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Welcome to the clinic
You have been diagnosed with a condition called sleep apnoea. We treat this with CPAP/APAP therapy.
CPAP is short for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
APAP is short for Automatic Positive Airway Pressure.
CPAP supplies one continuous pressure level flow of air that the patient must inhale and then exhale over. APAP automatically titrates (measures and adjusts) to meet each specific person’s breathing needs, which often change throughout the night as we move in and out of different stages of sleep.
These types of therapy involve a machine. This is then connected to a mask via a tube or hose, and the mask is worn by the patient to deliver the air produced by the machine while sleeping.
What happens during my first consultation?
At your first consultation with the Sleep Apnoea Nurse you will find out about:
- How to set up the machine
- Types of mask available
- Application of equipment
- Length of time to use treatment
- Benefits of using the equipment
What happens during my review appointment?
Four weeks after you are set up with your machine, you will have a review appointment.
At this appointment you will be required to bring in your machine. We will also monitor your usage remotely which we will discuss with yourself.
Hints and tips: How do I solve common mask issues?
Some people find that they have a vibrating sensation from their mask on their face. This could be due to the mask being too loose. When it has been tightened, please make sure you are still able to put two fingers under each strap, to make sure it isn’t too tight and to prevent marking.
Our faces can change shape slightly when lying down flat. Mask straps may require some adjustment to the tension to make sure you are comfortable and prevent the mask from moving.
If the mask leaks, this could be because it doesn’t fit properly. You can buy mask cushions online. Your beard or moustache may require trimming as this prevents a good seal.
You may require a further pillow to sleep on as you are aiming for your head to be at a 30 degree angle. Soreness to the bridge of the nose occurs when masks have been applied too tight. We can prevent this by requesting alternative masks such as Resmed F30 or Philips Respironics Dreamwear. We can also provide a product called a Gecko nasal pad. This is a gel-like pad that sits under the mask on the bridge of the nose and prevents soreness and leakage into eyes.
If you have an F&P Simplus mask, please make sure you remove the dark grey connector piece at the end of the elbow before attaching a new mask. Often these connector pieces are left behind which then makes new masks impossible to fit correctly to the hose.
Dryness to your mouth and throat can be resolved by using humidification and setting to desired temperature. Please note you may need to contact the Sleep Service to provide the water chamber for your device. This can be adjusted by yourself. Please be aware that ambient temperature can affect how much water is used. Some mornings you may find the chamber remains nearly full, and other mornings nearly empty or empty.
If you remove your mask overnight without knowing it, it may mean you subconsciously haven’t really accepted the mask or treatment. If the brain associates wearing the mask with enjoyment, the likelihood is it will be better during the night too. You could try wearing the mask for an hour before you go to bed, disconnected from the machine. Watch TV, listen to some music, have a bath etc. Aromatherapy scents can also be of benefit by associating good state of mind with wearing the mask.
How do I solve common machine issues?
It is important to maintain the hygiene and cleaning of the water chamber. If this is not completed daily it can lead to build up of lime scale and debris. This can be removed by soaking with white vinegar during the day. Please make sure that the vinegar is tipped away and the chamber rinsed thoroughly before using.
Filters must be changed on a 3 monthly basis as this can affect the flow of air drawn into your device.
Waking up overnight with high pressure is normal. This is where the APAP machine has detected limited airflow and has increased the pressure to open your airway up. Please use your ramp facility. This will drop the pressure and then build it up gradually over a period of time.
If you have a claustrophobic sensation at the start of treatment, this may be caused by the use of ramp being too low. You could try not using the ramp facility or make contact with the Sleep Service to increase this parameter.
Stomach bloating (Aerophagia) can be caused by high CPAP air pressure and you swallowing the air. If this happens we could trial lowering the CPAP pressure or by switching devices to APAP therapy.
How do I order spare parts of equipment?
You can leave a message regarding replacement equipment, queries on treatment on the Sleep Service answerphone which is attended to Monday to Friday. The number is 01273 523110 and your call will be returned at our earliest convenience.
When telephoning please leave:
- Your name, date of birth, and contact number so if there are any issues we can call you back.
- Product details, including the manufacturer’s name. For example: Resmed S10, Resmed S9, Fisher & Paykel Icon, Sleepstyle 200/600, Sleepstyle Auto or Philips Respironincs Dreamstation.
- Component required. For example, hose, water chamber, filters or mask – please be aware there are many different types of masks so please try to be specific. For example: Resmed F20, F30, Quattro Air or F&P Simplus, 405, 407, 431 or Philips Respironics Amara View, Dreamwear. Also include size and whether it is full face, nasal, nasal pillow system.
Please make a note of any questions you may have to bring to your next appointment.
Sleep Studies Clinic Staff
Dr Vanessa Kahr: Consultant 01273 696955
Dr Michael Bridgett: Consultant 01444 441881
Karen Ridgway: Sleep Apnoea Nurse Specialist 01273 523110
Lisa Cranmer: Respiratory Admin 01273 696955 Ext. 67867
This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
This information is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.