If you’re still having a little trouble getting used to your CPAP you don’t have to settle. There are numerous ways to increase comfort with CPAP accessories that have been specifically designed with getting quality sleep in mind. You aren’t going to give up your sleep apnea treatment or you’ll destroy your health, so why not take a few easy steps to make it more comfortable?
Mask Irritation | Congestion | Dry Eyes | Trouble Exhaling | Headaches | Uncomfortable Sleeping Position | Musty Mask | Gas (Aerophagia) | Dry Mouth | Feeling Claustrophobic
The Best CPAP Accessories To Make Your CPAP More Comfortable
Is your CPAP mask too tight? Does the head strap cross your face in an uncomfortable spot? Do you make up with a dry nose or red irritation? Well don’t fret, there are solutions for all of these common CPAP problems.
Mask Liner - A CPAP mask liner is a soft, comfortable piece of fabric that creates a barrier between your skin and CPAP mask. It will absorb extra oils, help prevent leaks, and most importantly, prevent skin irritation and red marks from occurring during the night. There are a variety of mask liner options depending on what type of CPAP mask you have. They generally come in packs of 3 to 4 and need to be replaced once a month.
Mask Gel - CPAP mask gel can be placed on your skin to create a thin barrier around the edge of your mask to prevent leaks and chaffing. Some gels contain aloe vera to naturally hydrate and restore dry, cracked skin.
A Different Mask Style - There are a variety of CPAP mask styles to choose from. Don’t settle on the first option you try, especially if it's uncomfortable.
Full face - A full face mask creates a seal around your nose and mouth, which is a necessary option for those who breathe through their mouths. They are often more comfortable for people with allergies, congestion or like to sleep on their backs.
Nasal - A nasal CPAP mask creates an enclosed seal around your nose and upper lip area to direct airflow into your nostrils. They assist patients feel comfortable with higher pressure settings, and those who move around more in their sleep. They take up less surface area than full face masks
Pillow - Nasal pillow CPAP masks fit directly into your nostrils to direct airflow. They’re perfect for those who breathe through their noses and toss and turn in their sleep. This type of mask takes up the least amount of nasal pressure.
You can also consider mask options by their shapes and sizes. For example, not every mask has a forehead strap and sometimes masks with narrow nasal bridges can create uncomfortable pressure on the nose. Think about your face shape and personal preferences when browsing different types of CPAP masks.
A Different Sized Mask - Masks and CPAP headgear generally come in small medium and large sizes. Make sure you get the one most suited to fit your unique face shape. A mask that is too small will cause chaffing, irritation, and red marks.
When you feel stuffy due to the changing of the seasons, allergies, a cold, or due to other causes, you probably don’t feel confident about getting a solid night of rest. However, be sure to continue using your CPAP to get proper sleep, or you may wake up feeling much worse. Here’s how to make your CPAP comfortable with congestion.
Full Face Mask - Even if you prefer a nasal mask, switch to your full face mask while congested to receive air flow through your mouth. This may help break up congestion. Plus, if you’re congested due to allergies, your CPAP filter can assist by catching irritants.
Humidifier - By using a CPAP with a humidifier you’ll benefit from having moisture added to the air you receive. This can help reduce or break up congestion and relieve irritation.
Heated Hose - If your CPAP doesn’t have a humidifier you can use a heated CPAP hose to warn the air passing through your machine. This may create moisture and prevents irritation caused by dry air.
Hose Cover - You can also use a CPAP hose cover, which is a knitted fabric tube that fits over the hose to warm the air passing through it. The soft cover is warm and cozy, helping to get rid of that clinical CPAP feel for more comfortable sleep. Plus, it can help reduce the build up of condensation in your tubing so you won't get rained on!
Waking up with dry, itchy, or irritated eyes and using your CPAP machine may cause you to wonder how that even happened. It delivers air to your airways, so if you experience eye irritation something needs to be adjusted.
Stop Leaking Air - Check your mask seal to see if it’s breaking down. It might be leaking air towards your eyes. You can also use a mask liner, or gel to create a more secure seal. Take a look at your mask to see where it vents the air you exhale. You might be breathing into your own eyes.
Use Eye Drops - You may have dry eyes due to other causes such as dry air. Keep your eyes comfortable and lubricated with eye drops before bed and in the morning.
Remove Allergens - Make sure your bedroom is free of allergens such as dust, pollen, or pet dander by washing your sheets and dusting. Keep pets out of the room and keep the windows closed to prevent allergens from blowing in. Also, keep your CPAP filter clean to catch irritants.
Your CPAP should make it easier to breathe. Heck, they allow your body to receive the oxygen your body needs to rest. If you have trouble exhaling against incoming pressure there are a few ways to make it more comfortable.
Turn Down The Pressure - You may have your CPAP on settings that are too high. Depending on your prescribed pressure, you may be able to adjust its strength to get better sleep but always consult your doctor first.
