Sleep Apnea

Things you need to know about high-pressure setting in a CPAP machine

Things to Consider Before Buying CPAP Machines (8)

Things you need to know about high-pressure setting in a CPAP machine

Are you suffering from severe sleep apnea? Then your sleep specialist is going to prescribe you the high-pressure setting based on your condition. However, finding the right pressure range is the most vital concern for most of the patients, as the effectiveness of the therapy is highly dependent on the pressure range.

Though the high-pressure range is mostly recommended for severe suffers, in case the pressure goes too high in your CPAP machine, then it can cause much irritation to you. Thus, here is what you need to know about the CPAP machines.

What is the average range of pressure for sleep apnea treatment?

As you first begin your CPAP treatment, your specialist is going to go through the titration process to decide the right pressure range for you. The average machine range comes with an auto-adjust process. It can be set between 4-20 centimeters of water. Usually, the measuring unit for this is CmH2O which denotes the centimeter of water pressure.

One CmH2O amount refers to the air pressure which is needed to be raised by one column in the water with one centimeter. The most common kind of CPAP machines come with a pressure level of 10 CmH2O. The average pressure level for obstructive sleep apnea ranges up to 6 to15 cmH2O.

The highest pressure which is available in most of the sleep apnea CPAP machines depends on the model you are picking. Most of the models from various brands usually come with the maximum setting of 20 cmH2O.

How do you know that your CPAP pressure range needs to be reset?

When it comes to an understanding the right range of pressure for you, it is all about knowing your comfort level. The CPAP device needs to be adjusted after a few times as per your requirement and suitability.

If you are feeling tired even after taking complete hours of sleep, then it means your quality of sleep is not much good. Also, if your health condition is deteriorating, then it can be a sign that you are not receiving the proper treatment.

Also, you can feel that you need a bit of adjustment if you feel that the pressure is still keeping you awake. This can be a common problem for those who are beginners with the therapy.

In case the pressure is set to a certain cmH2O level, and it is waking you, then it is time to recheck and readjust your pressure setting. As soon as you start feeling uncomfortable due to the pressure range, then you need to opt for another titrate so that you can know your new pressure range.

Is there any kind of side effect that you can feel due to high CPAP pressure?

Getting the proper pressure level is very important for you. If you want to get a proper level of comfort, then you need to keep the airway open for better safety. However, the side effects also come with high pressure. Here are the side affects you can get:

  • Drying out of throat and mouth, even if you use humidification for your machine
  • Your mask can start leaking due to the high-pressure range.
  • You can experience the Apnea-Hypopnea index, which is above the normal five events for each hour.
  • You can feel tired or fatigued throughout the day.
  • You can experience Aerophagia, which makes you swallow air that passes to your stomach and causes stomach ache, bloating, gas, burping, etc.

How do you adjust the pressure?

If you are feeling the need to change your CPAP machine pressure, make sure you are not doing it on your own. You need to ask your doctor before you take any step. Also, you can opt for a titration study to know the right pressure level for you.

Also, ask your doctor if you can switch to the auto-adjusting setting or not. The automatic adjustment helps you to reduce too much high pressure, which is comfortable.


While receiving the CPAP therapy, you need to ensure that your machine is working properly so that you can have the proper treatment. If you are feeling uncomfortable, you can also look for a CPAP pressure relief setting or EPR, which lets you adjust three different comfort setting levels. Also, make sure you are picking the right machine which offers you the proper amount of therapy.

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