New(ish) diagnosis - sleep apnea


Make sure you use distilled water and maybe get a SoClean.


The water I used last night and the night before has ingredients of water and ozone. I was reading about ozone and it turns out that ozone is not good for people with asthma to inhale and is a well-documented trigger of symptoms. I’m going to try to find water that doesn’t contain ozone to use for tonight. I looked up SoClean, and it utilizes ozone to clean, so I’m going to avoid that for the moment. Ah, the fun of managing multiple chronic medical conditions…

On a positive note, I was sitting in a meeting this morning and for the first time in a long time was able to follow the discussions without missing half of what was said and struggling to not literally doze off in front of everyone. I’m not sure if treating sleep apnea makes a difference that quickly, but it’s certainly a good sign as far as I’m concerned!


Third night also a success, though it took me hours to fall asleep and I still woke up earlier than I wanted to. But I did sleep soundly for many hours. I set the humidifier a notch higher and used proper distilled water, and no wheezing this morning. My back was sore, but I can’t tell if that was from my sleeping position.

Did others who use insulin find that their insulin doses dropped when they started treating sleep apnea? I have been nothing but low for the past 24-48 hours. I dropped all my basal rates by 0.2 u/hr and feel like I may need to drop them even more. I’m wondering if my body is less stressed already.


Using APAP didn’t change my insulin doses. But I’m not a very good subject for comparison, as I rarely was able to use the machine more than four hours a night due to aerophagia and mask leakage. And even during the hours I did, my AHI was still often between 10 and 35.


That is too bad it didn’t work for you. Sounds very frustrating! I had to look up “aerophagia” and it sounds unpleasant to have to deal with.

I have been wearing the CPAP for 7-8 hours a night, but only sleeping for about half that time. When I’m falling asleep I often feel like I can’t breathe well through my nose, although the machine says there are no mask leaks in the morning, so I think when I’m sleeping it’s fine. The machine adjusts the pressure automatically, and I feel like often I get woken when it’s adjusting upwards. I also already have sleep issues because of my Dexcom alarming, so between the new CPAP and Dexcom alarms with me running low so often, I haven’t slept well this week. Despite that, overall I’m still feeling far more alert during the day than I have in a long time (also likely related to my thyroid hopefully coming back into range).

I’ve been using the small size of the nasal mask they gave me and have had zero problems with leaks until last night. Last night I suddenly couldn’t wear it even just lying still with a pressure of 5.0 without it leaking. I couldn’t fix it no matter how I adjusted it, so I switched to the extra small size, and that worked. Not sure what the problem was, but I may try the small size again tonight. My nose was sore and felt a bit swollen yesterday, and today my nose and throat are sore. I will turn up the humidity another notch tonight in case that’s the cause. I have a follow-up appointment with the CPAP people tomorrow, so can discuss it with them.



I am not diabetic. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea from a home sleep study I did in August of this year. (I’ve heard that if there’s a high suspicion of OSA they will send you home with a sleep study.) Suffice it to say, I was shocked. I went to see a respiratory therapist/pulmonolgist in the first place bc for about 2 years or so, I occasionally wake up gasping for air and or choking on saliva. Other symptoms like frequent urination during the night were also clues. I was hoping it was just GERD, but no. So now I am on an automatic pap with a ‘wisp,’ nasal mask. It took about 2 weeks to get used to the rush of air pressure, and I’m still getting used to the hose. I average about 7-8 hours with it a night. It only works if you use it! Having said that, I remain - well, I’m not sure if skeptical is the correct word or not, but always desiring much more information and explanation. I mean, what is causing the OSA in my particular case? My BMI is 20-21, and I tend to think I’m otherwise in good health. So, I will probably do some pulmonary function tests and possibly see an ENT. Through all this, I am a bit mystified about who exactly is coordinating my healthcare now that there’s a new “team.” Anyway, I look forward to reading all of the messages.

ETA: I do the sleepmapper web site, which allows me to see some key data about how I am doing at night. It apparently came with the machine (Philips Respironics) or service.


I had a follow-up appointment with the CPAP people today. She said I’m doing really well. The machine’s pressure settings didn’t need adjusting and are working really well for me so far.

When I mentioned to her that two of the four mornings so far I’ve woken up with asthma symptoms, she asked if my asthma was triggered by cold, and I said yes. She gave me tubing that heats up to make the air warmer. I didn’t even consider the constant flow of cool air as a possible trigger, but it makes sense.

I also told her that my nose is getting some sore areas. I can’t tell what exactly is causing it. She said to make sure the mask isn’t too tight, and if it’s still sore next week, she will give me a different type of mask to try.

I see them again in a week, but she said to call sooner if I have any major issues.

