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CPAP Newbie

CPAP Newbie When you are new to CPAP a lot of questions and concerns come up. Most deal with getting used to treatment. Many have come before you and have been successful in treating their Sleep Apnea. They impart their wisdom for you here.

Welcome! We know you've got a lot of questions and frustrations now, but with some information and a lot of support from CPAPtalk you'll get back the years of sleep you've been missing

Get Started with CPAP and Treat Sleep Apnea

Welcome to this community of CPAP users. Information and support are necessary for effective treatment, and CPAPtalk and its extension CPAPwiki had both in abundance.

First things first: Use your words. Check out the CPAP Definitions section available on the Sidebar to familiarize yourself with important terms used in the Sleep Community and by your doctor and DME.

How Long Until I Feel Better?

Adjusting to CPAP as a New User

Tips for New Users

1. You’re in the driver’s seat. Take as much control in the process as possible so that you can make informed choices. The interventions are all for your benefit. Because you are the one being sleep tested or using the xPAP (CPAP, AutoPAP, BiPAP) machine, you are the one who makes care and treatment successful. A well-meaning technician who doesn’t have sleep apnea may suggest a certain mask, but he or she is not the one who needs to wear it every night. Don’t just passively follow, but actively partner and collaborate with your doctor, sleep lab technician, people at the DME (Durable Medical Equipment/Home Care provider), and your insurance company. If your reasonable needs are not being met, be polite but assertive, persistent, and creative in pursuing what you need.

Read the remaining tips here: Tips_for_Newcomers_to_Sleep_Apnea

Tips for Wearing a Mask and Using CPAP for the First Time

• Expect elaborate headgear, face straps, and stiff, bulky plastic nose pieces that make you look like an astronaut.

• Experiment with position of equipment - E.g., you might be able to tuck the hose behind the pillow, above your forehead so it stays in place without holding/taping

• While the sleep technician puts the mask on you, breathe through your mouth.

• Before you are hooked up to the CPAP machine, ask the technician to let you feel the airflow from the hose on your hand. It’s surprisingly breezy. It will feel much less breezy when felt through a mask.

• You won’t need it, but to make you more comfortable psychologically, ask the technician to show you how to quickly remove the mask and how to disconnect the mask from the hose or CPAP machine. The technician will show you how to call him or her during the night.

• While sitting up, spend a few moments “practice breathing” through the mask with CPAP turned on. It works! You can do it. You can even fall asleep while wearing it.===Sleep Lab Posts=== Discussion threads:

• Soak your mask in warm soapy water from 30-60 minutes to soften up your mask.

Comments from a SleepStrip engineer: Symptoms=

List of CPAP Essentials

by: karlchrisb, CPAPtalk member

Here's what I have that would possibly make someone else's life easier if they had these things (ALTHOUGH, if you don't it's no big deal if you're getting along fine without them!):

1) A hose snuggle - AKA Tube Cover. It helps cut down "rain" in your tube if you use humidification. You can get them in different colors and patterns. If you can afford the Australian-made heated tubing, go for it, but, a cover is a little cheaper and much more fashion-savvy. Buy them anywhere CPAP supplies are sold. TIP: Follow the directions and use the bag the cover comes in over the end of the tube to help it slip through the cover. It will save you HOURS of frustration.
Read the remaining essentials here List of CPAP Essentials

Keeping the Mask On at Night

Do you take the mask off in the middle of the night and not realize it until the next morning? This is common. Most everyone will have done this at one time or another. Not to worry unless you are doing it every night and not getting the therapy you need. Some people have resorted to taping the mask to the skin so that the discomfort of removing the tape when mask comes off will wake them and thus break the mask removal cycle. Others have resorted to putting something like socks or mittens on there hands to make mask removal difficult. Eventually you will start welcoming the mask and your mind will stop wanting to remove it and the nightly mask removing will cease or become very infrequent.

Protection from Painful Wear and Tear on your Face

Nasal Pillow comfort hints

Pain on the Bridge of the Nose

Mental and Physical Stages of CPAP

Seven Stages of CPAP

originally posted by Mike Moran:

Since many are new to this therapy I thought I should put together some of the common threads of what we all go through for ourselves and our loved ones. This is also something you might share with your family or friends so they might gain an understanding of what you are dealing with.

1. Denial
2. Realization
3. Diagnosis
4. Frustration
5. Immersion
6. Ownership
7. Inflation

For the Full Article, read: Seven Stages of CPAP

What is Feeling Good?

originally posted by Perry Holzman

Many CPAP users report that as treatment continues they begin to remember what feeling good is like. In this article, 4 stages of mental and emotional states are explored.

1. Walking Dead
2. Basic Treatment
3. Advanved Treatment
4. Mental Zest

Read the full article here: What is Feeling Good?

CPAP Adaption Stages

originally posted by Mile High Sleeper

Getting to the point where CPAP treatment is comfortable and tolerable takes practice and experimentation. In this article, gain motivation, resources and ideas to get past the struggle and into a good night's sleep.