Try A Larger Mask - A full face mask or nasal mask may better disperse the incoming air, making it easier to exhale against.
BiPAP - A BiPAP is similar to a CPAP, however, BiPAP machines produce bilevel pressure. Meaning they produce pressure as you inhale and exhale. They will automatically adjust to a lower pressure each time you exhale.
Waking up with a headache usually signifies an issue such as having a hangover, having sinus issues, or a cold. However, improper CPAP use can also cause morning headaches, so check out how to prevent them.
Check Your Mask Size - If your mask is too small or your straps are too tight it could place tight pressure around your face and skull, leading to painful headaches.
Break Up Congestion - Sinus pressure and congestion can cause your head to pound! MAke sure you switch to a full face mask, use a humidifier or heated tube, and take cold or allergy medicine with a decongestant to break up mucus.
Uncomfortable Sleeping Position
Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night and struggling to fall asleep with your CPAP mask on? Do you wake up after finding that you removed it during your sleep? Then take a few steps to make it more comfortable.
CPAP Pillow - You can invest in a CPAP pillow with holes cut out to make it easier for you to wear your mask all night long in your favorite sleeping positions. They generally come with cases that fit the pillow perfectly for extra comfort.
Nasal Mask - Maybe you need to feel a bit more free during the night and this can be accomplished with a nasal or nasal pillow mask that takes up less space. They often are more secure during the night and don’t slip off as easily.
Longer Hose - Are you feeling like you don’t have the freedom to move around or you’ll get stuck? Well, use a longer CPAP hose to allow you to easily reach new areas of your bed!
Hose Holder - Is your CPAP hose in the way? Do you get tangled like a fly in a web? Well, use a hose holder, which is a small stand, to hang up your hose.
A Modern Mask - There are modern mask designs such as the DreamWear that are designed to have the tubing connect at the top of the frame, keeping it out of your way.
Has a funky smell ever kept you awake? What if that smell is coming from your CPAP mask? Your skin cells, facial oils, dust, and more can collect on your mask, so they do need to be cleaned from time to time in order to stay fresh. However, you don’t have to constantly clean your CPAP supplies by hand, there are easier ways.
CPAP Wipes - CPAP wipes are disposable cleansing wipes that can be used to quickly wipe down your mask and then disposed of, leaving it fresh and clean for sleep.
The Lumin - The Lumin CPAP sanitizer will eliminate 99.9% of pathogens, germs, and more in as little as five minutes. Simply place your equipment inside and come back for it later. No water, mess, or waiting is involved.
CPAP Spray - You can also use a CPAP disinfectant spray to get the musk out of your mask. There are a variety of options with pleasant scents such as orange or lemon.
Have you been waking up with a lot of bloating and discomfort? Are you constantly burping or suddenly releasing way more wind than usual? This might be because of your CPAP...You may be receiving too much air and it could be overloading your lungs, and becoming swallowed. Then your body has to get rid of that extra air.
Adjust The Pressure - Talk to your doctor to see if lowering your air pressure is a viable option to avoid waking up with gas and discomfort.
Switch To A Nasal Mask - See if switching to a nasal mask will help you swallow less air as you try to exhale against incoming pressure.
Try A BiPAP - A BiPAP will automatically adjust the amount of pressure as you inhale and exhale to make sure you don’t receive too much pressure and can breathe a little easier.
Are you waking up with a dry and crusty sensation in your mouth? Does it feel like a desert amidst a drought? Not only is waking with a dry mouth uncomfortable, but it could contribute to bad breath or dental issues.
Xylimelts - Xylimelts are a type of disc that you stick directly to your tongue or teeth to relieve dry mouth. They naturally release moisture to relieve sticky dryness and constant thirst. They dissolve as you sleep to keep you comfortable for hours.
Humidity - The air passing through your CPAP comes from the ambient room and it might be too try. You can add moisture to the air with a CPAP that has a humidifier, heated hose, or with the use of a hose cover.
Ask About Your Medication - Medications for diabetes, hypertension, anti-depression, and much more can cause dry mouth. You may need to discuss this side effect with your doctor to see about switching medications.
We’re born free, as free as the wind blows. So at first, some people may feel a little uneasy when they strap on their new CPAP mask. All of a sudden, it’s on your face. While the right mask is actually incredibly comfortable and sleep apnea treatment will enhance your health, some people still need to gradually get used to the feeling.
Wear Your Mask More - At first start wearing masking a few hours each day to get used to it. Put it on a few hours before bed or while watching TV. Also, always remember to wear it while you take a nap and to bring your CPAP equipment with you on vacation.
Get A Quick Release Mask - You may feel more comfortable with a modern mask, such as the AirFit F20, that has magnetic clips. This allows you to instantly pull off your mask and makes it easier for those with arthritis or other mobility issues to take off their masks on their own.