Sleep Study Results: Treatment Phase (Sleep Apnea and a CPAP)

By James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

I went to get my sleep lab test results from my pulmonologist (lung doctor) but only the preliminary report was available. My AHI (apnea-hypopnea index) score was 68. This is how many episodes of apnea (stop breathing) and hypopnea (decreased air movement to the lungs) I had per hour. An AHI over 30 is considered severe.

He ordered a cpap (continuous positive airways pressure) machine. It keeps my airways open while I am asleep so that I breathe properly. Within 2 days the company had called and I went in to be fitted. I would suggest you do this rather than just having the cpap mailed to you.

At the oxygen supply company I tried on several types of masks to see which one I liked. There were masks that covered the mouth and nose along with nasal biprongs that just seal your two nostrils. I chose a mask that covers the nose with a gel foam seal. It has a connector that rotates 360 degrees that then connects to airway tubing. The tubing consists to the main machine, which measures 8 1/2 inches wide, 8 1/2 inches long and 4 inches tall. Everything is portable enough for travel.

The main machine plugs in to a wall outlet and is quiet. It has a filter, heater and humidifier. The company programmed it to the proper amount of room air pressure (found during my sleep study) that blows into my nose (to keep my airways open). She said it may take a few weeks to get used to this pressure. I tried it. The air pressure stops blowing when i breathe out. It will take a little getting used to that aspect because I note some initial resistance to the initial part of my expiration. I will need to clean the tubing every few days and the filter every month.

In a week or two I will let you know how it is going.

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One Response to “Sleep Study Results: Treatment Phase (Sleep Apnea and a CPAP)”

  1. Judy Rodman Says:

    I think it is amazing that a doctor would personally undergo and share results of testing like this. It will encourage people like me to take impressive snoring more seriously, and seek out our own testing for sleep apnea.

    I do look forward to finding out how much trouble you have adjusting to using the machine.

    Thanks for reporting your adventure!

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