Forum · Community Tips for Using PAP Devices

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[-] DanM +1 point · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi Member303535. I was just reading through the MyApnea.Org forums and saw your post about pressure sores on your nose. Has this improved for you? Pressure sores can be caused by headgear that is too tight, an improperly sized mask, or even sleeping position if your position is causing the mask to be pushed against your face. Sometimes the material the mask is made from causes this problem, and a mask made from softer materials might help. There are companies that make different types of liners for masks to help decrease irritation of the mask against skin, and I have seen moleskin fabric used as a liner. Pressure sores can become quite uncomfortable, and you should talk to your doctor or home care company if this is still a problem. Finding a solution for the discomfort and soreness might help you keep your mask in place for more than 2 hours! Good luck!

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[-] Arch +0 points · over 2 years ago

A trick to keeping your mask on was told to me years ago and it worked for a few people. Put your mask on and adjust the fit then take a woman's stocking and slip it over your head and mask, like a bank robber. It's next to impossible to take your mask off in your sleep.

Joe

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[-] BrainsNeedSleep +0 points · over 2 years ago

Bhek, I envy your first post-PAP morning feeling better! It took me many months to begin to notice improvement in cognitive function and energy...at first I could barely make it to noon...then it was one o'clock...and so on.

Pressure sores -- often from sub-optimal strap fitting. Try slightly loosening -- and I mean slightly -- whichever strap is tightening that part of the mask. Be sure you have read the instructions: for example, the ResMed Quattro FX full face mask requires straps somewhat looser than others because of the particular engineering of that fit. I found it hugely helpful as the mask seals from the air pressure itself a great deal. Some people also benefit from the mask "liners" that one could make or else purchase online from somewhere like cpap.com (I always had good customer service there).

Hose management: I bought a bed with a curved headboard and sling the hose over that, so the hose travels smoothly along with my tossing about. Some have installed those swinging-arm plant-hangar thingies and rigged a smooth loop on it through which to pass the hose. That also moves with you when sleeping, but I figured I'd whack my head on it at some point, thus the headboard (concave, not convex curve).

I am utterly convinced that untreated sleep disorders are ONE cause of dementia -- anything is better than that. So I used to look like a fighter pilot and sound like Darth Vader with my full face mask -- at least I could think again. That doesn't mean I don't sometimes want to nuke the thing!

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[-] MikeMRF +0 points · over 2 years ago

Hi all,

I just joined today. I've had severe complex apnea for over a year now. I've done 4 sleep studies and my last one determined that C-Pap would be best. Unfortunately, I keep experiencing the same issue every night. I have no problem falling asleep at all and for the first 30-40 minutes, I am fine. Around that time, something happens where the machine stops synching with my breathing and I (am estimating) I haven't had a breath in several minutes. When I realize this and wake up, I am in desperate need of one and can't get a quick enough one with the mask on. This causes an explosion of panic and I end up ripping the mask off, screaming from fear, standing up and getting ready to call 911 because it is so invasive and intense. I have no idea how to fix this and it appears my doctor (whom I like very much) is inundated with patients so responses and solutions are slow. I don't know if anyone has experienced what I am experience but I would love it if you could shed some insight. I feel completely lost in this.

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[-] Sherry +0 points · over 2 years ago

Oh my Mike! Welcome to the community. I think I would get an appointment with your Doctor and not wait on he or she to call you. I am sure that is a very scary for you. I have been on a C-PAP for many years. I am wondering if the mask is causing the issues. It may be too invasive. I know my first mask was a full face mask. It was not very comfortable and could cause me to panic in the middle of the night. You may check with the technician about trying a different kind of mask. Hopefully, others here on this site can help give you more solutions.

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[-] 2Sleepy +0 points · over 2 years ago

Hi MikeMRF,

I just saw your post. It might be worthwhile posting your question/concern with a new thread, so it is more visible. I think you do that by going through the link, Enter Forums, then hitting the button on the top that is labelled Start New Topic, or something like that.

Also, you might just quickly say who you are on the Topic, "Introductions" which has been reactivated so we know one another.

As for your question/concern, if you have not had panic attacks in the past, I would get more persistent with contacting your sleep MD, maybe call and leave a message for a call back. Concisely explain why you need to talk with the doctor. Alternate, if there is a nurse practitioner in the practice or a sleep technologist you could speak with, that might also help guide you.

If you have had panic attacks in the past, you might find a couple of posts on this website, with helpful suggestions for staying calm.

