Part Six: Top CPAP fails and How to solve them
I can’t fall asleep easily with the CPAP mask on?
This is a normal, temporary problem that occurs most often, especially with patients new to CPAP therapy. Read on for some quick, easy steps to get to sleep with your CPAP tonight.
On virtually all CPAP units, the ramp feature is utilized to ease the user to sleep. Ramp gradually increases the pressure to its prescribed level. Some CPAP machines (like Resmed’s Airsense 10 and Respironics Dreamstation) allow ramp time to extend to as much as 45 minutes. Newer units have auto-ramp, which has eliminated the experimentation option. What auto-ramp does is wait for you to go to sleep before gradually increasing the pressure to the doctor’s setting recommendation.
Another setting on newer devices, like Respironics Dreamstation and Resmed’s Airsense 10, is CFLEX or pressure relief. What this setting does is ease the effort of exhalation by lowering the pressure each time you exhale. This feature is a blessing for many and spells the difference between frustration and great sleep.
Once getting to sleep is solved, sometimes the mask can creep in with another issue.
Why do I have dry mouth after wearing my CPAP mask?
If you find yourself breathing through your mouth at night or sleep with your mouth open, CPAP may worsen everything by drying out your mouth. Since certain masks require your mouth to close (nasal and nasal pillows) and others allow your mouth to open (full or total face masks), the experience of the mouth opening and causing leakage is different for all. However, there is a way to solve this.
Start with assuring a proper fit for the mask of your choice. Replacing the seal for nose or nose/mouth may require changing, especially after 6 to 9 months of continuous use.
Second, a chin strap may help keep your mouth closed(with nasal and nasal pillow masks), keep it from falling completely open and breaking a good seal (with a full face mask) and reduce the overall air leak. The only place your mask should leak is from the intended exhalation ports, which typically blow from the front of the mask on practically every mask.
Finally, be sure to follow the above tips and enjoy great sleep again.
This is the sixth part of an ongoing series.
Call 1.877.430.2727 for help.
Written and Edited by Bill Bistak B Sc.,SEO/SEM Spc, CRT
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