Eliminate those CPAP machine problems with these simple rules

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) treatment is a popular choice for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It has been found that those who use a CPAP machine for more than a few months can see a significant reduction in their symptoms. CPAP therapy, including CPAP machines and CPAP masks, is available in Australia from CPAP Direct. Most CPAP masks, such as nasal pillows and nasal masks, can help to make CPAP therapy more comfortable and increase compliance rates of patients.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines are often used to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The majority of CPAP users (60%) are compliant with the treatment after a few months. However, some users still struggle to feel comfortable while wearing the CPAP mask, especially with most CPAP masks being ill-fitted and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are easy fixes that can increase patient’s compliance rates, such as using a nasal pillow mask or a nasal mask. CPAP Direct provides a variety of cpap machines online, CPAP masks, and air pressure devices for those who want to try CPAP therapy in Australia.

Machine Issues

CPAP Machines: 

Ensure Connections are Secure 

Check that the machine and wall plugs are securely fastened. Additionally, make sure the electrical outlet is operational. If not, schedule a time to bring your device to a CPAP provider for inspection. 

Noisy Machines: 

Modern Devices are Quiet 

Unless you are sensitive to noise, a noisy machine usually signals a problem. Verify the equipment filters and replace when needed. If you use an AutoCPAP, there will be a small audible noise when the machine adjusts the inhaling pressure. If not, bring your device to a CPAP provider for inspection. 

Tangling in the Tube: 

Positioning the Tubing 

Consider positioning the tubing behind your head towards the top of your pillow or behind the bed frame. Most CPAP manufacturers include a tubing lift to assist with tube placement. It is secured between the mattress and box spring, providing greater mobility and range of motion. 

Falling off the Nightstand: 

Length of Tubing 

The typical CPAP tube is roughly 6 feet long. However, active sleepers may need a 10-foot tube for greater mobility. Additionally, a Tubing Lift can help keep the machine from being pulled off the nightstand.

Problems with humidifiers

CPAP Side Effects Dry Mouth, Dry Throat, Runny Nose, Stuffy Nose and Sneezing: 

These side effects can often be solved with a CPAP humidifier or a temperature change. Start with the lowest heat setting and increase as necessary. Products like Biotene spray or mouthwash may also be helpful for dry mouth. Ocean or other basic saline spray solutions may be helpful for chronic nasal lining dryness and can be purchased without a prescription at your local pharmacy. If the issue persists, consult your doctor. 

CPAP Tubing with Water: 

When the temperature in your bedroom is lower than the air flowing from your CPAP machine, excessive condensation may develop in the CPAP tubing. Most CPAP manufacturers provide inexpensive, insulating hose covers to address this frequent issue. 

Humidifier Water Chamber Has a White or Pink Coating: 

The water chamber is a rapid environment for bacteria to grow. It is advised by all manufacturers to use distilled water. Tap water may be used occasionally. Every morning, rinse the chamber, remove any remaining water, and let it air dry. Fill the chamber with a mix of 1/3 white distilled vinegar and 2/3 tap water to remove the film.

Liquid Spill 

When adding distilled water to a machine, always remove the water chamber unit to avoid spilling into the device, which might impair its internal circuitry, cause damage, and invalidate the warranty. 

CPAP Machines 

When acquiring a new CPAP mask, consult with your doctor and CPAP provider extensively to make sure the mask and equipment are suitable for you and are fitted properly. Ask your doctor, a sleep expert, or a CPAP provider to show you how to adjust your mask so that it fits you perfectly. Read the product instructions from the manufacturer to learn more about proper fit. Consider the many CPAP mask types and the benefits and drawbacks of each mask to ensure that the one you choose best satisfies your needs. 

Getting Used to CPAP Masks 

Start off slowly in order to become used to wearing your CPAP mask. Throughout the day, try putting on the mask while reading a book or watching TV. Wear the mask every time you go to bed at night and even during naps. The fewer regularly you use the mask, the harder it will be to become used to wearing it. Check if the suggested mask and pressure settings are still effective for you after using the device for a few weeks or longer.

