5 Myths About Using a CPAP Machine

CPAP Myths

Getting diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and beginning therapy with a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) prescription can require changes to your bedtime routine. There is plenty of information available to new to CPAP therapy. However, there are also many CPAP myths and misconceptions floating around.

5 Myths About CPAP Machines

Dispelling CPAP Myths Makes Therapy Easier

In the first installment of our Sleep and OSA myth series, we will discuss some myths about CPAP therapy, the most often prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles of the throat relax and close the airway. This jolts the sleeper awake frequently throughout the night. Most often, the sleeper is not even being aware that it is happening. It is a dangerous condition that when left untreated can create all sorts of health issues. OSA affects approximately 25 million Americans. Additionally, it is associated with serious daytime drowsiness and also has been linked to a variety of chronic health problems.

1. CPAP Myth: All CPAP machines are the same

Auto CPAP machines adjust pressure breath by breath, while fixed CPAP machines deliver a steady pressure (which might be difficult getting used to given your pressure setting, especially when they try to fall asleep or during exhalation). If you have a fixed pressure machine, use the ramp feature which gradually increases pressure as you fall asleep. The auto adjusting CPAP changes pressure on a breath to breath basis. This provides a more natural sleep experience. Bi-Level(or commonly known as BiPAP) machines have two pressure settings (iPAP, a higher pressure while inhaling, and EPAP a lower pressure for exhaling.) Newer machines come with remote monitoring software reporting, are lighter, quieter, and smaller.

2. CPAP Myth: You don’t have to use your CPAP machine every night

Sure, using a CPAP machine will require some changes to your pre-bed regiment. But, it’s necessary to use your CPAP consistently to maintain a good, healthy sleep routine. Getting a good night’s sleep is important every night, and so is using the CPAP therapy. Travel CPAP machines and battery backups help to keep people using their equipment even when they are not at home or when the power is out.

3. CPAP Myth: If I lose weight I won’t have to use CPAP anymore

It has been proven that losing weight reduces the severity of sleep apnea symptoms and in some cases people have been able to stop using the machine after dramatic weight reduction. If that happens, doctors recommend a sleep study after weight loss so that a doctor can adjust the machine to lower pressure settings or to eliminate the CPAP therapy all together.

4. CPAP Myth: Problems like dry mouth cannot be corrected

One of the most frequent issues people who start CPAP encounter is dry mouth or xerostomia. It typically occurs because the CPAP’s pressure dries out the throat and nasal cavities or because the person is using the wrong mask style and sleeping with an open mouth. Xerostomia should be addressed because it can cause bad breath and cavities. Fortunately there are several options to help with dry mouth. One is to use a chinstrap if the problem stems from sleeping with an open mouth and you want to use a nasal style CPAP mask. Another important fix would be to use a humidifier which provides moisture to alleviate the effects of pressurized air.

5. CPAP Myth: CPAP will ruin your sex life

This could not be farther from the truth! In fact, it has the opposite impact. Recent studies have shown that not only are most bed partners very supportive of CPAP therapy, untreated OSA is much more detrimental to sex than using a CPAP and getting a better night’s sleep. In a recent study, 88% of participant’s surveyed said that regular use of CPAP improved overall sexual satisfaction. The CPAP machine almost always improves the sleep of the bed partner because the user ceases excessive snoring while using the machine. Better sleep equates to better performance!

Conclusion

At The CPAP Shop we have been assisting people to select CPAP equipment online for the past 13 years. We ship most CPAP equipment the same day, and all our equipment is brand new. We have over 100,000 satisfied customers and we often write about CPAP, sleep and healthy lifestyles in our blog and resource sections.

Chris Vasta

Author

Chris Vasta

Over a 10+ year career at PHH Mortgage managing a $100 million portfolio, Chris Vasta learned the ins and outs of the business world. He learned how to establish business relationships, lead a multi-prong team, and implement strategies for long-term growth. In 2007, Vasta used that experience to transition his role into president of The CPAP Shop. Over his tenure, Vasta has been involved in everything from website design to warehouse layout. His hands-on approach with customers has evolved into an in-depth understanding of the challenges of beginning and adhering to sleep therapy. He often provides his insights on product…


7 Comments Leave new

  • Al Maurine

    I’ve been using a CPAP machine for about 4 years now. I have a deviated septum and end up being a mouth breather with the full face mask. Recently I lost a bunch of my crowns and could not figure out what was going wrong .. then two more crowns went! Dentist said my mouth drys out so much that my gums recede and exposes the underside of the crowns .. bacteria sets in and the crowns fall off. I’ve been going thru the VA with my respiratory stuff but nobody ever gave any warning that this was possible. Now what to do? Looks like I may have to pull all my upper teeth .. or literally pay thousands to correct the damage. Being retired and on a pension it will be the dentures no doubt. Please let others know that this can happen.

    • Chris Vasta

      Hello, Al. Thank you for sharing your experience to possibly help others. I hope you are able to find a solution that works well for you. It may be helpful to use a chin strap or the Somnifix mouth strips.

    • Rich K

      Having same issue for sure. Rapid tooth decay. Crowns and other teeth. I was not routinely brushing at night, so now I am and hope that helps. Two implants so far, a 3rd coming plus several other teeth with major work.

  • Donna Kapes

    My problem is with dry mouth and dry throat as I sleep with my mouth open during the night with my full well-fitting mask, high humidification, heater on low. I tried a chin strap, but it would fall off during the night. So, help please.

    • Chris Vasta

      Hi Donna,
      I think it’s probably partly due to the pressure setting. It might help to drink more water and also use a room humidifier to keep the humidity above 75% while you sleep. Also I think using mouth wash before bed can dry out your mouth. You could try Breathright strips, along with steroid spray (Flonase, Nasonex), in conjunction with an antihistamine (Allega-D) and maybe a decongestant . There is even a dental product called MouthKote, which is a gel you smear on
      your teeth at bedtime to promote saliva production. Finally you may want to try another mask – maybe this one is leaking and causing additional pressure that just increases the need to open your mouth.

  • Zolela Ngcwabe

    How do you get a battery backup

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