Read the full article here: CPAP Adaptation Stages

Learn From Others' Experiences

Sleep Diary

originally posted by Mile High Sleeper

When I was first diagnosed, I found this forum ( invaluable and it helped me a great deal to learn from the experiences and support of others. Without the advice so freely given I'm sure I would have found it even harder to cope. Thanks to you all. I kept a diary for the first few weeks and glanced back at it today. I'm now in week 10 and really beginning to feel the benefit, so the fear, uncertainty and discomfort of the first few weeks is becoming a more distant memory every day.

I thought it might give others some hope & encouragement if they could see a few extracts from my diary.

Read the full article here: Diary of Two Hoseheads

Add your own Sleep Diary

Thoughts on Improvement

originally posted by birdshell

As I was driving to my aunt and uncle's home for Thanksgiving, it occurred to me that my efforts to get there had changed greatly. I have other medical conditions that have been treated (finally) before I started CPAP 8 months ago. Those treatments definitely helped, but still left me tired, lacking energy, sleeping 12-14 hours a day, and NOT living the life I would choose...

Read the full article here: Thoughts on Improvement

Social and Psychological Factors in SBD Recovery

originally posted by Mile High Sleeper

“I realized that I had a handicap rather than a moral defect. Finally, I could stop criticizing myself for not meeting social and personal standards of behavior.”
Sleep apnea patient Jerry Halberstadt, Sleep Apnea – The Phantom of the Night, p. 154

Just as we’re all different in our physical conditions, we’re all unique in our psychological nature and approach to life. Listed below are a few personal issues related to sleep disordered breathing (SBD) and CPAP treatment that can come up, not even including equipment issues. If you have a family member or friend who is not very supportive of your condition and CPAP therapy, perhaps discussing some of these items will increase their awareness and understanding...

Read the full article here: Social and Psychological Factors in SBD Recovery

Your First Night

by Matt

If you're new to CPAP, like I am, you've never slept with so much stuff connected to your face.

When you went for your sleep study they hooked you up to all kinds of machines, and if you took your mask off they came in and put it back on. At home you don't have this luxury.

As obnoxious as it seems (high level) turn on the "Mask Off/High Leak" alarm. I took off my mask 4 times the first night I used my CPAP, and within 5 minutes it woke me up, I put the mask back on, and went right back to sleep.

I'm not an expert, although I play one on TV (haha jk) but the key to long term compliance may be getting a good start.

If I left the alarm off I would have taken off my mask once and slept with the mask off all night.

I will certainly be keeping this alarm on, forever, yes, being woken up by an alarm every 4 hours for 3 minutes is annoying, but if it means I get non OSA sleep, I'm willing to sacrifice!

Thanks for listening!

Partners and CPAP

How will CPAP treatment impact your sex life? Should you or should you not tell your partner or date about your sleep apnea and need for CPAP? CPAP, Sex and Love are such important issues, the material is found on a separate page dedicated to it Partners and CPAP. There are people who have been there and had the same worries and insecurities about wearing a mask to bed. Most were surprised by how open their partners were to the change of CPAP. Those people are available to talk you through it on, but we've said some of their words on the CPAP Wiki.

Lacking the support of your Partner

See CPAPtalk Post Husband Not Supportive

Feeling Low?

Don't Give Up!

originally posted by Rhoda

So you've been sentenced to "life" with CPAP and after a week or so you're still wresting with doubts that you want to continue. GET SERIOUS! Did you listen when the doctor, therapist and CPAP supplier told you why you need CPAP? OK so maybe it was only the doctor who told you. Therapists and CPAP equipment suppliers will eventually learn that they all need to reinforce "why" you need CPAP.

Being hooked up to a CPAP machine is not as convenient or comfortable as not being hooked up, although great strides will continue to be made in every possible area of patient comfort. But there is much more at stake than simply your comfort and convenience...

Read the full article here: Don't Give Up!

Sleep Apnea Activism and Patient Education

AWAKE Meeting Workshop

Mile High Sleeper AWAKE Meeting Workshop Design/Peer Coaching (Mile High Sleeper) (Sleep Apnea Activism and Patient Education ) AWAKE Group Workshop for CPAP Treatment Education

Designed by Mile High Sleeper, MHRD (Master in Human Resource Development, Adult Experiential Learning) Permission is granted to use this design for nonprofit sleep apnea patient education. Participants: people with obstructive sleep apnea on CPAP therapy, their family/friends, healthcare professionals Required length: 2 hours

Title: Tips for New and Veteran CPAP Users or Peer Coaching Resources to Get Smart Fast – If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now

Meeting objectives:

1. Patient/family/friend participation in a non-threatening manner 2. Information exchange about CPAP therapy for obstructive sleep apnea

Read the whole article here AWAKE Meeting Minutes

CPAPtalk links

started by drbandage For ideas on how to alert others to the dangers of sleep apnea, and help inform heathcare professionals, see the discussion threads started by a hosehead MD: