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How Does Resmed AirSense 10 Treat Sleep Apnea?
Life and Style Daily
June 30, 2021
12 min

Do you know that undiagnosed and uncontrolled sleep apnea is detrimental to your heart and overall health? If left untreated, it increases the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular health. It can cause life-shortening and serious consequences like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression, and other illnesses. The scary part? You don’t even know that you have it.

Sleep apnea is considered a common sleeping disorder among men and women. Men and obese people are more prone to sleep apnea. However, the prevalence of sleep apnea usually increases after the menopausal stage. And while it affects about 20% of overweight people, 3% of normal-weight people have sleep apnea, including children.

Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and managed. It is important to have a definitive diagnosis to prevent severe complications and long-term health consequences. Your doctor will evaluate your sleep apnea condition based on the signs and symptoms, laboratory tests, and physical examination. He will measure your waist and neck circumference, get your blood pressure, and check any abnormalities in your mouth, nose, and back of the throat.

If the doctor finds some complicated issues, he will refer you to a sleep specialist for further evaluation and diagnosis. It is necessary to determine the root causes and the severity of the condition before the treatment.

Sleep Apnea Treatment: Pressure Devices

Treating sleep apnea requires individualization or a personal treatment plan to ward off the symptoms. Specialized machines and devices can be used to alleviate the recurring symptoms of mild to severe sleep apnea. Most doctors recommend CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure as the first-line treatment for patients with sleep apnea and significant symptoms.

Positive airway pressure machines blow air into the airways with the help of breathing masks. It is an excellent choice for patients with moderate and severe conditions. The steady stream of air keeps the airways open, prevents snoring, and helps them enjoy better sleep. Regular use of CPAP eliminates sleepiness during the day, helps in regulating blood pressure, lowering blood glucose, and reducing the risk of a heart attack.

If your doctor’s prescription is using a CPAP, your next step is to find the best equipment in the market. One of the most popular and highly recommended CPAP machines is ResMed Airsense 10.

What Is ResMed AirSense?

ResMed is hailed as a leader in the industry when it comes to sleep therapy. It has a range of continuous positive airway pressure devices and accessories for sleep apnea treatment. Its ResMed AirSense 10 Series sets the gold standard in CPAP by offering advanced features, smart technology, and new algorithms.

AirSense CPAP is designed for hospital, institutional environment, or home therapy treatment use. It is one of the highly recommended and widely used machines because of its ability to deliver optimum pressurized air while the patients sleep.

Upon your purchase, you get the following:

  • Device (with or without humidifier)
  • Power supply unit
  • Air tubing
  • SD card (available to some devices only)
  • Accessories
  • Heated and non-heated air tubing (ClimateLineAir Oxy, ClimateLineAir, SlimLine, or Standard)
  • Filter (Standard or hypoallergenic)
  • SD card reader
  • Side cover
  • Air 10 tubing elbow
  • Air 10 oximeter adapter
  • Air 10 DC/DC converter
  • Power Station II

Getting Familiar With ResMed AirSense 10

To ensure proper usage and optimize the benefits of this device, you must familiarize yourself with the control panel. Here they are:

  • Start/Stop button - Press to begin or stop your therapy. If you want a power save mode, press and hold the button for about 3 seconds.

  • Home button - Press this button to get back to the device’s Home screen after navigating.

  • Dial - Turn the dial to navigate the menu, then press gently when choosing an option. Turn it to adjust the preferred choice and then press to save the change.

  • Icons - During different times, you may encounter the icons that indicate the Ramp Time, Ramp Time Auto, Humidity, Humidifier Cooling, Humidifier Warming, Wireless signal strength (green), Wireless transfer not enabled (gray), No wireless connection, and Airplane mode.

How Does ResMed AirSense Work?

Here’s how it works:

  • The ResMed AirSense 10 pushes the air to the mask via the tubing.
  • The mask, which includes frame, cushion, and headgear, lets the air enter the airway.
  • The built-in humidifier in the machine adds moisture to the pressurized air.
  • The filters keep the allergens away from the airflow.
  • The 90-watt power supply unit provides continuous power.

