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Inhale stops while using mask

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  • Inhale stops while using mask

    I hope someone can give me some help. I'm new to my mask and machine and have been working on adjusting for 3 weeks now. My problem is I stop breathing while on the machine. Just as I start to doze off, I'm awakened. I realize that every event that I've had is that I don't inhale while on the mask. My mask is conmfortable, my pressure is fine and I'm able to exhale with ease. But as soon as I start to fall asleep, something arouses me and I realize I'm not taking a breath in all of a sudden. I've read as much as I can find but have not seen where anyone else has had this issue. I haven't had a full night with my mask because I am constantly awakened by this problem. I've changed masks 3 times and am currently using the one I used during my sleep study. I slept for 5 hours (with 35 events) there even attached to all the wires. But I haven't had even an hours sleep at home. Has anyone else experienced this? I really want this to work but I'm losing faith. Thank you.

  • #2
    This sounds very frustrating for you. If you’re new to PAP, I imagine it’s all the more disorientating.

    If you’re fresh out of the clinic, I’d be surprised if it’s something like a central apnoea, but honestly my mind goes there if pressure is adequate to stop an obstruction but you still just stop breathing.

    To be honest, I think you’d need to look at the data on the SD card to find out what the problem maybe. Especially since it would be easier to see if you stop breathing a little bit before arousal or if it’s only at arousal. The latter would suggest a panic, which is actually quite common for some when adjusting to things.

    Do you think it may be a leak that arouses you from sleep? A sudden splurt of leaked air into your face would be a small shock, and I could see if you held you breath in the moment. I guess it would be hard to know if it happened since you’d be foggy from just being awoken.

    Are you on CPAP (fixed pressure), APAP (or also know as Auto CPAP) or BiPAP (sometimes called BiLevel)?

    What type of mask do you use? Nasal pillow, nasal or full face?

    Do you have the ramp turned on? Starts at a lower pressure that then rises when you sleep.

    - Reno


    • #3
      Hello Reno,

      Yes, it is very frustrating. I asked about central apnea and they said my numbers did not suggest that.

      I don't believe there is a leak. Even when I do have a leak, it's not startling to me and it's typically around my chin. I'm a side sleeper and I notice that when I'm on my side for a bit.

      I am on fixed pressure (4) with full face. There is no ramp although that may be my next step forward.

      Thank you for the suggestions/ideas/thoughts. I really hoped this would work for me but I'm getting very discouraged.


      • #4
        I’m kinda confused. They say the numbers don’t suggest it, but I was under the impression you’ve not been able to sleep with it at home.

        Have you managed to sleep with the machine even if for a short time? Is so, how long and do you know your AHI?

        4cm pressure is very low. In fact, a lot of people struggle with it that low because inhaling can be a little hard on certain masks at low pressure. Personally I need it to be at least 6cm, but the more popular option is to have it go no lower than 5.

        Maybe a small pressure increase would help.

        Comfort is key here. Everyone is unique and it can take a little time to find a set up that works well for you.

        - Reno


        • #5
          I was able to sleep for 5 hours at the sleep clinic. I had 35 events throughout that time. The company that supplied me with my cpap machine are the ones who told me that central apnea was not a factor. No, I have not been able to sleep at all since I've been trying at home. And other than events on my home machine, I do not know what my AHI is. The technician at the clinic told me that I have a mild case of sleep apnea according to my overnight report. At level 4, I feel ok. Perhaps I'll ask to have the machine raised and try it at the store that supplies it before I take it home with me again. And have the ramp set.


          • #6
            Good Morning

            Thank you for your email.

            Can you advise the full name of the CPAP machine and mask that you are using.

            Then I will be able to advise how to view your data and we can haver a look to see what is going on.

            If you have any concerns, or the CPAP machine and mask is not working for you, then you need to contact the company that supplied you with the machine.

            Do you have a copy of your sleep test results?



            • #7
              Originally posted by Cooper View Post
              The company that supplied me with my cpap machine are the ones who told me that central apnea was not a factor.
              Not really sure how they could say this is you’ve haven’t been able to sleep with the machine and if they haven’t looked at the flow rate data. :/ Maybe they’re referring to the low pressure, which would make it unlikely to trigger a central apnoea. (and sleep study should’ve detected if your apnoea was obstructive or central untriggered)

              And have the ramp set.
              You probably don’t want to do that. 4cm is the lowest pressure on the ramp. If your feeling like you cant breath when falling asleep is because the pressure is low, you’d want to start on a higher pressure.

              Since you had 35 events over five hours in the study, assuming the events were evenly apart, that would give you a score of roughly 7 AHI. Alternative sleep apnoea treatments usually half your AHI, which means it could bring your AHI down to 3-4 AHI. So in your situation, you may get good results from alternative apnoea treatments. Obviously I don’t know your condition so I couldn’t recommend anything, but it may be worth exploring.

              - Reno


              • #8
                Good morning Kelly,

                Yes, I have a copy of my results. I use the AirSense 10 Respond and the Quattro full face mask.


                • #9
                  Good Morning

                  Would you like to send your sleep test results to me at and I will have a look to see what they say.

                  With the ResMed Airsense10 CPAP machine, you can create an account on the ResMed MyAir website - - and link your CPAP machine so that you can view your data.

                  It might be worth looking at your data to see what your AHI is and whether your get any mask leaks

                  Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) is the number of apneas or hypopneas recorded during the study per hour of sleep. The target AHI with a CPAP machine is 5 or under.

                  Sometime when you roll over in bed you knock the mask seal. The machine detects an air leak and increases the pressure to compensate for this. This increase in pressure can wake some CPAP users up in the night.

                  With regards to the masks, the CPAP masks have an anti asphyxia valve in the elbow of the mask. This valve automatically opens if the flow generator pressure falls, such as during a power failure, allowing the patient to breathe room air. So with your mask on, you will still be able to breath with or without the machine on. If your body is stopping breathing when using the CPAP machine (ie having a sleep apnoea event) that the CPAP therapy does not address then I would suggest you have a chat with your GP.



                  • #10
                    Hi Kelly. I tried twice to send you my results but it comes back with "Permanent Error" (I am in the states so perhaps that is the problem.)


                    • #11

                      Sorry - my mistake I missed the S out - try this



                      • #12
                        With regards to the masks, the CPAP masks have an anti asphyxia valve in the elbow of the mask
                        This is true, but it does require a bit more effort to inhale on some masks, which makes it feel like you can’t breath or you’re not breathing enough if the pressure is low. Of course you aren’t going to suffocate, but it can feel unpleasant for some. This is why some people feel more comfortable at a slightly higher setting of 5.

                        - Reno