CPAP use

Six Tips to CPAP Success

Six Tips to CPAP Success

Trouble getting comfortable with your CPAP machine? Here are some tricks and tips to being successful with your CPAP therapy at home!

PAP therapy – such as CPAP, BiPAP, ASV, etc. – can be challenging to use at first, but with the following tricks and tips, for CPAP success you’ll have yourself saying “Hello!” to sleep again before you know it.

  • Rid yourself of preconceived notions regarding the CPAP machine!

    • Most people know a family member or friend who is using a PAP machine, and he or she might love it, or hate it. Everyone goes through a very unique experience with his or her therapy, so keep your mind as open as possible, and do not let someone else’s experience influence your own.
  • Breathe naturally

    • When you first wear a PAP machine, you may be inclined to try to regulate your breathing and put in a conscious effort at inhaling and exhaling. But don’t! This can induce panic and may make you want to take the mask and machine off. Breathe naturally, and with time, typically the positive pressure becomes more comfortable.
  • Consistency of usage is key

    • “Practice makes perfect” applies to PAP therapy! The more you use the machine, the easier it becomes. On nights when you feel like you have had enough with your machine, try your best to push through. If you do need to take a brief break and step away from the therapy for a moment, do so, but plan to put the mask and machine back on before you fall back asleep for the rest of the night.
  • The mask can make or break the treatment

    • Work closely with our DME technicians to ensure that you have the best mask style and size suited for your mode of PAP therapy, your pressure settings, your facial structure, and your preferred body positioning during sleep, among other defining elements. A mask that does not fit well makes for a poor night’s rest with the machine, as the airflow can “leak” out, causing disruptive noise and discomfort.
    • Practice “mask desensitization” if you are having a hard time keeping your mask on, all night long. This involves wearing the mask and headgear for at least 45 minutes prior to bedtime, in an effort to “normalize” the apparatus and get your brain and body acquainted with the equipment before you attempt to sleep.
  • Take advantage of comfort features on your machine

    • Don’t forget about the features below for optimal comfort, and contact our DME team if you need additional assistance or further instructions on how to utilize or adjust the following:
      1. Humidifier settings – can help with dry mouth and dry mucosa
        1. Increase the level for more moisture
          1. If your tubing is “gurgling” due to water condensing in the tubing or mask when you increase the setting, ask a DME technician about a heated tube.
        2. Decrease the level for less moisture
      2. RAMP – can help you fall asleep with PAP therapy by lowering the pressure
        1. Hitting the RAMP button will drop the pressure to a lower setting (i.e. 4 cm H2O) and allow the pressure to gradually build up to your final prescribed pressure over a period of time (i.e. 30 minutes)
  • Flex – can provide extra relief when you inhale, exhale, or both, depending on your mode of PAP therapy and machine manufacturer
  • Keep your sleep medicine team involved

    • If you are having a problem using and/or tolerating your PAP therapy, let us know so we can help!

 The more you use your machine, the more you will get used to it. Give yourself time to adjust. So, stick with it and soon enough you’ll start to realize just how much treating your sleep apnea improves your sleep and your quality of life! And you can Say Hello to Sleep Again!

1 reply
  1. Elizabeth Cecchetti
    Elizabeth Cecchetti says:

    Full masks don’t seem to fit small heads with narrow-set eyes, narrow and low nose bridge, prominent cheekbones, and small chin. Dreamwear Small leaked. AirFit Medium is comfortable but blows air into my eyes or sits low on my chin and vibrates loudly against my face when pressure increases or if I turn my head. AirTouch Medium rubbed the inner corners of my eyes and the foam irritated my face. I keep wearing AirFit but wish I could comply without disrupted sleep.

    Reply

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