Continuous Positive Airway Therapy (CPAP) is the most effective solution to sleep apnea. The nose mask connected to a CPAP machine using tubes supplies positive airflow to your nasal passage which keeps the airway open so you don’t snore, choke or gasp for air disrupting your sleep. While some people find sleep apnea CPAP really helpful, others really struggle to adjust to the facemask and the air pressure and some even discontinue the therapy.
Problems Related to Sleep Apnea CPAP Therapy
- Red marks
- Sores on the cheeks and side of the face
- Dry mouth
- Sores and dryness inside the nostrils
- Dry or red eyes
- Burping and bloating
10 Tips to Improve Your CPAP Tolerance
Make the CPAP mask comfortable
Many of the issues people experience with sleep apnea CPAP mask are caused by improper sizing, very tight straps and leakage. It is essential to buy a cpap machine personally so you can get fitted with the correct size for your face and contours because the masks are not one size fits all. After you get the right size and fit, you can get a feel of the straps and find out what you can do to make them more comfortable even if it’s using strap pads.
Check for leakage
Air leakage can come from a loose tube or a mask that is not covering your face well. Check for such things and ensure there is no leak because it can make your eyes and skin dry.
Get used to the mask
The truth is, everything foreign to your body will feel uncomfortable at first. The best way to get used to it is to ease yourself into using the mask.
You can start by wearing it during the day while you are watching TV or taking a nap. Try to have the mask on without turning on the air pressure, so you get used to the fit and then try on the pressure after three days. Trying the mask on during the day will also help you make the right adjustments for your comfort before you go to bed.
Use the mask every day
Sure the CPAP mask will be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the only way to get used to it is to continue using it consistently. Make it part of your bedtime routine even when you are napping until the body accepts that it’s a regular part of your life.
Use the Ramp Mode
The ramp mode is a setting on the CPAP machine that allows the air pressure to start from the lowest level and gradually rise for about 45 minutes. High pressure is the leading cause of headaches and feeling like you can’t breathe. Hopefully, you will have fallen asleep during those 45 minutes before the air pressure is optimum. However, you can see your doctor to reduce the machines air pressure if it’s a problem.
Use a Heated Humidifier
If you experience dry mouth, sore throat, dryness or sores inside your nostrils and dry skin, you need some more moisture. Sometimes dry mouth can be solved by getting a full face mask or mouth strap to ensure you don’t breathe with your mouth, but a humidifier helps as well. Get the heated one so it can introduce some warm moisture into the throat and nasal cavity to solve all your dryness issues.
Clean your mask weekly
A new mask comes with a strange smell that will put you off. You can get used to it or clean the mask to get rid of that smell. After a while, you will also notice a bad odor that is brought about by all that moisture inside there. It’s therefore essential to clean the mask and the tubes every week to get rid of any harmful bacteria, viruses or smells that’s inside the mask.
Some people find that they can’t turn or move even an inch because of the tubing restriction. Fortunately, you can ask for the 8ft or 10 ft. The tube that will not restrict you in any way but be sure that you don’t get too tangled up in your sleep.
Practice good sleep habits
On top of using a CPAP machine to get better sleep, you should practice good sleep habits like only going to bed when you are tired, having a good bedtime routine and keeping your room dark, quiet and technology free.
Place the machine on the floor
If the noise coming from the CPAP machine is too loud for you or your partner, you can place it on the floor or on some platform that is lower than the bed. This will also keep the moisture from coming back to your face.
Sleep apnea CPAP therapy can be the best thing that happened to you because if you get a good night sleep, you will be more energetic and more productive. Give it a bit of time and don’t give up too soon because it takes about five to six weeks to get accustomed to it all.