After the 4th night on CPAP, I awakened with a sharp pain in the middle of the right side of my chest. The pain progressed around my ribs and back, on the right side. There is pain on inhalation and when lying on my back and either side for that matter. I usually sleep on my side, but have been sleeping on my back on CPAP. I discontinued CPAP a week ago until I could have an xray, which came out normal,but pain still persists. I believe its related to diffulty breathing through the machine. I have nasal pillows and I have trouble with nasal congestion at night, but more so since CPAP. Im also having trouble getting used to exhaling against the machine. I have mixed connective tissue disease, joint pains and fatigue, in addition to the sleep apnea. I had a bout with bronchiolitis a couple of years ago that was difficult to resolve and pleurosy back in the fall after being around cigarette smoke. Is this pain from getting used to the CPAP? Is the CPAP causing a problem with the autoimmune disease? Any suggestions?
The sudden increase in pressure and your new sleep position probably aggravated something in your chest. There are pillows that allow you to sleep with CPAP on your side. Regarding difficulty exhaling, there are certain setting on your machine that can lower the pressure slightly during exhalation. Another option is a BiPAP machine. Talk to your sleep doctor about these options. People with autoimmune conditions are more prone to upper airway resistance syndrome, where the nervous system and the immune system is over-reactive. Using CPAP could be waking you up more that it helps with the sleep apnea.
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