Forum · Starting CPAP - my throat closes

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[-] ToughScarletWaterBuffalo1267 +0 points · almost 2 years ago

I am not sure that's the right term but here is the description.

I am starting CPAP therapy and have been using it about a week. I have the nose mask. I discovered after a couple of days that I somehow close my throat during CPAP use. I can open my mouth and the air doesn't come out. I can then swallow or I do something that opens the throat and the air flows out of my mouth.

As the pressure ramps up it seems harder to maintain but it all feels pretty weird and as I get more used to the system I am waking less but opening my mouth more.

Anybody else have this issue? Is it common?

Thanks for any insight.

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

Hi @ToughScarletWaterBuffalo1267. Patients often experience mouth-breathing and various other issues when first starting CPAP treatment. When I first started treatment, I would often wake myself up because I was mouth breathing and the air was just blowing up my nose until I had to somehow let it out (usually by removing the mask and breathing for a minute or two). As I practiced breathing with my mouth closed, the issue resolved. A good respiratory therapist told me to practice while I was awake by pressing the tip of my tongue to the roof of my mouth behind my teeth and just breathing that way while I was wearing the mask. A few evenings in front of the television practicing this before I went to be were very helpful. If you are not able to eventually keep your mouth closed and breath through your nose, you might consider trying a chin strap or a full face mask.

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[-] ToughScarletWaterBuffalo1267 +0 points · almost 2 years ago

Thanks Dan,

I don't really have any problem with mouth breathing. I am wondering if the fact that I can open my mouth and the air doesn't come out is normal? I can stick out my tongue and the air still doesn't come out. If I swallow, the pathway opens between my nose and mouth and the air comes out...if I open my mouth. Weird?

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

Hi @ToughScarletWaterBuffalo1267. I would not necessarily call it abnormal. When I use my treatment, I can do the same thing. The key for me NOT doing it anymore was to learn to practice breathing with my CPAP on and actually stay conscious of the air going into my airway. However, if you feel you have a different issue and are not able to overcome this, an evaluation by an ENT may be needed.

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[-] Cack +0 points · over 1 year ago

I use a nose mask, as well, and the samevthing happened to me. In time it resolved itself and now I breathe through my nose almost exclusively when awake. It's a much more efficient means of oxygenating the blood!

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[-] OptimisticAquamarineJay8519 +0 points · over 1 year ago

The way that Cpap works is that as you breath thur your nasal mask it opens your airway to stop the blockages. With a nasal mask you are supose to keep your mouth closed because if you have your mouth open when you are asleep the air will leak out through your mouth instead of going down your air way to open it. That being said it is normal for you to be able to open your mouth when your awake and not have the air come out your mouth. This is somthing that most long term users have learned to do. Its a way of getting or relasing extra air. If you are finding that your are waking with your mouth open during the night it usually means that you need a full face mask, chin strap or that you may need a higher pressure.

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