3 Ways To Improve Your Comfort Levels With CPAP Use
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines help thousands improve their sleep, shake off daytime fatigue, and prevent severe health complications like heart disease. Unfortunately, many users find the CPAP machines too noisy, too cumbersome, and the sleep apnea masks too difficult to sleep with. Here are 3 tips to improve your comfort levels while using CPAP and ensure you keep using machine throughout the years.
About CPAP and Sleep Apnea
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines help regulate your airflow as you sleep, improving your breathing, and helping stop apnea events. Sleep apnea is characterized by episodes during the night where you stop breathing or find your breathing extremely restricted. These apnea events can occur hundreds of times while you sleep, leading to broken and disturbed sleep. As a result, you may suffer daytime fatigue, headaches, and depression. In addition, the lack of oxygen can raise your risk of obesity, heart attacks and strokes, underlining how debilitating sleep apnea can be.
CPAP Chin Strap
Many sufferers of sleep apnea experience a relaxation of their throat and neck muscles that causes their mouths to open in their sleep. If you have this problem, you may experience your CPAP mask constantly falls off. This means your CPAP machine won't be working properly and that you may spend the whole night trying to adjust your CPAP mask to stick to your face properly.
Consider purchasing a CPAP chin strap, which is an elastic band that you can secure around your chin and the top of your head. This chin strap, from a retailer like Corner Medical, will help you keep your mouth closed and your mask is more securely in place.
A Heated Humidifier
Unfortunately, some CPAP users experience a very dry sore throat after using their machine all night. Eventually, the pain can become so bad that they give up on using their machine entirely. Before you throw in the towel, consider purchasing a heated humidifier.
A heated humidifier releases heated water vapor into the air, helping to keep the air in your room moist, and helps keep your mouth and throat from drying out while using your mask. Some more expensive machines also have a humidifier built directly into the machine. It's a purchase you may want to consider making to improve your comfort levels and ensure you continue using your machine.
CPAP Strap Covers
You may find the CPAP mask straps that keep the mask attached to your face while you sleep severely uncomfortable. These straps and bands can dig into your skin over the night, and leave you waking up in the morning with irritated skin and imprints on your face. You may even find yourself continuously waking up due to the irritation these straps can cause. Consider purchasing a specially designed cover for your straps, which provides a plush layer of protection that can help prevent chafing and give you a barrier between your face and your CPAP straps.
Ultimately, it's important to speak to your doctor if you're having difficulty using your CPAP machine. He or she can help you try different techniques or accessories to improve your CPAP experience. In the meantime, try out some of the above tips, and see if they can't help you get the great night sleep you deserve.