I've been learning to adapt to CPAP due to my diagnosis of 33 events per hour outcome of my test.
I have both a full face mask, and a nasal pillow (and a chin strap) and after a few weeks of earnestly trying to get the benefits of this way of helping Apnea, I have been interrupted by a feeling of claustrophobia 4 times in the last week.
I have had panic/anxiety attacks over the last few years and I have refused to take sleep and/or anxiety meds because of unwanted side effects.
I feel it has become another hurdle and I feel embarrassed to tell my provider when I bring the chip in for compliance of 4 hours a night for the first 30 days. I know I am not going to have the right amount of hours.
My Dr. already said it would be ok because of the time it took to find the right CPAP mask, but we haven't discussed the panic attacks yet. I'm pretty sure he will be understanding, but anyway I am posting this to get any feedback about this issue.
I've learned that to be successful with CPAP I need to be very relaxed; which is the opposite of anxiety/panic.
Have any of you dealt with this issue and have you overcome it? Any suggestions?
Thanks for that affirmation @TheresaS. I was worried I had some kind of lung weakness or nasal problem.
I shall endeavor to relax into it and judiciously use mouth breathing. I'll have more to say eventually but I'm thinking that relaxing is key. If you have any sort of anxiety it doesn't help whatsoever and tends to make you gasp for air!
I also will add for the benefit of those new nasal pillow users that at first the air feels alarmingly cold on the nasal passages (and throat when you mouth breath) but exhaling through the nose warms it up nicely. Sayonara.
I just started with the nasal pillow and I think it is more comfortable than the full face type because of the "less is better" design.
My problem may be inherent in the design where exhaling through the nose takes some effort due to the air stream going in constantly. I have to exert the nasal exhale to push against the stream and initially its not enough; I have to mouth exhale... at least for a time.
When I exhale through the mouth there is a big stream of air and its a bit disconcerting but is the only way to get a full exhale especially in the early stage of getting to sleep. It seems I need more deep breaths to get relaxed initially.
Am I reading my experience correctly? I mean once I get relaxed is it easier to exhale through the nose?
It's certainly not the same as regular breathing in and out.
I guess the full mask has more space for exhaling and is easier in that respect.
My first night with the nasal pillow I recall awakening and having very easy in and out through the nose, so I know it works but its the early getting to sleep stage that I seem to need deeper exhales and its almost impossible to get a good nose exhale.
I don't mean to take over the thread here but because this one led me to the Nose Pillow I'll continue and ask for some help with the NPillow.
The first night I used it was a big success! I could never have gotten to sleep at all with the full face mask due to jaw slacking causing leaks all over the place.
I also use a chin strap now, which should also help with the full mask, but I appreciate the smaller profile of the Npillow.
It does take getting used to; exhaling through the nose seems a bit difficult. At first I can't get enough of an exhale and have to use my mouth to release a full breath, which is not the most comfortable because the air is whooshing out through the mouth too.
Funny, I recall waking in the early morning and with mouth closed it was so smooth that I had to check twice just to see if it was on! I mean I was inhaling and exhaling with such ease.
So the next night I went to bed and had so much trouble getting a good exhale, and being bothered by the mouth exhales that I got a bit panicked and had to just give up in order to guarantee a good rest.
I've been experimenting during the day with it and yes it seems that I have to be very relaxed in order to stay with a nasal in/out breathing. I have to mouth exhale to get sufficient oxygen.
I still can't get that relaxed nose exhale without having to force it somewhat (through the nose exhales).
I do have a history of allergies and nasal issues, but I take a cortisone nasal inhaler which works very well.
Can someone tell me if I'm doing right, and do you mouth exhale some or just strictly nose in/out?
Good info... I can breath through my nose normally, if my sinuses are clear, but invariably when I doze off my jaw slacks and mouth breathing commences but not as a norm. In other words its not all mouth breathing.
What happens with the full face mask is leaks just can not be stopped when my jaw drops.
The nose pillow sounds perfect for alleviating the possibilities of leaks that are so numerous in the full face mask, when combined with a chin strap.
I am supposed to bring my CPAP machine it to use for the trial. I'll make sure its ramps up for the test as that when it counts.
thanks for the comments! I got a recommendation on another thread: "Mayo Clinic help" to try a "full nose pillow".
thanks for the suggestion and recommendation ACC, I contacted my sales provider and they said I can change it out to a pillow (?) yay!
Any suggestions on best type? He said I'd have to try a few different...
Help. As soon as the ramp up function gets to max air, I am a hopeless mass of leaks and blubbering.
It wouldn't be half bad if I wasn't in bed with my light-sleeping wife.
I have a full face mask and I immediately get leaks as my jaw starts to relax. Just when I'm falling off. I fidget with it to no end and it does no good because again, my jaw will relax and it seems the mask won't allow for that.
If I can't wear this for at least 4 hours a night the first 30 days, my medicare contract will be voided.
I want to mention that I have exhausted various attempts to fidget with the mask liner, removing the mask and reseating it etc to minimize or stop the leaks but again, its mostly when I start dozing that my jaw slacks.
I live in Hawaii where it gets warm at night and I don't look forward to wearing even more gear (chin strap), as that would probably be a next step.