Answers to Common Concerns People Have About Using a CPAP Machine

Bipap mask

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you are in good company. Approximately 18 million Americans find themselves using a CPAP machine to get a decent night of sleep, and many more go undiagnosed, living with the debilitating and sometimes even fatal symptoms without know it. Some people who know they suffer from sleep apnea don’t get the help they need because they worry using a CPAP machine is worse than just living with the constant exhaustion, migraines, depression, and heart issues that are associated with lack of oxygen their sleep apnea subjects them to. If you are intimidated by the thought of using a CPAP machine, check out our guide to put your mind at ease, below:

Answers to Common Concerns People Have About Using a CPAP Machine

  1. Concern: I’ll never get used to having sleep apnea mask on my face at night.
    Having a mask on your face while you sleep might make you feel uncomfortable at first. However, when you consider the interruption in sleep that you are subject to with your sleep apnea, the mask is certainly a better option.

    You might find that you’ll get more comfortable with your nasal CPAP mask if you gradually introduce it to yourself. Trying wearing it while you do things to relax, such as reading a book or skimming the internet. As your body adjusts to the mask when you’re in a relaxed state, it will feel more natural wearing it while you sleep. Once you’re accustomed to wearing your CPAP mask during relaxation periods, begin wearing it every time you sleep, even for just short naps.

    As they say, it takes 32 days to turn something into a habit. If you stick with your CPAP mask for just over a month, you’ll find that it will become second nature eventually!

  2. Concern: My CPAP mask is just super uncomfortable to wear at night.
    When someone complains about discomfort with their CPAP mask, it almost always boils down to the same problems: They’re wearing a mask that is the wrong size or their air pressure is not set properly. If your mask is incredibly uncomfortable, work with your doctor or CPAP supplier to make sure that your mask is adjusted properly and that you are following the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage.

    If a mask simply does not work for you, talk to your doctor about using a different style of mask altogether, until you find one that works for you.

  3. Concern: My CPAP mask is irritating my skin.
    It is not common but not unheard of for the silicone that CPAP masks are made of to cause allergic reactions. If you have an allergy to the CPAP mask material, you’ll likely have a skin reaction the first time you wear it. If this happens, discontinue use of it and contact your doctor right away. If your skin develops irritation over time, consider these factors:

    • How often do you clean your mask? Almost 90% of the time, when a patient is experiencing skin irritation from their mask, they just need to clean it more frequently.

    • How old is your CPAP mask? At one point in time, CPAP masks were made of latex. Latex is a very common allergen, and now they’re almost exclusively made of silicone or gel. If your mask is older, it might be made of latex and needs to replaced with a newer one.
  4. Concern: The forced air overwhelms me.
    If you can’t get used to the forced air of the CPAP machine, you might find that the “ramp” feature provides the relief you need. A surprising number of sleep apnea patients are not aware that their CPAP machine even has a “ramp” feature. This setting gives you a low flow of air pressure to begin with, and then slowly ramps up until it reaches the setting that your doctor prescribed.

    If that doesn’t improve your discomfort with the CPAP machine, your doctor might suggest using a BPAP machine instead, or another sleep apnea treatment product. As you discuss your concerns with your doctor, they will help you identify the right sleep apnea treatment for you. The point is that your discomfort should never be a reason to live with the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Do you have any other concerns with your sleep apnea machine? Please share below!

Leave A Comment