If you leave your reservations at the door, taking the first step will be simple. You need 3 parts to get your CPAP therapy started, a CPAP machine, tube, and a face mask. From there, it just takes some knowledge and perspective. Here’s some common questions answered and tips to help women new to CPAP therapy.
1. Do They Carry This in My Size?
With more and more woman getting diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and new to CPAP therapy, so too are manufacturers responding. Now there are masks designed specially for women, which come in petite sizes to accommodate female facial features. Some masks even have special headgear options to help avoid “headgear hair”. Here are some masks women find comfortable:
- The headgear-free TAP PAP Nasal Pillow Mask
- Swift FX Nano For Her Nasal Mask
- Quattro FX for Her Full Face Mask
2. Mask Seal Can Make or Break Your Therapy.
Remember it’s not the way you look that determines the right fit. When deciding on a mask, think about the kind of seal you will be achieving. Mask leaks are the most common problem that users face, and the best way to prevent this is to pay attention not only to the right style, but the size as well. If you are shopping online, take advantage of those masks offering return insurance when you make your purchase. This way you can choose from a variety and not feel stuck.
3. Get Comfortable with Your Equipment.
Some users new to CPAP therapy found it helpful to wear their mask around the house for the few days, to get used to the feel. Another helpful tip is to increase the ramp feature on your CPAP, which will gradually increases the amount of pressure delivered over a certain time frame to allow you to fall asleep at a lower pressure. Additionally, users have a tough time using their therapy all night. It’s important to bear with it, but using your therapy a couple hours a night is still more beneficial than not at all.
4. Is Humidification Necessary?
This is the oldest trick in the book, moisturizing! Although humidification is introduced as an option in many cases, it’s best to involve it from the start. Using a heated humidifier along with your CPAP machine will eliminate common side effects such as a dry nose. A heated hose may also be helpful in reducing rainout, which occurs when water drops from the humidified air (Think of a cold glass of water on a hot summers day).
5. Accessorize Your Equipment.
Take your therapy one step further by using products that contribute to the comfort of your equipment. If you experience any pressure marks from your mask, try using strap pads which adds more padding between you and your headgear. If the pressure you are experiencing is at the bridge of your nose try nasal pads which will help alleviate any marks your mask may leave behind.
The biggest thing to take away from this is that you know you have options, no therapy is alike. Now that you have the inside scoop on getting started, you are already one step closer to better sleep. Happy CPAP-ing.