2 Mistakes To Avoid When You First Start Wearing A CPAP Mask

If your doctor has recently diagnosed you with moderate to severe sleep apnea, they may have decided that you would benefit from using a CPAP machine at night. This machine forces air through a mask that is fitted on your mouth, nose, or both to allow you to breathe easier.

Especially in the beginning, you may have misgivings about having to wear and care for the mask, which could lead to issues. Make sure that you do not make the following couple of mistakes when you first start wearing a CPAP mask to bed.

1.  Neglecting to Properly Clean the Mask Every Morning After You Wake Up

The first mistake that you may make when you first start wearing a CPAP mask that you should avoid is neglecting to clean it every morning when you wake up. To do so properly, you need to wash it with a mild soap recommended by your doctor or the equipment supply company every day.

As you sleep, sweat, skin oils, and condensation from your breath will build up on the mask. If you do not clean the residues on a daily basis, the material of the cushion will wear down faster. If this happens, a proper seal will become difficult to maintain, and you will not receive the full benefits of using the machine.  

2.  Not Giving Yourself Time to Get Used to the Mask and Make Necessary Adjustments

Another mistake that is easy to make but which you should avoid is not giving yourself time to get used to the mask. Especially in the first few days or weeks, you may find that you have difficulty sleeping with the mask strapped to your head.

While the mask may seem awkward at first, it should not bring you discomfort. You may need to play around with the adjustments. Try making the straps looser or tighter to see if the mask fits more comfortably.

Also, experiment with placing the mask a little higher or lower on your face. Sometimes, even a minor adjustment will help make the mask more comfortable and allow you to get used to it.

Along with the mistakes discussed above, another one that you need to avoid making is using the same mask for too long. While they are reusable, the mask's material, cushion, and/or straps will start to wear down after constant use. Along with your doctor and insurance company, contact a medical equipment and supply company that offers CPAP accessory re-supply services to discuss the frequency with which you should replace the masks for your particular machine. Contact a company like Advanced Home Care Sleep Apnea Services to learn more.