since I've posted. Mine was an immediate success story the very first time I used it. Today, after many years, never left home without it. like

I've upgraded to the Airsense 10...great machine
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CPAP his made a positive difference in my life!  I sleep much better that I have at any time in many years. I am much more alert during the day.  I don't fall asleep while watching television.   Since starting on CPAP more than nine years ago, my blood pressure is down and I have lost 55 pounds and maintained my weight for five years.  I am in better physical condition than I have in thirty years--I'm 71 now.  In warm weather, I swim 3 Km in the park district pool twice a week.

My story began about 15 years ago when my wife and sons complained that I snored so loudly that i could be heard all over the house.   My doctors told me that the problem was rooted in allergies.  I went through allergy tests twice, but they were inconclusive.  I was told I needed to lose weight and that would solve my problem.

Then, my long-time primary care physician retired ten years ago.  My mew primary care read my history and listened to the story told by my wife and son.  He asked me to consider the possibility that my problem was sleep apnea.  We tried one more allergy med.  When it proved ineffective, he referred me to a pulmonologist.  He explained that I had the classic symptoms of sleep apnea and scheduled me for a sleep study.  He also impressed upon me the seriousness of my condition.

The sleep study confirmed the diagnosis and I was fitted with  a Respironics comfortgel nasal mask and a Resmed S8 with a pressure setting of 7.  After 18 months, I transitioned to the Respironics comfortgel full face mask, which I have used ever since.

Adapting to using CPAP proved more difficult than I expected.  The machine proved much noisier than I expected.  Adapting to wearing the mask was difficult.  I found the mask frame so close to my face and line of sight very uncomfortable.  On another forum, I read how others adapted  by resorting to prescription sleep meds.  I didn't want to go down that road and thought there had to be a better solution.  Over the first few weeks of being on CPAP, I solved the noise problem with 33 db ear plugs and the mask frame by learning to wear a sleep mask.  The combination of unobstructed breathing at night along with a quiet and dark sleeping environment has enabled me to be nearly 100% compliant ever since.
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Have the airsense 10, currently enjoying it, no longer sleepy!
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Hello all. Glad to have found this community and look forward to being part of it.

So here's my story. My wife of 38 years pushed me to get a sleep study. Bless her. (We'll leave it to your imaginations whether she wanted to keep me around or was sick & tired of waking me up to breathe all the time. I'll go with the former.) Study was scheduled, and about a week before I woke up to her punching me in the chest- she's a 5th degree black belt- and wondering what the h*ll wasn't going on. I 'calmly' (so I thought) asked her that question and she said 'you weren't waking up and the next thing I was about to do was call 911.' 

My study was scheduled, as it turned out, for the same night as game 7 of last year's World Series in which my beloved Cleveland Indians were going for their first world championship in 68 years. But the punch to my chest reminded me I'd best not reschedule, so to the hospital I went.

Good thing I did. Turns out my AHI was 86. The 4-5 hours on the machine (it was a split study) was the best sleep I'd gotten in a long, long time. I eagerly awaited my CPAP which arrived on my 61st birthday. Best birthday present ever.

My ENT, an old friend, told me he usually sees two kinds of sleep apnea patients- those who try CPAP and give it up, and those who feel the same way about it as an NRA member feels about his/her guns. I'm in the latter camp- you'll take away my CPAP when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

Reading so many posts of those who have problems with their machines and regulating their illness makes me realize how fortunate I am- from the very start, thanks to the assistance of the respiratory therapist at the supply company, I have slept well ever since. On my worst nights my prostate reminds me it's as old as I am after 5-6 hours; many times I'll sleep 7-8 hours straight. My wife, bless her, had to get used to the quiet. I have more energy and feel better overall than I have in a long time. 

To those who are struggling- keep trying, it is so worth it. Best of luck and good health to all!
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Hello Board,

I want to start by thanking all of you who contribute.   I find this to be a very informative way to find out more about OSA.  Many of you share similar experiences to me but many have very different issues that they need to address.  The only way to figure out each of our unique circumstances is by working at it and finding others that have made the mistakes before us and to learn from them.  Thanks for providing this board to help all of us to improve, contribute and continue to learn.

My diagnosis was after I moved from Michigan to Minnesota in 2006.  I was 35 and snoring so loud that my wife had to sleep in the living room for about a year.  She noticed I stopped breathing at times but it took me way too long to get checked out.  The ensuing sleep study proved that I had a problem (54 events) and they put me on a CPAP half way through the night.  The doctor prescribed a ResMed S8 Compact at 12 cmH20 and I've used it ever since.

