Solutions to Common CPAP Issues

by / / Tips

If you’re facing issues with your CPAP treatment, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are quick fixes to many common problems that other users face.

cpap mask information card display

Check out these solutions to common problems:

A Mask That Doesn’t Fit

It’s important to shop around for a mask that fits your face well. Whether you prefer those that only cover your nose, or masks that fit over both the mouth and the nose, experiment a little to see which feels most comfortable to you.

You should seek the professional opinion of a sleep specialist to help you get the right fitting. This will go a long way in helping to prevent mask leaks.

CPAP Condensation

A common issue among CPAP users is when water builds up in the mask or hose during use.

This is known as CPAP condensation or rainout and it’s easy to fix.

Switch up the settings on your humidifier, keep the CPAP machine at a level below your head, or use a hose that’s heated.

You can also keep your hose covered so that it’s kept warm – or simply keep your room at a higher temperature.

Irritation of the Bridge of the Nose

The CPAP mask can sometimes cause a soreness on the bridge of the nose. A simple way to prevent this is to simply choose a mask that doesn’t rest on the nose bridge.

There are plenty of options, such as a full face mask using nasal pillows or a hybrid mask that has nose pillows and a mouthpiece.

Make sure to adjust the headgear so that the adjustment on your forehead bridge isn’t too tight. Keep it loose enough so that it’s comfortable.

Nose pads can be used to allow the irritation to heal; you can also use any soft material to pad your mask, such as silicon earplugs or cotton balls.

Getting Used to Wearing the Mask

You may need awhile to get used to wearing the CPAP mask in your sleep. One way to get used to the sensation is to wear it in the daytime for 10 to 30 minutes while reading or watching TV.

Claustrophobia may also be a factor – so you can try adjusting in stages. First, simply hold the mask on your face without the other attachments and then once you are comfortable with that, add the straps and place the mask on.

Then, move on to holding the mask up to your face with the hose attached. Turn on the CPAP machine and set it to low pressure, with the ramp feature turned on.

Lastly, keep the mask on along with the straps, with the CPAP machine on while you’re awake.

When you’re comfortable with that, you’re ready to try sleeping with your mask on.

At first, you may need some help relaxing, so try exercises to relax, such as relaxing your muscles progressively, or breathing exercises.

If you still struggle with claustrophobia, consult your doctor or CPAP supplier for professional solutions.

The Mask Causes a Dry and Stuffy Nose

If your nose is feeling dry and stuffy, you can opt for a heated humidifier that is fitted to your CPAP machine. This allows you to adjust the level of humidity which can help with the dryness.

Also, applying a nasal saline spray before using the machine at bedtime could also be helpful.

However, a dry airway could also be a sign that your mask is leaking, so make sure that it fits well.

The Forced Air is Hard to Tolerate

Try using the ‘ramp’ feature on your CPAP machine, which lets you start from a low air pressure, then gradually and automatically increase to the prescribed air pressure setting as you sleep.

Your doctor can adjust the rate of this air pressure change. Otherwise, you can also consult your doctor about alternatives, like CPAP units that provide higher pressure on inhalation and a lower pressure on exhalation.

The Mask is Noisy

You can opt for newer machines which are silent.

However, if it starts making unusual noises, check the air filter to see if it’s blocked. If the sound is still bothersome, try wearing ear plugs.

It’s Hard to Clean the Mask Thoroughly

Get an automatic sanitizing machine like the SoClean 2 that cleans your entire CPAP machine, without needing you to take it apart.

Falling Asleep is Challenging

Other than using the ramp feature, try to practice good sleep hygiene such as getting regular exercise, avoiding drinking caffeine and alcohol too close to bedtime, and taking warm baths before bedtime.

Many issues often come down to having a good fit on your mask.

Our experts are trained to give you in-depth consultations on proper fit and more for the results you’re looking for. If you run into any problems, you can contact us and we will get you on the right track again.

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