Do I have an allergy to CPAP Machines? 

New CPAP Machines: 

  • Get a quick call to your doctor to see if you have an allergy to CPAP masks. 
  • Make sure to clean your face mask often and check if it is not an old-fashioned latex version. 

Pressure Settings: 

  • Use the “ramp” option on your CPAP machines to start with a low air pressure and increase it gradually. 
  • Your doctor can adjust the “ramp” function’s pace. 
  • Consider switching to a BPAP machine if the “ramp” option doesn’t help. 

Sleep Doctor: 

  • If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, your sleep doctor may prescribe a CPAP machine as a common treatment. 
  • CPAP machines can provide a good night’s sleep, but sometimes the forced air can drive you crazy. 
  • If a CPAP machine doesn’t fit you properly or causes skin irritation, consider investing in a bilevel machine with two pressure settings (a lower pressure for inhalation and a higher pressure for exhalation). 
  • If you suffer from sleep apnea, your doctor may also suggest an APAP machine with only one pressure setting.

Heated Humidifier for Runny or Stuffy Nose 

If you get a runny or stuffy nose after wearing a CPAP mask, first check to see whether your CPAP machines come with a heated humidifier. A humidifier may often alleviate these symptoms. If your existing CPAP machines does not already have one, consider buying one with adjustable humidification. Also, use a nasal saline spray before night to prevent your nose from over-drying. Lastly, make sure your mask fits snugly since one that leaks might dry out your nose. 

Positive Outlook on CPAP Treatment 

Having a positive outlook is key to successful CPAP treatment. CPAP machines and masks are there to significantly improve your quality of life over time, even if you may not be aware of it now. Tolerance building is sometimes required as you adjust to therapy. Follow advice to become used to using your CPAP machines, and don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor or a sleep expert if you need further help adapting to therapy. 

Choosing the Right CPAP Machine 

When choosing a CPAP machine, consider the pressure settings. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor might recommend two pressure settings, one for inhalation

  • Practice putting on your CPAP machines while you’re still awake. Start by simply pressing the mask to your face without any other accessories. Once you feel comfortable doing that, try wearing the mask with the straps.
  • To become acclimated to the CPAP mask, start off gradually. Try holding the mask with the hose connected to your face without using the straps. Connect the CPAP machine’s hose, then lower the pressure (with ramp feature turned on). Finally, while still awake, put the air pressure machine and strapped-on mask on. Once you’re comfortable with that, try sleeping with it on.
  • Practice some calming strategies. To help you feel less worried about wearing your CPAP machines, you could also attempt progressive muscle relaxation methods. It can be beneficial to try a different kind of mask, such one with nasal cushions, or to buy a mask in a different size.

If your claustrophobia persists, speak with your doctor, a sleep specialist, or a CPAP provider.

Adjusting to New CPAP Machines 

If you have difficulty falling asleep even with your CPAP machine on, you should talk to your sleep doctor to adjust the pressure settings. Many CPAP users must adjust to a new machine and the “ramp” feature may help. Additionally, good sleep hygiene such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed and exercising often can help. 

Mouth Dryness with CPAP Machines 

Mouth dryness is a common problem when using CPAP machines. It can be caused by mouth breathing at night or sleeping with your mouth open. In this case, a chin strap may help keep your lips together when using a nasal mask, reducing air loss. To reduce this issue, make sure you’re using the right mask and experiment with your CPAP machine’s heated humidifier settings. 

Using BIPAP Machines 

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, a BiPAP machine may be a common treatment. This type of machine has two pressure settings, an inhale pressure and a lower exhale pressure. If you find that a CPAP machine is causing skin irritation, an APAP machine may be a better option. This type of machine has only one pressure setting and can automatically adjust to your breath.