Posts Tagged ‘cpap’

Sleep Apnea: 10 Days After CPAP

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

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

The last time I posted about my sleep apnea diagnosis, I was just starting to use the cpap machine. It blows air through the mask while the mask forms a seal around my nose. This keeps my airways open during my sleep.

The first week was pretty bad. It wore my patience thin. I woke up about 6-8 times a night just getting used to the mask. Wearing it made me feel like was about 10 feet under water due to the pressure. My ears popped, and I felt just as fatigued as without it. Knowledge did help. I knew that it might take several weeks of getting used to, and that not treating the sleep apnea increased my risk of heart disease and stroke significantly.

Finally, on about day 8, I actually saw improvement. I slept through the night, and felt a little better the following day. Now I am encouraged. I think I may be getting used to this, and it might help.

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

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

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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