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Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
#1
Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
Had a watchpat study with pAHI4% of 4 but with a pAHI3% of 18. I found some studies that pAHi4% underestimates in lab ahi by ~5 and pAHI3% overestimates by ~6 median so I’m guessing I’d be around ahi 10 on an in lab study (although I’m not sure why my 3% and 4% are so widely different). Waiting on my sleep clinic visit and hoping to get an in lab sleep study.

I had a relative who gave me a cpap machine and a bunch of masks so I’ve been giving it a try with about no success.

At first I tried nasal pillows with a chin strap and had a very hard time falling asleep and would wake up gasping. With time I got used to it and was able to fall asleep, only to be rewarded with my cheeks blowing up promptly waking me up. I tried to concentrate on keeping my tongue off the roof of my mouth but it just kept happening making it completely impossible to sleep. Fine I thought, if I switch to a full face mask then it will solve the issue right?? Well now my mouth opens and my cheeks on the sides blow up waking me up. Tried chin strap and full face but the issue persists, the chin strap also makes the seal hard at the bottom. Nothing seems to solve this issue and sleeping is almost torture

I ordered some different chin straps and some cushions for my straps (thinking if I make the cushions thick enough it will press my cheeks in when I open my mouth)

Tried changing epr from 1-3 with no success. Have tried mostly apap from 5-15 all the way up to 8-15. I’ve still yet to sleep more than 30 min at a time.

This has made me immensely depressed and sleep deprived, which is very discouraging since I felt not too bad before trying cpap (just wanted to see if I feel even better and to keep my heart healthy). At this point I’ve resigned to sleep without it for a week atleast and to just wear it while and awake and with brief nap trials while I try different masks, chin straps etc (really just praying that something clicks)

Any help would be appreciated
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#2
RE: Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
Please post some OSCAR charts. The links in my signature for downloading OSCAR and formatting OSCAR charts will get you started.

It is difficult to make a recommendation without seeing data. For now, try the following settings.

Mode APAP
Min pressure 7
Max pressure 10
EPR 2 full-time
No ramp

That may or may not work, but once you have a night with an SD card installed post the OSCAR charts and we can work from there.

Also, watch some YouTube videos on fitting and sizing your mask. LankyLefty27 has some good ones.
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#3
RE: Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
Would this be helpful if I haven’t really slept with it?? I’ll get them none the less

The settings you posted happen to be the exact settings I am currently on
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#4
RE: Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
There is no magic to it. You will likely need to go through a few masks to find one that works. Typically, people start with either nasal pillows (ResMed P10), full-face (ResMed F20), or hybrid (ResMed F40 or F30). 

The trick is finding the right size, so LankyLefty27 YouTube videos can be a help.

The “chipmunk cheek” syndrome is typically from not being used to things. It takes a few nights to weeks to get used to a new way of sleeping. Give yourself time. Wear your mask whilst watching telly or reading, with or without pressure. 

I am not a fan of chinstraps as many pull the jaw back, making things worse. Mouth tape or a soft cervical collar are usually more successful for many. DebK and others have a lot of experience with tape. I use a SCC and it has worked well for me. 

One thing that I like to recommend is working on relaxing when going to bed. Breathe with the machine, not against it. Don’t think about the pressure, let your mind wander.
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#5
RE: Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
Seeing any data from attempting to sleep would be better than none at all. The settings I recommended are a good baseline to begin the journey.

You are only a week into it and it sounds like you are frustrated. We have all been there. It takes time to get used to things. Relaxation is key, though it is easier said than done at first.
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#6
RE: Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
(06-14-2024, 08:47 PM)PeaceLoveAndPizza Wrote: Seeing any data from attempting to sleep would be better than none at all. The settings I recommended are a good baseline to begin the journey.

You are only a week into it and it sounds like you are frustrated. We have all been there. It takes time to get used to things. Relaxation is key, though it is easier said than done at first.

You are right, I am frustrated, angry, depressed, anxious, all of it. Performing worse at work and as a father. I hate it.
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#7
RE: Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
You jumped into a situation trying to deal with a complex medical problem with no support. That is what we do here. CPAP users helping CPAP users.

You need to get more background on what sleep apnoea is and how to treat it. Start with the wiki and read through some of the pages. The wiki editors and OSCAR developers have provided us excellent tools to find what works, though it is not an overnight thing. It takes time.

Put an SD card in your machine, post whatever data you can once you have downloaded OSCAR. Every little bit of data will help solve your particular puzzle.
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#8
RE: Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
I had the same problem as you to start with and I found two things helped: turning down maximum pressure to 10 or even 8 to begin with till you get used to it, and using a simple bandage two inches wide, folded in two along its length, pulled tight over the mouth and tied at the back of the head. I have tried tape and chin straps too but kept going back to the bandage, which I still use (and rinse and then hang up to dry every morning!)
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#9
RE: Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
LankyLefty has a video on chipmunk cheeks.

Before you try to sleep in your setup, put the rig on and fire up the machine while reading a book or watching TV. Just get used to wearing it, figuring out potential mask issues, etc.

Use the settings Peace Love and Pizza gave you. Then report back on how that went. Then sleep with it at those settings and record on the SD card.

If the masks are old, they will add to your woes. The silicon gets soggy and leaky.

This is not plug and play. Start with baby steps so you don’t get aggravated or overwhelmed. Keep posting, so you get support.
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#10
RE: Already at my wits end after 1.5 weeks… mainly chipmunk cheeks
(06-15-2024, 11:25 PM)HalfAsleep Wrote: LankyLefty has a video on chipmunk cheeks.

Before you try to sleep in your setup, put the rig on and fire up the machine while reading a book or watching TV. Just get used to wearing it, figuring out potential mask issues, etc.

Use the settings Peace Love and Pizza gave you. Then report back on how that went. Then sleep with it at those settings and record on the SD card.

If the masks are old, they will add to your woes. The silicon gets soggy and leaky.

This is not plug and play. Start with baby steps so you don’t get aggravated or overwhelmed. Keep posting, so you get support.

Things not going well. Whether I use fullface or nasal my mouth fills with air and just makes it completely intolerable for me. As soon as my tongue relaxes this happens. Tried turning my starting pressure to freaking 4 and this still happens.

I saw a sleep doctor who thinks my test may be a false positive (my bmi is 20, I have no significant symptoms, basically did the test for fun). I am getting an in lab sleep study once my insurance approves it.

In the mean time I’m working on mewing as you guys have recommended. If I can master it then I think that’s just about the only way I’ll ever tolerate cpap.

The crazy thing is that I’m not a mouth breather. I like to breathe through my nose. I’ve actually tried sleeping with mouth breathing with a full face mask and I simply can’t do it…
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