CPAP complications range from runny noses to face breakouts. It’s no wonder that the CPAP success rate is less than 50%. The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, commonly referred to as CPAP, has long been considered as one the best options for treating sleep apnea and breathing conditions. In fact, CPAP was often your doctor or dental sleep expert’s first choice for treating sleep apnea and snoring.
Under the above procedure, the sleep apnea patient is required to wear a specially designed mask. Typically, air is pumped through the nasal passages. The steady stream of air prevents the throat from collapsing while the person is sleeping. It allows the patient to breathe freely with no more worries of non-breathing episodes.
While CPAP is considered one of the safest and most painless treatments, there are a host of problems and side effects associated with it. Although, the issues are minor compared to the risk factors of not treating the condition, they often lead to non-compliance. The following are some of the problems commonly experienced while using the above treatment plan:
4 Common Equipment Problems with CPAP
1. Patient’s has trouble complying with CPAP directives
When used properly, CPAP can be a successful sleep apnea therapy. However, most patients under the above treatment procedure have trouble complying with some simple directives. In fact, one of the latest surveys indicates that only 23 to 45 percent of patients have had success while using a CPAP. The reason for the poor results is not a mystery. It is simply very hard for many to stick to a nightime ritual that requires patients to wear a mask over their mouth and nose all night! Indeed, most people using the above device have been known to be wear it for 4 hours or less per night.
2. Air pressure related problems
The air pressure from the CPAP makes some patients feel like it is hard to breathe in and out. Typically, they experience the feeling of suffocating or choking, while others swallow air, thus increasing the risk of burping. Some, but not all, devices are equipped with a ramp feature that slowly ramps up the air pressure from a low to the standard pressure. This negative experience alone can result in your doctor or sleep specialist to suggest another solution.
Most CPAP devices have been specially designed to work quietly and any noticeable noise should be soft and rhythmic. However, some devices produce noise that bother users to the point of actually interfering with sleep. If this is the case, and the problem is not a faulty air filter and another device-related problem, you have to get clever. Perhaps, start looking for a white-noise sound machine or earplugs.
4. Mask leaks
Quite often, CPAP masks will leak air. When this happens, the patient does not get the proper amount of the air pressure. Besides that, leaks can lead to eye or skin irritation. Despite the fact that subtle leaks do not stop the device from producing the correct amount of air pressure, such leak cause shrill sounds that disturb the sleep of other inhabitants in the room. Several factors can make a mask leak. To avoid such leaks, and many are easily fixed, but dealing with straps that are too tight or loose or trying to fix the leak with moisturizer are often just one more headache that the CPAP poses for patients.
4 Common CPAP Side effects
1. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is caused either by the CPAP itself or from the patient breathing through the mouth at night. Getting a device that has a heated humidifier can work in some cases. However, dry mouth may persist and a different type of mask or the use of a chinstrap to keep the mouth closed may be tried.
2. Stomach discomfort and bloating
Air pressure from a CPAP machine that has not been set up correctly can cause stomach bloating and pain. As soon as you feel these side effects, you are advised to talk to your doctor or sleep specialist immediately. In Typically, he/she may adjust the settings of your device to relieve the above effects.
3. A runny nose, sinusitis, nosebleeds, sneezing, and congestion
Any of the above effects can occur while using a CPAP. In these cases, a fix might include a system that is equipped with a heated humidifier. Typically though, some people have found that they must tolerate the side-effects or experiment with solutions for them like a saline nasal spray.
4. Skin irritation and mask allergies
CPAP masks have been known to cause skin irritation and allergies. If this condition occurs, patients will likely be offered a better fitting mask and special nasal pillows. Nasal pillows are small, flexible, and mushroom-shaped cones that are placed into each nostril in an effort to alleviate the irritations.
As you can see, the CPAP is not without its problems. Interested in a simpler, less expensive solution to sleep apnea and snoring? Contact Kentuckiana Dental Sleep Group today so that we can help you determine what form of treatment is right for you.