AirSense 10 has two primary modes — CPAP mode and AutoSet mode. In a CPAP mode, the patient receives a fixed pressure with EPR (Expiratory Pressure Relief) option.

In AutoSet mode, the device delivers the necessary amount of pressure to sustain the patency of the upper airway. The needed pressure varies because of the changes in airway resistance, body position while sleeping, and sleep state. The AutoSet Algorithm of the unit automatically adjusts after analyzing the upper airway of the user or on a breath-to-breath basis.

  • During normal breathing, the device displays the inspiratory flow as a rounded curve for every breath.
  • When there is a flow limitation, AirSense 10 will sense the gradual collapse of the upper airway and show a partially flattened inspiratory flow-time.
  • When the patient snore, the device will detect the vibrations on the upper airway walls and the partial obstruction of airflow limitation. It displays superimposed inspiratory flow-time curves.

AutoSet mode is ideal for both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

  • During obstructive apnea, the patient’s upper airway can be completely obstructed or severely limited, causing a limited supply of oxygen. The AutoSet mode prevents it from happening by delivering enough pressure in response to flow limitation or snoring.

Key Features of the ResMed AirSense 10

All models of the AirSense 10 Series have these standard features to ensure comfortable therapy sessions. Here are the following:

  • Ramp — It makes the start of apnea treatment more comfortable, especially for new patients. In CPAP mode, the Start pressure is minimal then gradually increased to meet the prescribed pressure. In AutoSet for Her and AutoSet modes, the ramp is the period where the comfortable start pressure is set before the commencement of the auto-adjusting algorithm. It can be set to Auto, 5 to 45 minutes, or Off. When there is no sleep onset detection, the target pressure of the device will be reached within 30 minutes.

  • AutoRamp - The AutoRamp component has a sleep onset detection capability. It initially provides low airflow pressure to induce drowsiness. Then ramps up steadily to sustain the minimum treatment pressure that patients need while sleeping. It provides a minimum pressure at 1 cm H2O (1hPa) per minute.

  • Expiratory pressure relief (EPR) - EPR reduces the delivered pressure when you exhale and sustains the optimal mask pressure when you inhale. When it is enabled, the pressure will not drop below 4cm H2O regardless of your settings. You have the option to set the EPR Ramp Only (during ramp time) or Full Time (during the whole session of treatment).

  • Built-in humidifier - It provides consistent humidification with the help of advanced HumidAir technology. The humidifier helps in relieving congestion and dryness of the mouth or nose of patients by moistening the air. This heated tubing in the humidifier helps users sleep better and wake up more refreshed. You can set the level of humidity between 1 and 8 or turn it off when not needed. When there is a formation of moisture in the mask, turn down the humidity. If you are getting a dry mouth or nose while in therapy, turn up the level of humidity. In every humidifier setting, the device’s Climate Control system works to deliver absolute humidity (AH) or the required amount of water vapor to the upper airway.

  • Climate Control — This feature is available in Manual or Auto mode. It controls the attached humidifier as well as the ClimateLineAir heated tubing to keep the temperature constant and comfortable for the user. It also delivers the right humidity level during the duration of the therapy. The Climate Control algorithm controls both the ClimateLineAir heated air tubing and humidifier.

  • Climate Control Auto - This smart system makes the therapy more convenient by maintaining the relative humidity and the set temperature. Simply set the recommended settings for your sleep apnea condition, and the Climate Control Auto feature will adjust the output to sustain the humidity level of 85%. It also prevents rainout or water droplets in the mask and tubing. The automatic adjustment delivers a constant output of temperature and humidity whenever there is a change in the humidity values, ambient room temperature, flow due to mouth or mask leak, and flow due to the changes in supplied pressure.

  • Tube temperature — You can set the temperature anywhere between 16 to 30 °C. The mask has a temperature sensor at the end of the heated air tubing of ClimateLineAir, enabling the machine to deliver the right amount of heat or coolness. It prevents the temperature from dropping below the minimum requirement and keeps the patient breathing comfortably.

  • Intuitive interface - Its intuitive interface and user-friendly control system provide ease when navigating the menus or customizing the comfort settings. Just plug it and press “Start” to check your therapy data every morning.