I have only been using CPAP for a couple of months. In the lab and in my first couple of weeks using CPAP, I woke up very suddenly around 3 -4AM. Because it happened the first time in the Sleep Lab and was handled very calmly, I felt reassured that all was OK even though I never wake up (wide awake) @ 3-4 AM. This continued at home several times then went away. I still don't really know what that was about, but it went away.

Good luck, MikeMRF. I think there is a resource for tech problems with use of this site. 2Sleepy....but improving...aka, Janet

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[-] DanM +1 point · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi Mike. Welcome to MyApnea.Org! As a sleep technologist and CPAP user, I have heard patients describe this experience and had a similar problem during my early days of CPAP treatment. I recall experiencing a lack of air when I first started using my treatment many years ago. I do recommend you request an urgent appointment with your physician to talk about this. In my case, the initial pressure of the ramp setting was too low, and I felt I was not getting enough air to begin with. I think I would fall asleep with my mask in place, have an apneic event, and would awaken with the sensation of not being able to catch my breath. For me, adjusting my initial ramp pressure to a higher setting helped. I felt like I was getting more air, and the increased air pressure helped keep my airway open. Some machines allow the user to make small adjustments to the ramp settings, while others require a prescription from your physician for the change to be made by the equipment provider. You mention in your post that your machine "stops synching" with your breathing. If you are on CPAP, the airflow should be a continuous and constant pressure with no synching involved. If you are, in fact, using CPAP (vs. BiPAP or some other form of treatment) and feel the machine might be the problem, a call to your equipment provider might be necessary. Whatever the issue, it is definitely important for your physician to be aware of the problem. Good luck with your treatment!

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[-] WillingTurquoiseMule2888 +0 points · 10 months ago

Thanks for this information, but my problem is a little different. I'm OK with the ramp setting and do not experience a lack of air when I initially fall asleep. However, when I awaken to urinate and return to bed and put on the mask, I'm not getting enough air and feel like I am suffocating. I usually cannot go back to sleep. This causes my average CPAP usage to be about 4 hours per night.

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[-] DanM +0 points · 10 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi. Depending on the model of your machine, the unit might be detecting your mask removal and starting you back at the lowest pressure to help you fall asleep. It may be possible to have your machine adjusted so that it never falls below a more comfortable pressure. My machine used to drop to 4 cm if I removed the mask or started the ramp sequence over. I had mine adjusted so that it never falls below 6 cm. Your equipment provider should be able to assist. Hope this helps.

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[-] HelpfulTaupePolarBear5939 +0 points · over 2 years ago

I put my CPAP on with mask on with headset listen my music relax me every night and taking a nap with it

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[-] CompassionateByzantiumGiantPanda3490 +0 points · over 2 years ago

Is there anyone out there who wears the total full mask - over your entire face? I have tried so many masks and they all bothered my nose and eyes. The total full face keeps the nose and eye problem away. What success stories do you have that might improve comfort?

Ken

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[-] ConcernedSleeper +0 points · over 2 years ago

Hello. My father has been recently diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and is having difficulty keeping the mask on throughout the night. He will go 5 days in a row wearing the mask for 4 hours and then the next day he may only wear it for 18 minutes. Is anyone else having this problem? Is there a support group website anyone could reccommend to help caregivers with this issue? It is affecting everyone in my household because my father has been so inconsistent using it. I can tell when he gets a good night sleep with the CPAP machine and when he doesn't use it. It is very stressful and frustrating. Any help or recommendations would be greatly appreciated at this point. Thanks so much!

MK

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[-] TheresaS +0 points · over 2 years ago

@VersatileAmethystSheep8852 - I have several tips for you, and will email them to you when I am back in the office later this evening. Thank you for your posting!! Be well, Theresa

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[-] Sherry +0 points · over 2 years ago

I wish I knew who to give credit to for this resource and Dan M it very well may have been you who told me about padacheek.com . They have soft comfortable straps for most all C-PAP Machines. I have been singing their praises since the day my order arrived. I think I keep my mask on better because they make it much more comfortable!

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[-] RationalAquamarineReindeer0298 +0 points · about 2 years ago

I find that whenever I am breaking in a new mask, it is like breaking in a new pair of running shoes. I always get a pressure sore on the bridge of my nose if I don't protect the area for the first two weeks. I wear a small piece of gentle medical tape over the area that normally develops a pressure sore. Within a couple of weeks, the mask becomes more accommodating to my face and I don't have to use the tape. It totally prevents the indentation and sore on the nose. My skin is really sensitive and this works for me. If the tape is hard to remove, remove some of the adhesive by touching it with your fingers before putting it on your nose. The tape doesn't interfere with the seal of the mask either if you use just enough to cover the area that has a problem.

