Common Problems When Using a CPAP Machine (and How to Avoid Them)

Common Problems When Using a CPAP Machine (and How to Avoid Them)

Common Problems When Using a CPAP Machine (and How to Avoid Them)

Common Problems When Using a CPAP Machine (and How to Avoid Them)

CPAP machines often get a reputation for being difficult to adjust to. From noisiness to the uncomfortable sensation of having a mask on while you’re sleeping, many make the unfortunate decision to never give this life-changing medical technology a chance. After all, CPAP machines can help you get rid of the damaging, sleep-destroying effects that sleep apnea causes. If you want to master this medical technology and boost your daily energy, learning how to properly and comfortably adjust to a CPAP machine is crucial. To help ease your woes, and prepare you for your new CPAP machine, here are common problems when using a CPAP machine (and how to avoid them).

Getting the Wrong Style or Size of Mask

There is a ton of variety when it comes to CPAP masks. While your machine is likely to come with a mask, not every person will be able to fit comfortably into the mask that’s included. Due to this, it’s key that you work with your doctor to find the right style and size of mask that will keep you using your machine comfortably every night. There are even different styles, including ones that attach primarily to your nose, and ones that function more akin to a full-fledged face mask. It may take a while to figure out how to secure your mask in as effective way as possible, but once you find the right fit you’ll be set up for the foreseeable future.

Claustrophobic Feelings When First Starting Treatment

The white noise a CPAP machine emits, and the sensation of having a mask on that helps you breathe properly, are sure to throw off your feeling of normalcy at first. Many people will even find themselves beginning to feel claustrophobic or anxious upon their first use of the machine. To avoid anxiety attacks or other sleep-disturbing effects, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to adjust to this new development in your life. Consider practicing with the machine for a few hours before actually lying down for the night, and you’ll be able to use the machine comfortably much quicker.

Dry Mouth and Stuffy Nose

There’s a not-unlikely chance that you might experience a dry mouth or stuffy nose upon waking up from using a CPAP machine (at least during the first few uses). Avoid anxiety about this after-effect, and you’ll feel more confident that your machine is still providing health benefits and working effectively. However, the best way to avoid this effect is to grab a CPAP machine that has a humidifier built into it. Thankfully, most machines are being built with this feature nowadays. The humidifier will ensure the air around the machine (and your sleeping space) is comfortable and filled with enough moisture to avoid the irritating side effects of finding yourself with a dry mouth and stuffy nose upon waking up each morning. If you find yourself struggling with this side effect in a major way, be sure to consider your machine may be dysfunctional (and you should always take this seriously).

Grating, Irritable Machine Noise

Let’s focus on the noisiness part of the CPAP machine for a moment. While the mask element is more attributed to new users becoming anxious or claustrophobic, the constant (if minor) noise that some machines can emit is more likely to be frustrating for most users. Preparing yourself for this effect by getting used to the machine’s noise before lying down for your first night’s rest with it is recommended. If you still find yourself feeling uncomfortable, consider adding more white noise to your room, or finding a relaxing, sleep-inducing bit of music to help you cut through the machine’s noise. Breathing exercises and nighttime stretches can provide an excellent way to overcome this obstacle as well.

Forgetting to Use the “Ramp” Feature at First

Most machines have a “ramp” style feature included. This will allow the machine to slowly build up its power and intensity, which will help induce sleep and make the process of the machine feel much easier to get used to. Knowing how to properly set up the ramp feature might take a while, but it will be invaluable to getting you comfortable with your new CPAP machine. Between the humidifier and ramp feature, you’ll be able to feel much more assured that the machine will not overpower your senses and become a pain. Then you can find the perfect pillow to guide you to dreamland.

Don’t Go in Expecting that Everything Will Immediately Feel “Just Right”

Many valuable things can be a bit difficult to get used to. When you begin using your CPAP machine, do not let little speed bumps keep you from gaining the invaluable health and sleep benefits you’ll soon unlock. Thankfully, with this guide, you’ll be prepared to handle the most common obstacles knowledgeably. Soon you’ll be sleeping peacefully and without obstruction every single night.

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