A frequent question of CPAP user’s is “What is AHI?”.
AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index) is the number of apneas and hypopneas a person has per every hour of sleep.
An Apnea is when a person stops breathing in his/her sleep for 10 seconds or longer.
An Hypopnea is when a person’s airflow is reduced by 30% or more for at least 10 seconds, coupled with a decrease in blood oxygen saturation.
Obstructive Apnea is caused by obstruction to airflow, whereas Central Apnea or Complex Sleep Apnea result from the brain failing to tell the body to breathe.
Most CPAP machines today will give the user a lot of information on a data card, such as AHI, Central Apneas, hours of use, and nights of use.
If your AHI has been stable over time, and all of a sudden you notice an increase, here are a few things to consider:
Have you made any changes in your sleep habits?
Have you made any changes with medication?
Have you increased alcohol intake?
Overall, how well are you sleeping?
These are a few things that may change your AHI. Other things that may also increase AHI are mask leaks, or having your mask come off during hours of sleep.
A rising AHI may also indicate that you need your machine checked for proper function, proper pressure setting or adjustment. Your equipment provider may be able to assist you in getting your machine checked out.
Whatever the reason for an increase in AHI, you should always consult with your doctor before making any changes.
If you would like to discuss your particular situation with rising AHI, or need assistance with your sleep equipment, please contact us at: