There are common problems people tend to have when using a CPAP machine, which include air leaking from the mask, a dry or stuffy nose, or trouble falling asleep. These problems, along with machine functionality can be easily rectified and improved if you follow these tips!
Make sure you buy the right size and style of mask
Though air leakage will happen regardless of the machine’s quality, the leak compensation feature on your machine will compensate for any lost pressure that is caused by these minor leaks of air. By the machine compensating for loss of air due to a small leakage, you will be able to continue to use your machine just as normal.
If there is air leakage from your mask, and it is not being compensated for, you may need to consider whether your mask is the right fit for you, and adjusted accurately. If your mask is the wrong size or style for your face, you will not be able to fully utilise the effects of the machine. Determining that your mask is the wrong size for your face is important, so that you can buy one that will work for you. A mask that fits is very important when using a CPAP machine.
If you move around a lot in your sleep, buy a full face mask
A CPAP machine cannot be fully functional if it is being knocked off of your face whilst you are sleeping. If this sounds like it may be an issue for you, a full face mask is a great option to consider. With a full face mask, there is a lower chance that it will slip off, or that you will be able to unconsciously remove it during the night. If you are still worried about your movements in your sleep, there is also the option of getting chin straps that will secure your mask more firmly in place while you sleep.
Choose a machine with a humidifier
A problem people can have with functioning their CPAP machine includes developing a dry or stuffy nose. This problem can be remedied by having a humidifier in your machine, as this will supply moist air and reduce irritation of your nasal airways. If your CPAP machine is an older model, there is a chance you may have to have a separate humidifier unit, though newer models have this included. By ensuring your machine has a humidifier unit, you are able to prevent a dry or irritated nose.
Keep your machine clean
Modern CPAP machines are generally built in a way that minimises the noise from the machine. If you have purchased a machine with minimal noise, and it is uncharacteristically noisy suddenly, we recommend cleaning your filters and mask. Your machine may have a blockage. It is important to routinely clean your machine to prevent any of these blockages from happening in the future. There are procedures you should follow to ensure your machine stays in good shape, including daily, weekly, and monthly procedures. Each day to clean your machine, empty the humidifier and rinse it with water. Using distilled water will help to avoid mineral deposit build-up. Weekly, you should clean your headgear, tubing and mask using a mild soap. Make sure you also wash the any reusable filters that are present. To dry your equipment, simply hang it up to air dry. On top of these daily and weekly procedures to follow, it is also important about once a month to replace any disposable filters.
Make sure your provider offers After sales service/insurance
Be mindful when buying your machine, especially online, that your provider offers an after sales service. This is beneficial for keeping your machine fully functional, in case something goes wrong with your machine. At Wake Up Well, with some of our machines we offer 5 year warranty to be included when you purchase them.
Follow your doctor’s orders, and CPAP supplier’s instructions
The most common functionality issues occur if the machine is not being used the correct way. The best way for you to avoid the possibility of this happening is by following the directions given by your CPAP supplier, as they have expert knowledge of their machines and thus know the best way for them to function. It is also very important to follow your doctors orders, as these are unique to the individual. By working with both your doctor, and your CPAP supplier, you can rest easy knowing that you will find the best fit and device for you. Getting regular check-ups on your machine will ensure that it is always adjusted to your needs, and prevent or fix problems that may occur with the machine.
If you are still concerned about keeping your machine fully functional, Wake Up Well advises talking it through more deeply with your supplier, as they will be able and willing to answer any other questions you may have.