When diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor will probably recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Although this treatment plan can make an individual sleep more soundly by limiting the chance of breathing disruptions throughout the night, it may cause some discomfort — especially in the beginning.
But if you refuse to use your CPAP machine due to discomfort, you may jeopardize your health! Untreated sleep apnea can lead to severe health problems, such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and more.
At ApneaMed, we want everyone to feel comfortable using their breathing equipment to treat sleep apnea. To help, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you get used to wearing a CPAP machine.
What Is CPAP?
The most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is a type of PAP therapy known as a continuous positive airway pressure machine. To keep the individual’s airway open throughout the night, the CPAP machine delivers steady, continuous air pressure that helps prevent the soft tissues from collapsing. However, this consistent air pressure can cause slight discomfort in the beginning stages of use, as the individual gets accustomed to wearing it each night.
How to Get Used to Wearing a CPAP Machine
If you aren’t used to a CPAP machine, you may have difficulty falling or staying asleep throughout the night — which is a major inconvenience since your sleep apnea is always causing you to feel tired and unrested. Follow along for a few pointers on how to get used to wearing a CPAP machine so you don’t compromise your health by not treating your sleep apnea.
Adjust Your CPAP Mask
One of the most common reasons for discomfort when using a CPAP machine is because of an improperly fitted face mask. Troubleshoot what the problem with your mask may be. Is it falling out or sliding around while you move in your sleep? Is it leaving red marks or indentations on your face when you take it off in the morning?
Determine what types of adjustments need to be made to improve the comfort levels and make the tweaks while lying down in a sleeping position so you can see how it will fit while you sleep. If you make a few adjustments and still feel that the face mask isn’t fitting correctly, your sleep physician can help ensure your mask is fitting right.
Go to Bed When Tired
In the beginning, you may find it difficult to fall asleep with a CPAP mask on your face. If you head to bed before your mind and body are ready to fall asleep, the only thing you may focus your attention on is the discomfort you’re feeling from the CPAP machine. Instead, we recommend heading to bed only when you are ready to fall asleep quickly. This will make it easier for you to fall asleep using the CPAP machine you aren’t as familiar with yet, helping your body get accustomed to falling asleep with the mask on.
Change the Type of CPAP Mask
If making adjustments to your existing mask hasn’t improved how comfortable it feels throughout the night, you may need to change the type of mask you are using. Analyze how you sleep each night. Do you sleep on your side? Do you sleep on your back? Do you toss and turn? Your sleep positioning may help your sleep physician determine which type of CPAP mask will be the most comfortable for you.
Drink Plenty of Water
Because a CPAP machine pushes steady and constant air pressure through your airways, it isn’t uncommon to find yourself with a dry mouth as a side effect. This dry mouth can irritate your throat that not only makes using a CPAP machine uncomfortable but leaves you lying awake at night. To help combat the dry mouth caused by CPAP, we recommend upping your fluid intake throughout the day to help promote saliva production.
Get Assistance with Your CPAP Therapy from ApneaMed
These breathing machine options can relieve symptoms for patients, allowing them to receive a deeper night’s sleep and function better throughout the day. The goal is to ensure you reap the most benefits from the CPAP therapy. If you need help to improve your comfort levels when the CPAP machine is in use, your doctor can make recommendations.
Once you’ve decided which form of sleep apnea therapy to move forward with, ApneaMed can supply the breathing machine you need. Contact us to learn more about the breathing equipment we provide sleep apnea patients.