I definitely seem to be getting much better care and follow-up than what I’ve been reading about!


@Jen that’s wonderful! I’m so glad it is working out for you! :slight_smile:


@Jen I too had a period right after I got my machine where I tried many masks to find one that worked well for me. I have since migrated from the original mask that I seriously like to two others. Currently I use a ResMed AirTouch F20. Love it


I’m really interested in having a full face mask as a backup because I have year-round allergies. My allergies happen to be really well controlled right now, so the nose mask is working as far as that goes (I’m using a ResMed AirFit P10). Last night for the first time one of my nostrils got blocked and the machine shot the pressure up to 14.9 (which is as high as it can go with my settings). I was just starting to doze off and the pressure change woke me up. So if that is how it responds to my nose being partially blocked, not to mention if it were fully blocked and I couldn’t breathe, I definitely want a mask that avoids that. In last night’s case, I got up and blew my nose really hard several times to get rid of the gunk (sorry, not to be TMI!) and things were fine after that.

The lady I’ve been working with was not keen on the idea of jumping to a full face mask (I asked her if I could try that if this mask keeps hurting my nose). I had told her about my allergies the first appointment but she thought I should try out the mask I’m using right now first. She started listing off all the issues people have with them (leaks, too heavy, too hot…). I asked her if some people have two masks that they switch between as needed, and she said some do. If she won’t let me try one during this trial period, I’ll just wait till I have my own machine and buy one.


Jen, I had the same problem, but really - give it time. You get used to the pressure changes. Also, some say there’s a big connection between asthma and OSA. Also, with time, you may find you need fewer and fewer pressure changes.


Heh, you are right, I’m just thinking ahead here. So far things have been going very well and it’s been a fairly easy transition. The falling-asleep issues is probably my biggest complaint, and it’s not a very big complaint. :slight_smile: I think the fact that I’m already used to sleeping with devices attached to me (insulin pump and CGM) helps a bit. For once, a possible advantage to having diabetes!

My allergies have hugely impacted all areas of my life (they are not your standard mild spring hayfever), so these days I try to head off problems if I know they’re likely to crop up. The asthma issues were unexpected, as my asthma doesn’t often act up. But the heated tubing last night did seem to help quite a bit. No wheezing or lung irritation this morning.


That’s great to hear, Jen. We seem to have gotten a diagnosis around the same time. I still have a lot of questions on mine, and my preliminary sense is that this will improve in time.


Oh, you are super new as well, then? I’ve only been using the CPAP for five days so far. Today’s adventure will be travelling with it!

I joined the Apnea Board @El_Ver and others mentioned and have started to post there. So far I don’t have any super detailed questions as I’ve had such good success so far, but it’ll be a really good resource.

Hope you are having success with your treatment.


HI @Jen. I have been using a CPAP for ~15 years now. I get less than 2 hours/night of sleep without it. With the CPAP, I have learned to sleep almost 6 hours continuously which has improved my life immeasurably. My CPAP has traveled everywhere with me, which makes my spouse very very happy (less snoring).


@Jen I have 9 months a year allergies, and for half of that time I am a mouthbreather only. A full face mask is the only thing that makes sense for me, as I can not guarantee that my nose will be clear. Add to that the general disdain of chin straps and my choices were narrowed down considerably. I am assuming the sleep clinic you went too is pushing smaller masks to help ensure patient compliance - that you will continue to use the CPAP/APAP after the initial novelty has worn off.

There are many great masks available, one for everyone. I wanted a face mask that allowed me to wear my glasses so I could read in bed, didn’t have a forehead attachment, and was super comfortable. I wore the Quattro FX for years until the Airtouch F20 came out. I have also worn masks from other manufacturers, but they are sitting in a closet unused.

I generally buy my masks on EBay or Amazon. As long as the entire mask, headgear combo is not sold together as one unit, you don’t need an Rx. Many vendors will sell the mask and headgear but not the attachment clips so they get around the Rx isssue. If you add the clips as a separate invoice item, it will all arrive together and big brother’s law has been obeyed. Filters, replacement hoses and such are easily obtained on Amazon for whichever machine you have.

Hope you have a great night’s sleep!


@El_Ver, your allergies sound like mine. I happen to be in the three months of the year where my allergies are controlled with medication. The other nine months they’re much worse, and I can’t take much extra medication since I’m already on it all.


@Jen I sometimes do a hot mist to help clear my nasal passages before bed. Once the mask is on, it’s only warm distilled water, so I don’t get too clogged up. I find this helps during the worst of my season


Do you have a particular product you use for this?


I make a pot of tea, lean close to it and put a towel over my head for several moments. You can feel things loosen up so you can evacuate your nose. A steamy shower works too.