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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

Just diagnosed!!!

Talk about all aspects of sleep apnoea. Request help from others with the same problem, tell your story, exchange tips & techniques ..
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Just diagnosed!!!

Post by Gaynor » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:38 pm

Hi Diagnosed this week arghhhh 😕 know nothing really on the subject. Was shocked to say the least! Sleep test 37 Apneas an hour, is this high? Should explain I live in France and whilst I speak some French understanding everything when shocked isn't easy in a second language. Struggling with mask, woke panicking couldn't breathe. Dry dry throat hard to swallow. How long before any benefit s? Won't give up but need help. Any advice appreciated
Thanks zzzzz


Re: Just diagnosed!!!

Post by Guest » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:43 pm

It takes a couple of weeks to get used to the mask but persevere. At my follow up I was advised to sleep on my side and not on my back. With practice it becomes easier to turn over in your sleep. After a month I couldn't believe the different it had made. More energy etc
Stick with it.
Another tip is that you can get a cover for the pipe so it feels warmer. Also try to have it under the duvet. Somehow the air is then not so cold on your face.
Good luck x

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Re: Just diagnosed!!!

Post by Swindonian » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:46 pm

Hi Gaynor, you will need to provide a lot more information before anyone can offer constructive advice and if you do the advice will come pouring in. My friend Sleep2Snore who is a major contributor to this forum will certainly help immensely but he will need to know more. With regard to your questions - 37 Apneas an hour lasting between 16 and 50 seconds is definitely high in my experience so you do need a speedy resolution. My own figures prior to cpap were 18 incidents per hour lasting in the low twenties and I was classified as mild to moderate but it was very distressing to me even at those comparatively low levels. S2S always tells everyone that the mask is the hardest thing to get right, it requires perseverence so it would be a good idea to check out some of S2S posts because mask choice and fitting is a recurring feature. Too little information can lead to wrong conclusions, for instance I have been on cpap (auto actually) for 12 years and realize that fixed pressure cpap is not for me because I do not need the same constant pressure all night long. In view of what I have just said and your stats probably require a high pressure on what is almost certainly a cpap this does in my opinion present more potential problems. When you wake panicking and cannot breathe this is normal for many people including myself, I find it happens when I am having an apnoea but only happens when I am on my back, your brain awakes you recognizing what it is and basically calms you enough to control the situation. Cpap is a life saver or at least a lifestyle changer but it has never eliminated my events, however, it has minimised them to such an extent that I can go weeks between and that is definitely manageable. With regard to the dry throat hard to swallow, I had the same problem until I purchased a heated humidifier and now it is almost history, so if you haven't got a humidifier then it could be a wise investment. I think you are too new on the forum to be able to private message yet but you can write to me at if you wish to ask more questions or wish to know where to buy reasonable priced equipment or of course you can just post your questions on the forum where you will get lots of helpful advice. Eric

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Re: Just diagnosed!!!

Post by Sleep2Snore » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:14 pm

Hi Gaynor and welcome to the forum.


Number of apnoeas and/or hypopneas per hour of sleep (or study time) —Reflects the “severity” of sleep apnoea

AHI = 0-4 Normal range (This is what most people will have during normal sleep).

AHI = 5-14 Mild sleep apnoea.

AHI = 15-30 Moderate sleep apnoea.

AHI 30> and above Severe sleep apnoea.

The mask is the biggest problem area, getting one to fit properly without leaks and or hurting is a big problem, if it hurts, leaks, or air finds it was out of your mouth you have to have the mask very tight to stop leaks you have the wrong mask! These are expensive, so when you are offered a mask you should ask yourself these questions:

Do I mouth breath? Yes!
Then you need a Full-faced mask or a Hybrid mask.
The Full-faced is a mask that covers both your nose and mouth.
The Hybrid mask dose the same, except it has a mask part for your mouth and Nasal Pillows for your nose. If you are claustrophobic and need a Full-faced mask I would recommend you try one of these. However, most people can use the Full-faced mask after they get used to it being on their face, it just takes a while to get used to it.

Do I only breathe through my nose? Yes! Then you need a Nasal mask. This covers your nose only, however, it can in some cases be less effective due to air escaping through your mouth after you fall asleep. If you waken with a very dry mouth, it may be this that is causing it, it does not take a lot of air to dry out your mouth, however, once it dries your mouth, it becomes harder to stop air escaping through your mouth.

Do I breathe through my nose but can't put up with a mask on my face?
Yes, then you need to try Nasal Pillows. These fit onto your nostrils and indeed fit slightly into your nostrils. On the whole these are easier to get on with and if you are claustrophobic can be very helpful if you only breath through your nose. They are also easy to fit and remove and are the easiest to get on with. However, they are not liked by everyone, some hate them as they go slightly into your nostrils and can and do irritate the inside of your nostrils until your nostrils get used to them being there. These came in various forms and shapes, though they are all designed to do the same job, you should try them as the designs vary a lot and some are a lot better than others. However, if you do breathe through your nose and you want something that is light, easy to use, clean and are generally long lasting, then have a look at these.

