Sleep Apnoea Forum Bringing Help + Support to the Patient

Hi all,

First of all, I would like to say what a great forum! I feel I might just be using this more often.

A little background if I may?

I was diagnosed late last year with OSA, with an AHI of 29 - so on the edge of severe OSA. If I'm honest, I wasn't surprised, as my wife has been recording me for sometime at night. It was more relief for her, who has suffered from my wall moving snoring! I always thought it was because I was unable to breathe through my nose and I am a mouth breather.

Well, last Friday I had an appt to see the sleep nurse at Basildon university hospital - she was helpful in showing me my full results from the sleep test a month or so prior. She also explained that I would be using a ResMed air sense 10 machine and went through it all with me, including the mask (which is a Quattro air mask).

I walked out of there fully confident that I would get some much needed rest and the snoring would stop. I was excited tbh. The snoring stopped and my wife seemed a lot happier, but for me, it has been a nightmare - I have had hardly any sleep since last Friday night and have got to the point where last night the mask had to come off after just 3 hours.

The problems are -

  1. The mask always seems to leak, unless I tighten it right up and this causes a lot of discomfort.
  2. I feel that I can't breathe and this really unsettles me and makes me feel anxious
  3. Because I mouth breathe, even though I have a humidifier my mouth is so parched in the morning.
  4. And the seemingly obligatory aerophagia symptoms, ie flatulence, and trapped wind 

I am hoping this is all typical early problems and over time I will get used to it - But right now I am lost.

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The mask is not a good fit, it should not be tight, thigh will make the seal leak even more as it pushes out against your skin to make the seal.  Ask if they have other masks or another size.

Breathing?  Not enough or you can't breath out?  If it is not enough the machine is set far to low, if it is that you can't breath out, there is a EPR on the machine that will allow you to breath out a lot easier as it drops the pressure when you breathe out.

The machine you have is very good if set up properly.  Use it on Auto for best results.  If it is set from 4 to 20 it has not been optimised for good results.  You can find out whet pressure the machine is normally running at on the display by going into the menu for setting the machine up.  Ideally the low should be set up to within a two three lower than what the machine goes up to.  This will give a quicker response to any events you are having.  Be warned though, clinics do not like you changing settings yourself, but if they don't do it who is going to.

If your machine gets up to 14 say, I would set the low to 10 or 11 and leave it full open or set it at 16 high, but it does no harm to have it set at 20.

But they are there at the Sleep Clinic to help you, so phone them up and ask to speak to the Sleep Nurse.

Dry mouth is just you are breathing through it and the dry air from the machine will make it even drier.  Turn the humidifier up.  I have my one at 6.

Trapped wind and flatulence is part of the course for a lot of people.  Some get a lot less after a bit of use, others let the wind go free.

Xylimelts help a great deal with dry mouth, available from hope2sleep far cheaper than anywhere else. Buy in bulk if you can afford it to save on p&p.

Thanks all for your responses! I am pleased to tell you that a lot of the symptoms are diminishing slowly - I am getting more sleep and the aerophagia has eased off quite a bit too. I am getting about 6-7 hours now with the ResMeD. Dry mouth is still problematic & I will look into those Xylimelts, Ian - thanks for the tip! I found that the mask still leaks a bit, but I think this is due to skin oil, so making sure the mask is cleaned daily is helping.

You can also try turning up the humidifier a bit, but be careful not to turn it to far as you can get condensation in the hose and mask.  This is referred to as Rain-out.  You can get covers for the hose, but if you are still bother it might be worth investing in a heated hose that gives a more humid warn air to breath.  Not used one myself, but those that have swear by them.

It also helps with dry mouth.

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