Is your CPAP Pressure Settings Important ?

After a CPAP machine purchase and once the prescription has been received, our CPAP experts program the pressure settings on the CPAP machine based on the physician’s prescription and recommendations.

For fixed pressure CPAP machines, the physician has prescribed the least amount of pressure needed to keep the airway open. This one setting will be consistent throughout the night and will not adjust for body position, weight loss or gain, or stage of sleep. However, some machines lower the pressure when your airway is open.

Auto-titrating pressure machines need both a minimum and maximum pressure point to set a range. The machine uses a highly sensitive algorithm to fluctuate between the pressure ranges throughout the night, adjusting to provide the minimum pressure required to keep the airway open.

What happens if the pressure setting is too low? How does it feel ?

If the pressure is set lower than what is required, the airway may still collapse. With pressure settings too low, apnea events occur more frequently and the ability of the CPAP machine for corrective action is minimized. Are you still sleepy during the day after using your PAP machine all night? If so, the pressure setting on your machine may be too low.

What happens if the pressure setting is too high? How does it feel ?

At times, many new patients may feel like their CPAP pressure setting is too high. It may take a couple of weeks to adjust to the prescribed pressure. If the pressure keeps waking you up, try using the ramp function on your CPAP machine. This temporarily lowers the pressure and gradually increases it over a given time. If you have difficulty exhaling, some machines allow expiratory relief. It could also mean the pressure setting is too high. If you feel like the pressure is intolerable, you should ask your physician if it is advisable to lower your settings while you adjust to the recommended pressure. This could help desensitize you as you reach your optimal settings.

Bloating or dry mouth can usually be remedied by adjusting the humidity.

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