If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, use of a CPAP machine may be a first line of treatment. Unfortunately, many CPAP users experience difficulties in adjusting to sleeping with the mask on. Below are some common problems and possible solutions to make sleeping with a CPAP easier.
While adjusting to CPAP, many patients have difficulties with the mask. If you are unable to tolerate the mask, an improper fit is likely to blame. First, try loosening the mask, but do not create an air leak. If the mask irritates the bridge of your nose, a moleskin or bandage may help alleviate discomfort. If all else fails, return to your CPAP provider to have your mask resized.
An unfortunate side effect of CPAP usage is dry mouth, especially if you breathe through your mouth. A chinstrap may help prevent mouth breathing. Sleeping on your side and adding humidity through a heated humidifier may also provide relief. If dry mouth persists, talk to your provider at Atlanta ENT, as a change in mask type may be needed.
Nasal irritation, especially the nasal membranes drying out, is a very common problem with CPAP users. Some patients find relief by using saline nasal spray before bed. If adding or adjusting humidifier settings does not help, speak with your provider at Atlanta ENT about additional options, including corticosteroid sprays.
Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President of Atlanta ENT