For people who suffer from sleep apnea, nasal CPAP pillow masks can be a saving grace. A patient often has to choose between a full mask (similar to what you see NBA players wear when they have broken noses), masks that cover only the nose, or the least-intrusive option of the nasal CPAP pillow mask.
Before we get too far, though, let me tell you about sleep apnea and then explain what a “CPAP” is in the first place, and then I’ll go through and explain to you about the nasal CPAP pillows.
Sleep apnea is a condition that exists in certain people that causes them to awaken several times per hour at night and may even cause them to stop breathing.
This condition is becoming more recognized today, especially after the death of the Hall of Fame NFL player Reggie White in 2004.
The Constant Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine helps to correct this problem by actually making it easier for a sleep apnea patient to breathe. What it does, if you cannot tell by the name, is gently force air into a person’s nose at a slightly higher rate than it would happen naturally.
Nasal Cpap Pillow Masks Are The Most Comfortable…
The nasal CPAP pillows are the most comfortable form this machine comes in. As was mentioned previously, some people opt for a full nasal cover or even a full facial mask, but this may not be necessary for your case. The CPAP pillows are small, unobtrusive pieces that fit just below the nose and direct airflow directly into the nasal passages.
The primary deciding factor in whether or not you can wear nasal CPAP pillow masks is the position that you take when you are sleeping. If you are a person who can sleep on his or her back, then this is the answer for you. If you are a side- or stomach-sleeper, you may need to talk to your doctor about choosing one of the larger options instead as they tend to be a bit more secure during the night.
No matter what option you choose, there will be at least a minor adjustment to your lifestyle that needs to be made. For some people, there is a very easy transition when it comes to using nasal CPAP pillow masks. One night you sleep fitfully, wake up many times, possibly choking a few times. The next night, you sleep peacefully throughout the entire night with maybe a minor interruption or two.
The majority of people fall somewhere in-between those two examples. I often compare getting a CPAP machine to getting new glasses as an adult. When you first put them on, the sides of your nose and the top of your ears often get irritated and chapped.
Any CPAP equipment, including nasal CPAP pillow masks, can have this same effect on your face. Doctors often suggest that a patient try to wear the nasal CPAP pillows for 15 minutes at a time throughout the day to help in adjusting to having the machine on at night.
You may also have to adjust to the noise of the CPAP machine. While it should not be too noisy, it will add some noise into the bedroom at night. Different machines operate at different thresholds, so you will need to check with your supplier in order to get the best machine for your nasal CPAP pillows.
Here are a few tips to ease your transition into your new nasal Cpap pillows:
- If your nose gets irritated, use a lotion like Chapstick or Carmex on the exterior of the pillows. This can reduce the chance of air leakage and help the machine to operate more efficiently.
- Before you lie down for the evening, wash your face with a mild cleanser. This will remove some of the oils from your face that inhibit the nasal CPAP pillows from forming a successful seal with your nose. This might also reduce any irritation your device could cause.
- Do not drink any beverages containing alcohol within two hours of going to bed. Alcohol and liquor can both change your sleep patterns. The entire point of getting a CPAP machine is to regulate your sleep, so disrupting it is the last thing that you want to do.
- On the opposite side of the spectrum from alcohol are caffeinated foods and drinks. Avoid coffee, tea, soda, or any other stimulants within 4-6 hours of bedtime. It takes a while for your body to completely process caffeine, so having a cup of tea or coffee before bedtime is counter-productive to getting a good night’s sleep.
There are many features that make wearing the nasal CPAP pillow masks preferable over any other type of CPAP device. The most popular feature is that it does not cover the entire face. For people who like to read at night before going to sleep, this is very important because they can keep their glasses on and still read.
Other people who wear the full masks often experience a feeling of claustrophobia, of being closed in by the mask. They may experience dry eyes and even nasal congestion brought on by having their face fully enclosed.
When it comes to nasal CPAP pillows, make sure and research your options. They do come in several different styles, so what is good for one person may not be good for another. Talk with your doctor first as his advice is the best, but also talk with your pharmacist or supplier because they will have good suggestions for what will work for you.
Afterall, of the nights of little or no sleep you have been experiencing lately, I hope that my guide combined with your brand new nasal CPAP pillow masks can help you to finally experience a good night’s sleep!