Hope2SleepGuide

Sleep Apnoea Forum Bringing Help + Support to the Patient

The following are my own tips in helping with my own treatment, and are not meant as a substitute for medical advice. However, I hope they prove useful. 


CPAP/APAP/BIPAP TOLERANCE PROBLEMS

A lot of people find it hard to tolerate their equipment at first, so it's a good idea to set it up during the day whilst relaxing, such as watching tv, to practise using it, rather than waiting for bedtime when you have no other distractions. If you need daytime naps, use it during these too for shorter periods. Practise wearing the mask only, without attaching it to the CPAP, to get used to it. Remember most people take at least 2 weeks to get accustomed to using their masks and machines (some a lot longer), so this is very 'normal' and you are not alone in this!


MASK LEAKS

A good mask seal is imperative for successful treatment and there are several reasons why your mask may be losing it's seal so here's some causes and fixes:-

  • Ensure it is correctly fitted, especially if you are using an APAP (where the pressure raises automatically when apnoeas are detected).  When fitting the mask, lay down and have the mask loosely attached to your face.  Set the CPAP/APAP on the highest setting it has been set for you, and whilst the air is blowing, fasten the straps, just enough to create a seal, making sure it's not too tight.
  • Daily cleaning the mask seal is so important, as facial oils left on it will cause mask leaks.  Contrary to even manufacturers advice, cleaning the masks in detergents such as Fairy Liquid is not adequate, as the extra conditioners that 'leave hands soft' etc., eventually build up a film on the mask seal.  This is why I use the CPAP Mask Wipes and Sprays, and why most people after having tried them continue to use them.  Vinegar diluted in water is also good, but the after-smell isn't!
  • Have you got the correct size of mask?  Ordering a mask online without having tried it on is risky, but thankfully a lot of sleep clinics now carry a wide range of masks for you to try.  Bear in mind the best position for trying on a mask is laid down in your sleeping position - preferably with the CPAP switched on.
  • Another problem which causes mask leaks is the hose dragging on the mask.  Try to get the hose elevated about your head (which is also very necessary if using a humidifier to prevent 'rainout').  The best invention ever, in my opinion, for CPAP is the Hose Lift for this purpose, and often this alone stops mask leaks for numerous people.

 

NASAL + FACE ITCHING

Keep a straw or something similar by the side of your bed for those annoying itches caused through the air blowing. Use the straw to scratch the itch rather than risk losing the seal on the mask and having to start all over again.  A lot of people find that moisturising their nose with the CPAP Moisture Therapy Cream

helps with this.   DO NOT any cream containing petroleum jelly, mineral oil, paraffin or alcohol (see this blog why-not-to-use-petroleum-jelly-with-cpap-bipap-ventilator-masks/).  The CPAP Cream is safe with the masks and for inhalation.


DRY MOUTH

A CPAP Humidifier normally helps with this, but if you still have a dry mouth, keep a bottle of water by your bed (saves spilling a glass of water near your machine) and take just enough water to wet your mouth, as drinking can cause you to inhale any liquid (or food) if taken too close to your sleep time.


MASK MARKS

Assuming you have tried everything to avoid getting marks in the first place (like not over-tightening your straps and using the CPAP Strap Covers in the shop), and you still have marks on your face do not panic! At first sight after removing your mask the marks will be worse, but the majority of them will diminish fairly quickly, depending on your age and skin's elasticity. For any remaining marks, rub your skin with your fingers in circular movements to increase the blood flow and stretch the marked skin. Splash your face with cool water and pat dry with a towel. For further help it's now a good idea to moisturise your skin - perhaps even with the night cream you don't use now due to wearing the mask. You can even try skin plumping creams that are now widely available. Finally, you can use skin concealers and foundation, but choose powder based ones, as liquid ones can get into the creases and make the marks look worse!


PROBLEMS READING WITH CPAP MASK ON

If you're like me, and read to wind down in bed, then you may come against problems if you need to use glasses to read. I tried many times to read before I put the mask on, but found myself often falling asleep with the book in my hand and no mask on - not a good idea! I bought a magnifying glass, which helped, but made my arm ache holding it, as you need a fairly large one. I then discovered E-Book Readers. They're not cheap, but worth their weight in gold, but then you may have trouble choosing the right one for you. Well, I've now owned 3 different ones and my absolute favourite is the Amazon Kindle.  The font sizes can be increased so I can read without my glasses, and also the Kindle can read to you either audibly or via headphones.

Check out another blog about magnetic reading glasses, which I've yet to try, but they sound good.


 

WATER COLLECTING IN THE HOUSE - KNOWN AS 'RAINOUT'

When you use a humidifier, sometimes water collects in the hose and can run into your mask, and this is not pleasant!  The two best ways to prevent this are:-

  • Keep your hose insulated, and the easiest way to do this is with the Hose Covers.  These not only help with this problem, but they also create a soft warm feel to the outside of the tube as the plastic can feel cold against your skin - especially in the colder months
  • The Hose Lift, in my opinion, should be part of our equipment and when most people get one, they wonder how they ever managed without one!  It elevates the hose above your head, and gravity prevents any water from collecting in the tube.  The other main benefit to the Hose Lift is that you are free to toss and turn without the tube tugging on your mask.