Looking back it was a struggle and very difficult when I actually tried to use CPAP therapy at home.  They started me with the ramp feature and told me all about using humidity.  These were the cool features back then.  However, the problem with the ramp is I would fall asleep only to be awakened by air blowing in my left eye.  I'm pretty sure there were a few nights where I just gave up and slept without it.  However, I can be quite a stubborn individual and would not let it defeat me.  I turned off the ramp so I could get the face mask sealed before going to sleep.  I learned that by putting the hose up over my head, it prevented it from acting like a lever that lifted the left side of the mask (I slept on the right side of the bed).  I also hated the humidity because it was hot and made me feel like I was suffocating at times.  Once, i got past these minor issues, it has worked extremely well for me.  I've actually taken it for granted and feel bad when looking at some of the difficulties some have trying to get a good nights sleep.  My advice is to try things but find what works for you.  The whiz bang feature may not work for you so don't be hell bent on using it if you don't need it.  Try the feature but try not using it as well.  You would be surprised how even small changes can make a big difference for you.  

All of this advice is great but it is really tough when you are tired and need to get up and go to work the next day.  All I can say is hang in there,  talk to people anyway you can and xPAP therapy can make a big difference.  I don't know where I would be without it.  Work on it during the weekend when your sleep might not be as critical.  Tweak it here and there and you most likely will find the right combination if you are willing to put in a little effort and figure out what works for you.  Your insurance company will not make it easy for you and the doctors are not always going to help.  I feel very lucky but am pretty resourceful and that has helped me to get by in spite of all the obstacles.  The money can be an issue but what is your life worth?  What is the quality of you life worth?  It might not happen overnight but I believe most of us can find a solution if we work hard enough at it.  Certainly, search these forums and you'll find something that helps you.

My journey continues because I've been trying to replace my CPAP for around 5 months and it has been a nightmare dealing with doctors and insurance.  Both blame each other and all I wanted was a machine with bearings that  didn't whine.   I've now taken my therapy into my own hands and bought a new system from Supplier #1 without insurance.  The price was right and I can now monitor my breathing every night using the SleepyHead software.  So far my readings have been very good the first two nights on the new machine.  I hope to update everyone with a thread to share my experience of changing from my old brainless machine to one that has efficacy data.
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You don't know me, but you prepared me well.  I was fully armed and ready to fight the sleep apnea battle.  Nobody was going to rip me off or blow me off.  

I'm afraid I'm a big disappointment, having nothing to gripe about.  

My insurance company made me go to a pulmonologist before acquiescing to the sleep study, but they paid for the visit 100% and have not hassled me about anything since.  I met my deductible earlier this year so everything is covered.  

My sleep study techs were outstanding, waking me up every time I nodded off while they were wiring me up.  After they diagnosed me and put on a mask I slept like a sack of flour for 6 hours.  They had to shake me awake.  I guess the therapy worked.  

My pulmonologist explained the sleep study results in detail, prescribed the right gear and gave me a paper copy, presumably so I could order whatever I needed.  He also told me about the SD card and this cool free software you could use to look at your numbers.  

My DME was immensely helpful, showing me lots of masks and providing me with an Aircurve 10 VAUTO, which from what I read here is quite nice.  They recommended a full facemask because of my high pressures but happily exchanged it for the Dreamwear nasal pillow fit pack when I asked.  They also pointed me to this forum and another one, which to me means tacit approval to change my own settings.  

The high bilevel pressure settings (17/21) worried me after all the horror stories, but I slept almost 9 hours the first night with my gear.  I love the stuff and have considered staying in bed all day on a Saturday just to wear it the whole time.  100% compliance since the last week in July, sleeping as much as I want.  No aerophagia or face, skin, or hair issues.  Totally acceptable leak levels despite the scruffy facial hair.  MyAir gives me gold stars all the time and Sleepyhead agrees. 

Checking the pudding for proof:  Sleep study AHI, 136.  Last night Sleepyhead said 0.2.  No more falling asleep in meetings, behind the wheel, or flying the plane.  My neck feels much better from not snapping my head back up all the time.  My wife sleeps much better, too, without all the extra noise.  

Anyway, I was all ready for the worst but none of it happened.  I'm probably not the most encouraging story for anyone with problems, but it really has been very smooth sailing.  

Thanks for all the help.  If we took the same proactive role in all of our healthcare we would be better off at a far lower cost.
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