Mark 2010-02-18 09:14:52
I have changed masks and machines, but using CPAP is making more tired and
is now giving me headaches. I am using a Respironics Remstar Pro Cflex.
I still haven’t gotten used to CPAP and wearing the mask all night. I do
wear the mask but I have issues from pressure around the mask to blowing of
air into my eyes or escaping. I have been on CPAP since October. I can
hear myself breathe through the mask. which bothers me. I wear earplugs and
they only help moderately. I don’t believe I sleep much at night. Or
better put, I don’t feel I have achieved REM or ALL the stages of sleep.
I am very cognitive of the mask, exhalation, and CPAP machine noise when I
The only good thing that has come out of CPAP is that my sleep is less
interrupted i.e.. I don’t have to go to the bathroom as much at night.
However, I am terribly tired when I wake up in the morning and I don’t have
any energy and I find it difficult to function. Now I have very bad
headaches since I started wearing the mask for 6+ hrs a night. This was not
the case before CPAP.
I have tried various masks, nasal pillows such as Adam’s Circuit and others
but they don’t work for me. My health care provider is getting both
frustrated and sad with my lack of progress. A feeling of hopelessness has
set in for both of us.
I am *almost* tempted to get the surgery to get a [temporary] good night
sleep. Any suggestions on what I should do?
Victor radin 2010-02-18 09:14:57
I know that helpless & hopeless feeling- been there, got the nightshirt
straps, belts, and even handcuffs – (oops, wrong group. never-you-mind
about the last one) then I’d suggest giving it another round maybe
with a different provider if you can and THEN look at the more drastic
measures. Once that’s over, THEN… If you’re going to consider surgery,
please get multiple opinions. Not just two or three- see four, five, a
dozen specialists if you can afford it. Don’t only see the ENTs either-
see a pulmonologist, a neurologist, sleep specialist (whatever-the-heck
they’re called)… and learn all you can about the various surgeries out
The only sure-cure surgery for apnea is a tracheotomy. Takes more than a
little getting used to the idea of letting someone slit your throat.
Yup- that’s what they do. No punches pulled- you’re getting your throat
slit. Sounds yummy, huh? Think a little air blowing on your eyes is a
pain? Try coughing up blood for a day or two when you turn your head too
fast and the trach tube slices you up. Don’t like the sound of the cpap?
Think of the rush of unfiltered air whooooshing out of your neck. Shall
we discuss sneezing or having to blow your neck? Call it the booger
bypass. It’s 100% effective for Obstructive Apnea. It also can cause or
increase the chance for Central Apnea- and “forgetting” to breath is
absolutely no fun at all.
Short answer (too late) is please keep trying the cpap, have your levels
checked and verified. Verify the titration, triple-check the settings on
the cpap, try another dozen or two masks, pillows, whatevers. See
another DME about settings, masks, fittings.
I’m not sorry I got the trach. It’s not the answer for everyone, but was
the only answer for me. I prefer seeing the grass from the green-side
down rather than the alternative.
Good luck and hang in- it can only get better, right?
Rossber 2010-02-18 09:15:15
It sounds as though you have a number of problems. They need to be
addressed individually. It is a process of multiple iterations to make
progress to sucessful treatment.
The noise of hearing myself breathing is distracting, but a combination
of attitude and some bacground music to help mask it helps.
As to knowing how well you slept, it is difficult to judge accurately
without eeg readings.
Hate to be the one to inform you, but this is a clear sign that the CPAP
is working and you are benefiting from it.
Some people feel much more energetic almost as soon as they start CPAP,
others take much longer. You have probably built up quite a sleep debt
and it will take your body a while to repay before you feel the full benefits of treatment.
You don’t mention wether or not you have a heated humidifer. This makes
a big difference. I had headaches that would not quit no matter what
until I got the heated humidifer. (If you get a heated humidifer, two
things. First, only use distilled water. Second, buy or sew an
insulating sleeve for the hose from the humidifer to the mask to reduce
condensation problems.) Cold dry air being forced through your sinuses
can give you quite a headace. That you are wearing the mask for more
hours would only increase this problem without a heated humidifer.
Keep the faith, you have some signs that there is progress.
Keep trying the CPAP and different interfaces. Others on this newsgroup
can help with adjusting the different masks. I use the ADAMS Circuit
Sleep well and have a good new year.
Mark 2010-02-18 09:15:30
: > Now I have very bad
: > headaches since I started wearing the mask for 6+ hrs a night. This was not
: > the case before CPAP.
: You don’t mention wether or not you have a heated humidifer. This makes
: a big difference. I had headaches that would not quit no matter what
: until I got the heated humidifer. (If you get a heated humidifer, two
: things. First, only use distilled water. Second, buy or sew an
: insulating sleeve for the hose from the humidifer to the mask to reduce
: condensation problems.) Cold dry air being forced through your sinuses
: can give you quite a headace. That you are wearing the mask for more
: hours would only increase this problem without a heated humidifer.
Thanks everyone for their replies!
Yes, I have a heated humidifier but I dont use it because the underneath the
face gets warm. I will using the humidifier. I did notice my mouth dry.
What setting is suggested? I have anywhere from 1-3 one being the coolest heated setting.
: Some people feel much more energetic almost as soon as they start CPAP,
: others take much longer. You have probably built up quite a sleep debt
: and it will take your body a while to repay before you feel the full
” benefits of treatment
I feel like a zombie. I didnt wear the mask last night. I feel overall
better but it was not an uninterrupted sleep, but I did achieve “some” rem
as opposed to the CPAP.
: The noise of hearing myself breathing is distracting, but a combination
: of attitude and some background music to help mask it helps.
: As to knowing how well you slept, it is difficult to judge accurately
: without eeg readings.
I am fairly in tune with my body, that’s why and how the docs were able to
make a diagnosis so early. When I am “sleeping” with the mask/cpap I was
very aware of my surroundings. It was like I could hear a whisper but my
eyes were closed. It’s hard to explain. But, the feeling is quite
different than sleeping without the CPAP. It feels more restful, albeit
interrupted without CPAP.
Rossber 2010-02-18 09:17:34
Start with 2 and go from there.
I joke that I can no longer just drift off to sleep, but must commit
sleep with malice afore thought. I do know that the results are much
better overall with CPAP than without.
Sleep well and have a good new year.