Frequently Asked Questions at Saskatoon CPAP
Please note: Saskatoon CPAP has moved upstairs to suite number 202. We are still in the same great location. You will find our office upstairs on the second floor. Give us a call with any further inquiries!
At Saskatoon CPAP, we have received many frequently asked questions about our CPAP machines and how to troubleshoot them. Troubleshooting ensures your system is working as efficiently and safely as possible. If you do not see your question addressed here and you would like to learn more, be sure to contact us today.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea means that you often stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. The problem can be mild to severe, based on the number of times each hour that you stop breathing or how often your lungs don’t get enough air. This may happen anywhere from five to 50 times an hour. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common type.
A less common type of Apnea, called Central Sleep Apnea, can occur in people who have had a stroke, heart failure, or have a brain tumor or infection. Even though this topic isn’t about Central Sleep Apnea, some of the treatments discussed here may also help treat it. Talk with your doctor to find out more about Central Sleep Apnea.Learn More
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Blocked or narrowed airways in your nose, mouth, or throat can cause Sleep Apnea. Your airway can become blocked when your throat muscles and tongue relax during sleep. Sleep Apnea can also occur if you have a problem with your jawbone. In children, the main cause is large tonsils or adenoids. Sleep Apnea is more likely to occur if you are overweight, use certain medicines or alcohol before bed, or sleep on your back.Learn More
Waking with dry nose or mouth?
This is a very common question. Depending on where you live and the time of year, CPAP use can cause severe dryness in the airway. If you have a humidifier, it may need to be adjusted to increase humidity. If you don’t have a humidifier, you may need one. Another consideration is mask leakage. If you are experiencing leaks from your mask, you may become very dry. CPAP is designed to attempt to overcome leaks and the machine will increase flow to maintain the CPAP pressure. A small to moderate leak can increase flow dramatically and with that high flow blowing past your nose and mouth, that can increase the possibility of dryness. If your mouth is dry and you wear a nasal mask, you may need a chin strap or even a full face mask.
Popping or gurgling in my mask or machine?
This is usually due to rainout in the CPAP tubing. When you have a humidifier, the air leaves the CPAP unit warm and moist. As it travels down the tubing to your mask, it cools. When the air cools, it cannot hold onto all the moisture, therefore, it turns to water and collects in the bend of the tubing. As the air passes by or through the water, it will make noises like gurgling or popping. You may need to lower your heat setting or consider a tubing wrap. What is the room temperature where you sleep?
Eyes are dry or sore?
This is common when there is a small mask leak around the bridge of the nose blowing into the eyes. Your mask may need to be adjusted or it might be time for a new fit or mask. You may also want to consider cleaning your mask. If your mask is not clean, you may have contracted an eye infection.
Pressure on the nose or under the lip?
CPAP masks need to create a seal in order to be effective. Creating this seal can cause pressure around or on the nose. Sometimes the pressure is irritating at first, but then you become used to it. If you are new to CPAP and you have redness after 3 to 4 days, you may need to consider the fit of your mask. If your mask is fitting too tightly, it will cause pressure sores that can become infected. If you have redness that persists, contact the fit specialist and make them aware of your problem. Your mask may need a simple adjustment, or it may not be the right mask. Don’t let the pressure sore get worse! You may have to modify or stop treatment in order to let the wound heal.
There are comfort strips that can be used to improve pressure in certain areas. Patients that wear a full face mask may experience a sore nose from the mouth opening under their mask. When their mouth opens, it pulls the mask tighter on their nose and can cause sores. Consider also the position in which you sleep. You may be leaning on your mask against your pillow, causing increased pressure to that side of your face.
Marks from mask or strap?
Depending on the shape of your face and the tension of your mask, you may experience marks on your face. They should go away early in the morning. You may need to wash your face with a warm cloth and rub to increase circulation to your skin. Persistent marking is rare, but can occur.
This may be related to a number of things:
- Your mask is too tight
- Your mask is not fitted properly
- Swelling in the face
- Mask not positioned properly
- Position of mask against pillow
Does CPAP work and how long does it take to get used to?
CPAP works for everyone that makes it work. It is a proven therapy and the least invasive treatment for sleep apnea. The most important time is in the first 3 to 4 weeks. Most people struggle in this time. You need to consider that you are required to change your sleep pattern completely. You are wearing a foreign object on your face. You are breathing against a machine and you have to accommodate the CPAP tubing in your sleep movement. This can take time, particularly for light sleepers and anxious people. We suggest between 1-3 weeks of continuous and consecutive use at night, and sometimes longer before you adjust. You will adjust and you will sleep better.
If you are having difficulty adjusting, you need to consider these options:
- Mask fit and comfort
- Features of comfort on your CPAP machine (contact CPAP specialist)
- Temporary change in pressure (contact CPAP specialist)
Home Sleep Test Request
Saskatoon CPAP is proud to serve Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. To get started you can send us a message below, call our office or visit our Sleep Clinic. Let our friendly staff help you sleep better today!
Monday – Friday 9:00AM to 5:00PM
Saturday 10:00AM to 2:00PM
Sundays and Holidays Closed
Monday-Friday 9AM to 5PM
Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays CLOSED
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