Sleep apnea worse with cpap

I dont understand why my sleep apnea is getting worse with a cpap? Doc said my AHI was 5.5. Not too bad. I also have sleep related hypoxemia. Started useing a cpap last week. Each night i use it, my numbers are worse. Last nights AHI was 11, and numbers had gone up. So after 4 nights use im confused as too how this is helping, or is it makeing it worse. The air pressure is only at a 5. At times i feel like im struggling to get air rather than the pressure maken it hard to take a breath. Could it be due to the air pressure being too low? Or is it something i need to worry about? This is all new to me.

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I would make an appointment to see your doctor about this.


What brand cpap machine are you using? Regardless, let’s forget your numbers that you’re showing. When you use the machine (all night long), do you feel refreshed or better compared to when you were not using one? Sometimes I rather hear how the person feels as a result of the therapy rather than focusing on the report. Please let me know and I’ll try to respond asap. Or you can call me anytime.



I agree it’s about how you feek, however since this is brand new to you, your doctor should be consulted. Setting pressure higher isn’t always the answer, it could make things worse. I have severe sleep apnea, yet my pressure is 5. It’s all I need to keep my airway open

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It’s good that you came here to ask. You are definitely not alone! It’s not unusual for it to take a few weeks to adjust to CPAP and to make sure you have the right pressure and mask.

Your instincts are correct… you might need a higher pressure or it could be a mask fit issue… if there’s some leak, it will affect your numbers.

Have you spoken with your sleep specialist? They should be more than happy to go over your concerns with you. I would say, call your sleep clinic, share with them what you’ve shared here, and see what they say.

BTW AHI of 5.5 truly is mild and once you get the hang of your therapy you should be able to manage it fairly well.

Good luck!


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Thank you everyone, I spoken to my sleep doc and she adjusted my machine. I also needed a different mask because my deviated septum was causing pain with the last mask. But since changing masks I think she will have to change the setting again. Seems like it will take forever to get it all right and get use to wearing such an uncomfortable device everynight. Liked sleeping with my oxygen much better than this. Ugh! Maybe one day I will get used to it and get some real sleep and get to feeling better. I’ve been without adequate sleep for so long I have a lot of effects from it. Does it ever get easier?

@Heese1980, For some, it may not seem like it at first, but with persistence it will get easier. Like most anything else, people can become accustomed to their therapy. Hang in there!! Good luck and let us know how it’s going for you!

Be well,

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I know people who struggled for quite a while, then did get the hang of it, so much that they love sleeping again and wouldn’t sleep without their CPAP! So it really is a test of patience and perseverance for some, but the payoff is worth it!

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I still don’t like it, and I have had it since July of last year. I retired in June last year, so I didn’t have sporadic crazy hours like three days in a row of three am to three pm. And it was law enforcement inside a jail, so it was also mentally tiring. I am not sleepy during the day now, but still wake up the same times I did when I was working, every two o three hours until I got up at five am for my regular seven to three shift. I feel like I sleep better without it. I do take meds to sleep, and a couple of times, I got into bed intended to put on the pillows when I felt drowsy. Well, I fell asleep without it, and those were my best nights. I don’t know if I will ever get used to it. My nightly events per night are always a one, and in all this time have seen three or fourth two and only one three. Very disheartening!

@Patricia955 Do you have your study results in digital format? If so, and if you wish, you may send them to . Thanks and hang in there! Plenty of helpful suggestions in this group!

Also, if you have Facebook, here is the link to the ASAA AWAKE Sleep Health Support Group:

Thank you, no I don’t have those. I am enjoying reading the posts here. I see my doctor again April 10th. Regards!