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Began using machine last night

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  • Began using machine last night

    In the last few weeks, I've gone from what I call snoring heavy to being diagnosed as having severe OSA.

    Last night was my first night using my System One REMstar Auto and Quattro FX both from Intus. I think I made a good choice as I managed to keep the mask on all night - although I woke 3 times, I managed to go back to sleep each time.

    However, I think my belly is full of air and have a banging headache.

    But because I slept all night with the mask on - I wonder if I did something wrong. Is there something on the device that can give me an indication of success or failure?

    I've put my history in the Introductions forum so as not to bore you all....


  • #2
    Hi Chris,

    When people have had OSA for a while, there can be some side effects to starting CPAP. Your lungs aren't used to any reasonable volumes of air so some get some discomfort in the chest, probably from the new volumes the lungs have to take on.

    Others have developed such great coping mechanisms to the disturbed O2-CO balance, that a sudden fix to this disturbance needs some adjusting to.

    Air swallowing can lead to the "blowing up" feeling you describe.

    Over a week or so, most of those side effects reduce significantly. But if they persist, or trouble you too much, there are a few tactics to speed things up or reduce the symptoms.

    Some found that propping up the pillow a bit helps avoid the swallowing of air. Also check that the A-Flex is on, or cranked to the max. This is exhalation relief, so it becomes easier to breathe out, resulting in less air swallowed. We can also look at your CPAP SD card data to suggest some tweaks to the pressure. This is best done after a week or so.

    Also, there is no shame in starting CPAP slowly. You will want to use it the entire time you sleep soon, but you can experiment with increased usage in the first week or so. Say gradually from 4 hours to 8.

    But tolerating the mask is a great sign and if air goes in to your stomach, at least it wasn't escaping through leaks.

    So keep an eye on it, keep reporting here or to us directly and let's look at the data in a few days.

    If it worries you or persists despite the tweaks etc. it's worth discussing with your GP/Consultant as in rare cases, it may mean there is more going on than OSA alone. Something the pure-OSA test may not have picked up on.


    • #3
      Stick with it!

      The side effects will go away with time and a bit of tweaking, make sure you get your data back to intus regularly (can it be done by email??) and they'll help your through it.

      How do you feel though other than the headache???


      • #4
        When you put the REMstar's SD card in any SD card reader, and you browse to it as with any memory card, you will see a P-Series folder containnig the data. Zip up the whole folder and email it to us. Those not familiar with zipping files simply send the SD card.


        • #5
          Thank you symmit, it's good to know this particular side effect will go away. I'm not sure which is more offensive - snoring or burping all the time :-)

          I know how to zip folders so will send a weeks worth of data to Intus when I've got enough sleeps.

          Thanks to all for the advice.



          • #6
            Chris - sounds like great news. I too have just started (and had identical situation on health insurance aka managed to get them to pay for one consultant appointment but everything else "isn't covered"). Most jealous as I still have yet to sleep at all with the mask. I've been taking advice from this forum and am taking it very slowly - wearing the mask before bed to get used to it and keeping it on for longer. Might have to take the advice on getting a radio playing quietly or use my iPhone as well. I need some sleep before work and bad quality sleep is better than none at all! I will be getting the champagne out the day I have a night like the one you described

            I'm also learning the didgeridoo now just in case the CPAP doesn't work out


            • #7
              Dan, I'm not sure how I managed to keep the mask on for so long. But I did have the TV on - just to listen to the news or a film I've seen so many times that I didn't need to see the pictures. That way I didn't think about the mask hardly at all.


              • #8
                How did last night go? Did you go for it all night again, with better results or did you cut it short as a test?


                • #9
                  when I started cpap I used to get very a very dry mouth and throat which eventually cleared, the improvement in your life from using cpap will make any teething troubles worth it , I still can't believe i only need 6 hours sleep


                  • #10
                    So, day two and I managed to sleep all night with just one interruption and kept the mask on throughout. Still have a belly full of air, but I am considerably more alert, can't keep still really.

                    I tried sleeping a bit longer after I had woken the second time, but my body didn't want to and I started to find the pressure uncomfortable. I guess I need to listen to my body as to how much sleep I need rather than forcing myself to lie in.

                    Have had to sleep on my back all night which is slightly uncomfortable, as the pillow pushed the mask off sufficient to cause an air leak. However my pillow with bits cut out of the side has arrived so I can try sleeping on my side tonight.

                    I managed to get some information out out of the CPAP device:

                    Therapy hours (average) - 7.48
                    Days > 4 hours therapy - 2
                    Large leak - 3%
                    AHI - 14.6
                    Periodic breathing (CSR) - 0%
                    90% pressure - 16.4

                    I am guessing that AHI is the same as Sleep Apnea Index? So to come down from an average of 83.06 to 14.6 is good, but could be better?

                    I usually get every side effect from medication, so was expecting to struggle with the therapy, but I seem to be lucky and am taking to it very easy.

                    Physically, everyone says I look more healthy - I don't seem to have a puffy face any more and have a bit of redness in my cheeks (I blame the mask) - not bad for just 2 days.


                    • #11
                      Yes, from 83 breathing anomalies to 15 is a good start but indeed, over time you will want that to be nearer to 5 (which is considered the magic OK level).

                      90% pressure of 16 is quite high, and explains the air issue to a degree. It also explains the 3% leaks, which should become 0%. Note it's "large leak". Some leak is always going to happen, but excessive leaks should be 0 to 1% max. Your special pillow will help and gadgets like the Hose Lift, RemZzzs etc. can play a role too.

                      If you wake up and find the pressure too much, just hit the ramp button to force it back down to the machine's lower pressure.

                      Anyway, the stats are decent, it's great that you are accepting the mask well. The leaks will reduce and with it the AHI probably. With side sleeping enabled soon, the AHI and pressure will probably drop too as back sleeping is known to worsen OSA in most. On your side you should get fewer apnoeas and therefore need less pressure overall.

                      To get some indication of restored health so early is even better than the stats, very encouraging!