Almost 20 million people from all around the world face the problem of OSA also known as “obstructive sleep apnea”. In this medical issue, the patient usually stops breathing for brief periods during sleep. This occurs multiple times at night. The treatment of OSA is mostly centered on its prevention from causing other severe diseases such as neurological or cardiac problems.
Doctors usually advise CPAP also known as “continuous positive airway pressure” therapy for OSA patients. In this therapy, patients are given complete face masks and nasal pillows. The purpose of masks and pillows is a continuous supply of air which tends the airways to remain open while the patient is sleeping. In this way, the patient will have a constant supply of oxygen throughout the night and will not have any trouble in breathing.
1) My CPAP mask makes me feel claustrophobic. What do I do?
CPAP masks tend to stimulate claustrophobia in some patients which limits their treatment effectively. It is possible to overcome claustrophobia if you use the masks at night and follow some basic techniques.
Practice makes the use of CPAP masks easier and perfect. It is better to keep wearing the mask during the daytime as well and not only at night. You can only hold up the mask to your face as well and not tie the straps. The purpose is to develop the habit and avoid claustrophobia.
Apply various relaxation techniques. You can effectively manage your anxiety and stress by applying the best relaxation technique which you seem fits best for your health. Focused and deep breaths, meditation, and exercises can lower your anxiety and stress while taking CPAP therapy.
2) I am still snoring while even when I use my CPAP machine. What can I do?
Snoring is not normal while using a CPAP machine. However, there can be some reasons behind it. The air pressure can be extremely strong or maybe the patient needs to switch to full face masks to avoid breathing from the mouth. The incorrect sleeping position can also be one of the causes. Adjust the pressure of the machine and try to sleep in the best and most relaxed position to avoid snoring.
3) I am having difficulties falling asleep with my CPAP machine.
CPAP machine sometimes causes dry mouth and nose which doesn’t let you sleep. To solve this problem, a humidifier is attached to your machine. It keeps the mucous lining wet and prevents it from drying out. To resolve nasal congestion, you can also use a nasal decongestant spray after consulting with the doctor.
4) I don’t like sleeping with a CPAP mask at night. It’s very uncomfortable.
CPAP masks can be bulky and can interrupt your sleep as well. Consult your physician so that they make sure that your mask is the best fit for your face. If the mask is loose, it can be uncomfortable in many ways. Different sizes of CPAP masks are available as per patient’s requirements and comfort level.
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