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Old 12-19-2012, 11:48 PM   #1
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CPAP/Nasal Pillow User... Hard To Exhale

Hi all. I'm newly diagnosed with sleep apnea and received my cpap machine a week ago. I'm strictly a nose breather at night, so chose the nasal pillow system as it seemed to be the least cumbersome and restrictive. It's comfortable and seems to have a good seal. However, I am noticing that it's such an effort to exhale against the force of the incoming air. It wears me out. I am wondering if other cpap users have noticed this problem with exhaling. Is this a normal occurrence across all systems? Or is it just the nasal pillows? With the force of the incoming air, and given that the the pillow openings are smaller than the nasal openings they sit against, how does the exhaled air get back out to the exhaust vent? I keep wondering if the carbon dioxide I'm trying to exhale is just mixing with the incoming air and going back into my lungs. So far, I'm not feeling any better in the mornings than I did without the cpap.

Would really appreciate input from any cpap vets who can enlighten this newbie. Many thanks.

 
Old 12-20-2012, 09:54 AM   #2
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Re: CPAP/Nasal Pillow User... Hard To Exhale

I use nasal pillows and once you get used to the whole CPAP thing, you won't even notice the exhalation part. In fact, my daughter had to use a CPAP system specifically because she did not off gas carbon dioxide properly and the CPAP helped her get rid of it by breathing properly at nite. How it works is a physics explanation and I'm not very good at those but work it does. If you keep at it, you will start to feel more rested assuming you are faithfull about using your CPAP and maintain other good sleep hygiene habits. I've had mine for 10 plus years and have always had either pillows or cannula systems.

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:13 AM   #3
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Re: CPAP/Nasal Pillow User... Hard To Exhale

Thanks, luca689. That makes me feel much better. May I ask, do you side sleep? I've heard that's recommended for people with sleep apnea. But I can no longer do that. Since sustaining a head injury a few years ago, sleeping on my side give me migraines.

 
Old 12-21-2012, 06:40 AM   #4
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Re: CPAP/Nasal Pillow User... Hard To Exhale

LOL, I sleep which ever way my dogs let me! Side, back, and occasionally front. That's the nice thing about a well fitting mask. Even if you have limitations you can still get a good rest!. Sorry to hear about your migraines.I get them too. Wishing you Happy Holidays!

 
Old 01-04-2013, 02:04 PM   #5
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Re: CPAP/Nasal Pillow User... Hard To Exhale

Do you have a "ramp" feature on your CPAP? My machine is set on 8. Using the ramp helped me to get used to the pressure for about the first week. Now I don't need the ramp at all.

 
Old 01-04-2013, 09:14 PM   #6
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Re: CPAP/Nasal Pillow User... Hard To Exhale

I do have a ramp feature and I used it for the first week or so. But soon it became uncomfortable to start at 7. It felt like I wasn't getting enough air at that low setting. My peak setting is 13. I'm doing much better now, though my nose is really drying out. I'd like to turn up the moisture a bit, but if I turn it higher than 2, it runs out of water before morning. Hope that's something I also adapt to. Thanks for your advice.

 
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