Patient Resource Center

123 Capcom Avenue, Suite 3 Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587 Tel: 919-570-5277 Fax: 919-570-5377

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Sleep and CPAP Guide

Getting Used to CPAP

Let's be honest: CPAP therapy is essentially wearing a mask while you sleep that forces air down your windpipe, which doesn't sound exciting or enticing at all. However, not treating your sleep apnea can lead to heart attack, stroke and other serious conditions.

The good news is that these can be prevented by using your CPAP equipment every night. The not so good news is that getting used to it takes awhile for everyone. However, there are ways to help reduce the learning curve and begin getting restful night's sleep with your CPAP.

The first is to have a comfortable mask that is right for your breathing style, i.e. a nasal mask for nose breathers, a full face mask for combination nose and mouth breathers. You can't be comfortable if you feel claustrophobic from the full face mask, and your therapy won't work if you try to breathe through your mouth with a nasal mask. To get accustomed to your mask and the forced air, try wearing it for a little bit before bed as you read or watch television.

Another common issue is dried out nasal passages or throats. This could be solved by adding a humidifier to your CPAP machine for moist air. For any other issues that come up, there are many online CPAP support groups that are ready to help those who post questions. Just be sure as you use your CPAP equipment to keep it in good working order.