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[-] DanM +1 point · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Great tip, @RationalAquamarineReindeer0298. Thanks for sharing that with the community. Your idea is similar to some of the mask liner and moleskin recommendations we've seen on the forum, in that it creates that barrier between the mask and the skin. Medical grade paper tape is usually a little more gentle, and it can be easily found in the first aid section of most stores.

[+] [deleted] +0 points · about 2 years ago
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[-] AgreeableEmeraldMantis8403 +0 points · about 2 years ago

i am on my 3rd night with a CPAP. First 2 nights I wake up with it is such high pressure and can't exhale. I called the Hospital that gave it to me and they said to turn off and turn back on. I don't want to be woken up constantly through the night. I normally only awake when I need to go to the bathroom. Some times I never wake up during the night. I have been told that I stop breathing during the night for over 40 years.

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[-] barbz +0 points · about 2 years ago

@AgreeableEmeraldMantis8403 I have long had trouble exhaling against the pressure. You need to let you Doctor know as a different type of machine may be needed. The auto sleep machines have two pressures and adapt to your needs. After many years, I finally got a BIPAP which has a higher pressure for inhaling and a lower one for exhaling.

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[-] DanM +1 point · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hello @AgreeableEmeraldMantis8403 and @barbz. Thank you both for sharing your experiences. Most CPAP machines have a ramp feature than can be activated to reduce the pressure while you fall back to sleep. However, if the pressure is frequently waking you up, I agree with @barbz that you may need to discuss this with your doctor. There may be some additional settings, like expiratory pressure relief, that can help you adjust to CPAP. There are also other options like APAP and BiPAP for patients who cannot tolerate CPAP. Since you have only been using CPAP for a few nights, I will tell you that it is not uncommon for patients to report waking up during the night while adjusting to new treatment. As you adjust and become more accustomed to wearing the mask and breathing out against the pressure, the hope is that you will start to sleep through the night. As a patient, I had a similar experience in my early days of treatment. Now that I have adjusted to the feeling of CPAP, I no longer am aware of the air pressure. This adjustment may take some time, so I encourage you to be patient and practice wearing your treatment while you are awake and doing another activity like reading or watching TV. Good luck, and let us know how things are going!

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[-] FrankBlueGreenPigeon3832 +0 points · almost 2 years ago

Introducing myself. I am currently using a resmed Air Sensor 10 machine, with pillow mask. I have adjusted to the pillows very well. I did not have a single problem adjusting to using this machine or wearing the mask. I have been using it for aprox. 7 months. The first couple of months I saw a very good change in myself I was only have on average 1.6 - 3. events per hour using it ( 30 events per hour prior to the machine.) Now all of a sudden I am waking every hour on the hour (no leaks in the mask) my events have increased to just over 6 per hour. (which I assume is averaged) Since I wake very hour it takes me at least 30 mins. to return to sleep, only to awaken in an hour. Which was exactly why I went to the doctor in the first place. I wore home tester. The air flow is set on 6 to adjust up to 12. I called the air tech. She was to send a report to the doctor. I have yet to hear from him. I am wondering if I increase this airflow to 8 if this could possibly help. Also is it necessary for proper sleep to run the humidifier?

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[-] DanM +1 point · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi @FrankBlueGreenPigeon3832. It is not necessary for proper sleep to run the humidifier. However, patients who do not use humidification tend to experience mouth and nasal/sinus dryness, which can be very uncomfortable. If you feel you are receiving too much moisture or warmth from the humidifier, you should be able to lower the setting to a more comfortable level. Some people use unheated water for pass-over humidification if they do not like the warm air. This is accomplished by continuing to use the water tank but setting the humidifier to the off setting, if available on your unit. As for the awakenings, it would be good to have the sleep physician or DME provider take a look at the compliance data. If you feel you are not getting enough air, it may be an adjustment is needed for the lower setting. If the data shows you are still having some events when the machine reaches the highest setting of 12 cm, the higher setting may need to be increased. Best of luck, and keep us posted!

Please be advised that these posts may contain sensitive material or unsolicited medical advice. MyApnea.Org does not endorse the content of these posts. The information provided on this site is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for advice from a health care professional who has evaluated you.