Tips to Make Sure Your CPAP Works Correctly

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is an effective therapy solution for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring, collectively known as sleep-disordered breathing. CPAP therapy consists of three parts: a mask that fits over your nose and mouth, a tube connecting the mask to an air pressure motor and the motor itself. Sometimes, however, the CPAP mask falls off our faces while we sleep. Why does this happen?

When we lay down to go to sleep, the blood in our bodies becomes level from our heads to our toes, often enlarging blood vessels in our nasal passages. When this happens, our nasal passages become obstructed, making it difficult for air to pass through. As a result, CPAP machines will readjust to a higher pressure to allow more air to enter our lungs. Unfortunately, this extra air has nowhere to go but out from beneath the mask, causing the mask to fly off our faces.

Here are three tips to help you keep your CPAP mask on:

·         Prop up your bed.

Because nasal obstruction can occur from blood vessels becoming inflamed, it’s important to reduce the swelling to help keep the mask in place. Use two wood panels to elevate the head of your bed a few inches off the floor. This will help reduce swelling of the blood vessels in the nasal packages and the need for higher pressure from your CPAP machine.

·         Use a nasal spray.

Nasal sprays can help open up breathing passages. Try using one before bed to keep airways open while you sleep so that you can keep your CPAP machine at its regular settings. Nasal sprays can reduce the swelling in nasal tissues, making it easier for air to get through to your lungs.

·         Replace the seal.

Sometimes the reason why CPAP masks will not stay on our faces is because it is simply time to replace its lining. If the seal that lines your mask seems worn, try replacing it to ensure a better fit. Not replacing the seal regularly can lead to leaks and discomfort.

Interested in learning more about CPAP therapy? Call our FusionSleep office to set up a consultation with one of our board-certified sleep specialists at (678) 990-3962.