Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a type of therapy designed to help you breathe better while you sleep. A CPAP machine helps overcome sleep apnea and the attendant problems that come with this condition. A CPAP machine can help you win the battle, but there are sometimes problems that occur that may have you think the machine isn’t working. The following are the common problems and how to overcome them.
The mask doesn’t fit. When you are provided with a machine, an attendant would have matched you with a mask. At the time, the mask may have seemed right, but now you’re not so sure. The mask may be interfering with your breathing, slip while it is on your face or simply not feel right. Get fitted with a new mask and try again advises CPAPMan.com.
The forced air is distracting. One of the issues CPAP people face is the level of the air forced from the machine. For some, the forced air is simply too distracting and difficult to get used to. Fortunately, there is an easy work around here: you can have the air flow adjusted to ramp up gradually. Instead of being hit with the full force at once, this feature steadily increases pressure to allow you to fall asleep and to stay at rest.
Your nose is dried out. All that air being forced into you can have an unwanted side effect. Specifically, it may dry out your nose. Slight throat irritation is one thing, but if your nose is itchy or dry, then you have another issue to deal with. A work around here is to simply apply a nasal solution to your nose before you fall asleep each night.
You feel closed in. Another sensation that some CPAP users feel is claustrophobia. That’s the feeling you get that everything around has closed in, especially when the mask is on your face. You can overcome this sensation by placing the mask on your face for several minutes without it being connected to the machine. Do this several times each day until you are comfortable with it. Then connect it to the machine.
Falling asleep is not easy. It happens. You connect to the CPAP machine and try to fall sleep. Minutes go by and you’re no closer to shut eye than when you started. In some cases, people may stay awake for hours as they simply cannot fall sleep. It is as this point you need help. As mentioned earlier, your machine has a ramp up feature, one that gradually controls the amount of air released. Activate that and you should be able to fall asleep before the full pressure is realized.
Your skin is getting irritated. A poorly fitting mask can cause other problems, namely skin irritation. Here, your mask may rub against your face, causing chafing. Adjusting the pads and straps can provide a better fit. If the irritation is persistent, notify your doctor to have your skin problem eradicated. You should also know that there are masks for people who have blotchy skin.
The mask falls off while you are asleep. A CPAP mask should stay fixed to your face while you are asleep. Trouble is, you may be inadvertently removing it while you are in bed. This is a natural response, so adjust the mask accordingly to reduce the chances that you will remove it. You might also set an alarm in the middle of the night to arouse you long enough to see if the mask is still on. If you take it off, you can always put it back on.
The CPAP machine is too noisy. Some people are very sensitive to noise and simply can not tolerate a strange sound. If that describes you, your CPAP machine may be of the older variety. New machines operate nearly silently and are difficult to hear. It is at this point you may could do one of two things. First, install a white noise machine to counter the CPAP machine. Second, ask for a new machine, one that operates nearly silently in the background.
CPAP machine problems can range from the inconsequential to the severe. Instead of giving up on what can be a lifesaver, seek remedies that will allow you to continue using the machine. Once you find the right arrangement, you will discover its benefits and enjoy more restful sleeping than you had ever imagined possible.