10 Side Effects of the CPAP Machine

The CPAP machine will help with your apnea. Unfortunately it is not the most comfortable thing in the world. Here are 10 symptoms to expect and what to do about them.

1. Claustrophobia – Having the mask on will probably be uncomfortable, especially initially. Use it as much as you can bear to begin with, but try to increase the duration each night. It can help to challenge, and maybe even reward yourself if you make it through the night

Don’t use straps that are too tight. Use it while awake, in the hours before bedtime to get used to the sensations. Anti-anxiety drugs may help if things get unbearable – ask your doctor if this option is for you.

2. Blocked nose or irritation – The CPAP machine air is very dry. The air may cause a response in the delicate nasal areas, often a dripping nose, sneezing, blockages or stinging. You might also have occasional bleeding from the nose. Humidification of the air, which your machine may be able to do can help with these symptoms. If your machine doesn’t have this feature, find one that does. cpap pressure settings

3. A mask that fits poorly or loses pressure – There are masks in all sorts of shapes, from full face to nostrils only; many come in different sizes as well. Try a range of masks until you find the best one for you. The CPAP helps with your symptoms but isn’t a cure; you may need to wear the mask every night for a long time. Find one that fits properly

Facial hair like beards and moustaches along and dirty oily skin may stop the seal from being properly air tight. Take care of your face and the mask and the performance may well improve.

4. No improvements – It can be disheartening when the CPAP machine interrupts your night. Try to remember the positive aspects of the treatment, consider keeping a diary nad record if headaches lessen or you feel less tired in the morning. Goals or personal competitions can help to keep the mask on. If the sleep apnea is not improving after a period of months consult your health professional

5. Unable to nose breath – Sleep apnea is relieved by pressure to the throat behind the nose. If you can’t breath through your nose than it may not be effective. Surgery may be needed if there is an underlying problem with your nasal passages. Over the counter medication to help with flu symptoms may also be effective. There are a range of full face masks that may be more suited to you.

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