It is more important than ever for people to take responsibility for their treatment. An informed CPAP user is a satisfied user. Take time to ask questions of your doctor and equipment provider. Understand how the equipment works, what it is supposed to do for you and set expectations. Do not be fearful of trying something new – be it CPAP equipment, a new doctor or equipment provider if they are not meeting your expectations.
Latest CPAP Technology
CPAP equipment has improved dramatically. In particular, CPAP machine technology has improved more in the last few years than over the last decade. CPAP machines have become much smaller, lighter and technologically sophisticated. CPAP auto machines have become the most popular choice among new users as they tend to meet the CPAP requirements of a wider selection of people and are much less intrusive. These machines will tell you when you are using it properly, when you are not and how to improve and optimize your sleep therapy.
Get a CPAP Mask that Fits
CPAP users are constantly discussion ways to stop leakage. Although sometimes this is not an easy task, it generally can be overcome with a proper mask that is fitted correctly. Be aware that no single CPAP mask is best for everyone. With the number of selections increasing especially among nasal pillow masks, try as many CPAP masks as possible. Make sure the fit is comfortable to your face structure and it is comfortable while awake. It is also beneficial to have a few different style masks which can be interchanged continuously. This will help prevent sore spots and pressure points and improve CPAP sleep therapy.
Keep it Clean
Cleaning a CPAP mask and tube should be included in your daily routine. There are many products like CPAP wipes and cleaners which can help to ease the burden. However, if CPAP cushions and tubes are not cleaned, it can lead to stuffy nose, colds and bacteria. These issues will negatively impact CPAP therapy and reduce compliance. So at the very least, drop your CPAP mask and tube in some non-scented soapy water, rise and let it sit to dry.
Get New Filters
Keeping with the clean theme, we have talked to many CPAP users who do not even know where the filter is on their CPAP machine. This goes back to being knowledgeable about your treatment and CPAP equipment. But without a clean filter, a CPAP user will not get optimal treatment out of their CPAP machine. As dust and particles collect in the filter, it restricts airflow which, in turn, forces the machine to work harder. Moreover, more dust and debris will get into the tube, CPAP mask and directly into the airways potentially causing problems. Replacing a filter is a simple procedure. CPAP filters should be changed when they get dirty. It also makes sense to keep a supply around the house to replace as needed.
Get Full Value from CPAP Equipment
It is not always necessary to buy a new CPAP mask as many parts are available to replace aging and unusable equipment in nearly every CPAP mask. When a cushion leaks, it most likely needs to be replaced. Ask your equipment supplier which mask has replaceable cushions and buy some with your new mask. Once a cushion loses its integrity, the tendency is to tighten the mask which causes sore spots. Also, headgear will eventually lose its pliability after many washings. This also caused a CPAP user to synch up the headgear and cause irritation. Therefore, a new cushion and headgear are an easy and inexpensive way to maintain overall positive CPAP experience without having to spend a significant amount of money.
Maintain Expectations and Consistency
As a new CPAP user, expectations should be reasonable as there will be many changes to your lifestyle. It is important to understand the CPAP therapy and determine how it will impact your overall quality of life. Because being diagnosed with sleep apnea is a serious, committing to treatment and persevering through some trials and tribulations will positively affect the impact of the sleep therapy. Also know that there are many forums, chat board and equipment providers such as The CPAP Shop which can help at every turn. Have a support network to work through the challenges, eventually having a consistent regiment.
The Final Word
If you follow these simple guidelines, CPAP therapy will become a non-factor in your daily life. We encourage all CPAP users to ask questions and take responsibility for getting the best treatment, information and equipment for their particular needs.
Chris Vasta operates TheCPAPShop.com, a leading retailer of CPAP equipment including CPAP masks, located in New Jersey. He understands the importance of education about CPAP machine so that sleep apnea sufferers will continue to use their CPAP equipment, CPAP battery and improve their quality of life.