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CPAP Frequently Asked Questions

If the information here does not answer any concerns, please call the sleep department for advice.

Do I have to wear my CPAP every night?

The treatment you have been given should be utilised every night, this maximises the benefits and prevents your symptoms from returning.  Inconsistent usage can make it more difficult to get used to the treatment.

Why do I have a cold?

The chances are you haven’t. The nasal passages are sensitive to the introduction of air at pressure and often produce mucus for protection.   Ensure machine is in a dust free environment and that the air filter at the back of the machine is kept clean and free of dust. This can be done by removing and tapping to remove any excess dust.

I have a sore spot on the bridge of my nose, what can I do to ease this?

Please ensure your mask is clean, this will prevent you from having to wear the straps excessively tight then refit your mask to ensure a comfortable seal. 
If the problem persists visit your pharmacist and purchase a protective dressing, ‘Coloplast Comfeel plus’ and ‘Tegaderm’ are examples of dressings which have good results for this specific problem.

The air from the machine appears to be too cold

The air can be warmed slightly to combat this by altering the temperature of your bedroom (thermostat) or closing windows (the machine uses room air and will only be as warm as the room that the machine is placed in).
Place the tubing under the bedclothes/duvet to warm air slightly, alternatively foam pipe lagging can be utilised if cut into short pieces to ensure that the tube is still flexible.

I’m experiencing excessive mouth dryness, what can I do?

Mouth dryness usually occurs if you have a nasal mask and are opening your mouth. The pressured air will be introduced to you nasal passages and will then exit through your mouth, causing dryness. Please call the sleep department so we can provide you with a chin strap to help keep your mouth closed or assess you for a full face mask which allows you to breath through both your nose and mouth. If these remedies do not ease your dryness we may need to look at other alternatives.

The pressure from the machine wakes me up during the night

It is common in the early stages of treatment for a variable pressure machine to wake you up when it reaches higher pressures.  Turn your machine off, settle yourself and turn your machine back on again.  You will get used to the sensation; it can often take some time to get used to this form of treatment.
If you have used the ‘settling’ or ‘ramp’ function with a fixed pressure machine sometimes it is not unusual for the treatment to disturb you when this period has finished and the full prescribed pressure has begun. You can use either the ‘settling’ function once more, or stop then start the machine again.

I am experiencing high leaks and my mask is rather noisy

The following can cause your mask to seal incorrectly:

Unclean mask cushions: - These must be cleaned daily as facial oils build up on mask cushions and prevent a decent seal.
Facial hair: - The best mask fits are achieved when there is no facial hair/stubble present.
Moisturisers: - Oily face creams can create a barrier therefore impairing the seal.
Certain wipes which are used to clean the mask can leave an oily residue on the mask. Try cleaning your mask with warm soapy water.
Wearing mask too loose: - Tighten and refit.
Incorrect assembly of mask components after cleaning.
Split or perished cushions: - Please phone the sleep department for a replacement.

Air is escaping from the port holes at the front of the mask

These port holes enable you to blow off stale air (Carbon Dioxide); they are not a design fault and therefore should not be taped over or obstructed.

A piece of my mask has broken and/or my headgear is rather stretched

Please call the sleep department we can post out replacements or make an appointment for you to collect parts. Please do not turn up to the department without ringing first; we are unable to offer a drop in service for replacement parts.

My symptoms are returning, I am feeling tired during the day and am prone to napping, sometimes falling asleep against my will

Please do not wait until your next appointment date, call the sleep department so an appointment may be made for you ASAP.  It may mean your pressure needs to be increased slightly to keep your airways fully open.

My mask does not fit into my tubing correctly

Many masks have a small removable plastic connector that joins the mask to the tubing, check that this is in place, if problems persist please contact the sleep department.

I’m feeling bloated, is this normal/how can I overcome this?

Bloating, stomach discomfort and gas can occur if you are swallowing air. You can ease these effects by sleeping with an extra pillow.
If you have a nasal mask you may find it beneficial to use a chin strap because you may be mouth breathing. Please contact the sleep department if you think this might be the case.

I’m going on holiday/business, do I need to take my machine with me?

We suggest taking your CPAP machine with you; any lapses in usage will result in your symptoms returning. We can provide you with a letter for the airline explaining what the equipment is used for and suggesting that you carry it as additional hand luggage to prevent damage or loss. Please notify the sleep service well in advance so a letter can be arranged before your departure.