How Often Should a Sleep Study Be Done to Check CPAP Machine Pressure?
Apnea events occur at different intervals and levels of severity for every person with OSA. Throughout their lives, CPAP machine users will need to have follow-up titration conducted during their sleep study in order to make adjustments. This is the process of checking and adjusting the air pressure for the patient to ensure that it is optimized to eliminate the apneic events during the night. The time intervals between these pressure adjustments depend on the patient and their circumstances.
Most physicians prefer that their OSA patients have the pressure settings for their CPAP machine checked annually or semi-annually. This is to make sure there are no returning symptoms of sleep apnea. On the other hand, some OSA patients may begin to experience snoring, nighttime awakenings, or daytime headaches. They may also feel sleepy or fatigued and are likely in need of adjustments to their individual pressure settings.
The amount of pressure change needed may not manifest itself in the most obvious ways as those listed earlier. It may be more subtle such as an increased inability to concentrate or lapses in memory. You may also feel increased moodiness or have bouts of depression. All of these symptoms should dissipate with proper CPAP machine settings and compliance. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a copy of your sleep study report, titration, and specific symptoms that you encounter before and after therapy. This is a way to track treatment and progress over the lifetime of therapy.
Patients with other conditions such as hypertension, or those having suffered heart attacks or strokes, will require closer monitoring. These conditions can affect their CPAP therapy and require a resetting of pressure. A simple machine pressure change can be the only thing keeping an OSA patient healthy and free of the risk of another heart attack or stroke. Patients that have gained or lost considerable weight may need to have their pressure settings adjusted as well.
While auto-titrating CPAP machines provide data streams that indicate any changes to apneic events, this does not ensure that readjustment is not necessary. Although some insurance providers and Medicaid will require monitoring by physicians for compliance purposes, physicians and sleep therapy specialists may or may not be receiving the downloadable data that can tell them if the pressure is optimized and the CPAP therapy is at its most effective.
That is why every OSA patient must always use their CPAP machine every night for the entire night. They also need to be proactive about monitoring their symptoms and any changes. By staying vigilant and in regular communication with a physician, OSA patients can be sure that the pressure settings of their CPAP machine are working for them so that they can sleep well and stay healthy.
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