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Fall in Love Again (with Your CPAP) - 5 Tips From Your Sleep Doc

Posted by Yatin J. Patel, MD MBA. on

Most patients love their CPAP, but a few really hate it. They do not like the fact that they have to strap themselves to this cumbersome gadget every night. They do not perceive the benefits of CPAP use. They hate the nasal mask. Well, I have some encouraging news for you. It does get better with time as your brain, your face, and your lungs get used to the CPAP. And there are things you can do to make it easier, even enjoyable for you to use CPAP.

Here, are a few tips my patients have found helpful over the years.

1. Nose is the key to success. Make sure that you don’t have allergies and that your nasal passages are not inflamed. Get tested for allergies by doing a painless, needleless skin test and avoid the allergens that you are allergic to.

2. Before you buy the mask, make sure it fits well and feels good on the face. We offer a 30 day exchange policy. You may have to go through three or four different interfaces before you find a comfortable one.

3. Be patient. It may take up to 6 months to get used to sleeping with CPAP. Try using CPAP while reading or watching TV for 20-30 minutes initially.

4. If you have claustroph­obia, try nasal pillows. The minimal contact Dreamwear shown above has been a favorite of my patients.

5. Use heated or cool mist humidifier to avoid dryness. Keep nasal saline spray (available over the counter) bedside and use it often.

You can also watch my video titled “How Not to Hate CPAP.” I apologize in advance for my monotonous and boring voice!

Do whatever you can, but don't quit. Once you get used to it, you will see the health and alertness benefits, and then you will fall in love again!


Sleep Well, Live Well. God Bless.

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