When you are using CPAP, you need to see your doctor or sleep specialist regularly. For best results, keep the machine clean. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the equipment. The most common problem with CPAP is that people don’t use the machine every night.
Relieving side effects
You may be able to limit or stop some of the side effects:
- If your nose is runny or congested, talk with your doctor about using decongestants or corticosteroid nasal spray medicines.
- Your doctor may be able to adjust your CPAP to reduce or eliminate problems.
- Be sure the mask or nasal prongs fit you properly. Air shouldn’t leak around the mask.
- Use a humidifier or a corticosteroid nasal spray medicine to reduce nasal irritation and drainage.
- You may want to talk to your doctor about trying other types of CPAP machines.
- One type of machine will start with a low air pressure and slowly increase the air pressure as you fall asleep. This kind of machine can help reduce discomfort caused by too much constant pressure in your nose.
- A bi-level positive airway pressure machine (BiPAP) uses a different air pressure when you breathe in than when you breathe out. BiPAP may work better than standard CPAP for treating obstructive sleep apnea in people who have heart failure. You may find BiPAP more comfortable than CPAP because you can breathe out against a lower air pressure. As a result, you may be more likely to continue the treatment.
- An auto-titrating continuous positive airway pressure (APAP) can automatically decrease or increase the air pressure as needed. This may make the machine more comfortable and easier to use.