You’re having difficulty exhaling against the pressure of your PAP device.
Does your device have an EPR (ResMed) or FLEX (Respironics) feature? When on EPR or FLEX it is easier to exhale against the positive air pressure. This feature is included on both CPAP and APAP devices. We suggest you speak to your physician about using this function.
If you have already tried EPR or CFLEX on a CPAP you may consider using an Auto Adjusting device. An Auto Adjusting device, or APAP, allows a minimum pressure and a maximum pressure. When you go to sleep and turn it on, it will start at the minimum pressure. As the night goes on the device can increase pressure as needed so that you’re always at the optimum pressure. It will automatically adjust between the minimum and maximum pressure to keep the airway open at that moment. Our bodies require a higher pressure during REM sleep due to our bodies being in paralysis. This state occurs during roughly 25% of the time that you are asleep. During non-REM sleep the body requires considerably less pressure and makes it easier to breath with the APAP. This is the reason that APAP is more comfortable than regular CPAP.
If you’re currently using a fixed pressure setting, we suggest you speak to your doctor about trying an Auto Adjusting device. Your device may already have the ability to be set to a pressure range and simply needs to put into auto mode.
We hope you found this information helpful. Check back next month for a new PAP therapy tip.