Sleep apnea, whether central or obstructive, can be a really difficult issue to get used to. For people who use CPAP, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, you know that the machine that is meant to combat the problems of sleep apnea can be equally as hard to get used to. A lot of people experience serious difficulty becoming accustomed to wearing the mask and using the machine every night; it can make falling asleep very difficult. For those of you who are having problems adjusting to CPAP therapy, or for those who are about to start the treatment, here are some useful tips to help you adjust:
1. Get The Right Mask Type: Getting the right mask for your CPAP machine is the easiest way to become comfortable with it. There is a huge variety of different masks available for users; some cover your whole mouth and nose while other masks feature nasal pillows and cover a lot less of your face. Explore the different options and find which one is the most comfortable for you.
2. Get the Right Mask Size: Most models of masks come in different sizes. You may be discouraged because one does not fit, but do not give up. You may be a certain size with one mask, and a completely different size in another mask. Luckily, most masks are adjustable. Having a mask that fits properly will help to make you more secure and comfortable in wearing it.
3. Practice Wearing the Mask: If you find it hard to fall asleep with the mask on, you might want to try and get more used to the feeling of it on your face. Wearing the mask for short periods of time during the waking hours might make it easier to wear during sleep. First start by just wearing the mask around the house, until you get comfortable with it. After you become comfortable, wear the mask around the house with the air pressure hose in it to get used to the extra air intake. Most importantly, wear your mask every time you sleep, even when you take naps. Consistently wearing the mask is the best way to get used to it.
4. Try Using a Ramp: If you are having problems tolerating the extra forced air while you are sleeping you might want to try using the ramp feature on the machine. This allows you to start the therapy session with a small amount of air pressure. The pressure gradually increased until it reaches the prescribed setting. If the ramp feature doesn’t work, you can consult a doctor about changing your device to one that automatically changes the pressure of the air while you are sleeping.