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Hi everyone!

My name is Ashlyn, and I was diagnosed with sleep apena a month ago. I finally got a CPAP machine last Wednesday and since have been having a lot of difficulty getting used to it. I joined this group hoping that your knowledge will help me get through this difficult point so I can actually sleep again.

I am 25 years old, am overweight, have asthma and haven’t slept well since I was teenager, but it has gotten much worse in the last year. I went to a pulmonologist when I was having difficulty controling my asthma on my current medications. During my consultation, he recommended a sleep study based on my symptoms. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea with 42 episodes per minute, with my oxgen concentration dropping to 80%. After doing some reasearch on sleep apnea and realizing that a CPAP could imporove my quality of life, I was happy to finally have an answer.

However, since using the machine, I will wake up almost every hour in a panic when the pressure reaches the maximum level. (My pressure setting is 20 cmH20), and have to take it off, and restart the machine from the beginning of its RAMP setting, which I have on auto. The other problem I am having is dry mouth. I have a full face mask because I am a major mouth breather and actually find it difficult to breath through my nose. I have the humidity level turned to its maximum level of 8, but it doesn’t help. I chew sugar free gum, drink water, and use dry mouth wash before going to bed but nothing helps.

I am so stressed, and feel as though nothing is going to work for me. I would love to hear any advice anyone would have.



Hi Ashlyn,

With a pressure that high, you might respond better to a bi-level setting. Bi-level has a high and low pressure setting which allows you to breathe easier.

And don’t confuse this with an auto titration setting. The difference with auto titration is that the Doctor sets a high and low pressure range for cap to work in. Therefore, while your pressure varies, it’s still a single presure.

Bi-level, on the other hand will drop to the lower pressure when you exhale and go back up to the high pressure when you inhale.

Unfortunatley, dry mouth is something you’ll have to deal with. Although you can adjust your humidification setting; which might help.

Let me know if you need any further clarification on anything here.


Thank you for responding! When I was doing the sleep study to figure out my pressure needs, the technician said she switched me to bipap because I was still having difficulty. At that point it was so early that we had run out of time, and she told me I would probably have to return for another study.

However the doctor said I didn’t have to come back and just gave me CPAP. It has been frustrating, as it doesn’t seem as though he is listening to my concerns and really cares about what would work better for me.

I plan to call them on Monday to discuss the difficulty I have been having. I appreciate your quick reply, and advice. Do you have any tips to help with the dry mouth?



Unfortunately, mouth breathing conbined with high pap pressure can cause significant dry mouth. It sounds like you’re already drinking water. But do you keep a bottle at your bedside?

Also, if nasal congestion wasn’t too bad, you could try a chin strap to help hold your mouth closed; at least partially.

You can also talk with your cpap provider and see if they have any ideas.


I contacted my doctor and they are lowering my pressure to 15. I just don’t understand how it will even work to prevent apnea now? Have you had any experience with this?



It may not be a problem. Do you have the compliance/ adherence monitoring device on your machine that records and reports your usage? If so, you can watch those numbers to see if it is eliminating your apneas. Let us know!


I’m not sure if my machine has that. It tells me how many hours I’ve used it and if the mask is a good seal. Would it be from the main screen?



Hi @Oblivious - Well, depends on the type it is. How you feel when the pressure is lowered will be the true indicator. What was the reason for lowering it?


They lowered my pressure because it was waking me up every hour at the 20cmh20. So they lowered me to 15. I found that my machine has an app associated with it so you can see the number of episodes per hour. I’ve only used it for a nap, but it said it was 1.2 per hour. Is the goal to have zero episodes, or is a reduction okay too?

Thank you for responding. I’m very glad I found this group!



Anything under 5 is good.


My name is MikiI am a respiratory therapist & I have just learned thru my Dentist of all people that I have mild to moderate sleep apnea about 3 months ago. After what seemed to be a long process I have just received my dental appliance for sleep apnea & no it’s not a snoring device it is meant for individuals that have mild to moderated sleep apnea. I have been using it from 3 days and all tress days my sleeping has been different . I’m hopeful that this appliance will help me in the long run. Have a good day.


Hi my name is Bev-- I’ve been using Cpap since July… If find I don’t feel any different than I did before I started but my husband has noticed that my moods have leveled out …a lot!.. I look forward to going to bed at night because I like the air blowing on my face ( I use a full mask)
I look forward to learning a lot from all of you who have gone before the newbies…


Awww, Bev! Glad you are here!! The more the merrier!

Sometimes the success of wearing CPAP isn’t recognized by the wearer for a while. But happy your husband has noticed an improvement. Just you saying you “like the air blowing” on your face tells me you are noticing pre-sleep relief!

I remember many of my patients would fall asleep sitting up and start having apneic events then.

Will enjoy hearing your adventures with CPAP and please reach out anytime you want!

Be well…Sleep well,


Thank you for welcoming me to this forum–
I told you that I don’t feel any different since starting Cpap-- after having sleep apnea for so long, I don’t know what “normal” should feel like :pensive:


Hi Bev,

It’s possible you have other medical conditions that are causing you to feel bad. For example, do you have high blood pressure, and/or are you Diabetic? Hows your Thyroid?
These are some issues to talk with your Doctor about.


Kent, I just saw my Dr 3 weeks ago and all those tests were normal–
I had a stapedectomy done 5 years ago with a less than stellar outcome. I have a problem with disequilibrium and some lightheadedness, so don’t know if I’ll ever feel like Cpap will help get to the feeling we all seek…
I keep hoping-- I’m not giving up!!!.


Sleep is natural and it is scary to sufffer. Lack of it. Be patient and persistent. Things can improve​:pray::+1:


I joined the community to keep myself informed on my sleep apnea. When I got my results I was stunned. I didnt realize it was as bad as it is. 18 events an HR 61 seconds no breathing spo2 dropped to 84. Really scared my wife! Since being on cpap she says I am a different person. Sleep is king.


@Ericlg - That is great to hear. I remember when I worked as a sleep technician when a patient would wake up in the lab the next morning after treatment. They could tell a difference, many times, and for me, it was satisfying work to see them be so alert and happy about it.
So I agree with you- Good sleep is king - and so delicious! Congratulations on “waking up to good sleep!”


That’s interesting about ptsd and osa. It took my wife 6 yrs to get me to
go to the VA. Once I did I was diagnosed with ptsd then about a year or so
later I did my sleep study because she said I was keeping her from sleeping
and worried her.