Using a CPAP machine can add years to your life and help address a wide range of significant health problems, but it isn’t as simple as slipping on a mask, turning on the machine and closing your eyes… it takes a bit of practice! Some people naturally adjust to their CPAP machine and mask, while others struggle to get accustomed to the device. If you’re new to the world of CPAPs, keep the following tips in mind to help with getting used to using a CPAP machine and mask.
You can do this.
While the health benefits of using a CPAP machine are indisputable, don’t feel like you have to be perfect on day one.
Start using your CPAP machine and mask a few hours a day – while watching television, for instance.
You’ll quickly become accustomed to the feel of the mask, and you won’t be forced to make adjustments to the machine or mask while you’re in bed half asleep.
Find the right mask
Your preferred CPAP equipment supplier will help you identify the ideal CPAP mask for your facial structure, particular health needs, sleeping style, budget and more. Having the right mask is an extremely important factor when getting used to using a CPAP – so make sure to have your supplier teach you to adjust the mask to ensure total comfort and performance when using the machine.
Ramp up the pressure
One of the hardest things a new CPAP user must overcome is the strange sensation of air being forced into the sinuses. Most people have the hardest time with the elevated air pressure while they’re trying to fall asleep. If you anticipate this being a concern, seek a CPAP machine with a “ramp” feature.
A “ramp” feature enables your CPAP machine to gradually increase the air pressure – from a gentle trickle at first, to the prescribed air pressure specified by your doctor.
New CPAP users often report dry-mouth concerns, especially if they tend to breathe through their mouths normally. If this is a concern for you, there are a couple of ways to address the issue. First, consider a CPAP chin strap to keep your mouth closed and promote breathing through your nose. Second, you can either add a humidifier to your CPAP machine or adjust the existing humidifier to add much-needed moisture throughout the night. Lastly, a full-face mask might be needed if a nasal pillow isn’t working.
While most CPAP machines are virtually silent (and definitely a lot quieter than your pre-CPAP snoring!), some emit a mild humming sound. If this is keeping you up at night, there are a couple of things you can do.
First, make sure that the CPAP itself is operating properly – a clogged filter can amp up the sound levels and replacing the filter is a quick and inexpensive fix.
Second, it might pay to invest in a set of earplugs, a white noise machine, or simply turn on something in the background, like a fan or the A/C. Finally, if you are truly noise sensitive, work with your medical equipment provider to pair you with a quiet CPAP that offers a very low dB rating.
Getting used to using a CPAP machine and mask takes a bit of time, some patience, and the right equipment. For more information on CPAP machines, masks, accessories and more, contact the CPAP experts today at CPAP.com!
Daniela has researched and published over 60 articles covering topics that aim to inform and empower people living with Sleep Apnea. As an avid reader and researcher, Daniela continues to grow her knowledge about Sleep Apnea and CPAP therapy everyday with the help of coworkers, CPAP.com customers, and members of other CPAP communities online.