Expert CPAP Advice from Our Clients

Expert CPAP Advice from Our Clients

December 24, 2015 | |

One of our goals is to provide insight and advice to new CPAP users from our veteran customers. In our most recent survey, we asked CPAP users for the most useful advice they would provide to new users.

Overwhelmingly, the advice most people gave was to stick with CPAP therapy! They stated, in general, that “although it may be a challenge at first, after getting used to the therapy, the benefits are life-changing”. CPAP therapy necessitates a bedtime ritual change which, at times, can be a challenge. But don't give up. Stick with it--don't let frustration get the better of you.

We grouped responses directly from our veteran CPAP users into a few categories for easy review.. They include tips on cleaning and replacement parts, mask fit and comfort, humidification, CPAP machines and the use of a support group.

Tips for Cleaning and Replacement Parts:

  • Clean equipment daily with mild, soapy water.
  • Replace mask cushions as often as necessary to make therapy easier to tolerate.
  • Use a chinstrap or full face mask if you sleep with your mouth open.
  • Make sure you always have replacement parts on hand.
  • Be consistent with your routine.

Tips for CPAP Mask Fit and Comfort:

  • Try new masks until you find the one that works best for you, and fits with comfort even when sitting up in bed, watching TV.
  • Before deciding not to use a mask, try it for at least a week. Also make sure it is fitted properly.
  • Never over-tighten a mask to stops leaks. It is not the right answer.
  • Use a travel pillow to keep a pillow from pushing your mask off.
  • Get two masks, with extra headgear, and clean often.
  • Have different masks and switch them occasionally to help with sore spots.
  • Many people find that nasal pillow masks offer the most comfort.
  • The new Dream Wear mask is fantastic and very comfortable.
  • While you sleep, make sure to position the hose facing towards the top of your head.
  • Use nasal strips if needed.

Tips on CPAP Humidification:

  • Use a humidifier and try turning the air conditioning down 2 degrees.
  • Get the little attachment that allows you to add oxygen to your airflow. Secondly, rather than warming the humidifier tank, try freezing it. You will then receive cool dry air. I find that so much better.
  • If condensation accumulates in your CPAP tubing, try a tube wrap or keeping it under the blanket with you.

Tips for Using CPAP Support:

  • Use the therapy team the first month.
  • Join online forums.
  • Educate yourself about CPAP on the Internet.
  • Ask questions and understand that assistance is available.
  • Don’t settle for a non-fitting, uncomfortable mask as there are many options available.

Tips for CPAP Machine Use:

  • It takes time to get used to the machine.
  • Always check the filter.
  • Buy online from a company in the USA. Don’t buy a machine made in China. It doesn’t last!
  • Auto CPAP is the most comfortable.
  • Buy the best machine you can afford, as quiet and light as possible, and make sure it provides efficacy data that is easily available to you, so that you can monitor your therapy results.
  • Use the unit 100% of the time (not part time), even when you nap.
  • Be patient when first using. Use the ramp feature to fall asleep easily.
  • Understand the data the machine provides. It helps to make changes if necessary.

You will be surprised at how well you sleep after getting used to CPAP therapy. Patience, comfort, and compliance do not happen overnight. Getting used to new experiences while you sleep can be a challenge, but in the end, it will save your life.  We hope these tips are helpful to our newest CPAP users!

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.