Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is one of the best treatments for obstructive sleep apnea—though of course, getting the most out of CPAP therapy means committing to using a CPAP machine every time you sleep.
Understandably, this poses a challenge for most new CPAP users. Sleeping with a CPAP mask on your face and a constant stream of air blowing into your mouth and nose isn’t exactly the most comfortable experience at first.
If you’re new to CPAP therapy and feel as if you’re never going to get used to it, these tips will help you adjust to your CPAP equipment.
Select the right CPAP mask.
There are several different types of CPAP masks and styles to choose from—including nasal masks, full face masks and hybrid masks that are a combination of both. Each CPAP mask serves the same purpose, so you’re free to pick whichever one is most comfortable. Many CPAP users prefer the smallest CPAP mask available, but again, it all comes down to personal preference.
Practice using your CPAP equipment.
Jumping right into using a CPAP machine when you’re ready to go to sleep can be overwhelming, and may even contribute to insomnia. For the first week or so, it’s smart to practice using your CPAP equipment so you can slowly acclimate to it. Pick a time during the day or evening and conduct a practice run. Turn the CPAP machine on for about 30 minutes while you do something you enjoy, like watching TV or reading a book. This will help you adjust to using a CPAP machine so that it feels more natural at bedtime.
Use the “ramp” setting on your CPAP machine.
This feature, found on many CPAP machine models, is designed specifically to make CPAP therapy more comfortable. The “ramp” setting works exactly how it sounds: it starts at a low pressure and then slowly ramps up to the prescribed pressure over a short period of time. This allows you to gradually adjust and gives you time to fall asleep before the pressure reaches its highest point.
Take care of your CPAP equipment.
Get into the habit of cleaning your CPAP equipment regularly right in the beginning so that you don’t develop colds or respiratory infections. The better you feel, the easier time you’ll have adjusting to CPAP therapy. For simple and effective CPAP cleaning, try the SoClean CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer.
Have you successfully adjusted to using a CPAP machine?