Ways To Minimize Discomfort Level With CPAP
CPAP stands for Continuous positive airway pressure.
CPAP is believed to be one of the most effective sleep apnea treatments.
Many people have witnessed an improved quality to their life and found they were able to return to a more restful night’s sleep.
However others find their experience with CPAP to be less than a desirable one. Many patients describe it as being uncomfortable and develop such problems as dryness in their nose and nasal congestion that mimics having a head cold. There are ways to help minimize the level of discomfort.
Read The CPAP Manual Carefully
First of all it may seem obvious but it is vital to sit down and read the manual for the CPAP from cover to cover and make sure you understand everything.
Familiarize yourself with the mask and the headgear and experiment with the buckles, straps and Velcro seams to see if you can get a comfortable fit.
Leakage Of Air
The leakage of air is often a common problem with CPAP but it has more to do with positioning than it does pressure. Pressure is significant to seal it in place but take the time to guarantee that you have the mask appropriately in position before you begin tightening the straps. And remember tighter straps don’t necessarily allow the mask to fit better.
Sound Of CPAP Machine
Continuous positive airway pressure is generally fairly quiet but some people find the sound of it which is similar to “white noise” to be calming while others find it annoying. If you are one of the latter there are only two things that you can do to resolve the problem.
First you can somehow find a way to obstruct the noise (such as covering it with something or wearing ear plugs at night) or you can move the machine as far away from your bed as possible.
Some people find the use of a heated humidifier helps reduce the possibility of CPAP being uncomfortable. If you find that your sinuses are drying out at a quick rate and the air in general is too dry then invest in a heated humidifier.
Sometimes these can be costly but some manufacturers offer them at reasonable rates to work with particular CPAP models. Basically put a heated humidifier is, “a piece of plastic which you fill with water and place in between the machine and your mask.”
How it works is the air makes it way over the water and as it does so it picks up a considerable amount of moisture. In this way it works very much the same as an normal humidifier used around the home. Many patients strongly advise the use of a heated humidifier for comfort.
Some patients need help from a qualified health care provider or a family member or friend in order to decide on a mask that fits as well as possible. Some people try a few before they find one that is just right for them.
Most of the side effects that patients experience when they first begin the treatment of CPAP are temporary and generally mild, such as sore, itchy eyes, headaches, bloating in their abdominal area and nasal congestion.
The average patient becomes accustomed to CPAP treatment anywhere from two to twelve weeks after commencing the treatment and research into the use of CPAP has found that roughly less than half of patients who start it prefer to not continue with it.