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Dark circles and head congestion

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Dark circles and head congestion

Postby Judith » Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:09 pm

Many thanks to all of you who have posted advice for new hoseheads.
I got my CPAP machine four days ago. Unfortunately, the respiratory therapist began the session by telling me that she had back-to-back appointments that day. Then she zipped through the instructions on how to hook up and clean the machine, and sent me packing.
The literature she gave me says, "You will experience almost immediate relief from your symptoms by using CPAP Therapy."
hahahahaha
She didn't warn me that there might be a long period of adjustment, or even tell me about online support. I found you guys by myself.
I have a REMstarPlus M Series, with heated humidifier and nasal mask. I think I have been sleeping a little longer each night, but I get awakened by discomfort, leaks and what I think you call mouth blowouts. I adjust the mask and go back to sleep. (Pressure is set at 15.)
What is bothering me most is head congestion, headaches and a runny nose.
The humidifier output was set at 2, but last night I moved it back to 1 (off is 0) to try to reduce the congestion. Today the congestion is worse and I have been walking around with a box of Kleenex. I also took an allergy pill today, but see no improvement.
Would increasing the humidifier output help, do you think?
Also, I have developed puffy eyes and dark circles under my eyes. What is up with THAT? Halloween is over, but I look like I am in ghoul makeup.
I feel well-motivated to adjust to CPAP -- but I see it's probably going to be through the kindness of others, and not necessarily with the help of the respiratory therapist.
Judith
 
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Re: Dark circles and head congestion

Postby Daniel » Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:45 pm

I got my CPAP machine four days ago. Unfortunately, the respiratory therapist began the session by telling me that she had back-to-back appointments that day. Then she zipped through the instructions on how to hook up and clean the machine, and sent me packing.


Do not pay any money until such time as the RT spends time with you, goes through everything and that you are happy with the equipment.............particularly the mask...........she MUST show you a full range of equipment. You are the customer.........do not accept second rate service. This is a very trying time for you and you need all the support you can get. It is not your problem if the RT cuts corners by having back to back appointments. You must put your foot down.

The literature she gave me says, "You will experience almost immediate relief from your symptoms by using CPAP Therapy."
hahahahaha
She didn't warn me that there might be a long period of adjustment, or even tell me about online support. I found you guys by myself.


Everyone is different. On a service level you should not have been left to paddle your own canoe.

I have a REMstarPlus M Series, with heated humidifier and nasal mask. I think I have been sleeping a little longer each night, but I get awakened by discomfort, leaks and what I think you call mouth blowouts. I adjust the mask and go back to sleep. (Pressure is set at 15.)


Pressure setting of 15 is at the middle to higher end of things. Pressure settings start as low as 4 and cpap machines max out at 20. Do you have cflex?

What is bothering me most is head congestion, headaches and a runny nose.
The humidifier output was set at 2, but last night I moved it back to 1 (off is 0) to try to reduce the congestion. Today the congestion is worse and I have been walking around with a box of Kleenex. I also took an allergy pill today, but see no improvement.
Would increasing the humidifier output help, do you think?


Head congestion etc is probably being caused by the new experience of cpap. Talk to your sleep doctor or clinic. A nasal spray may be required. These symptoms are not unusual.....................I'm still annoyed at the RT.......this should have been explained to you.
You need to 'play around' with humidifier settings until you get 'comfortable'.

Also, I have developed puffy eyes and dark circles under my eyes. What is up with THAT? Halloween is over, but I look like I am in ghoul makeup.


I believe that your puffy eyes are being caused by mask leaks.............the dark circles probably come side by side with that. What type of nasal mask have you got ? Did the RT fit it for you and explain about leaks etc ?

I feel well-motivated to adjust to CPAP -- but I see it's probably going to be through the kindness of others, and not necessarily with the help of the respiratory therapist.


Positive attitude.........which you have.........is just about everything. Post back some of the detail I looked for above. There are plenty of people here willing to help.
At this stage I am furious with the antics of the RT..................lodge a formal complaint...........it's just not good enough. :twisted: :twisted:

Best of luck and keep posting.

Daniel.
Daniel
 
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Machine: Philips Respironics System One Auto
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Humidifier: No
Year Diagnosed: 1993

