Common Challenges faced while using CPAP MasksManoj Kukreja
If you’re using a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea treatment, you can increase the efficiency of your treatment by being consistent and by using the machine effectively.
Although CPAP treatment can offer relief and be helpful in various ways, it does come with some challenges. Most CPAP machine users face challenges with the CPAP mask which is the main component of facial contact while you sleep. In this article we’re going to talk about the top 5 common challenges around the CPAP mask and how you can solve them to get a peaceful night’s sleep.
The CPAP Mask
The CPAP mask is an essential part of your CPAP therapy which delivers air from the machine to your nose and mouth. Most users face problems with their CPAP mask, so let’s discuss top 5 CPAP mask problems and how to solve them..
What are the top 5 most common challenges faced while using CPAP masks?
- CPAP Mask fitting is not right
For effective treatment and results, finding the perfect mask that fits your face well is highly important when using the CPAP machine. A mask that fits you perfectly doesn’t just provide maximum comfort for consistent use but also makes sure that the mask is working properly and to its full efficiency every time you sleep.
- Find a mask that’s right for your face – Take enough time to try out all the masks out there in the market and then choose the one that’s best for your face and provides maximum comfort.
- Learn how to put your mask on correctly – Your mask may give you problems if you’re not wearing it correctly. Small changes can give big results, so learn how to put your mask on correctly through a medical professional.
- Adjust for facial changes over time – Over time your face can naturally change. You might gain or lose weight or grow facial hair, in these situations adjust according to your face shape and get a new mask that fits you instead of using an ill-shaped mask.
- The CPAP mask is leaking
If you hear or feel your CPAP mask leaking then you must not ignore it as this is a common but concerning problem. Leaks in your mask can mean that the treatment is not working properly, if at all. Even if you’re taking all the right measures in your treatment while using the CPAP machine, you might not achieve positive results if any at all.
- Mask fitting – Leakage in a CPAP mask is mostly because of the fitting, especially the fitting of the cushion. If you find that your sleep apnea symptoms are coming up because of the mask leaking then its time to get a medical professional to check your mask
- Getting a new CPAP Mask – A CPAP mask’s effective lifetime is around 3-4 months and leakage in a mask could be because of consistent use and wear and tear. So, replacing your CPAP mask regularly can help you in overcoming these challenges.
- Stuffy and Dry Nose because of CPAP Mask
Some CPAP users experience symptoms of sinus and a stuffy and dry nose when exposed to air pressure from a CPAP mask for long periods of time.
- Use a heated tube humidifier – A CPAP machine that features a heated humidifier can help in this situation by conveying moisture via your airway. You can even adjust the level of humidification.
- Using a Nasal Saline spray – Using a Nasal saline spray before your CPAP treatment can help with a stuffy or dry nose.
- Feeling Claustrophobic while using CPAP Mask
When you use your CPAP mask, there are chances that you might feel odd and a little claustrophobic. This is normal as the mask is completely strapped to your face, blowing streams of air in your nose and mouth and that can feel somewhat unsettling.
- Use an alternative type of mask – If you feel claustrophobic while using your mask, try a nasal pillow mask instead. The nasal pillow mask doesn’t cover your face or your mouth, instead, it just sits at the base of your nose making it more comfortable and less intrusive.
- Use The Sleep Onset Detection Function On Your CPAP Device – Some CPAP machines have a feature called Sleep Onset Detection. Before giving your nocturnal therapy, this function waits until it detects that you have gone to sleep. The machine will start at low pressure and gradually increase to the prescribed pressure once it detects that you have fallen asleep. This reduces the feeling of claustrophobia by gradually increasing the air pressure rather than abruptly boosting it.
- Use the Mask in stages – Rather than immediately strapping the mask to your face and turning on the air, try holding it to your face first. Allow a few moments for you to become accustomed to its presence. Then, turn on the pressurized airstream and gradually acclimate to that sensation as well. The final step is to put the headpiece on and assess how you feel.
- Try wearing the mask outside of bed – When you’re alone, consider wearing the headgear while doing everyday jobs and duties like cleaning, watching TV, or reading. The activity will keep you occupied, while you become used to the feel and weight of the mask.
- Removing the CPAP mask unintentionally while you sleep
It’s common among CPAP users to wake up and find that they have unintentionally removed their CPAP mask while sleeping. This can happen because of too much movement while sleeping or feeling uncomfortable during your sleep.
- Try Full face masks – If you move a lot during your sleep, a full face mask may help as it stays in place regardless of your movements.
- Set an alarm for checking – If this is a consistent problem, consider setting an alarm for a time while you’re sleeping to check whether the mask is still on or not.
These are the top 5 most common challenges faced by CPAP users due to their CPAP masks and their solutions. I hope this article helps you in your CPAP journey!
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