Improving Your AHI with CPAP

My Lowest AHI Score

Low AHI Score I mentioned the other day that I had to replace my Simplus mask because the headgear was having some issues and the silicon seal was a bit floppy and I started seeing some variations in my AHI.

I thought this would be a good time to update everyone on how it is performing so far because I passed a bit of a milestone – I had the lowest AHI score that I’ve ever had since starting CPAP nearly three months ago!

My AHI average for the last 7 days is 5.1 which is the lowest week I’ve ever had for a seven day period and last night I had an AHI of 2.9.  My average should even be lower because two nights ago for some reason my AHI jumped up to 9.0 which was the highest it had been since about the second week of my CPAP experience – first week I was averaging between 11 and 13 as I learned to adjust the mask, we were playing with the starting pressure, etc.

A Random AHI Increase

The AHI of 9.0 the other night doesn’t really bother me because I think it is just a random AHI increase and having looked at the data in the past when these occurred it was more “flow limitations” than even apneas or hypopneas.

More important than the AHI scores though is the fact that I just feel good when I get up and start my day.  Last night I went to bed really late, woke up at 6:45am naturally as usual and I feel really good despite only getting 5.3 hours sleep.  Ultimately, that’s what the whole CPAP machine and the mask are meant to do, improve my sleep so that I feel better.

On an aside, one thing I’m thinking I’m going to do is buy a second set of headgear and rotate my usage a bit.  I like my mask really tight and I think what might be happening is that the straps and stuff on the headgear are stretching as I use it over time.  My thought process is that we can wash one of the headgear and let it dry out for a week, then swap it back in and wash the other, letting it dry for a week.  It may shrink back in to shape.  Just a theory at the moment.

Adjusting The CPAP Straps

One thing I’ve also noticed is that I’m not adjusting the straps all the time anymore.  I set the straps on this mask up the first night I used it about ten days ago, played around with them for ten or fifteen minutes while I started going to sleep and haven’t touched them since.  Everything just seems to fit nicely.

I’m going to keep an eye on my CPAP mask straps as well because I’m starting to notice that they’re getting a bit too stretchy.  There’s probably a limit to how much I can tighten the mask because I’ll eventually run out of velcro to attach the strap ends back onto.  I’m even starting to notice the stretching of the straps is thinning them out a bit.

One of the things that you read a lot about with CPAP therapy is the frequency that people should replace their parts.  My experience has been good, but I’m honest about the fact that I’m not the most diligent person with respect to replacing things or going through the rigorous washing and cleaning process that is recommended.

I suspect over time, my lack of attention to that detail will not really impact my therapy that much and to be candid, will probably save me money.

Overall, the progress with my CPAP therapy is going really well.  I still feel good, my comfort levels with the mask are great and now the stats seem to be backing that up.

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As a long term Sleep Apnea sufferer, Sean has researched the topic extensively and tried several different therapies and lifestyle changes with varying degrees of success. His efforts now are focused on helping people get diagnosed early and begin treating their Sleep Apnea to avoid long-term health impacts.

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