Views: 563

Comments are closed for this blog post

Sleep Apnoea Forum

New to the Sleep Apnoea Forum? 

1. Stop by our Sleep Apnoea Welcome Center to introduce yourself to the SleepGuide community.
2. Start a New Topic of Conversation.
3. Post your photos - of yourself, your old CPAP machine, your new CPAP machine, your pet, something about you!

Interested in advertising, have a problem or need to contact us? Click the Report an Issue page.

 

Latest Activity

Drew Siegert is now a member of Hope2SleepGuide
Monday
Linda updated their profile
Sunday
Profile IconPaula Tanner and Steve Ward joined Hope2SleepGuide
Saturday
Janet Martin is now a member of Hope2SleepGuide
Apr 4
Lynda smith is now a member of Hope2SleepGuide
Mar 31
Kath Hope replied to The SleepGuide Crew's discussion Welcome to our Forum - Feel Free to Introduce Yourself Here.
"Hi Booksy This is a great 1st night's result regarding already feeling the benefits of CPAP.   It's absolutely normal to get a few teething problems at first but if you feel the air pressure is still too low contact your sleep…"
Mar 23
Sleep2snore replied to The SleepGuide Crew's discussion Welcome to our Forum - Feel Free to Introduce Yourself Here.
Mar 23
Sleep2snore replied to The SleepGuide Crew's discussion Welcome to our Forum - Feel Free to Introduce Yourself Here.
"Either they have not set your minimum pressure and the machine is slowly finding the level you require, or they have not set up a minimum pressure. I don't know how or if they set your machine up, but my mate got one and under Covid rules they…"
Mar 23
Booksy replied to The SleepGuide Crew's discussion Welcome to our Forum - Feel Free to Introduce Yourself Here.
"Hi Everyone, I’m 50 and was diagnosed last month with moderate sleep apnea with a score of 28. Last night was my first night with my cpap machine and mask. I slept a whole 8 hours without waking! I also feel quite a bit brighter and less foggy…"
Mar 23
Mr Matt Boadle is now a member of Hope2SleepGuide
Mar 21
Judith Wilson replied to Damien's discussion Newly diagnosed via Phillips at home test and needing advice
"Glad to hear you are settling into APAP machine Damien...it did sound preferable to CPAP ones.The more I use my oximeter as I wake up during sleep I think I’m discovering my problem with low oxygen seems to be only in the morning as I snooze,…"
Mar 13
Damien replied to Damien's discussion Newly diagnosed via Phillips at home test and needing advice
"Hi Judith, sorry to hear you are struggling. I’ve been using my apap since Tuesday and noticed some small improvements but i think i’ll need to up the pressure to get AHI lower as although its much lower than my test result i’m…"
Mar 13
Judith Wilson replied to Damien's discussion Newly diagnosed via Phillips at home test and needing advice
"Thank you Kath, yes I suspected Lung/Sleep folks had been commandeered’ to covid, but this seems to include appointment staff too! Although I’d love a remedy ( no matter how partial) to my existing conditions I am a bit fearful of the…"
Mar 10
Kath Hope replied to Damien's discussion Newly diagnosed via Phillips at home test and needing advice
"Hi Judith Sorry to hear there's such a long waiting list in your area.  It's been made worse because a lot of staff from the sleep clinics are respiratory specialists and these are the very professionals who were needed in ICU and on…"
Mar 10
Kath Hope replied to Damien's discussion Newly diagnosed via Phillips at home test and needing advice
"Sorry I missed this question Damien but I've spoken to you since at the charity and know you should have the machine by now.  Hope things are going well."
Mar 10
Judith Wilson replied to Damien's discussion Newly diagnosed via Phillips at home test and needing advice
"I am rather like Damien. Got a referral to Lung/Sleep consultant but no appointments in nhs for at least 10 months. Ordered the charities two night monitoring kit to test for sleep apnoea, but will this count as diagnosis to get prescription if I…"
Mar 10
Judith Wilson is now a member of Hope2SleepGuide
Mar 10
Damien replied to Damien's discussion Newly diagnosed via Phillips at home test and needing advice
"Hi Kathy, i bit the bullet the other day and just ordered the apap. What is the usual waiting time for order and delivery completion in mainland UK? thanks  damien "
Mar 4
Kath Hope replied to Damien's discussion Newly diagnosed via Phillips at home test and needing advice
"Bless you and do understand, now you've got a diagnosis with 'hope' in sight for an end, or at least vast improvements, to your symptoms.  We got some more machines ordered today, although only one APAP without a humifidier...the…"
Mar 2
Damien replied to Damien's discussion Newly diagnosed via Phillips at home test and needing advice
"Hi Kath, I’m just holding off to see final sight of my insurance docs and to speak to them (on the very unlikely chance they can do anything) but it does look like it will be excluded so will likely buy the apap this week and then see ENT…"
Mar 2

© 2021   Created by The SleepGuide Crew.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service