Receiving Low CPAP Air Pressure

by Lou Polcari

In this article you'll learn what can you do if you feel the CPAP pressure is too low, affecting your sleep:

I have been using the CPap for almost 10 years and recently, I have been having trouble getting a breath through it at the start of my sleep but, by morning its doing ok.. it feels as if it is not strong enough.

I use a mask that is over my nose.

The problem is getting bad, and sometimes it wakes me up as I am trying to fall asleep and I have to breath through my mouth.

I would like to fix it any ideas?


Do you have a ramp feature on your CPAP machine? It's possible that your ramp feature may be turned on.

What was your titrated pressure? If you don't know, you should call the sleep clinic and ask for a copy of the FULL report (not just the summary).

While you are waiting for that full report, be sure to ask what pressure your machine is supposed to be set for.

My guess is that the machine is not correctly set and that the ramp setting may be your problem.

This is a comfort feature and you should be able to change the settings (raise the ramp's starting pressure to a pressure closer to your titrated pressure), reduce the ramp time, or turn it off all together.

The ramp is intended to work under the theory that it's hard to get to sleep with full pressure blasting in your face, but most people quickly get used to the pressure and feel like they are suffocating if the ramp is set too low - it becomes a discomfort feature instead.

So, if you can change the ramp settings, you should either turn it off or up and/or shorten the time. If you are locked out of the ramp settings, call your DME for help.

You should also be calling your sleep doctor and telling them that you are NOT sleeping well at all with your CPAP.

Don't let them tell you to "just keep using the machine" - you need to be seen with your machine (so they can check the settings, and efficacy data if there is any) and probably adjustments need to be made.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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