Things You Should Know If You Wear a CPAP Mask

Things You Should Know If You Wear a CPAP Mask

If you use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask, you may already know about the unpleasant side effects of wearing one every night. Nasal congestion and nosebleeds are the most common complaints. Even if this doesn't happen to you, there's always that pesky hose that can get in your way or annoy you whenever you roll over.


But there are things you can do to make your CPAP mask more comfortable and tolerable for the long term, so you can fall asleep easily and sleep soundly. Here are some tips from slumber experts that could help:


Nasal cushion should Be a Comfy Fit


The mask should fit comfortably over the bridge of your nose if you use a nasal mask, and the nasal cushion should be soft enough to make you forget they're there. If they're not, try the following:


Try a smaller size mask. If your nose is too big for the nasal pillows but you love them because they fit nice and snug, try switching to a different size instead.


Try thicker pads. A little bit of silicone grease on each pad can make masks more comfortable for some people.


Try a "noseless" mask. For some masks, you can use an under the nose type of mask. This is known as sleeping "noseless."


If none of these tips help, consider getting an entirely different type of mask.


Don't Be Afraid to Gently Tug It Into Place


Especially as you sleep, your CPAP mask can shift and begin to leak air. That's because it doesn't fit as snugly because the headgear is not tight enough.


You might find that there are times when you toss and turn and end up moving the mask out of place or even off entirely. Don't worry: If it comes off, you won't suffocate. But when it's off, simply put back on.


That's why whenever you wake up and find that your mask has slipped out of place or fallen off during the night, gently tug it back onto your face. If this happens several times a night, you might want to discuss this with your respiratory therapist or your CPAP supplier.


If You Get Nosebleeds


If nosebleeds happen more than once in a while it is either due to airflow dryness or irritation caused by the mask itself, try putting a humidifier in the room where you sleep so the air is less dry. This could help prevent the dryness that can lead to nosebleeds.

Most CPAP devices includes a heated humidifier which you can increase the humidity setting directly from your device. Also you need to eliminate the air leaks from your mask as this will increase airflow which can reduce the effectiveness of the heated humidifier. You will also notice a high consumption of water from the water chamber.


People who regularly get nosebleeds might benefit from using a sesame oil nasal spray such as Rhinaris Nozoil before putting on their mask each night. Or, if you're experiencing severe dryness or problems with your nose you should contact your CPAP supplier or respiratory therapist.


If You Have a Dry Mouth


Although it might not happen as often as a runny or stuffed-up nose, you can also experience dryness in your mouth from wearing a CPAP mask all night long. If that's the case, try any of these methods to relieve the discomfort:

Most CPAP devices includes a heated humidifier which you can increase the humidity setting directly from your device. Also you need to eliminate the air leaks from your mask as this will increase airflow which can reduce the effectiveness of the heated humidifier. You will also notice a high consumption of water from the water chamber.


Try a mask that has more than one point of connection. It might be uncomfortable for your mouth to have the air forced into it by just one point of contact, so using two or more could help.


If you use a nasal mask use a chin strap. A CPAP mask needs some type of seal around your mouth in order to create the pressure required to keep your airway open all night. With a chin strap, you can provide that seal yourself and make the mask even more comfortable for your mouth and lips.


Get a gel pad: These pads are known to make masks more comfortable if they push against your upper lip or chin.


If none of these tips help, you might need a completely different type of mask.


When Buying a Mask


The ideal CPAP mask should create a seal all the way around your nose and/or mouth and nose instead of just pressing against one spot or another. And if it's going to be worn for several hours every single night, it should be comfortable without leaving too many marks on your skin or feel uncomfortable or painful.


If it fits properly, you shouldn't feel like you're struggling to breathe; instead, air should pass through the mask's nasal pillows (or around its frame) easily and effortlessly. Their are settings from your CPAP device that can be adjusted by your respiratory therapist to improve your breathing experience and improve comfort.


Don't Give Up!


Even if you find the perfect mask for you, and have no issues with dryness and/or nasal congestion there will still be some nights when you wake up feeling like you had a terrible night's sleep. You were not born sleeping with a nasal mask breathing against air pressure. You would be surprise how the body can adapt especially with more modern CPAP devices and newer types of masks.

 

It takes perseverance and determination. It is worth it. Quicker you adapt quicker you would feel the difference by feeling more refresh waking up, less tired during the day, no more snoring, more daytime energy, better memory, better concentration, less need to go to the washroom in the middle of the night, no more waking up with headaches and the list goes on and on.


That's why it's important to keep trying and persevering until you reap the benefits.

As it is often said " Try and try again, if yo don't succeed try again".


Many people make the mistake of giving up on CPAP mask therapy entirely if they're having trouble with them in the beginning. But if this is something you need to sleep better, don't go down that road of discouragement; instead, do whatever it takes to make sure the mask you're using fits and feels right for you.

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