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If you have sleep apnea and are using a CPAP machine than you know that there can be issues that make this therapy difficult to use. Sometimes you can find support to resolve these issues and sometimes there are solutions that your doctor, sleep tech or respiratory therapist may not be aware of. Researching this on the internet can be equally as baffling because of all the contradictory information. There are however some solutions that might solve some common problems when using CPAP.
One of the biggest issues people have is with their mask. During the first thirty days after receiving your machine you can change your mask at no cost just by calling the company that set up your machine. After that if you want to change your mask you need to get a prescription from your doctor. In many cases your sleep lab or your sleep doctor can bring you in to try out different masks and than write a prescription and send it to the DME company.
If the mask leaks or if you are developing a sore on the bridge of your nose a device called a Gecko nasal pad will help to reduce leaks around the nose and will take the pressure off your skin. Remzzz makes a full face mask liner that will also assist with this problem.
If you are developing dry mouth or a dry nose and you have increased your humidifier as high as it can go than you may want to ask about a heated tube. In certain machines they can be added to help increase humidity without water raining out into the tubing.
If you are finding that your face is breaking out where the mask sits than there can be a couple of solutions to this problem. You are not washing your mask cushion every day or you may be using a soap that is too harsh. Make sure you wash the mask with something you can also wash your face with. Make sure it is rinsed well and air dried. You also need to make sure you are changing your mask and mask cushion frequently enough. If you go too long the cushion begins to get brittle and will develop leaks, you will than tighten it too tight which will than cause problems with your face.
If you are a side sleeper, than you might like the new sleep pillows that several companies have created. They have great support while having cut outs that allow you to roll on your side without the mask becoming dislodged and leak.
If you are unable to tolerate the pressure, than you might be a candidate for an oral appliance. Sometimes they will replace the CPAP and sometimes you can use them in conjunction with the machine to reduce the pressure. There are many different types of oral appliances and they should be created by a dentist trained in sleep specific oral appliances.
The most important thing you can do is talk to those who are there to help you. Discussing your problems with the sleep doctor, sleep lab or DME company is the best way to solve your problems. CPAP therapy is long term therapy and we understand that it sometimes takes a little time to get used to it. It is the job of the professionals to help you adapt to the therapy and if you can not than to help you find an option that will work best for you.
I I was chatting with some technicians the other night who were concerned about remembering everything they needed for taking their test. As I was talking with them I realized no one had ever taught them how to study or how to take a standardized test effectively. This surprised me since we have to take so many tests in this day and age. So where did the lessons in how to manage our time effectively go. I am not sure, but I thought I would share some of the best tips and tricks I was taught to help me study.
_ As we go through out review of the past year and look forward to our next year it is important that the time we take to review and pledge to move forward we considers all aspects of our lives. If we do not create a life that is balanced we cannot be optimally healthy. There are several steps you can take to make goals more successful when you are planning how to balance them.
Your health should always be your priority. You cannot be successful in other areas of your life if you do not care for yourself. If you find that you have more chores than hours of the day you need to prioritize. You should always write them down whether it is on your smartphone, on paper or on your computer. You will have emergencies arise but if you plan for things like exercise, meal preparation and your yearly physical than you are more likely to to accomplish them. The same is true of your sleep time. If you plan for bedtime than you are more likely to go to bed in a timely manner.
With bedtime in mind you might want to consider adding 10 minutes of stretching or yoga to help you to relax. Giving yourself time to unwind that is not electrical in nature will help you to go to sleep easier. The light from television, your cell phone or your computer can be too stimulating to your brain and keep you from going to sleep. The proper amount if sleep will help you be healthier, think clearer and lose weight of that is one of your goals.
Take time to pack your meals. Eating healthy is difficult but if you take a little time to pack your breakfast and lunch you will find you will eat healthier and feel better. In the morning if you do not have the time to eat a full meal consider a meal replacement shake. Having your breakfast will help you to not be so hungry at night. This is especially important for those with acid reflux, hiatal hernias or GERD because you really should not eat right before bed.
Plan your exercise time in advance. If you are not a morning person do not plan to get up early to exercise because you are setting yourself up for failure. If however you know you work late every night than plan to get up a little earlier and go for a walk or do a video. The nice think about videos is that no one else will see how uncoordinated you are.
Take time to connect to your friends and family. People who are connected are less stressed. When you have less stress you are less likely to suffer from insomnia. If you do have insomnia issues behavioral changes have been found to be more successful than medications for long term treatment.
Looking forward to the new year we need to find the balance between work, family and taking care of ourselves. It is not an easy goal but with a little planning you can put your health at the top of your list. As it is said when you feel good those around you feel good.