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When you've been prescribed a CPAP machine to use for sleep apnea treatment, it's important that you have your machine calibrated before you use it. The calibration process is designed to regulate the pressure of the air to meet your specific breathing needs. Some people need constant positive pressure, while others need to have intermittent pressure so that the pressure lessens on the exhale. Here's a look at what you need to know about your CPAP machine's calibration and pressure settings.
How Will Your CPAP Pressure Be Set?
When you first get your CPAP, your doctor will tell you what pressure setting he or she recommends for you to get started. From there, you'll have to adjust it as needed based on your experience with it and the quality of your sleep.
In most situations, your doctor will base the starting pressure on your sleep study or will have you start with an average pressure rating. It may take a little bit of time to get the pressure where it works best for you, but the right pressure setting can make all the difference in your quality of sleep.
Why Does Your CPAP Pressure Matter?
You might wonder why the pressure in your CPAP machine even matters. The truth is that the pressure in your CPAP machine is important to your quality of sleep. The pressure setting is directly connected to your ability to breathe clearly when you sleep. Too little pressure or too much pressure, and you won't get the relief you need.
In fact, when the pressure isn't right, you might as well not be wearing the CPAP at all. Incorrect pressure levels in your CPAP will leave you continuing to struggle with the symptoms of your sleep apnea. Your breathing will still be erratic, leading to snoring and the potential for cardiovascular damage.
CPAP pressure that's too high can also leave you dealing with a variety of other symptoms. You'll find that persistent high air pressure in your CPAP will result in a dry nose and dry throat in the mornings and persistent fatigue, and it can ultimately cause bloating and gas problems when the excessive air pressure passes air into your stomach.
How Do You Know Your CPAP Pressure Is Incorrect?
The good news is that you don't have to wait for dryness or bloating issues to figure out if there is a pressure problem with your CPAP device. In fact, when you know the signs to watch for, you can often identify pressure problems fairly quickly.
When your CPAP pressure isn't right, it will feel uncomfortable when you sleep. You may find that you inadvertently take your mask off in your sleep. If this happens repeatedly, you should talk with your doctor about adjusting the pressure in the system.
When you first get your CPAP, take a few days to get used to it before you assume that the pressure is off. It can take you a couple of days before you adjust to the mask and the positive pressure in the system. If you're still not comfortable after several days, you should talk with your doctor about adjusting the pressure.
If you have had your CPAP machine for some time and you're suddenly waking up multiple times at night because of discomfort from the CPAP, you should reach out to your doctor about adjusting your CPAP machine's pressure setting.
You can also tell when your pressure needs to be changed by assessing how you feel in the mornings. If you're feeling rested when you get up, that's a sign that you're sleeping well. If your CPAP pressure is off, you'll wake up feeling tired because you won't sleep as restfully.Share