How to Cope With Sleep Apnea
More and More people are being diagnosed with sleep apnea, a problem where you actually are not breathing for periods during the night. I am not a medical professional and will not attempt to explain the reasons why this is happening, but the treatment is usually a machine that is used to keep the air passages open to allow for deep, uninterrupted sleep. There are various types of facial masks used, depending on the need. But, for most everyone, especially those using masks that cover mouth and nose or even the whole face, it requires some adjustment and patience.
While not a medical professional, I am mentioning some things that were helpful to me as I experienced this adjustment. The good news is that it is worth the trouble! You may not realize how little rest you have had until you know what it is to deeply and soundly sleep. For many, like myself, with a serious sleep apnea, it can be life-changing!
Instructions Things You’ll Need:
- Doctor’s care and administration of a sleep test for apnea
- Doctor’s prescription of machine and machine settings.
- a PATIENT Medical equipment person to help yhou achieve success.Step 1
Listen carefully to what your doctors’ and technicians say to you. And don’t hesitate to call them back with questions and problems. At your sleep test, you may begin treatment or determination of prescriptions. IN this setting, a prescription is the setting for your machine. Depending on your severity, the higher settings require a machine that breathes in and out since it would be difficult to exhale against the very high pressure. Usually, they will work you up gradually to the higher pressure. Also the machine has a ramp where it increases from a lower setting as you fall off to sleep.
Don’t forget to use distilled water in your machine. not Bottled water but distilled. VERY IMPORTANT> I found that I do better with the heat setting on; I thought I wouldn’t since I am hot all the time with menopausal hot flashes. But, the heat setting seems to be soothing and opens up the airways some. I was having trouble using mine until I turned the heat on.
**Be careful when transporting your machine to empty out the water reservoir first…….It leaks everywhere!(experience)
At first it feels very uncomfortable to have the air blowing in your face. Small sessions at a time are good, while watching a favorite tv program or listening to a book on tape. I like to listen to foreign language tapes. It is best not to focus on the actual mechanics of breathing.
Tips & Warnings
- THE MOST important thing…..Continue to explore different masks with your professional equipment person until you find the correct mask and the correct size and fit. I was ready to give up when my technician brought me the GEL mask. It was perfect for me. It was lightweight, and had a different feel from the hard plastic. It meant the difference in my chunking the whole thing!
- Some folks just have a nose mask….it is not as comfortable as oxygen..it has to go all the way up in your nose and seal the nostrils. A friend has this and is very comfortable, but I hated it. I am a mouth breather and they didn’t feel the effectiveness was going to be there anyway, but the high pressure makes the nose thing feel awful like your nose is exploding! My technician said that it was mainly for folks with lower pressures, or less air coming at you.
- But, just keep on bothering them till they find you one that is comfortable and effective. When I found the gel mask, which is the one most people get she said, I was unable to even use my machine at all.
- Whatever you have to do to follow your doctor’s directives, do it. Not doing it can permanently damage your heart. And besides long-term issues, once you get a good few hours on it, you will wake up and go WOW…is this how other people feel every day? Prior to my machine I had experienced about 4-6 weeks of little or no sleep. So it was like a GODsend.