NASAL / NASAL PILLOW MASK PROBLEMS: The problem with all nasal masks is the tendency for air to bypass going down your air pipe to fill your lungs and for the air to exit through your mouth, this gets worse as your mouth dried out. The answer to some of the problems with air escaping is to use a chin strap that goes around your chin and over your head, this keeps your mouth shut (a thing the wife likes lol), the only problem with this is that a chin strap will not stop air escaping out of your lips, this will happen, especially as your mouth dries out due to a small amount of air escaping.
With Nasal Pillows, you can get round small leaks around the nostrils by increasing the pressure to compensate for this. This is what I have done and it works well for me. However, some of the newer machines record a lot of data and it will show you have a bad leak or even sound an alarm to wake you. So modern machines can have disadvantages as well as advantages.

Hybrid Masks: These are a mask that covers the mouth and have Nasal Pillows on stalks sticking out the top of the mask, so these will have some of the problems as with Nasal Pillows. Best of both worlds by combining Full-faced and Nasal Pillow options.

Nasal Pillows: These are fine when using lower pressures, but they can be a bit of a problem when the pressures are higher, they do tend to leak. However, I am using very old ones with a pressure of 18, this is high for Nasal Pillows, however, they work for me.

Total face mask: These are not used very often, they do as it suggests, cover the whole face, eyes, mouth and nose. They are a bit like a Fireman's mask in many ways. I have never used one and I can't see anyone that is claustrophobic ever using one, but there are a few people use these believe it or not. They are a little on the large side, so not the easiest to pack for going on holiday.

Dryness in throat and mouth: This can be a major problem with CPAP/APAP treatment, I suffer so bad with this that after two hours I couldn't breathe, I would wake up almost in a panic, I would be struggling to breath at all. I tried to drink water and ever sprayed water up my nose so I could breath. Yes, it was funny for my partner looking on, but the first time it happened, I was not the only one panicking! The answer is to get a Humidifier, these can be a clip on to the machine you have in various ways and are mostly made by the manufacturer of the machine you have, or you can get a stand-alone humidifier (the best ones if you do not travel a lot), though I have one of these (I use this most of the time, I also have one that fits onto the machine I have as wel, used mostly when I am travelling. or away from home.
Heated hoses: You can also get heated hoses that can supply warm humid air. These keep the air warm when it leaves the humidifier and stops it from condensing in the hose causing (RAINOUT). I have not tried one, however, those that have used them say they are very good. Some can fit onto the machine and be powered from it, others can have a power supply to power the heater for the hose.

Hose covers: You can also get a cover for the hoses, this is a cheaper option, however, they do not work quite so well as you would expect. In most cases, a humidifier is sufficient to keep away most of the dryness. Heated hoses are very good though, so keep this in mind, but they do come at a cost.

Rainout: This is caused when using a humidifier. It happens when the warm moist air leaves the humidifier and enters the hose and the hose is a bit colder than normal, usually during colder days. The answer is to keep the room warmer, get a hose cover or heated hose. However, if you raise the hose higher than the humidifier, most of the water that condensates will run back into the humidifier, however, some might reach you and end up inside the mask. It is nothing to panic about, it will usually wake you up. All you need to do is wipe the inside of the mask, then go back to sleep. If you have a window open, close it or heat the room.
What I do is exactly the opposite of my own advice, I have the machine and humidifier at head height, the hose leaves the humidifier, drops down towards the floor, then comes back up and round the back of the pillows and over my head (I have Nasal Pillows where the hose goes over the head) and into the mask. This way if I do get rainout it collects at the bottom of the hose loop and starts to make a gurgling noise when I breathe, this wakens me or my partner and I get a dig in the ribs to fix the problem. The problem is easy fixed, just lift the hose from the mask end holding it higher until all the hose is higher than the humidifier. The condensate water runs back into the humidifier (make sure it is safe to do this with your humidifier). I prefer doing this as I know I am getting rainout and can do something about it, like close the window she insists on leaving open!


Hope this has been of some help, I may add to it later, but for now it will do as I am in a hurry.
Last edited by Sleep2Snore on Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
S2S - Sleep2Snore

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Re: Just diagnosed!!!

Post by Sleep2Snore » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:54 pm

I will not add anything to it just now, if you have any questions, please ask.
Either I or hopefully some others will reply to you.
Nice to see some others replying to people asking for help.


Ok, in the end I added some information to help new users to the above.
S2S - Sleep2Snore


Re: Just diagnosed!!!

Post by Guest » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:21 am

Hi Gaynor,

I've got a Resmed auto CPAP with the humidifier AND heated hose (called Climate air) and it's the cure for a dry throat and nose.

I also have a deviated septum (small nasel passage) and use a nasal spray to relax my sinuses so I can breathe.
If I don't use the humidifier, the spray doesn't work because my nasal passages are too dry.

It's a good point that you'll get rainout if the hose is too cold, or if you stop the machine the hose cools down quickly, make sure there's a U bend in the hose just in case. The Resmed does a good job of preventing hose condensation in the auto setting.


Vince Green
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Re: Just diagnosed!!!

Post by Vince Green » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:23 pm

Welcome to the club, its not that big a deal having sleep apnoea so stop panicing and get used to the idea, First lets say its more common than you would imagine.
Secondly, think of it as a journey, you have to get used to masks etc but the benefits are life changing. People have died of sleep apnoea in the past, without doubt, so we are the lucky ones.

Could I get a bit personal at this stage? I don't even know you so tell me to mind my own business. Are you, like most of us, a bit on the cuddly side? that really is the answer but it is no big deal.

If you want to contact me on this forum by PM feel free. A lot of people like to chat more frankly initially on PM but once they get reassured that its not going to screw up your life or relationships they want to share their experiences with others hopefully

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