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Readers Respond: Top Ways to Overcome the Problems with Using CPAP to Treat Sleep Apnea

Responses: 74


Updated May 15, 2009

From the article: Learning to Live with CPAP
It is not uncommon to have troubles tolerating continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) when you first start using it. Share your experiences on how you managed to overcome the problems tolerating your CPAP to treat your sleep apnea. Share Your Experiences

Mouth breathing

After years of struggle with my mouth opening and causing me to loose the cpap pressure and go into awful nightmares, my eye doctor, in a random conversation about the air leaks causing eye discomfort, suggested I try using a cheap neck brace found in my pharmacy for $15, to adjust my chin up and mouth closed and keep it that way. It actually works most of the time. I've tried tape also with some success but for now the foam neck brace is working. Best wishes for a panic free sleep. If anyone else has an out of the box solution please share. Thx.
—Guest Ripvanwinkle

not that bad

Had machine 6 mounths cant sleep without it now took weeks of perseverance. Investigated heaverly got best setup still far from perfect. Worth the effort took me a couple of mounths to notice big difference
—Guest Paul

mouth discharge after using cpap

I get mouth discharge every morning after waking up with my cpap. My nose gets clogged up and mucus comes out of my mouth. It is so discussting. Why does this happen? It happens even when I don't have a cold.
—Guest mae

New cpap

I had claustrophobia problems too and had to try a few masks before getting it right. If you try and do relaxation exercises as soon as you put the bloody awful thing on I think it really helps.
—Guest Pam

which is worse!

I've been on this infernal machine for 4 months and its killing my sinus! The air pushes behind my eye and into my sinus on one side. I was sleeping fine before I was diagnosed. I'm a truck driver so, my income depends on my wearing this sleep wrecker! It is hard to drive when my eye is watering and I'm constantly sneezing and blowing my nose! Now, I snore so bad without the machine, I get a sore throat and swolen uvula. It would be a blessing if someone could come up with a
—Guest Gale

Breathing Fumes

I am a beginner with cpap. I get a sensation of breathing stale air or air with plastic fumes in it. I wake up, pull off mask and get a smell of perfume in the air which quickly disappears into fresh air. I think the air produced from the machine has plastic fumes in it. Anyone else had this sensation?
—Guest Ed


Unfortunatley this guys completely corerct. Ive just started out with the mask thing and tbh im finding it a bit claustraphoboic i woke up 03.00 last night with it blasting in my face and paniced and tore it off heh.Hopefully ill settle down with it, but im thinking theres thing that just goes into your mouth instead of covering whole face, this sounds more my thing.Woke up a few times during the night maybe to me changing postion and mask slipping? But ill persvere
—Guest x13LRWlFz

Wisp and oxygen

Not good, have your oxygen saturation level and card on your machine checked to see if you need oxygen attached to your CPAP or if you need more air pressure, it really makes a difference. I use the Wisp mask with a chin strap, much more comfortable than a full face mask, much better than gasping for air.
—Guest JC

Be patient

I have been useing a cpap for about ten years and in that time I have tryed several different machines all I can say is stick with it I know it's a pain but it beats the panic attacks in the middle of the night for those that have problems keeping their mouths shut I found the easyest way was to wear a mouth gard it seems to make you bite on it and does the trick I also use nasel pillows once you work out the right size for you life gets a whole lot better
—Guest Rob


Started my cpap 6 months ago. Was told by a friend to put the mask on an hour before going to bed. Read, watch a move with it etc to get used to it. Within a few weeks slept though the night no problems
—Guest CPAP Users

Panic attack

I seem to have a panic attack and I had my pressure turned down and it did not change a thing I get worse sleep using a cpap than not . The doctor said I have a mild case but there is no other way to deal with apnea which I don't believe .!!! I also had a sore chest and it has been a horrible experience . I have been using breathe rights and not sleeping on my back just my side and with my head elevated it seems to help, funny the doctor would not even suggest any of this but they sure want u to use the 1000 dollar air pump that feels like it will kill me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
—Guest Doctors suck !!!!!

Air escapes using CPAP

My dentist told me my teeth are chipping due partially to dry mouth. I use a nasal pillow because I'm claustrophobic using the one that covers mouth and nose. When my mouth relaxes as I fall to sleep, the air escapes thru my lips even with the chin strap in place. I've tried to find any device that seals off the escaping air but have been unable to find anything other than that Chinese lip doo-dad that others say is a joke. I awaken in the middle of the night with a mouth that resembles a prune. I keep a bottle of water nearby to hydrate in the middle of the night. I'm told that there's no sort of mouth device that completely seals off the escaping air becasue of liability issues...apparently there has to be a way for you to suck in air thru your mouth in the event of an emergency. Allowing air in compounds the problem for me. I need to seal off the air. Does anyome make a device?

dry mouth

I have no problem wearing the mask, but pretty much every night i am awakened by dry mouth I do not know how to prevent that!
—Guest michael


I am having troiuble with masks as well. I tried full face and now I am trying pillow one. I am still having trouble and get panic attacks as soon as I put it on. It is so expensive and I have no coverage so I am at a loss as what to do about it.
—Guest BARB

Response to Sherrie K.

Sherrie - Have you ever tried elevating the head of your bed about 5 1/2 to 6" ? I also was at a 20 pressure without much relief from the apnea, but with the head of my bed elevated and the pressure on 15 I now only quit breathing 0.4 times per hour (from 39) Try it....
—Guest Susan V.

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Top Ways to Overcome the Problems with Using CPAP to Treat Sleep Apnea

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