5 Common CPAP Issues and Solutions!

Having been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you are probably hopeful since you know something can be done to help you feel better, and what’s even more settling is that this method is non-surgical.  Now, how to tackle becoming accustomed to CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy?  There are several common challenges one may go through when first beginning therapy for sleep apnea, but these challenges can also easily be met and conquered.  Here are some tips:

1)      Are you having trouble getting used to the new device?  One thing you can do is actually wear it at times when you can sit comfortably while you are awake.  Maybe you like to read or watch TV before you settle in for the night.  Doing so while you wear your CPAP mask can help you get used to the machine.

2)      Do you feel claustrophobic?  Did you know there are other masks that may work for you?  Nasal masks, hybrid masks and nasal pillows are all smaller and less invasive than a full face mask.  If you are within the period of time allotted by your healthcare provider, you may be able to switch masks and try a smaller one.

3)      Is CPAP therapy causing your throat to be dry?  This phenomenon is common in the colder, drier months, but it can happen any time of year.  This is where your humidifier saves the day (or night).   Know that your humidifier can be adjusted to make up for the moisture that is not in the air of your bedroom.  Adjusting to increase moisture can quickly improve your comfort, but remember to adjust one measure at a time.  Turning up your humidifier too much can cause condensation to build in the tubing and possibly reach into your CPAP mask.

4)      Are you having a hard time falling asleep?  Did you know there is a feature on your CPAP machine called, “ramp?”  This feature allows your machine to gradually get to your set air pressure over a period of 20 minutes or so.  It helps let your body adjust instead of air being forced at you from the moment you turn on the machine.

5)      Are you experiencing skin irritation?  From time to time, your skin may react to the materials your CPAP mask is made of, usually silicone.  If this is the case, you can purchase mask cleansers that will promote healthier skin, as well as products made for you to apply before you wear your mask at night.  Look into the products we offer at!

It is normal and very common to experience challenges when you begin CPAP therapy, but the most important thing to remember is that you are doing the right thing by treating your sleep apnea, for yourself and those that love you!

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