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Cpap machine nightmare



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@@moe_2175 It's so hard to get used to a cpap, but you definitely need to use it. The damage you do to your body with the apnea is no joke :(

Does your machine have a ramp button? It allows the airflow it start at a lower pressure, then work up to what your machine is set for. I put mine one when I'm ready to fall asleep, hit the power and then the ramp...it doesn't bother me at all any more but I struggled at first.

@@anniecorda is right on about finding the right mask. I started with a full-face, hated it, tried one that just covered my nose, hated it too. Now I use a nasal prong mask, which I originally thought I couldn't use because I had been a nighttime mouth breather for years, but it's worked fine. Apparently I was mouth breathing because of the apnea, and when I wasn't having apnea, I stopped breathing through my mouth at night. The company who helped you do the original set up can give you different masks to try. Don't give up, you need to use the machine!

You're definitely right about having to use the mask as it can be harmful otherwise. That's the scary part. Initially when I did the sleep study at home I had the nose prong thing and it was so uncomfortable for me. I guess that's because it was my first time sleeping with a breathing machine! I did not sleep much at all during that sleep study and kept having nightmares everytime I actually did fall asleep (so strange I know lol).

The machine I have is the philips dreamstation and it has two buttons. The power button and a ramp button (I'm assuming) that goes from 1-5. The technician who set it up told me I could increase/decrease but when he tried to it didn't work. He said it may be because the dr had prescribed it to that level. Still waiting for a call back from my dr to address these concerns

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I was diagnosed in 2009 and tried to adjust to the CPAP. I tried every mask they had and was just to claustrophobic. I ended up having the best success with what they called at the time " nose pillows." They go in your nose slightly and have minimal head straps. Honestly, I never did adjust to the machine and it has sat in the closet all this time. I was diagnosed with CHF and told to get on the machine or risk a stroke or heart attack. I'm giving it another try with hopefully a newer sensitive machine. My appt is later this month. I completely understand the suffocating feeling. There was a good article that I googled that talked about how to get adjusted slowly without the air going at first to get use to the mask of your choice. There are so many different masks, but the only slight success I had was with the nose pillows. Good luck. Hang in there best you can.

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Yes!! I definitely felt so claustrophobic. I think with that, the anxiety I was having due to the thought of having to use a machine whilst sleeping, and the pressure- it all got the best of me. Hopefully you get good news on your appointment! I did read some old reviews about the nose pillow you're referring to so I might give that a try also. Thank you!!

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I thought I'd be less claustrophobic with the nose mask but I couldn't master it. I switched to mouth and nose and it was way easier

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I tried the mouth and nose- It felt too much, then again the machine was not on so I will have to keep an open mind next time I choose the variety of masks

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Definitely the ramp button. To lower the pressure requires a new rx from your doctor. Your supplier can not legally lower the pressure, they have to supply according to the rx.

FYI you don't get oxygen from a cpap. All you are breathing is 21% room air. When you go to sleep the muscles around your airway relax causing an obstruction. The cpap (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) reinflates your airway to keep it open. Picture it like a balloon.

Your ears popping is most likely because eustachian tube is swollen in your ears. The popping is occurring because of pressure in your ears just like when you change elevation. If the problem continues you really need to see an ENT.

FYI #2 most insurance companies follow Medicare guidelines for cpap which is you need to use it 4 hours per night for 30 days in a 90 day period.

Thank you so much for this information especially regarding insurance!! The technician did say that the results will be going straight to my doctor and to my insurer. Good to know, appreciate it.

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I had to start using a CPAP in September after my sleep study showed very mild apnea. I absolutely hate it.

The issue you're having where it feels like you can't get the air through when you exhale - I was having that and I read somewhere that it can be due to moisture build-up either in the tube or in the filter (read it on a forum). So what I do now is make sure that every day I hang the tube up so it has a chance to dry out and I take the air filters out and let them sit on the counter and completely dry out as well. Since I started doing that I haven't had the issue where it feels like there's too much pressure coming back at me. I also was not able to use the nose only mask I have to use the full face mask.

But 4 months out now I still rip that thing off pretty much as soon as the four hours passes several days a week. I cannot wait until I lose enough to do another sleep study and be off this thing. Especially since he said my apnea was so mild it was kind of on the fence as to whether I actually needed the stupid thing anyway. Yet another motivator for losing weight!

The only good thing is that my husband says when I do wear it I don't snore. So at least he is sleeping better while I'm using it ;)

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Great tips here, thanks!! I'm going to have to try these tmw after I attempt to use it again. My doctor did very little to inform me about this sleep apnea and machine and when the technician came he just basically showed me how to use it and just left having to research apnea and the machines on my own. You're definitely right about it being a motivator on losing weight! Lol

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As others have said, if you have a ramp button, use it.

One trick I used when I was first diagnosed was to sit in bed and watch TV for an hour or two with the mask on. I was awake and could tell myself that I can breathe fine, I'm okay, and eventually would stop having to think about it and could go to sleep.

Please use your machine! I had a friend in college who died from sleep apnea (just stopped breathing in her sleep one night).

I'm definitely going to try using it for a bit while awake just so I can get the hang of it. I'm usually so exhausted by the time I get to bed and having difficulty with the machine is the last thing I need.

Yes, I will definitely be using the machine moving forward, thank you

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Does your CPAP machine have an auto, bi-level or c-flex mode? These options all make it easier to exhale. I was unable to use a machine without a c-flex mode but with it have been using one for 15 years.

