CPAP masks are primarily used in the treatment of sleep apnea and are part of CPAP therapy. These masks are attached to CPAP machines, which give you a steady flow of air with the pressure regulated. The mask can be of two types, there is one which covers the nose and mouth and has straps around the head. The other is where you use nasal pads to place the tubes in your nose. Either way, the masks can take some getting used to. Almost two out of every three people who are treated with CPAP therapy face some problems.
Here are some of the most common of problems with the masks and what you can do about them. The first is the wrong size of mask. This alone can make it extremely uncomfortable for you to wear. With the help of your doctor and your supplier, look for the mask that fits you perfectly. There are masks for different face shapes and needs and you will definitely find one for you.
Masks that cover your nose and mouth are by far the most stable ones. If you are the kind who constantly moves in your sleep, then you will find this to be the one best suited to you. Getting used to wearing the mask can be quite a task. In order to break into the habit, it would be best to wear the mask without it being attached to anything for a short while each day as you go about your work. Once you get used to the feeling, attach it to the machine and sit near it for a while. You can gradually begin using the machine when you take an afternoon nap for a short while.
There are also chances that you are uncomfortable with the fact that the air that is coming through is a bit forced. What you can do to get used to this is use the ramp option. This is an automatic setting where the air to let out in a controlled and low manner. With time, the machine will automatically increase the pressure in the air giving you time to get used to it. Your doctor will be able to determine the levels at which the pressure needs to be increased.
Another issue most people face is a dry and stuffy nose. This can happen when the mask has not been put on right. One way in which you can rectify this is by using a humidifier with your mask. You may also end with a nasal spray of steroids that has been prescribed by your doctor. You will also need to check your mask to see if there is a leakage of any sort.
Most people using the masks also end up feeling very claustrophobic. One way to get over this is to ease into wearing the masks. Another way is to learn relaxation methods to help you adjust to wearing them. It will take a few days of frustration, but you will be over it soon. Should you still have a problem after a few weeks, you might want to consider changing the style of your mask.
Especially for those who have the habit of moving in their sleep, there are chances that you will wake up and find that the mask is no longer on your face. In such conditions, it would be a good idea to invest in masks that have chinstraps as well. If you are the kind who likes to read before sleeping, you could think of using the version of nasal pillows of CPAP masks.