CPAP therapy (continuous positive airway pressure) is a great way to treat sleep apnea. However, some patients find it hard to get used to their CPAP mask, which can mean they miss out on the positive benefits of this technology. That is why we have put together this handy guide for how to deal with the most common CPAP mask problems.
1. Take time to get used to your mask
Rather than just wearing your mask at night, take some extra time to get accustomed to your CPAP mask. Wear it while watching TV or reading a book so when it comes time to sleep it will feel more natural.
2. Choose something that is comfortable for you
Speak to your doctor and CPAP supplier to find a mask that fits you properly, and find out how to properly adjust your mask so that it feels as comfortable as possible.
3. Keep your mask clean
Some patients think they are having an allergic reaction to their mask, but often these issues are caused by infrequent cleaning which can lead to skin irritation. Talk to your doctor to see if you have any allergies to materials such as latex used in some older masks, and make sure to clean your mask regularly.
4. Use the ramp feature
If you find it hard to adjust to the forced air in your mask, use the “ramp” feature which allows you to begin with low air pressure and slowly increase.
5. Keep a good routine to encourage sleep
If you have problems falling asleep with your mask on, make sure you are properly tired before you lay down for the night. Try to keep a good routine which includes exercise and regular sleep patterns. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
6. Clean your filter
If you are finding that your machine is too noisy to sleep, firstly remember that it is surely quieter than your snoring! Also, make sure to clean your filter to reduce any operating sound.
If all of these handy tips don’t solve your CPAP mask problems, talk to your doctor and your CPAP supplier.