Heavy Sleeper with Sleep Apnea


I was recently diagnosed with severe sleep apnea (AHI = 65). I received my CPAP machine about 1 month ago, but have not been able to get through an entire night of sleep with the mask on my face. The thing is, I am a very heavy sleeper, especially when I am able to fall asleep with the mask on. I find that I am waking up with the mask on my floor every single morning. I think I am knocking it off while I’m sleeping, but I am not waking up to put it back on. This is very frustrating for me, because I was told that if I do not get 21 days of sleep with the mask on my face for a minimum of 4 hours per night, they will have to take back all of the equipment… It’s not looking good for me, considering I am alread 1 month into my 90 day period.

I just think it’s quite messed up that they will literally take it away from me, even though I am consistently trying to adjust and get used to it.

Has anyone else gone through this? What did you do to make it work and if you weren’t able to make it work, what was your alternative option? This feels like life or death to me and they don’t seem to care… This whole process has felt overwhelming, a bit scary, and definitely frustrating due to insurance, finances, and the clinic threatening to take away the equipment that is meant to help me sleep and lower the risk of death caused by sleep apnea…

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No answers. Have you asked your DME about this? Just reread your post. If they know you are having issues, they may extend your time. NOPE!. There has to be someone who can help!. What about the one who sent you for the test? Ask if there is a support group through a hospital or sleep clinic.

Many get used to the mask by wearing it when watching TV. Getting used to having it on your face as well as breathing with it is critical. Good luck.

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I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. There is a device called the TAP-PAP CS which can be used with a CPAP machine. It is retained by an oral sleep apnea appliance called the TAP3. You must have natural teeth in good condition to use it. If you do, it is retained VERY securely by the oral appliance without any external straps and uses nasal pillows. It is extremely secure and almost impossible to knock off. It actually improves the comfort and performance of your CPAP fairly dramatically, too. If you mouth breath, it can be fitted with an intra-oral seal to prevent air leakage through the mouth. a.b.luisi,d.m.d.

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It has taken me over a year to get used to using a CPAP machine. I still don’t like it but I don’t throw it off like I did in the beginning. My advice is to continue using it every night. You will get to the point where you won’t throw it off. I don’t know about getting comfortable with it as I am still not comfortable with mine but like I said, I don’t throw it off any more. Good luck friend.

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Hi Zac, I hope things get better for you very soon with getting through the night without taking off your mask. I was diagnosed over 1-1/2 years ago with the same (AHI = 65), and I completely understand how frustrated you feel about “compliance” (insurance company/supplier taking away your equipment) and then too the “life and death” of the situation, and not to mention regaining a certain quality of life, getting a good night’s sleep!
It really should get better, as you keep with the CPAP therapy and mask. At least for me, I really got used to the constant air pressure and mask after maybe 3 months. Can you speak to the cpap equipment supplier – tell them the issue you are having with removing the mask in the night. Maybe there is another mask to try, or an adjustment to its fit? If your CPAP equipment supplier is anything like mine, they should be willing (and also obligated) to help you locate a better mask & fit.
If that gets you nowhere, can you speak to your sleep specialist or whomever diagnosed you? Again, tell them what is going on? If all else fails, can you speak to your primary Doctor?