Living with CPAP: The Unwritten Rules

CPAP: Stick the mask on and turn the machine to blow.

Unfortunately living with CPAP isn’t that easy. This article discusses the changes in your morning and evening routes as well as what you have to do once a week.

Changes in the Evening

  1. You shouldn’t drink alcohol or take sleeping pills. This relaxes the soft tissue in your throat making your sleep apnea worse.
  2. Before you turn on your machine make sure you top up your humidifier with distilled water.
  3. If you are using moisturizer have a beard or open sores then you need to use a mask liner. Mask liners help improve the mask seal and saves the cushion from degrading through moisturizer.
  4. Turn on the humidifier
  5. Turn on your CPAP Machine
  6. Put the CPAP mask on, tightening the head gear so it’s firm but not pinching your face.
  7. If you have a full face/hybrid mask that uses a gel or double wall cushion then pull the mask forward slowly and release. This improves the seal on your mask.
  8. Check for leaks and adjust your headgear as needed. Note sometimes tightening the mask will lead to more leaks.
  9. Select ramp up so the machine is too strong as you adjust to the pressure.
  10. If you’re a mouth breather then attach the chin strap. Again not too firmly. You need to be able to open your mouth a little bit so you can at least give your spouse a kiss goodnight.
  11. If you are an active sleeper hang the hose from a hose holder.
  12. If the room is going to be colder than the humidifier temperature then you should turn on your heated hose or wrap the hose with a SnuggleHose.
  13. If you’re a slide sleeper rest your head on your CPAP Pillow making sure the mask fits in the gap of the pillow.
  14. Get a great nights sleep.

Changes to Your Morning Routine

  1. Turn off the CPAP machine.
  2. Turn off your humidifier
  3. Take off the mask.
  4. Using special mask wipes wipe clean any condensation, oils and sweat from the mask.
  5. Disconnect the hose and let the condensation drain out. (I drain it back into the humidifier tank.)
  6. Using the hose cleaner clean the insides of the hold removing any spit or mould.
  7. Throw away your mask liner.

If you don’t like all the cleaning consider buying SoClean2 machine. You put your mask into the machine and it sanitizes the mask, the hose and the humidifier all for you automatically.

Things you’ll have to do every week

  1. Check your air filters, clean the reusable filter and replace the disposable filter if it’s dirty/off white colour.
  2. Check your mask for cracks and stiffness that prevents an effective seal.
  3. Inspect your headgear.Make sure the straps still stretch and is no longer sloppy.
  4. Check the connectors on your headgear making sure they are still working.
  5. Check that your chin strap is still okay.

If you need to replace any parts you don’t have to buy a complete mask. Try Amazon.com where you can parts of your mask.

Summary

All of these steps are essential if you want the maximum benefit out of your CPAP system.

Sleep Well.