Trouble Adjusting To Your Sleep Apnea Machine? What Are Your Options?

Today's continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are smaller, quieter, and higher-tech than ever before. Instead of uncomfortable masks and noisy, rattling machines that can send your bedmate to the guest room, modern CPAP machines are unobtrusive and even more effective. But for first-time CPAP users, getting used to sleeping with a mask on your face can take some getting used to. Read on to learn more about correcting a few of the most common problems users may have when it comes to their CPAP machines.

Trouble Breathing Through Your Nose

If you tend to sleep with your mouth hanging open, getting used to breathing through your nose while wearing a CPAP mask can be tough. You may want to start with a full-face mask, which allows you to breathe through either your nose or your mouth, whichever is more comfortable, without impacting the way the machine functions. Other masks have heat and humidifier options, which can minimize the feeling of a dry airway. 

Trouble Falling Asleep

It can be easy to feel claustrophobic when you first begin using the CPAP mask. For some, putting this mask on can even bring back unpleasant memories of the dentist's office or anesthesia before surgery. If you're having trouble falling asleep because of the feelings of anxiety the CPAP machine triggers, it's usually a good idea to start slowly by wearing the CPAP mask periodically throughout the day. Once you've grown more comfortable, you'll be less likely to lie awake at night trying to concentrate on anything besides the mask on your face. 

Others may have trouble falling asleep for reasons other than claustrophobia. Although you don't want to take any over-the-counter sleep aids without the guidance of the doctor who is treating you for sleep apnea, you may want to consider some home sleep remedies, like a glass of warm milk, a relaxing bath, or aromatherapy like lavender. 

Trouble Keeping Your Mask On All Night

Even if you're able to fall asleep easily (and stay asleep), you may wake up each morning to notice your mask flung across the bed. It can be tough, if not impossible, to control your body movements while sleeping. For the first few days or even weeks of using your mask, you may want to use some light restraints to keep your hands from subconsciously moving to your face. Fortunately, after you've gotten into the habit of wearing your apnea mask all night, you shouldn't have to worry as much about inadvertently removing it. 

For more advice, reach out to a specialist like those at Eastern Carolina Ear Nose & Throat-Head.