Current users must recognize that the secret to optimal PAP Therapy is constant fine-tuning. Ultimately, this usually comes down to only 5 minutes per day, but those 5 minutes are priceless in terms of what you can tweak to insure a great night of sleep night after night.
Start with our PAP Therapy Checklist and you'll quickly discern which areas are causing most of your problems. Things like mask fit, comfort with pressure, mask leaks, mouth breathing, and anxiety responses to mask or pressure are critical factors that affect nearly all PAP Therapy users at one time or another.
In your fine tuning efforts, you will reap great dividends through constant vigilance over how to most effectively apply your breathing mask treatment. However, we find that many SDB patients, no matter how hard they try, will not get results commensurate with their efforts.
At this point, and actually much sooner at our sleep center, we encourage patients to return for a full night PAP therapy titration, allowing us to professionally evaluate and adjust everything on the PAP Therapy Checklist.
The well-trained sleep technologist may discover that:
The mask you thought was not leaking is actually cracked
You really are mouth breathing, and a chinstrap or partial mouth taping is the solution
The pressures you thought were just right from the last titration turn out to be too high or too low
The leg jerks you said you've never noticed turn out to be occurring at a rate of more than 15 movements per minute
And the list goes on.
And, for a majority of Sleep-Disordered Breathing patients, the largest problem is that fixed CPAP pressures will never provide the best treatment results.
No surprise, most of us with SDB respond to different pressures when we sleep on our backs compared to our sides, in REM vs. NREM sleep, and during the latter half of the night compared to the first part of the night. Yet, for reasons I've never been able to sort out (except maybe through the limitations of cost and technological advances), most sleep centers continue to prescribe fixed CPAP pressures for the vast majority of their patients.