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suffocation in the night
#1
Hi All,

I have got a resmed s9 auto set for rent for one month. I was able to use it for more than 7-8 hours in the night. I got convinced and brought a new s9 auto set with full face mask.

But iam facing suffocation problem these days.
After using if for an hour or so i will remove it in the night unknowingly sometimes. So times i feel suffocatied and remove it.

Can you please tell me what all might be the reasons..

-- Santhosh
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#2
It could be a ramp issue. Ramp is set to gradually increase pressure to your prescribed pressure by the time you are asleep. Many like the ramp and there are others that turn it off. When I had my titration sleep study I told the technician 'I thought CPAP was supposed to give me air and yet I feel like it is very restricted'. In sleep studies they start out low and adjust up looking for your pressure. She turned up the pressure to start me out at and the air improved. When I got my ResMed S9 AutoSet home and began using it, I had that same suffocating feeling. I was familiar with the ramp having read about it in posts on this forum. I checked and my ramp had been set at minimum pressure of 4 (the pressure I couldn't tolerate in the sleep study) increasing over 45 min. to my prescribed pressure of 10. I adjusted my ramp time down to five minutes but still hated it. One second on pressure 4 seemed an eternity to me. On the second night I turned the ramp completely off.

Maybe a different mask would be more comfortable for you. Everyone has individualized likes and dislikes with their masks. I use nasal pillows and they work well for me. But sometimes if I don't have them on and lined up with my nose just right, I feel suffocated. I have been doing CPAP for a month. It gets better as you go and you learn things that work for you. This forum has members full of experiences, advice and tips that work for them. It helps to read and learn what has worked for those in the trenches of CPAP. I am getting great results and most of my nights are comfortable. I do still have occasional nights when I struggle with getting the mask on and comfortable. Last night was one of them. When I finally got it right I settled in for a long winter's night.

It gets better. It really does!
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#3
Hi Santosh. What you describe is very common - apparently a lot of people take off the mask during the night. I still do it sometimes for no apparent reason - luckily my wife is a light sleeper and she reminds me to put it back on.

The suffocation feeling may be due to the ramp pressure set too low or for too long, as ImaSurvivor described. Or it may be that your therapy pressure is set too low or too high. Else it might be that you're getting nasal congestion and need to adjust the humidity control.

To help us be more specific, can you let us know your pressure settings, and what the ramp pressure and time are set to?
DeepBreathing
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#4
Hi santhosh443,
If you have ramp on, you might try turning it off and see if that helps you.
If you are taking your mask off at night, you could try using your mask and machine during the evening while you read or watch tv; this helps your body get used to it when you get ready to go to sleep. End Edit.
Best of luck to you and hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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#5
(12-24-2013, 06:19 AM)santhosh443 Wrote: But iam facing suffocation problem these days.
After using if for an hour or so i will remove it in the night unknowingly sometimes. So times i feel suffocatied and remove it.
Can you clarify what you mean by feeling suffocated?

People use the phrase, "I feel suffocated" to mean one of two very different things, and which thing you mean by "I feel suffocated" is extremely important in figuring out what to do about the problem.

So when you say you feel suffocated, which do you mean:

You can't seem to inhale enough air through the mask to be comfortable---i.e it feels like there's just not enough air coming through the mask to breath comfortably.

OR

You can't seem to exhale enough air to feel comfortable enough to take a good, full inhalation---i.e. it feels as though there is too much air coming through the mask for you to breathe comfortably.

If the problem is "I can't inhale comfortably" then it's probably being caused by a ramp that starts out at too low of a pressure and lasts for too long of a time OR it could just be that your (minimum) pressure setting is simply too low. Eliminating the ramp, or increasing the ramp's beginning pressure, or increasing the (minimum) pressure setting are all things that might help.

If the problem is "I can't exhale comfortably" then eliminating the ramp, or increasing the ramp's beginning pressure, or increasing the (minimum) pressure setting are probably NOT going to fix the problem. If the problem is "I can't exhale comfortably", you need to look at the exhalation relief settings. While you would think that increasing the EPR or Flex setting would help the most, for a few people, a lower EPR or Flex setting provides more comfortable exhalation relief than the highest setting does. If the problem "I can't exhale comfortably" is severe enough and playing with the EPR/Flex setting doesn't fix the problem, it's worth asking the sleep doc if a very modest decrease in pressure could be used at least temporarily.
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#6
(12-24-2013, 06:19 AM)santhosh443 Wrote: Hi All,

I have got a resmed s9 auto set for rent for one month. I was able to use it for more than 7-8 hours in the night. I got convinced and brought a new s9 auto set with full face mask.

But iam facing suffocation problem these days.
After using if for an hour or so i will remove it in the night unknowingly sometimes. So times i feel suffocatied and remove it.

Can you please tell me what all might be the reasons..

-- Santhosh

I have an older Resmed S8 and on occasion I push the on/off button too quickly or at the wrong angle and the VPAP does not actually turn on. I have actually laid down and thought, "I wonder what is going on, it is hard to breathe." When I investigated, I found that the VPAP was not actually turned on. My VPAP starts at 4 and ramps up for 45 minutes to 20 IPAP, 16 EPAP, I use a Fisher and Paykel Zest mask and have never had a problem with difficulty breathing except when I failed to get the unit turned on.
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#7
I had a similar problem with my old head gear, but it was claustrophobia. I would tear it off my head in the night and the gear would no longer fit.

I finally have new headgear and mask, and no longer feel claustrophobic while sleeping. It is amazing the difference in head gear.
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#8
ive found that if I sit for a bit before putting my mask on , to get my heart rate down.. I can tolerate the mask better. If I don't do this I feel like im suffocating and start gasping... also putting the ramp on a min of 5 minutes. and my EPR to 3, so I have less pressure breathing out. im coping better. I have the Resmed s9 autoset. During the night if I get up for toilet break, I put the ramp to zero, as my body has got use to the pressure by then, if I don't then I get that suffocating feeling again. Hope this helps.
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#9
It happened a few times with me about three weeks into breaking in my s9 auto. I think it was my body getting used to the machine since it has never happened again. I don't use ramp.
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#10
Full face masks should have Anti-asphyxia valve on them. Make sure yours has one, you should never feel that way, even if the power goes out you can still draw air through the AAV.
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