Postby Judith » Sun Nov 05, 2006 7:57 pm

Daniel, thank you for your encouragement and advice.
The mask is marked "Ultra Miracle II."
I was diagnosed with sleep apnea eight years ago. After a dental device failed to help, I left the condition untreated.
Recently, however, I had cardiac symptoms. A cardiac catherization showed no blockages; the cardiologist said the symptoms could have been caused by the sleep apnea.
Sorry to go into so much detail.
I went to a sleep doctor, who sent me to a sleep center overnight for diagnosis, then another overnight to test CPAP.
The doctor then issued a prescription for me to go to a home-health agency to get the machine. It was there that I met with the RT.
She had me put on the mask that I got from the sleep center. (At first, I put it on upside-down!)
Then she showed me how to hook it up to the machine. She explained the cflex, which is on the machine, and the 20-minute ramp.
When she turned on the machine without the ramp, I felt like I was suffocating so I had to pull off the mask. I have done some snorkeling, so I figured I just had to learn how to relax and control my breathing. I have been working on that.
When I feel a leak, I pull the mask away from my face and readjust it (the mask, not my face) to try to get a seal. I have found, however, that if I turn in my bed, the mask might unseat. Does that just go with the territory?
Tomorrow (Monday) I will call the agency and ask to talk with a different RT.
On the bright side, my sister recently saw an obituary in her newspaper for a person who died of sleep apnea, and that's probably not going to happen to me -- if I can get the hang of this.
Regards,
Ghoulface Newbie Hosehead
Judith
 
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Postby Vicki » Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:21 am

Hi Judith!

When your mask leaks and you readjust it, for me it "seats" better if I turn the air off and then readjust it. Otherwise the air is blowing the edges of the mask out even further before I can put it back on. See what works best for you!

Vicki
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
Marilyn Vos Savant

That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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Vicki
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Humidifier: Rarely as needed
Year Diagnosed: 1999

Postby Daniel » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:12 am

The mask is marked "Ultra Miracle II."


Actually Ultra Mirage. A good mask. Keep the straps loose as the cushion must be inflated from inside using cpap air. The mask should 'float' on your face. Tight straps cause the side walls of the cushion to collapse, causing leaks. I have been using the UM for a number of years now.

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea eight years ago. After a dental device failed to help, I left the condition untreated.
Recently, however, I had cardiac symptoms. A cardiac catherization showed no blockages; the cardiologist said the symptoms could have been caused by the sleep apnea.
Sorry to go into so much detail.
I went to a sleep doctor, who sent me to a sleep center overnight for diagnosis, then another overnight to test CPAP.
The doctor then issued a prescription for me to go to a home-health agency to get the machine. It was there that I met with the RT.


Fairly typcal. Thankfully your cardiologist is well versed in the links between untreated OSA and cardiac problems. Don't apologise for detail...........it is so important. It helps others to focus on the exact problem and to be more specific in replies.

She had me put on the mask that I got from the sleep center. (At first, I put it on upside-down!)
Then she showed me how to hook it up to the machine. She explained the cflex, which is on the machine, and the 20-minute ramp.


Remember about the straps...........allow the mask to inflate to create the seal. Keep the tension even on the top and bottom strap and you may want to use the 'ratchet' type adjustment at the forehead. If your forehead recedes back you may need to push the forehead pads back a little. It needs a little adjusting.

When she turned on the machine without the ramp, I felt like I was suffocating so I had to pull off the mask. I have done some snorkeling, so I figured I just had to learn how to relax and control my breathing. I have been working on that.
When I feel a leak, I pull the mask away from my face and readjust it (the mask, not my face) to try to get a seal. I have found, however, that if I turn in my bed, the mask might unseat. Does that just go with the territory?


A natural reaction. As you become used to it you may decide to drop the ramp feature............I haven't used it in years.
Again, fairly typical. Personally I haven't noticed any great movement with the mask. Are your straps tight ? Try using the mask before going to bed...........with the hose disconnected........just to get used to the sensation of wearing a mask. Make adjustments.

Tomorrow (Monday) I will call the agency and ask to talk with a different RT.
On the bright side, my sister recently saw an obituary in her newspaper for a person who died of sleep apnea, and that's probably not going to happen to me -- if I can get the hang of this.


Your positive attitude will get you through. It isn't easy and takes time.

Best of luck.

Daniel.
Daniel
 
Posts: 6007
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:49 am
Location: Ireland
Machine: Philips Respironics System One Auto
Mask: ResMed Micro Nasal Mask
Humidifier: No
Year Diagnosed: 1993

Postby Judith » Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:56 pm

Dear Daniel and Vicki,
Thank you for your help.
I called the home-health agency this morning and asked to talk with a different RT.
She suggested that I up the humidifer to 6 to relieve the congestion, and take an antihistamine before bedtime. I will try that.
She also suggested tightening the mask straps, but Daniel your explanation of the floating mask seems more logical. I'm going to undo everything and try to fit it myself. I think the part across my forehead and under my eyes is tight -- maybe the "dark circles" are bruises? I know the [bleep] thing feels hard and hurts.
I have an appointment Wednesday to try nasal pillows and different masks.
Thank you so much for your help and encouragement. At least this RT warned me that it sometimes takes weeks to get it right, which I wouldn't have known before, but for this forum.
Judith [/i][/u]
Judith
 
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Location: Virginia

Postby Ridge Runner » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:23 pm

Dear Judith,

Many people feel dark circles under the eyes are a sign of untreated allergies. Might this be your problem?

- Ridge Runner
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