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General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
Reader4211
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:10 pm
Gender: None specified

Fluctuating AHI Numbers

Postby Reader4211 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:09 pm

Hello fellow CPAP users! I'm looking for answers to a number of questions that I have as a new CPAP user. A brief history of my situation: I've had three sleep studies since July 2012 (it is now September 2012). During my first study my AHI was too low to warrant a CPAP (3.7 rounded to 4). During my second study I had an AHI of 50 (severe OSA). My AHI during my sleep study with a CPAP was 4.7 and I was assigned a pressure of 7cm.

I have slept with my machine 17 nights since I brought it home and I've averaged 9 hours per night 7 nights per week. My first concern is that my AHI numbers are bouncing around like a toddler in need of an unsweetened breakfast cereal. My lowest average for a single night has been 2.2. That was one of the best nights sleep that I've had in years. My numbers have gone as high as 10.1 with a combined average for my 17 nights to date being 6.0 (approximately 2 points higher than my first sleep study without a CPAP). I contacted my CPAP supplier and was told that fluctuations were "normal" and that I shouldn't be concerned unless they go to 12 or 15 or so. Hmmmm. I asked them if I would ever stabilize and, if so, what would that look like? (ex: most nights averaging 4 plus or minus 1 point etc...) I didn't get an answer.

People that I've spoken with who use CPAP machines have told me how those machines changed their lives so I had very high hopes when I brought mine home. I've had a taste of that greatness but only twice since I've been using the machine. I'm beginning to wonder if 7cm isn't enough pressure. Sometimes I think that there must be something wrong with the machine - is it working properly? I'm trying to understand what appear to me to be very significant fluctuations and to try to understand what that means, if I will ever stabilize (or if waking up will still always be a crap shoot) and if there is anything that I can do to facilitate a decrease in the fluctuations but the "professionals" are proving to be a real disappointment thus far.

If anyone who reads this can offer me any insights I would be most grateful.

Reader4211

_________________
Mask: Mirage™ FX Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Humidifier: PR System One Heated Humidifier
Additional Comments: REMstar Pro C-Flex+

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Pugsy
 
Posts: 26315
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 9:31 am
Location: SW Missouri, USA
Gender: Female

Re: Fluctuating AHI Numbers

Postby Pugsy on Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:15 pm

Please look on the bottom of your machine for a 3 digit number, usually preceded by DS or REF but might be something else. Tell us the model number.

Where are you getting the AHI number that you are reporting?

How many hours of sleep? Fragmented sleep? Waking often?

_________________
Machine: PR System One REMStar 60 Series BiPAP Auto with Bi-Flex
Mask: TAP PAP Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask with Improved Stability Mouthpiece
Humidifier: PR System One 60 Series Heated Tube Humidifier with Heated Tube
Additional Comments: S9 Adapt SV being tried now...not available as menu choice
SleepyHead download site
http://sleepfiles.com/SH/
Pugsy's Pointers Collection (has both software hints and data tutorial links)
http://www.cpaptalk.com/viewtopic/t8900 ... ction.html
Robysue's SH install
http://tinyurl.com/knaqaxh

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robysue
 
Posts: 5717
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:30 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY
Gender: Female

Re: Fluctuating AHI Numbers

Postby robysue on Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:04 am

Reader4211,

For help figuring out exactly which System One PAP machine you are using, see my Newbie Guide for System One machines

As for your other questions:

Most people do see their AHI stabilize to a narrowish range that is consistently below 5.0. It may take several months to do so, however.

If your AHI is consistently running in the 5+ range night after night for several weeks, it's time to call the sleep doc's office back and let them know what's going on. An increase in pressure may be warranted---if the bulk of the events the machine is recording are obstructive instead of central. And if you are actually asleep most of the time you are using the machine. (Wake breathing is sufficiently variable that it can cause the machine to score events that would not be scored on a PSG.)

And finally, you write:
Reader4211 wrote:I have slept with my machine 17 nights since I brought it home and I've averaged 9 hours per night 7 nights per week. My first concern is that my AHI numbers are bouncing around like a toddler in need of an unsweetened breakfast cereal. My lowest average for a single night has been 2.2. That was one of the best nights sleep that I've had in years.
...
People that I've spoken with who use CPAP machines have told me how those machines changed their lives so I had very high hopes when I brought mine home. I've had a taste of that greatness but only twice since I've been using the machine.

I know it sounds crass, but please consider yourself lucky to have had two "tastes of that greatness" in your first three weeks on the machine. Many of us go for months before we start to feel even a small smidgeon of that greatness. Many of us see very slow (but steady) progress in terms of our daytime functioning that can take 6-12 months (or more) before we can say that the machine really has changed our lives for the better.

So hold on to that sure knowledge that once you've mastered the art of sleeping with a six foot hose attached to your nose and having air blown down your throat, you will see many good nights in the future.

_________________
Mask: Swift™ FX Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask with Headgear
Humidifier: PR System One Heated Humidifier
Additional Comments: PR System One REMstar BiPAP Auto (Series 50). Max IPAP = 8, Min EPAP=4, and Rise time setting = 3


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