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Solving Common CPAP/BiLevel PAP Discomforts

For many people, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP/BiLevel PAP) therapy is an instant relief from the pain and frustration of sleepless nights. But not everyone undergoing CPAP therapy can immediately use sleep apnea devices all night, every night. That’s why it’s important to communicate with your Graymark Healthcare professional about how treatment is working for you.

It can take time to get used to CPAP therapy.
Sometimes CPAP therapy patients complain that their mask is uncomfortable or doesn’t function properly. The good news is that there are many different styles and sizes of masks and sleep apnea devices. Our clinical specialists will help you choose the correct size and style and help you make any necessary adjustments.

It’s important to your health and well-being that you stick with CPAP therapy, so please be patient if it takes time to adjust. These are a few of the common problems you could experience when getting used to CPAP therapy for your obstructive sleep apnea, along with possible solutions.

Eye irritation

Possible solutions:

  • Be sure the mask is fitted correctly to your face. 
  • Be sure the headgear is tightened evenly (but not over-tightened). 
  • Contact one of our sleep disorder centers for a mask refitting.

Skin irritation

Possible solutions:

  • Make sure you are properly cleaning the mask and rinsing thoroughly. The oils from your face build up on the mask and can cause skin rashes if not removed from the mask between uses. Your mask should be washed or wiped down daily.
  • Call one of our sleep disorder centers for help.

Stuffy nose

Possible solutions:

  • There is a learning curve for your body to adjust to PAP therapy and stuffiness usually resolves itself over time. However, your physician may recommend nasal sprays or decongestants to address any specific issues you may have with congestion. 
  • Humidifiers can greatly help with congestion. 
  • If you try these solutions and continue to suffer from a stuffy nose, contact one of our sleep disorder centers.

Dry mouth or throat

Possible solutions:

  • Try using a humidifier. If you’re already using a humidifier, increase the setting. 
  • Your mouth may be staying open while you sleep. Call us about the possibility of using a chin strap to keep your mouth closed. 
  • You may want to try using saliva-producing product before and after therapy. Contact us for more details.

Feeling claustrophobic

Possible solutions:

  • Try relaxation exercises, such as meditation or progressive muscle relaxation to help calm your anxiety.
  • Try our CPAP Desensitization tips about how to gradually get used to wearing a CPAP mask to sleep at night.
  • If you continue to feel claustrophobic, contact Graymark Healthcare.  We’ll walk you through other relaxation tips as well as discuss the possibility of switching to a new mask or sleep apnea device that will make you more comfortable.