I have been working with patients for well over 15 years and during this time therapy has changed greatly. The problem is that the issues I hear are the same ones I heard when I first worked with patients setting up PAPs in homes in the 1990s. The facts are that the therapy has changed and the issues are not nearly as serious as they once were.
Many people talk about how unsexy the therapy is. I think snoring, tossing and turning and being on multiple medications for health issues is much more unattractive. Many of the new masks on the markets are smaller and less intrusive. The Fisher Paykel nasal mask and the RESMED pillows and nasal mask are much smaller with less head gears. These are easier to put on and because less equipment touches the face they are more comfortable to wear.
Many say the machines are too loud. This is no longer true. There are many different machines on the market and the newer ones are much quieter. In fact many of the people cannot tell if the machine is on. This is especially true with the correct mask.
There are some who complain that they dry out when they wear their mask. This was very true when I first set up therapy when I was first doing set ups. Now not only do they have heated humidification that is almost always ordered with the machine. The heated wire hoses helps to prevent water buildup in the hose as well. This new technology helps to make sure those issues, such as nasal congestion, nasal and mouth drying and sinus swelling is kept to a minimum. If you continue to have such problems there are products that can help or you should consider going to a full face mask.
I am a mouth breather and cannot find a good mask. While full face masks can be a little more difficult to get used to there are other options as well. Chin-up strips to help keep your mouth from opening during the night and the Fit Life mask from Respironics may be a better option because it does not sit on the bridge of your nose but does cover your whole face. You can also use products like nasal saline spray or Oramoist to help add moisture to your airway.
The biggest complaint is the pressure. No one expects you to get used to the therapy overnight. There are people that will help you with desensitization to therapy. There are also several new ways that can help you. C-Flex, Sense Awake or ERP are all ways that the machine helps to relieve the pressure. If that does not work than there are other options for the doctor to take. But you need to give it a try getting used to the therapy first. Most people will in 2-4 weeks.
CPAP therapy is one of the best ways to treat sleep apnea. There are few reasons to not try the therapy. The most important thing is to keep communicating with the doctor or the home medical equipment company. They cannot help you if they do not know you are having problems.