CPAP Tolerance Recommendations

We have ordered the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Unit (CPAP) or BiPAP for you after determining the best pressure level in our Sleep Center.

As you know, this device is a treatment for your sleep disorder and should be used every night and/or anytime that you sleep.

It is important that you read the following recommendations and suggestions to help you with the proper use of this device.

  • Since your sleep is now deeper and more restful than before, you may notice a decrease in the number of hours of sleep you require to feel rested in the morning. If that is the case and you continue with the same schedule you had before using CPAP, you might conclude that you now have "insomnia." All you have to do is to go to bed later or get out of bed earlier.
  • Make sure you go to bed and get out of bed at the same time every day. This may be difficult for some people but the effort it takes to establish a regular sleep/wake cycle will be justified by helping you feel more rested in the morning.
  • If you are taking medications to reduce your blood pressure, please try to monitor blood pressure for the first three months. CPAP use can sometimes improve your blood pressure. Report any dizziness to your doctor.
  • After a week of using CPAP, you should not be sleepy during the day. If you are still sleepy, please give us a call. This may be an indication of a problem with your CPAP device.
  • Your snoring should disappear completely. If at some point your bed partner notices you are snoring again, please let us know. You may need your CPAP unit adjusted.
  • The noise of the machine may initially be bothersome to you or your bed partner; generally it is a matter of just getting used to it. If after several weeks it continues to be bothersome you can explore options for making it quieter with your home-care company.
  • Try to place your machine in a dust free area. Generally, most people place the CPAP machine on a bedside table. It is important the filter not be obstructed by debris, bed clothes, or draperies and it be kept clean.
  • During the first few weeks of treatment you may experience some sneezing and perhaps a sensation of nasal obstruction. This is normal. Nasal congestion is the most common side-effect of CPAP therapy. Many times this will resolve itself as you become adjusted to your CPAP unit. It may take up to four weeks.
  • If the cool air is bothersome, you can run the tubing beneath the covers or wrap with a heating pad to warm the air passing through the tubing. Your home-care company may be able to provide you with an extra length of tubing if needed.
  • A common cause of nasal congestion is the drying and cooling of the upper airway by your CPAP device. This is responsible for the feeling of dryness in the throat or nose. This is normal. Many times this will resolve itself as you become adjusted to your CPAP unit. It may take up to four weeks. If dryness persists, it is possible to prevent or alleviate the dryness by increasing the humidity in the room where your CPAP device is located. A room humidifier placed about eight feet away from you CPAP unit can accomplish this, or your home-care company can supply a humidifier which attaches directly to your CPAP device.
  • If you become congested while using CPAP the use of a saline nasal mist or gel at bedtime and when you wake up during the night will help to decrease this. Such products are available at most drugstores and you do not need a prescription for them. Two are " Ayr " and "Ocean."
  • If, after four to six weeks of CPAP use and taking the above two measures you continue to experience irritation of your nose, please contact your doctor. There are some prescription medications that might help.
  • If you wake up during the night or in the morning with a dry mouth and throat, you may be sleeping with your mouth open. Contact us or your home-care company for suggestions to help you learn to sleep with your mouth closed.
  • It is necessary to follow the cleaning and maintenance instructions given to you by your home-care company. Proper cleaning and maintenance will extend the life of your equipment and insure it functions properly.
  • The CPAP machine eliminates the interruptions of your respirations at night regardless of your weight. However, losing weight will improve your health and may allow us to decrease the pressure used on your machine. In some cases, we have been able to discontinue the use of CPAP altogether. However, if you gain weight we may need to increase your pressure. If you have a gain or loss in weight please contact us.
  • If you require surgery or hospitalization for any reason make sure you inform your physician of your diagnosis and the need to use this machine with all sleep. Please take your device to the hospital so it can be used during your hospitalization, particularly when you are sedated before and after your surgery. We will be happy to cooperate with your doctors if they consider it necessary.
  • You should be able to use CPAP all night long, every night. If, after trying these suggestions, you cannot sleep through the night, please contact the home-care company, your physician, or us . It is very important you use your CPAP. Don't worry about who to call, just call anyone of us and we will be sure you get the help you need!


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