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Hi I'm new here not sure how this all works so I will explain what I can...

I have severe osa and I have a cpap machine I have had osa for a long time but I never did nything about it..i would wake up choking punching my gf in the face because I would think I was dieing trying to wake her..(sorry I know it sounds bad but very scary) eventually it was affecting my work life I would fall asleep on the job and driving home and my mental health was not good...I finally decided to see a specialist I hve health insurance so I was able to fasttrack I found out I had a lot of sinus problems so I had to use a mouth attachment for my cpap but I was still struggling only using for upto 2-3 hours a night before waking in a panic... ihad surgery to get my sinuses fixed...after this my insurance compant stopped helping me so I had to go public and ive finally got a new attachment since the mouth attachment was not working and the full mask makes me feel costriphobic.... nasal pillows.... and I'm having the same problems... I find the pressure to be overwhelming once I get relaxed... and even worse once the auto kicks in higher pressure... I'm explaining these things to the hospital staff but they just tell me all the same things.... and I do it but it does not help... am I doomed? or is there something else I can do??? my sleep doctor said there is dental mouthgaurds that can pull my bottom jaw forward to help keep my throat open has anyone tried this??

any help appreciated.... thank you
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even if there are some tips that have worked for you to help me get better at using my nasal pillows... I'm desperate
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G'day Nick, welcome to Apnea Board.

The feeling of overwhelming pressure is very common when you're starting out with CPAP and it does eventually go away over time. Once you get used to the machine you sometimes need to check that it's actually working. I know that sounds improbable, but it's true.

In the meantime there are a number of things you can do to help cope. First, there is a setting called EPR (exhalation pressure relief). As the name implies, this drops the pressure as you exhale, and can be set for 1, 2 or 3 cm reduction.

The second facility is Ramp. This starts the machine at your lowest setting (4 cm) and gradually builds it up to your therapy pressure over a period which you can vary from 5 to 45 minutes. I don't recommend 45 minutes, but you might like to start at a period which is comfortable for you and gradually reduce it as you get more accustomed to the machine.

Getting a mask which fits well and is comfortable is one of the hardest parts of therapy, so don't be afraid to ask for a different type until you get one that suits.
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Try desensitization exposure to the mask. That is: wear it while awake and sitting around at home.
Dental mouthguards seldom help people with severe osa.

You have to use the machine. Without it, you are in effect pouring your health down the drain.
Untreated sleep apnea has negative consequences on vital organs such as the heart.

Admin Note:
JustMongo passed away in August 2017
Click HERE to read his Memorial Thread

~ Rest in Peace ~
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Hello, Nick. Welcome to the forum.

No you are not doomed. It just takes time to get your machine set up for optimal treatment and to get used to it all. It sounds like you may need to turn EPR on if you haven't already. I will leave it to someone who is more familiar with Resmed equipment than I am to help you with that. The pressure settings you have listed in your profile are pretty wide and could be part of the problem also.

It would help if you could give more detailed information about your treatment in your profile. We need the model of Resmed machine you have as well as the make and model of the mask you are using. Different models of cpap machines and cpap masks have their own characteristics which can affect treatment in different ways. It would also be useful to know whether or not you have ramp turned on as well as what the ramp starting pressure is. At the top of the page there is a link to the clinician's manuals for most cpap machines. The manual would help you understand your machine better and help you find out exactly what your setting are.

I would also highly recommend you download the SleepyHead software linked to in my signature. There is also a link there to a tutorial that will help you set up the software. After you get 5 posts you can then post screenshots of your sleep data so the experts on the board can help you analyze it.

It is also useful to give a brief description of your problem in the post subject field so people who have knowledge of the problem will be more likely to see it.

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hi guys thanks for replying I am writing from bed with my nasal pillows on I have a resmed air sence elite I am unsure of type of nasal pillows but I will check my bag in the morning and update my profile ... I am ramped starting from 4 then going to 12 I am also not sure of timings as the hospital configured my machine... I have an appointment at the sleep clinic in a couple of weeks... I will download software tomorrow and try to figure out how to show my progress as for the advice like using around home watching tv etc etc cheers for that sounds good, I will try to ask about the EPR and if that is on cheers guys and thanks for welcoming me to the forum I will def check everyday and have a good read through. nick
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OK. The Resmed Airsense elite is a fixed pressure CPAP device.
So, it runs at a fixed pressure (which may be 12 in your case.)
Still, it will have the ramp feature which has a starting pressure and ramp up time parameter.
Also EPR, Exhale Pressure Relief. EPR makes it easier to breathe out.

If you are sleeping on your back; you may do better sleeping on your side. It's a bit of a trick to side sleep with the mask. Mostly it's how you arrange your pillow; and how much you toss in bed.

The SD card for you machine is under a door -- top left of the machine. Sleepyhead can read your machine's settings and tell you what the set pressure is; and if EPR is on. Lock your SD card (small slider tab) before insertion into a card reader on your PC. Unlock before inserting back into CPAP machine.

Admin Note:
JustMongo passed away in August 2017
Click HERE to read his Memorial Thread

~ Rest in Peace ~
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Hi Nick, welcome to Apnea Board.

You are panicking using the machine, because you don't trust in her.
The best advise that you got in the forum is to use her during day time to understand that she doesn't bite, at the contrary, the system help you to breath!!!. This panic happened to me too, until I began to trust in the machine. I know that you won't believe me, but the following statement is truth: I made a bond, after only 3 months with the machine, that one day with out the machine, because a mask change, it was very difficult to sleep.
Hang on, you need it!!. Try to cope with the machine , do not fight with her.
Your beginning pressure is way too low. I changed mine from 5 to 8 cms. and I feel much better.

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Hi kiwidreamNz,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I want to encourage you to stick with CPAP therapy and let us help you get your machine adjusted to meet your needs; give it a chance to work for you as it can do that.
Try not to rebel against the machine, but relax with it. Use your mask and machine during the day as you watch tv or read, and see if that helps you through the rough patches.
Good luck to you as you get used to your CPAP therapy and let us know how you do.
Hang in there for more responses to your post.
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You will get used to the pressure and the cpap machine it took me 2 months. The night guard I heard works for some people and not for others. I use the cpap machine, the problem is the mask leaks air frequently, and as soon as that happens my blood pressure elevates. I wish they would fix the masks so they do not leak so much air. Does anyone have a solution for this I would appreciate it.
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