How to reduce the annoying effects of your CPAP mask?
AIR LEAKS, NOISE, SKIN IRRITATION, PRESSURE SORE OR DRY MOUTH MAY DISTURB CPAP MASKS USERS DURING THE NIGHT. HERE ARE SOME TIPS AND ADVICE TO MAKE YOUR DEVICE FIT BETTER ON YOUR FACE.
Air leaks may be the most common inconvenient effect for CPAP mask users. Significant air leaks may blow in the eyes, make noise, cause arouses or even produce increased airflow that can dry your nose and mouth for example. Many sleep apnea patients feel embarrassed in the first days or weeks of treatment, before they find solutions or get used to it.
More important than the annoying effects, a major CPAP mask leak may exceed your CPAP ability to maintain your prescribed pressure, especially calculated to treat your sleep apnea.
It can be due to a technical dysfunction or usually to bad adjustments, which are easy to make most of the time.
YOU LOSE AIR WHEN YOUR CPAP MASK IS TOO TIGHT
Well, wearing a CPAP mask to treat sleep apnea is like wearing swimming glasses in the pool. Tighten it too much and you will keep pressure marks all day long. With a CPAP mask, it will cause pressure sores, skin irritation, noise or dry nose and mouth.
When your mask harness is too loose, you will feel the air going out. When it is too tight, the air can’t inflate the thin outer membrane of the mask.
It is all about adjustments and tests.
HOW TO BE SURE THE CPAP MASK IS FIXED WELL?
There are different types of masks. Ask your provider different sizes and test it. Testing a CPAP mask means checking out it doesn’t sit too high on the bridge of your nose, which can direct air into your eyes. It also means fixing it properly, and adjusting it in your sleep position. Before turning it on, try it on and adjust it a few times if needed.
Remember that your jaws and mouth relax when sleeping, which can cause little air leaks during the night. Adjusting your CPAP mask in your sleep position will reduce the risk of air leak.
And if you are on a weight program, think of checking once in a while your mask, as your body changes.
What if your mouth is too dry? A CPAP heated humidifier may help a lot.
And for the noise: is the device air filter clean or blocked? If the noise comes from an air leak, adjust your mask: neither too loose, nor too tight!
As a last piece of advice, clean the cushion of your CPAP mask everyday so it won’t retain facial oils and makeup on your face, causing air leaks and skin irritation. Your face is worth it!