Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Common Issues With CPAP Usage and the Knowledge to Overcome Them

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 147

The number one issue for patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea is that of non-compliance. In layman terms, this means that the main issue people, who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, have to deal with is the fact that they likely will not follow through and use the treatment. The immediate question then is why? If addressing sleep apnea will improve multiple aspects of a patient's life, what stops them from following through? The number one reason is comfort. Often instead of adjusting to an undesirable situation with a CPAP mask or machine, a patient will simply give up and return back to untreated sleep patterns.

If a patient is able to change the undesirable situation, he/she will be more likely use the CPAP system. But often they do not know how or what to adjust. These problems are straight forward and have immediate remedies which can be put in place. There are two primary groups of problems that a patient can encounter - Mask problems and lack of comfort attachments.

Mask Problems

Mask problems are focused around either: using a mask that is contrary to the method of breathing by the patient, or not having the right size mask. Each of us has a particular method of breathing while we are sleeping - either through the mouth or through the nose. Often a patient can adjust their breathing method to fit the needs of the mask. Many oral breathers have no issue using nasal masks and can adjust relatively quickly. Still, a small percentage cannot adjust and should modify their mask type to fit their needed air path.

CPAP mask manufactures have produced a number of different mask set-ups to address the multiple styles of breathing. For those who breathe through their mouth, either an oral or full face mask would be appropriate. A full face mask allows for some air to also travel through the nasal passage as is typical. For those who breathe through their nose, two types of masks are available. Nasal CPAP mask typically cover the entire nose while Nasal Pillow (or Cannula) CPAP masks provide covering over simply the nostril holes. Again, personal comfort dictates which is best for the patient.

Using the wrong size mask can produce a number of symptoms. If the mask is too tight, it may cause irritation on the skin. The irritation can lead to further skin issues if continued and can dirty the mask excessively which could allow for bacteria growth over time. It is important to work with the respiratory technician to determine the proper size of mask to use to limit irritation. If the irritation persists then daily cleaning/disinfecting of both face and mask is recommended as well as consulting one's physician to determine if a certain ant-allergy cream or ointment may be needed.

If the CPAP mask is too loose while wearing, it will cause some of the air to leak out. A leaking mask can cause discomfort on the skin where the air passes (becoming cold or irritated). A leak also decreases the efficiency of the CPAP unit by decreasing the effective pressure making it to the body. The best remedy for this situation is to work with the respiratory technician to determine properly adjusted fit. Keep in mind that a mask may appear to be fitting properly at the start of sleep, but during shifting in the bed the mask may move and no longer be properly in place. This is an important reason to find a mask type which is compatible with the patient's sleeping pattern.

Comfort equipment

Another group of issues seen by CPAP patients can be addressed with complementary equipment to the CPAP system. Nasal stuffiness can occur due to the constant air being forced into one's airway. Congestion or a runny nose may occur after CPAP treatment. This issue can be reduced with the use of a heated humidifier. Often this is a standard component to a CPAP machine but can be optional on occasion. The humidifier is added to the system and consists of a container of water which has the air pass over before going to the mask. By using a heated humidifier, water vapor is allowed to enter the nose and body with the air and keeps vital pathways moist.

Sometimes a patient has a difficulty tolerating forced air into their body. They may feel uncomfortable due to the instant increase in pressure on their airway. Today's CPAP machines provide a ramping feature which allows a body to slowly adjust to an increase in pressure over a period of minutes. It is important to be familiar with the CPAP machine enough to utilize this feature.

One last issue that is commonly seen is that of hose entanglement or separation. This occurs when, during movement during the night, the air supply hose is separated from the mask or is tangled with either CPAP or body parts. This can lead to loss of CPAP pressure or even damage of the equipment. A number of options are available to control hose direction, from nightstand holders to specialized pillow. Often preplanning the path of the hose and attaching it to a bedpost or other item can help eliminate issues.

Often a patient simply gives up on using a CPAP machine due to the inconveniences or problems surrounding it. Though individually each of these problems may sound small and easy to deal with, when one is trying to get to sleep they often present a mountain of an obstacle. Knowing that there are easy solutions to these issues will help a patient stick with using the CPAP system and mask over the long run. It is getting to that point where comfort and familiarity that can be the hardest, but the rewards of having better waking days makes it worth the fight.

The number one rule to ensuring the best result is to work with a respiratory technician from the very beginning. They will help to find a proper mask for the patient while taking into account sleep tendencies and personal situation.

For more information on the various available CPAP masks, Click here.

Michael McLane

If you liked this article come and check out information on Nasal CPAP Masks.. and other information on Sleep Apnea.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Cpap Machine


Sleep Apnea


Nasal Cpap Mask


Fill Face Mask Nasal Pillow Cpap Mask

Your body needs glucose in order to get energy for cell and tissue function. Without energy, the cells do not function properly and the immune system is compromised. When your blood glucose levels

By: Clifford H Woods l Health & Fitness > Diabetes l July 09, 2013 lViews: 2617

Heavy Metals - Free radicals (tissue damaging molecules that cause aging and bodily deterioration) are the result of the ever-present toxins within our environment. Heavy metals are contained in

By: Clifford H Woods l Health & Fitness > Supplements l July 09, 2013 lViews: 607

Braun shavers and trimmers are very standard brand and their new curser beard and head trimmer is big for trimming beards. This trimmer was specifically made to be able to trim down your beard and

By: Lovey Blackburn l Health & Fitness > Beauty l December 20, 2012 lViews: 460

On this website you will find latest makeup reviews and swatches from real people. You will know how makeup products look in real life, and you can also participate! Post your photos, tips and

By: l Health & Fitness > Beauty l December 09, 2012 lViews: 321

You can either seek referrals from friends and associates or search for consultants on the internet. The latter, in our opinion, would be a viable option for those pressed for time.You can either

By: Simon Liva l Health & Fitness > Diseases l December 07, 2012 lViews: 269

Healthy living is essential in today's world, to ensure one's well being. Learn how to relax and improve your mood now! Be it exercising, or indulging in one's passions and hobbies, be sure to set

By: Clarinda l Health & Fitness > Mind Body Spirit l December 02, 2012 lViews: 262

We have all heard about it. The stories where someone tosses and turns, moaning, "I cannot fall asleep." Those who have a condition called sleep paralysis may find that they have no problem falling

By: Mel Daveyl Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 18, 2012 lViews: 248

  Sleep paralysis is the feeling of being awake, but unable to move or act. While it poses few actual health threats, it can be disorienting and potentially frightening for those who experience an

By: Lucy Greenswoodl Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 18, 2012 lViews: 268

Over 70 million Americans people suffer from a variety of sleep disorders. The condition of sleep disorders is very complex and ranges from mild to extremely severe forms. There are many underlying

By: Tina C. Lorenl Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 18, 2012 lViews: 175

Sleep apnea is a condition that results to poor sleep at night. If left untreated, it may lead to more serious problems. Seek your doctor's help to determine which treatment is most suitable for you.

By: Roberta Barrowl Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 18, 2012 lViews: 188

A firm mattress supports your body, protects your back and helps to ensure sound sleep. Soft mattresses, that offer little resistance, lead to muscle pain and back problems. Soft mattresses do not

By: Dane Gulottal Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 18, 2012 lViews: 198

Conditions such as sleep apnea that cause sleep deprivation are linked to poor concentration and memory, increased risk of diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes,

By: David Volpil Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 17, 2012 lViews: 174

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus