The most common hurdles that come with using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device is finding one that can be comfortably worn all night. For most patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), wearing the mask regularly for treating their disorder can be daunting, sometimes intolerable.
As the most successful treatment for sleep apnea, you should choose one that will work best for you. If you’re currently on the lookout for brands or are considering the use of CPAP for your sleep apnea, then it’s worth knowing the most common issues faced by most users and how to solve them.
First things first. The first measure towards alleviating the issues from CPAP use (or avoid it altogether) is by purchasing the proven and trusted brand names like Fisher and Paykel CPAP. You should also ask for your doctor’s suggestion before purchasing one that you found online or in the mall. This way, you’ll find that CPAP use is not as hard as it may look.
CPAP Issue 1: Feeling of claustrophobia. This is the most frequent complaint against CPAP masks. Having a mask on your face puffing a steady stream of air into the airways can be uncomfortable and take some time getting used to. Here’s how you deal with it.
- Try using nasal pillow masks. These special pillows are smaller and lighter than other types of masks and as such, it minimizes the amount of weight and material on your face. It works by forming a seal at your nostril’s base that pump air into the nose through prongs, which makes breathing more natural and comfortable without the confined feeling.
- Always find the right fit and style when testing different mask types. Try holding the mask up to your face without putting the head straps while the air blows. Once you’re accustomed to the air pressure and feel comfortable with the mask, try strapping the headgear to see how it feels.
- Try wearing the mask disconnected around the house. Walk around, do chores, and activities, or watch television. This method lets you take your mind off of wearing your mask.
CPAP Issue 2: mask allergy. If your CPAP mask is causing an allergic reaction, then stop wearing it and consult your physician immediately. This reaction usually occurs the same night you wear it. Also, infrequent cleaning of the mask may cause it, so be sure to clean it frequently.
Most types of CPAP on the market today are made from silicone or gel material. Almost are all latex free as well.
CPAP Issue 3: Tolerating forced air. If you’re finding it hard to tolerate the forced air that comes with CPAP, then you may try using the “ramp” feature on your machine. This allows you to start with a low air pressure that gradually increases and sets itself to the pressure that your doctor prescribed. This can be adjusted as well based on your doctor’s suggestion and your comfort level.
The “ramp” feature is available on most modern CPAP machines like Fisher and Paykel CPAP. Check it out.
CPAP Issue 4: Dry mouth or throat. CPAP may worsen dry mouth, especially if you breathe through your mouth at night or sleep with your mouth open. You may use a snoring chin strap to alleviate dry mouth/throat that can come when adjusting to the use of CPAP. Also, you may keep adjusting your mask for the right fit.
There you have it! Most common issues of CPAP solved! What other issues do you have while using CPAP? Share it with us in the comments below!