Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes respiratory pauses during sleep. These pauses can last from 10 to 30 seconds, or longer. This condition can ruin your sleep quality, and lead to or exacerbate other health issues like cardiovascular problems. One of the most common treatments for Sleep Apnea is CPAP therapy.
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and is a treatment option that allows Sleep Apnea sufferers to enjoy a full night’s sleep without breathing interruption. Although treatment with a CPAP machine can make all the difference in your sleep quality, it can be hard to get used to at first.
Adjusting to Your CPAP Mask
For many first-time CPAP machine users, a common concern is whether or not their CPAP machine and mask will be uncomfortable and disruptive. The good news is that you can get used to your CPAP mask without it affecting your sleep quality at all. With a little effort, you can become accustomed to your CPAP mask and enjoy a full night of rest without the usual Sleep Apnea symptoms. Here are some tips to ensure you have a positive CPAP therapy experience:
- Choose the mask type that’s most comfortable for you. CPAP masks come in different styles, including nasal pillows, nasal masks, and full-face masks. Your doctor or respiratory technician can help you try each type of mask on to determine the best fit. For advice on mask selection, contact our CPAP experts, or visit our store to see the masks in person.
- If you feel claustrophobic when you put on the mask, hold it out from your face and get used to the air pressure before putting it on. This is part of desensitizing yourself to wearing your CPAP mask, which can take anywhere from days to weeks.
- To adjust to your CPAP therapy mask more quickly, wear it while you’re doing other things so your mind stays occupied. For example, you might wear it while watching television or doing a crossword puzzle. As you wear your mask more, you’ll get used to it. Eventually, you’ll be able to wear it all night with no problem.
- If you have any issues with your CPAP machine or mask, tell your doctor immediately. The problem may be as simple as switching the type of mask you’re wearing. When adjusting to CPAP therapy, patience is key. Don’t get discouraged if the therapy isn’t comfortable right away; with prolonged exposure, it becomes almost second nature.
FAQs about CPAP Therapy
Why are my nasal passages so dry after wearing my CPAP mask?
Unfortunately, using a CPAP machine can lead to a dry throat and nasal passages. The good news is you can often fix the problem by getting a humidifier with your CPAP machine. If your nose is congested, that could also be the reason. Your doctor may recommend antihistamines or decongestants to alleviate the issue. Also, switching from a partial to a full-face mask may also help reduce dryness.
How can I learn to sleep through the night with CPAP therapy?
One of the biggest challenges when starting out with your CPAP machine is getting a full night’s sleep. This can be frustrating, especially since improving your sleep quality is the reason you’re seeking treatment in the first place. Practicing with your machine and mask can help you get used to it. Another strategy is using your machine’s “ramp” feature. It gradually increases the air pressure, so you can gently work into using the machine at full pressure.
Why does CPAP therapy make me feel bloated?
Bloating is a rather common problem for Sleep Apnea sufferers starting out with a CPAP machine. The reason for this is because many new users swallow too much air during their CPAP therapy. To help alleviate bloating, pay attention to your breathing to make sure it’s not too deep. Simply breathe normally, and you should notice the problem gets better. If it doesn’t, speak to your doctor about possible modifications to your therapy.
Sleep Apnea can be difficult to cope with, but with CPAP therapy many sufferers are able to enjoy relatively normal sleep patterns. While it may seem difficult to adjust to at first, it’s important to not give up on your CPAP therapy. If you suspect Sleep Apnea is a problem for you or a loved one, see your doctor right away for an evaluation and diagnosis.
As you’re managing your Sleep Apnea, remember that you’re not alone; we’re here to help. Feel free to contact us about your CPAP therapy options and finding the best CPAP equipment for you.
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.