No my machine does not have that option unfortunately

Practice wearing the CPAP while awake during day just to get used to the feel of it ! I've been using CPAP for 14 years now

Yes, I definitely have to start trying to use it while awake. Thank you!

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@@moe_2175 It's so hard to get used to a cpap, but you definitely need to use it. The damage you do to your body with the apnea is no joke :(

Does your machine have a ramp button? It allows the airflow it start at a lower pressure, then work up to what your machine is set for. I put mine one when I'm ready to fall asleep, hit the power and then the ramp...it doesn't bother me at all any more but I struggled at first.

@@anniecorda is right on about finding the right mask. I started with a full-face, hated it, tried one that just covered my nose, hated it too. Now I use a nasal prong mask, which I originally thought I couldn't use because I had been a nighttime mouth breather for years, but it's worked fine. Apparently I was mouth breathing because of the apnea, and when I wasn't having apnea, I stopped breathing through my mouth at night. The company who helped you do the original set up can give you different masks to try. Don't give up, you need to use the machine!

You're definitely right about having to use the mask as it can be harmful otherwise. That's the scary part. Initially when I did the sleep study at home I had the nose prong thing and it was so uncomfortable for me. I guess that's because it was my first time sleeping with a breathing machine! I did not sleep much at all during that sleep study and kept having nightmares everytime I actually did fall asleep (so strange I know lol).

The machine I have is the philips dreamstation and it has two buttons. The power button and a ramp button (I'm assuming) that goes from 1-5. The technician who set it up told me I could increase/decrease but when he tried to it didn't work. He said it may be because the dr had prescribed it to that level. Still waiting for a call back from my dr to address these concerns

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Hmmm, I wonder if the 1-5 is for your humidifier? Mine has adjustable settings. I'm glad you're calling your doctor, I hate to hear a tech tell a patient something like that...if it's a ramp button, it wouldn't be set to a particular pressure...sounds like it was the humidifier adjustment and your tech wasn't properly teaching you to use it. Good luck, I hope you're able to figure out something that works. I said 'nasal prongs' in my first post, but as I read what others wrote, I remember that mine is technically a 'nasal pillow'. Don't give up on finding the right mask...there are many, many brands/styles and you may have to try quite a few to find the one that works best for you.

After having my cpap for 5+ years, I truly feel the difference if I go on a trip and forget it. My sleep quality is MUCH better when I use it :)

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I have bipap which I think is nice because it has 2 different air pressures. A higher pressure for when you inhale and a lower pressure for when you exhale. I don't know if that's an option for everyone though!

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I have bipap which I think is nice because it has 2 different air pressures. A higher pressure for when you inhale and a lower pressure for when you exhale. I don't know if that's an option for everyone though!

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For most insurance you have to fail cpap by not having your AHI corrected using the cpap for 60 days at least 4 hours per night. If you were initially prescribed a bipap that is because in a sleep lab setting they were unable to correct your AHI and your sleep study would show failure of the cpap first.

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I have bipap which I think is nice because it has 2 different air pressures. A higher pressure for when you inhale and a lower pressure for when you exhale. I don't know if that's an option for everyone though!

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For most insurance you have to fail cpap by not having your AHI corrected using the cpap for 60 days at least 4 hours per night. If you were initially prescribed a bipap that is because in a sleep lab setting they were unable to correct your AHI and your sleep study would show failure of the cpap first.
Ah okay! Thanks for explaining that! That is what happened.

Edited by Dashofpixiedust8

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Hiya

Being in the UK means I got mine for free on the National Health Service so the rules of use are a little different however, we're all human....ish and I've used mine now for a little over 3 years.

At first I hated it! It was uncomfortable, intrusive and a downright pain to use but at least living on my own I never had to worry about looking like Darth Vader when I went to bed, but it did give the parrot a shock when I first wore the mask into living room lol

It did take a lot of getting used to and due to congestion problems I have to use the full face mask.

After a short time I found that I wasn't falling asleep whilst talking to people or reading the newspaper in Costa coffee :-)

Since having had my surgery I've had to adjust it on few occasions but a quick phone call and with a little guidance I am now able to adjust the settings myself, different rules over here, and I'm looking forward to coming off it in the next year or so.

Persevere with it. Find the right mask, keep using it.

When you're sorted it will make huge difference!

Martin

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Finding the right mask is key. Below is the one I use and is popular on the CPAP forums. The site I link will let you return them. I ordered 5 different masks and sent back 4 of them.

It's worth the effort to make it work. It has been life changing for me.

http://www.cpap.com/productpage/resmed-airfit-p10-nasal-pillow-cpap-mask-headgear.html

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When I first had this machine, they provided me a nasal mask, it was purely horrible, I had exactly the same problem as OP, so I asked for a full facial mask and it did go better.

But as the weightloss went on, I had to go every two weeks to the technicians to get it less strong because the air pressure was way too much and it would leave me with a Sahara-like mouth, they even gave me a humidifier, but it was pure hell, I had Water drops falling on my nose all the time and the damn thing would make as much noise as a hookah/waterpipe.

I am glad I got rid of this crap, and I truly hope you won't need it long!

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I have used a cpap for years.Mine does ramp up and also find using nasal pillows a lot more comfortable.When you lose weight you will need another sleep study.If you have a stuffy nose try using an antihistamine,to clear your nose and tubes to your ears.

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