CPAP Success provides equipment from Respironics, ResMed, Fisher and Paykel, and Puritan Bennett. If we do not carry the items you need, we will be happy to help you obtain them. We need a prescription from your physician in order to supply you with equipment. Your initial prescription should contain the pressure setting for your machine (e.g.. 10 cm H2O). It may also specify a mask and humidification.
Regardless of the device you select, using CPAP is a process. Some people adapt to the treatment easier than others. The payoff for your struggles is a longer and healthier life. Try not to become too frustrated at first. Using the device some of the time is better than none, and you will get more used to CPAP with time. As the first month is the most critical period for ensuring long term success, it is essential that we hear from you if you are having problems.
Finding the proper fitting mask seems to be one of the biggest challenges for many people. There are several categories of masks including nasal masks (fits over the nose), nasal pillows (fits into the nostrils), and full face masks (fits over the nose and mouth). Within each category, there are several styles available. While we spend a great deal of time trying to fit you with the “right” mask, extended use at home may not be as comfortable as initially thought. If this is case, a change of mask will be helpful. As this process is as much art as science, we will continue to support you in successfully identifying the proper mask.
There are many nuances to using a CPAP mask. Most masks should be worn as loose as possible without getting a mask leak. Some people find that alternating between different types of masks can minimize facial discomfort. Having a full face mask available can be useful if you have a cold or frequent nasal congestion.
Studies have shown that CPAP use is also influenced by things that affect a person’s comfort level. Heated humidifiers reduce nasal congestion, dryness and irritation. Certain CPAP/BiPAP machines can decrease the pressure being exhaled against (C-Flex or EPR), making breathing with CPAP or BiPAP easier. Taking advantage of a ramp feature (pressure gradually increases to the prescribed level) may ease the transition into sleep. Lifestyle issues also merit consideration. Someone who travels frequently will appreciate a smaller and lighter device.
Many beginning CPAP users are concerned about their appearance or what others may think. People who truly care about you will be more concerned for your health than what you wear to bed. CPAP use requires not only lifestyle but psychological adjustments. Support groups such as the A.W.A.K.E. network can be helpful in dealing with these challenges.