  • AirView - This feature allows remote access to your device settings, nightly sleep data, or do some troubleshooting.

  • Ambient light sensor - The ambient light sensor of the front-facing colored LCD screen automatically adjusts its brightness based on the room’s illumination and turns off after several minutes when not in use.

  • SmartStart - SmartStart feature lets you start your night therapy by simply breathing in instead of pressing the ‘START’ button.

  • Cellular connectivity to connect with MyAir - This built-in cellular technology allows the users to access MyAir, the proprietary app and online support program of ResMed that sends data to your smartphone or computer device. The data includes the quality of your last night’s sleep as well as personalized encouragement and coaching tips to keep you on the right track.

ResMed AirSense 10 Series Models

AirSense 10 Series comes in three models to suit your treatment needs and preferences. The purchase of this machine requires a doctor’s prescription as per the regulation of the FDA.

AirSense 10 AutoSet

This premium model is an auto-adjusting pressure device with advanced event detection ability, cellular connectivity, and built-in humidification for comfortable therapy sessions. It hosts an array of standard and breakthrough features such as:

Advanced event detection

This revolutionary device can detect the difference between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). It uses Forced Oscillation Technique to detect whether the airway is open or closed during CSA, immediately adjusting the air pressure to the current pressure of the device.

It can also detect the key indicators of Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR), a type of sleep-disordered breathing characterized by waxing and waning periods. People with CSR display hypopneas (a waxing period that typically lasts 40 seconds) and apneas (a waning period that lasts about 20 seconds). This disorder causes blood oxygen desaturation.

AutoSet algorithm

This clinically proven algorithm is the result of 25 years of sleep therapy studies. It works by automatically adjusting the treatment pressure to sustain the amount of air necessary to prevent sleep apnea, snoring, and inspiratory flow limitation. In addition, the AutoSet algorithm analyses the patient’s upper airway condition based on his breathing before delivering the right amount of pressure.

AutoSet Response Mode

This feature allows the user to personalize the therapy by setting the pressure in Soft or Standard mode. In Soft Mode, you get gentler pressure that adapts to the changes during the therapy. Standard mode provides low pressure at first, then increases it depending on the needs of the patient. It is perfect for patients who are sensitive to rapid and sudden increases in air pressure.

Easy-Breathe motor

It has a quiet and efficient Easy-Breathe motor that keeps the environment peaceful and conducive to sleeping. It uses 26 decibels, which is similar to a very soft whisper sound that is ideal for light sleepers.

Standard features

AutoRamp with sleep onset detection, SmartStart, AirView, Expiratory pressure relief (EPR), intuitive user interface, and built-in humidifier

AirSense 10 AutoSet for Her

This “For Her” Autoset has all the standard features of AirSense 10 AutoSet more. Instead of a blue menu, this feminine device has a pink one. Using the power button to access the data, you will instantly get a detailed on-screen report of your past and recent therapy sessions. It delivers a breakdown of how many events you had per hour, the length of last night’s usage, if the humidifier works well, and if the mask seal is good. Also, you can access your monthly, quarterly, or six-month statistics,

It is equipped with a ‘female’ algorithm based on the concept that females have a higher sensitivity to spikes and dips of pressure in a CPAP machine. This machine uses single-breath indices to respond quickly with a smoother, less aggressive pressure spike. The pioneering gender-specific algorithm optimizes the therapeutic responses by tailoring them to resolve the airflow-limited events.

It works like AutoSet algorithms, but with certain modifications such as:

  • Treatment for apnea is up to 12 cm H2O (12hPa) with continuous response to keep the airway open
  • Minimum pressure that adjusts to the apnea’s frequency
  • Snore treatment is up to 20 cm H2O (20hPa)
  • Slower pressure decays
  • Reduced level of pressure increments to prevent arousals

AirSense 10 Elite

This advanced fixed-pressure device for patients with sleep apnea also comes with a built-in humidifier. Its design and features are made more intuitive for convenient and hassle-free use of patients. ResMed 10 Elite does not have complicated settings or menus. All it takes to start working is plug it in and press ‘On.”

