When you suffer from sleep apnea, a CPAP machine may help you to sleep without the disturbance of the airway obstructions. Using a CPAP machine when you sleep can require some adjustment, however, particularly when it comes to comfort with the mask. Here are some of the most common issues associated with CPAP equipment and ways to deal with them.
Poorly Fitting CPAP Mask
The masks designed for the CPAP machine come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If the mask supplied with your machine is uncomfortable, talk to your doctor about trying a different size or style. Sometimes, switching from a full-face mask to a nasal pillow mask can make a difference. Since the nasal pillow mask only has straps at the bottom of the mask, it is often more comfortable for sleeping in, especially if you are claustrophobic.
Difficulty Adjusting to Forced Air
Sometimes, the feeling of the forced air can be overwhelming and may be uncomfortable. If you're struggling with the feeling of the air, talk to your doctor about the possibility of setting your CPAP on the ramp setting, which allows you to start out with low pressure and gradually increase as you adapt each night.
If the ramp setting isn't enough to ease your discomfort, talk to your doctor about switching your CPAP to a device that will actually provide you with varied pressure throughout the night. These machines, called BiPAP devices, provide more pressure in response to your inhale and less pressure in response to an exhale.
The constant air flow through the CPAP device can dry out your nasal passages. If you find that your nose is becoming dry and uncomfortable, ask your doctor about changing your CPAP to a machine that has an integrated warm-air humidifier. This can add some moisture to your nasal passages throughout the night. You may even find some improvement by using a saline spray at night before you go to bed and again in the morning.
The CPAP device can have a significant effect on how restfully you sleep, but it isn't without some adjustment. Work with your doctor and the CPAP supplier, such as Corner Medical, to find the right combination of the mask and air pressure that will work best when you sleep, and the experience will be more positive. Don't give up on the machine just because you're feeling uncomfortable. With the tips presented here, you can combat some of the most common sources of CPAP discomfort.Share
11 November 2014
My name is Katie Langer. For a long time, I was bed ridden and I felt like I had no control over my life. I simply went along with what was instructed by my doctor and I didn't ask questions. It wasn't that my doctor wasn't willing to work with me, but I preferred to simply not think about the illness I was suffering from. I didn't realize that some of the symptoms I was suffering from were side effects of my medication and were not normal. After communicating more with my doctor, I was able to alleviate my symptoms. Since then, I've taken an interest in patient-doctor relationships and how to improve them.