Your CPAP apparatus is meant to help you have a restful and productive night’s sleep. When your mask feels uncomfortable, leaks or irritates your skin, your sleep may be interrupted, and this can cancel the good that CPAP therapy is supposed to be doing for you. Perhaps it is time to look at your mask and make a change. An uncomfortable mask indicates that adjustments need to be made. Once the correct adjustments are made, the issue will be resolved.
Check for Fit
Pressure sores can be caused by headgear that is too tight. If there is too much pressure holding the mask to your face, you may need to adjust the straps on your headgear to allow more leeway. It may take a few trials to get just the right amount of pressure, not too tight and not too loose, to keep your mask comfortable.
Prevent Skin Irritation
Besides a fit that is too snug, a dirty mask can also cause skin irritation. It is important to keep your mask clean. Wash it daily to prevent buildup from dirt and oils on your skin. Using a mild soap, such as baby shampoo or Neutrogena®, will keep it clean and in good condition. Be aware that use of an ozone device may discolor your mask and possibly damage some of the internal components of your machine.
Help for a Leaky Mask
Sleep apnea is a major health concern because it interferes with the restorative processes of productive sleep. CPAP therapy restores your ability to get a good night’s sleep again – unless you have a mask that leaks.
If your mask wakes you up at night because it is blowing air or making noises, you probably have a mask that leaks. Most often this situation is the result of incorrect adjustments, assembly or the size or type of mask you are wearing. If your components, (headgear, frame, mask, cushions/pillows) are old, they should be replaced. A worn mask could spring a leak that can keep you up at night.
Replacing Components for a Better Night’s Sleep
If you use your CPAP machine every night, you will want to stay on top of replacing components on a regular basis.
Filters for your machine should be replaced every 2 weeks. These filters keep the air you breathe clean and free of allergens and particles that could be irritating.
To ensure the best fit and efficiency of your CPAP, nasal cushions and nasal pillows should be replaced twice a month or every two weeks. If you use a full face cushion, replace it monthly.
Keep in mind that your head gear is going to soak up oil from your hair and skin. It will lose its elasticity over time and this could cause you to over-tighten it, which could make your mask uncomfortable. Replacing your head gear and chin strap twice a year should be enough to keep it from causing problems.
Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment Center will help you keep your equipment in good shape so you can have restorative sleep. Call us today to schedule your appointment.
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1820 The Exchange SE, #600
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