CPAP is an incredibly effective treatment for sleep apnea, but a large people who try it do not find it helpful because they do not wear it all of the time that they are sleeping. There are several problems which can arise with CPAP, including problems with the mask.
Your CPAP mask should be fit comfortably without leaking air. If you are new to CPAP and experience pain, skin irritation, or air leakage you probably need a different size or style of mask. If you have been using CPAP successfully and comfortably and start experiencing these problems, your mask may be dirty or too old. The right size and style of mask are critical to proper CPAP use. Getting used to CPAP can take time, and the device is a bit awkward, but it should not be painful, cause skin irritations or sores, or leak air.
If you find that you are unable to wear your CPAP mask all night, you may be experiencing mask problems.
Your mask should maintain a good seal without being tight. If your mask leaks air, you may experience eye irritation or conjunctivitis, or you may not get the full benefits of CPAP.
A dirty mask can harbor bacteria and cause sores, pimples, or blisters. Wash your face before you go to bed to help prevent your mask from getting dirty. Clean your mask every morning to remove any contaminate expelled through your skin during the night. Remember, your skin is an elimination organ. Even after you have washed your face, your body will continue to expel toxins through the skin.
Over time your mask can become dry and brittle. An old mask that used to fit comfortably may be irritating or painful if it becomes stiff or cracked. A stiff mask will not maintain a good seal without being over-tightened. Your mask should be replaced every three to six months.
If you cannot find a comfortable size, you may need to try a different style. Most people start out with the nasal mask. There are several other styles including the full face mask, nose cushion, and nasal prong designs.
Sleeping on your side can put pressure on the mask and breaking the seal and causing it to leak air. However, sleeping on your back is the worst position for sleep apnea. To prevent mask problems while sleeping on your side, put your face close to the edge of the pillow, so the mask is hanging off the edge. You may also want to try a pillow specially designed for use with CPAP.
CPAP mask problems can be eliminated. If a problem with your mask is making CPAP compliance difficult or impossible for you talk to your doctor about the problem and solution options.
Seek relief from the symptoms of sleep apnea with specialized treatment from Think Better Life. If you or a loved one may be losing sleep due to sleep apnea and CPAP mask problems, please call 1-847-533-8313 today for an initial consultation with Dr. Ira Shapira.