This high-end device can easily detect indications of Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR) and central sleep apnea (CSA). It is crucial to identify what kind of sleep breathing disorder the patient has because it helps the doctor provide the right therapy. It also features all the standard components of AirSense 10 CPAP.

How to Set parameters of Therapy in ResMed Airsense 10?

It is essential to configure the device setting to set the parameters of the user’s therapy session and ensure optimal results. A periodic reassessment of the settings is also a must-do to measure and review the progress of the treatment.

When setting the range of parameters in the ResMed AirSense 10 menu, you need to express them in cm H20. One cm H2O equates to 0.98 hPa. The parameters include the following:

  • Therapy — mode, minimum pressure, maximum pressure, set pressure, type of mask
  • Comfort — response (rate of pressure), ramp time (for Auto mode), start pressure, EPR, EPR type, EPR, level, climate control, tube temperature, and humidity level.
  • Accessories- the type of tube, AB filter, view oximeter
  • Options — level of access of the user, SmartStart, reminders (when to replace the mask, humidifier, tube, or filter)
  • Configuration — display language, current date, current time, the displayed unit of pressure, temperature units, restore defaults, erase data, and others

After every therapy session, AirSense 10 will give you a Sleep Report. It contains a summary of the parameters of the chosen therapy mode. To view, turn the dial of the device to scroll down the data.

The Sleep Report will display the following parameters:

  • Usage hours — the number of hours you use the device
  • Events (AHI) per hour- the sleep apnea occurrences are measured per hour during the entire session
  • Humidifier — a happy smiley emoticon when it is attached and functional; a sad emoticon when the humidifier needs troubleshooting
  • Mask seal — a smiling emoticon is an indication that the mask works well or when the 70th percentile leak is below 24L/min; a sad emoticon indicates that the mark requires adjustment

How Safe Is ResMed Airsense 10?

ResMed Airsense is generally safe to use. It is designed to keep patients comfortable by delivering the lowest pressure necessary to treat sleep apnea. It is perfect for new patients who want a hassle-free device during their therapy. AirSense 10 CPAP is ideal for allergy sufferers, light sleepers, or those who want a machine with app integration technology.

However, it is important to note that CPAP can cause contraindications for people with pre-existing health conditions such as:

  • pathologically low blood pressure
  • Pneumothorax
  • a severe case of bullous lung disease
  • cerebrospinal fluid leak, trauma, or recent cranial surgery
  • dehydration

It is also crucial to tell your prescribing doctor if you experience increased breathlessness, severe headache, or chest pain. If you have an acute upper respiratory tract infection, it is also necessary to stop the treatment.

Here are some of the side effects that you may encounter during the therapy using this device:

  • eye irritation
  • bloating
  • dryness of the mouth, throat, or nose
  • skin rashes
  • sinus or ear discomfort
  • nosebleed

How do You Clean and Maintain the ResMed AirSense 10?

To enjoy an optimal treatment, it is necessary to keep the device and its accessories in good working and hygienic conditions. This is to avoid the growth of germs that can cause adverse effects on the patient’s health.

  • Clean the mask according to the instructions in the user manual.
  • Wash the air tubing and the humidifier using warm water and mild detergent.
  • Rinse them both thoroughly and air dry. Do not expose the humidifier and tubing to direct heat or sunlight.
  • Use a dry cloth to wipe the exterior part of the device.

When Is the Right Time to Replace Your ResMed AirSense 10?

It is recommended to get a new CPAP machine after five years of usage. Even if your device is not defective, getting a new one will allow you to enjoy the latest technology and comfort features.


Your choice of treatment for sleep apnea will help you live a better and healthy life. CPAP like ResMed AirSense 10 can help a lot in mitigating the symptoms and treating your condition. And while using it for therapy, continue your commitment to lifestyle change.

Some important lifestyle changes include avoiding tobacco and alcohol, a good diet, getting proper sleep, minimizing stress, and maintaining an appropriate weight.

Obesity can narrow nasal passages and worsen airway obstruction. Studies have shown that weight loss reduces the risk of sleep apnea and, in some cases, may even eliminate it. Thus, maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes hand and hand with treating your sleep apnea.

Want to try learn more about your sleep apnea? Read ”Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured?” to learn more.


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