After you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, the next step is to get the proper treatment. This means getting set up with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine and a face mask that goes along with it. This can be a daunting experience at first. In fact, the most common reaction we hear is “Woah! I look like Darth Vader!”. Yes, using a CPAP for the first time can be a bit intimidating, but if you have a little patience and willingness to try, you may just fall in love with your CPAP machine!

Your first night(s):

Like with any new device, it may take some time to get used to your CPAP machine and mask. It’s important to remember that everyone is different. Some patients can get used to the machine right away, while others may take some time. After you’ve been fitted with the CPAP and mask, the best way to get used to the equipment is to start using it. 

We recommend putting on your CPAP mask and starting the machine a couple of hours before you actually go to bed. Have it on while you’re watching TV, browsing on your phone or while you’re reading. By doing so, your body can get used to the air pressure and the feeling of having a mask on your face. This will make things easier for you once you actually go to sleep. 

Humidity is your best friend: 

New CPAP users sometimes struggle with having a dry nose or throat due to the air pressure. This may cause them to give up using their machine. Fortunately, new CPAP models are built with humidifiers with adjustable humidity settings. All you need to do is adjust your humidity settings to get rid of dry air and improve comfort!

A little bit at a time:

To ensure that you are getting the proper treatment, you should use your CPAP for the entire duration of your sleep. However, we understand that using a CPAP machine at night is not as easy as it sounds. During the first few nights, try your best to keep your CPAP on for as long as you can overnight. If you wake up in the middle of the night and wish to take it off, that’s okay! Using your CPAP for 3 or 4 hours the first few nights is better than not using it at all. Once you start getting used to the machine, your usage will gradually increase! 

Using a CPAP machine doesn’t have to be a scary experience. With the right attitude and patience, you can learn to love your CPAP machine and find yourself not wanting to sleep without it! Just take it one step at a time, and if you have any issues, we’re always here to help. Just give us a call and your Respiratory Therapist would be happy to assist you!