There’s no treatment for sleep apnea that’s more common than CPAP therapy, but many people experience problems that make compliance difficult.
If you have sleep apnea, then there’s a good chance that you’ve been prescribed CPAP therapy. CPAP therapy can be a very effective treatment option for sleep apnea, but it can also be difficult to stay compliant with CPAP therapy. Here are a few of the many common problems that prevent people from staying in compliance with their CPAP therapy:
#1. Your mask makes you feel claustrophobic.
When was the last time you chose to sleep with a mask on, or even with the covers pulled up over your head? Let’s face it, most people just don’t want to sleep with anything covering their face, let alone their nose, mouth or both. There are a variety of difference CPAP masks available, so you’re not necessarily stuck with a full-face mask, but there’s no way to get CPAP therapy without any kind of mask.
#2. Your throat feels dry and your nose gets runny.
When your CPAP machine is constantly forcing air into your mouth or nose, it can make you feel much drier, which can also make your nose get runny. This is a common problem that CPAP users deal with, but you can install a heated humidifier onto your CPAP machine to help to alleviate it. However, even with a heated humidifier, some people just never get used to the pressure of the air created by CPAP machines.
#3. Your mask irritates your skin.
Finding the right mask is essential to staying compliant with your CPAP therapy, but it’s also important that your mask fits you just right. If your mask is too tight, it will press against your skin, causing pain and discomfort. If your mask is too loose, it will rub up against your skin, chafing and irritating it. Picking the right mask size can help to prevent the problem, but this is easier said than done, as the shape and fullness of your face changes slightly when you lie down.
#4. You just can’t sleep when you’re using your CPAP machine.
There are many accessories you can purchase and adjustments you can make to make CPAP therapy more comfortable, but at the end of the day, some people just can’t seem to adjust to sleeping with their CPAP machine on. The whole point of CPAP therapy is to reduce the dangers of sleep apnea by allowing you to breathe easily through the night and get the sleep you need. But if your CPAP machine is keeping you up when you should be sound asleep — whether it be due to the quiet whirr of the engine or the air blowing into your mouth or nose – it’s simply not an effective sleep apnea treatment for you.
There is an alternative to CPAP therapy.
If you have sleep apnea, and CPAP therapy just doesn’t work for you, know that there may be an ideal alternative treatment option for you. Sleep apnea mouthpieces help to keep your airway open without the use of an engine, masks or tubes. Contact the Andrew S. Curry D.D.S. dentist office today to find out if a sleep apnea mouth guard is the right treatment option for you.