If your cpap pressure is too high your apnea and snoring will be well controlled but you might experience more side effects like dry mouth, mask leaks and general discomfort. If your cpap pressure levels are too low then your apnea and snoring will not be well controlled and you might wake up feeling unrefreshed! We want to our CPAP pressure to be JUST RIGHT! Here’s some clinical settings videos for some popular machines
1. ResMed AirSense 10 – https://youtu.be/qIfHud8ZhDE
2. Philips Dreamstation – https://youtu.be/0BhrJPDq_5s
3. Fisher Paykel Sleep Style – https://youtu.be/32zO1yFhh80
4. BMC Luna IQ – https://youtu.be/qk0H4_myHUc
5. BMC Luna G3 – https://youtu.be/pAyIaMNvXlM
6. Z2 Travel CPAP – https://youtu.be/nXYOUC1UMA4
7. ResMed Airmini – https://youtu.be/jUHd0Yk35TA
9. Fisher Paykel Icon – https://youtu.be/gwfyQsQcg0U
10. Devilbiss SleepCube – https://youtu.be/V8pns9BYn64
We want our therapy levels to be as low as possible whilst still maintaining a healthy night sleep free from sleep apnea and snoring with a healthy AHI (apnea hypopnea index). Most CPAP & AUTO CPAP machines have the ability to display your sleep therapy data directly on the machine screen or on a smart phone app and with just a few data variables we can very easily fine tune our therapy control from the comfort of our own home without the need for costly clinic visits, test and therapy reports! Even if you don’t have any pressure statistics from your device, as long as you have access to your AHI (apnea hypopnea index) which all machines should have then you can easily fine tune your device just with a little trial and error. As a rule of thumb… As long as your AHI is below 5 then you can continue to reduce your CPAP pressure levels.
If you’re on a fixed pressure machine, just reduce your prescribed pressure by .5 or 1 per night and. If you’re using an AUTO CPAP, drop your max apap level ( the maximum pressure level your machine can provide) by .5 or 1 per night. Our aim is always to try and get our pressure levels to the lowest they can possibly be whilst still maintaining a healthy AHI of less than 5. If you spend a little time fine tuning and optimising your therapy then it will go a long way to you achieving a healthy and COMFORTABLE sleep!
Positive airway pressure therapy is not BLACK and WHITE! It’s a fine balance between healthy sleep AND COMFORTABLE THERAPY. You need to experiment with your pressure levels to fine the right balance! Please don’t be afraid to learn how to adjust your therapy pressure levels and experiment with your therapy. If you have your sleep data available on your device then you can use it to guide you or you can just do a bit of trial and error! How do you feel?! Are you feeling good and awake or are you feeling flat and lethargic? Pay attention to the signals that your body is telling you and then experiment to see if how it changes with different pressure levels. Always use your AHI as a guide but the therapy is equal parts comfort so if you’re struggling to sleep with the gear then consider dropping your pressure levels to increase the comfort and compliance of the therapy!
90% of patients who I have seen have prescriptions that are way too high for their needs! You need to work at it and find the BEST CPAP PRESSURE LEVELS FOR YOUR NEEDS! Your AHI levels might jump around a little from night to night depending on a few factors like how tired you are, the position you sleep in, your diet (ie alcohol consumption) and other factors so once you have you experimented with your pressure levels and found what you believe is optimal, use if for a week and then check out your 7 day AVERAGE DATA. Please also understand that the AHI is designed to be used as a GUIDE. Some of you will not be able to get your AHI less than 5 and that’s totally fine! Keep trying different levels to experiment and see how low you can get it but remember that you also want to BALANCE sleep apnea control with COMFORT.
For those of you who are really struggling with the therapy, just set the pressure as low as you need (4 is the lowest for most machines but some can go down to 3). Don’t even worry about your AHI in the beginning. Just try and get comfortable set the pressure for comfort over control. Once your body gets use to breathing with the resistance you can gradually start to aim for more control over time. It’s not a race! It’s a marathon so just take your time, take it nice slow and steady and then gradually you can increase the pressure levels on your machine. I hope you enjoy the video. Look out for one another. Nick