Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP) is the most common treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. A CPAP device is a mask-like machine that covers the nose and mouth, providing a constant stream of air that keeps the breathing passages open while sleeping.
CPAP technology is constantly being updated and improved, and the new CPAP devices are lighter, quieter, and more comfortable. Here are some of the tips for choosing the right CPAP machine for you:
· Make sure the CPAP device fits correctly-Straps should not be too tight or too loose and the mask should seal completely over the nose and mouth.
· Ease into it-Start by using the CPAP device for short periods during the day. It is normal to need several months to get used to sleeping with the CPAP device.
· Upgrade the CPAP device with customized options-Customize the mask, tubing and straps, to find the right fit.
· Use a humidifier to decrease dryness and skin irritation.
· Try a saline nasal spray for nasal congestion.
· Keep the mask, tubing and headgear clean.
· Mask the sound of the CPAP machine-Place it beneath the bed to reduce the noise.
· Use an oral appliance in conjunction with the CPAP can assist in opening the airway.
“Some patients still may not be able to tolerate a mask over the nose and mouth while they are sleeping,” says Dr. Lee. “If you are someone who still struggles, contact us. There may be an option that will work for you.”
*CPAP treatment may cause side effects: dry or stuffy nose, irritated skin on the face, dry mouth, and headaches. If the CPAP device is not adjusted properly, patients may get stomach bloating and discomfort while wearing the mask.