I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. I have been using a c-pap machine for 2 mos. At follow up month 1, there was concern about shallow breathing showing up. Now at month 2 follow up, the shallow breathing episodes are worse. They want to monitor me for 1 more month, and if it shows that I am still struggeling with shallow breathing, they will send me home with something to hook me up to monitor my oxygen for 1 night. She also said that they may have to switch me from a c-pap machine to a bi-pap machine. What are some causes for shallow breathing?
Sometimes the seemingly shallow breathing is due to a cpap machine's manner of exhalation relief (sometimes called EPR or c-flex). The different brands are designed to handle it differently. If the pressure drops to allow one to exhale easier, some brands kick the high pressure back in faster than others, resulting in feeling like the breaths are short and shallow. There are machines with a-flex, meaning it auto adjusts to your exhalations needs. A bilevel allows setting the pressure and timing of inhale and exhale and the time in between.
Keep communicating closely with your doctor and work thru this till it is working well for you. I too breathe shallowly but it doesn't affect my oxygen level. I think most of us breath more shallowly once we fall asleep anyhow, but it feels odd to do so while still awake. The oxygen monitor is a good way to be sure.
I have sleep apnea and a cpap since last dec with pressure at 9 lbs. I shallow breath too. the first machine was a regular cpap and felt like I stuck my head out of fast moving train to breath. Awful! After a lot of complaining my doctor in march repeated the sleep test and changed me to a c-flex with 8 lbs pressure. A c-flex lowers pressure during the out-breath. Not bad but still having problems with shallow breathing and bad sleeps. By july this year after more complaining and changing doctors a pulmonary doc changed me to auto-cpap (remstar auto M series with A-flex.) It was not delivered until the end of aug but that is too long a story for now. This is what cpap therapy should be. A machine that changes pressure during your sleep as you need it. I can sleep all night.
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