If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea your doctor may have recommended that you use a CPAP machine to help your breathing at night. One of the first things that you need to do is to determine the level of the pressure that is perfect for you. Sometimes this can take a bit of time and there may be adjustments that you need to make along the way. Be patient and work with your machine.
The ultimate goal is to find a level that is consistent and comfortable for you. This will range from one person to the next and it’s up to you to find the best pressure setting. Once you have achieved this, you’ll know with full certainty that the therapy is being provided in a safe, comfortable manner and at maximum efficiency. You’ll also know that you are preventing any side effects from occurring.
The Average Pressure for CPAP Machines
There is an average pressure recommended for the use of CPAP machines but this should just be used as a starting point. The average sleep apnea pressure is 10 cm/H2O. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, the numbers are different and can be anywhere from 6 cm/H2O up to 15 cm/H2O. You may find that your sleep apnea treatment is more comfortable and effective when you use a lower pressure level. It’s all about finding the best pressure for you and searching for the perfect level is the most important thing that you need to do once you get started.
How to Determine the Level of Pressure
Most people that are just getting started don’t know how to measure the pressure level in their CPAP machines. The pressure settings are determined by the centimetres of water. In the case of the recommended pressure, it would be the same as if you were having a sip of water using a straw measuring 10 cm in length.
CPAP machines have different maximum pressures but most have a maximum of 20 cm/H2O up to 25 cm/H2O. This maximum amount is seldom used since it is usually too high for patients that require a machine for either sleep apnea or for obstructive sleep apnea. If you do feel that you may need to use the maximum setting, it’s best to call up your physician and let him know that you require a higher setting.
CPAP Masks for High Pressure Settings
If you’re going to be using a higher pressure setting, you will need to use a high pressure CPAP mask. These masks are necessary since you may find that a lot of air leaks out from a mask if you aren’t using one designed to handle the higher pressure. If you have to use a high pressure, it’s best to talk to your doctor to figure out the best mask for you. There are many different masks available and you need to find the right one that helps you breathe the most comfortably.
How to Tell If Your CPAP Machine Toronto Needs Adjusting
If you are still feeling tired after you have had a good night’s sleep and feel like you need to have a nap during the day, your CPAP machine Toronto may need some pressure adjustments. You may also notice that your therapy during the night is uncomfortable and affecting your quality of sleep. This may indicate that the pressure on your CPAP machine is set too high. It’s important to take note of how you are feeling both during the day and the night and keep notes that can be used as a reference. You may want to refer to them if you need to call your physician later.
The amount of pressure use does not depend on how bad your sleep apnea is. There are a lot of different factors that can come into play including your overall health, weight, age etc. The only way to know for sure is to test the different levels of pressure. Remember to keep notes if you are questioning the amount of pressure used so that you can see in black and white any symptoms or side effects.
How to Adjust the CPAP Pressure
When your doctor has decided that you may have sleep apnea you will go through a titration test to determine the best pressure for you. There will be different CPAP levels tested until the best one is found. If the pressure level doesn’t seem right, ask your physician if you can take another titration test to evaluate the best pressure level for you.
You may also ask your doctor if it would be possible to switch over to a CPAP machine with auto-adjusting features. These types of machines adjust the pressure level automatically during your therapy. This can help regulate the pressure levels and it may help prevent using a high pressure that isn’t right for you.
Side Effects of High Pressure Levels
If the settings are too high on the machine you can experience different side effects and symptoms, which may include the following:
- Uncomfortable therapy
- Tiredness and fatigue in the day
- Swallowing air
- Dry throat and mouth
- Air leaks from the mask
- Higher than average Apnea-Hypopnea Index
There is also a risk that your sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea could turn into central sleep apnea. This is a condition caused by a pressure level that is too high on your CPAP machine and when it occurs the brain fails to send out breathing signals, which is quite concerning.
If you feel that the pressure level of your CPAP machine just isn’t working for you, your first call should be to your doctor. Find out whether it can be adjusted and whether another titration test would be in order. If you need a new CPAP machine, a new masks or additional CPAP accessories, please visit cpapdepot.ca. We are a CPAP machine Toronto store that provides all the supplies you will need for effective sleep apnea therapy.