CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is an invaluable technology for coping with sleep apnea, a blockage of the airway that can interrupt your breathing hundreds of times each night. Sleep apnea has been associated with heart problems, high blood pressure, liver trouble and daytime fatigue, so a CPAP device -- which keeps the airway open by feeding it a constant supply or air -- can produce a notable improvement in a sufferer's health. If you're having trouble adapting to CPAP use, here are four things you can do to improve your experience.
1. Make Sure the Mask Fits
A typical CPAP device consists of an air hose terminating in a mask that fits over the user's nose and mouth. For most individuals, this mask would never stay in place on its own, so a CPAP chin strap is used to keep it secure. Unfortunately, an improperly selected and adjusted chin strap can cause its own issues. A chin strap that is too loose will allow the mask to shift and air to escape, while a chin strap that is too tight will produce pressure sores or around the nose. Some people also experience jaw pain.
2. Adjust the Air Pressure
Every case of sleep apnea differs according to individual anatomy -- an air pressure that feels right for one user may cause problems for another. Too much pressure can create a uncomfortable suffocating sensation, while too little air pressure will fail to keep your airway open.
3. Stop the Noise
Some people have difficulty ignoring a certain amount of noise that may come from their CPAP devices, spoiling their ability to get to sleep. If that problem sounds distressingly familiar to you, take heart, because there are a few things you can do about it.
4. Deal with Dryness
The air pushed from a CPAP machine into your nose and mouth can be very dry, leaving you with an uncomfortable parched sensation when you wake up -- which could be the middle of the night, depending on your discomfort level. This problem may be resolved as easily as adjusting the CPAP chin strap to get a tighter seal, or by adding a CPAP humidifier to your setup.
From tighter-fitting masks to more humid air, there are many steps you can take to make your CPAP device work for you instead of against you in your fight against sleep apnea. Try some of these suggestions out tonight and see if you don't sleep better.
Ever since I was a young girl, I have had bad asthma and allergies. I had to stay in the hospital several times when I was in elementary school just to help get my asthma under control and it seemed like I was trying medication after medication with little success. I don't remember all of my childhood health details, since I was so young, but my mother has "filled in the blanks" for me. Thanks to modern medicine and a natural remedy, my health conditions are currently under control and have been for a few years now. I am very grateful for my good health, and I want to "pay it back" to others by creating a blog where I will post my health tips. I hope I can help you learn how to achieve good health!