Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing is interrupted for brief periods during the night. Devices such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks can be used to keep the airway open during sleep. Many patients complain of breathing difficulties when first starting CPAP mask treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. If you find yourself in the same situation, there are several reasons for such feelings.

Why do I have difficulty breathing when I wear my CPAP?

The CPAP mask is a device designed to medically improve the breathing of people who suffer from sleep apnea. That this medical device prevents you from breathing is a paradox that has an explanation.

Lifestyle change

Treatment for sleep apnea includes lifestyle changes. Every lifestyle change comes with its own set of trials and errors.

It is only after these mistakes and a period of repeated trials that the body eventually adapts to the new lifestyle. Generally, the difficulty in breathing under the mask is due to your anxiety.

Indeed, before going to bed, having to put on a mask can cause anxiety or a feeling of “panic” in you. Fortunately, there are tips to help you overcome this panic and sleep normally. Here they are:

  • Lie down in bed and relax for a few minutes before putting on the CPAP or APAP mask;

  • Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth if it is a nasal CPAP device;

  • Adjust the CPAP mask to reduce water accumulation;

  • Always ensure that the CPAP mask is airtight;

  • Use the ramp to gradually increase the pressure of the CPAP device.

These tips are sure to help you breathe better. However, if you are anxious because of previous breathing difficulties, your problem will only get worse. All these fears are a figment of your mind and have little to do with reality. The best and simplest thing you can do is to stop focusing on your breathing difficulties.

Wrong choice of sleep apnea treatment solution

Solution Apnée du sommeil

There are several models of CPAP devices. Choosing one or the other can cause discomfort for the person with obstructive sleep apnea. That’s why you should choose your CPAP or APAP device with the help of a doctor or sleep specialist. These professionals ensure that the patient has the right equipment and the right settings. This allows for a comfortable breathing pattern and effective treatment.

In case the device is not chosen properly, the various tips we have just given you will not be of much use. You will have to think of other solutions. First you have to take the sleep apnea test again. Then, of the two devices, you will have to choose one. Either you choose a CPAP device with the C-FLEX function, or you choose a device with EPR technology.

As an example of the first type of device, there is the Respironics and for the second type, there is the ResMed. You can also try another model of CPAP mask. There are also other CPAP supplies that optimize the effectiveness of the device. These include the CPAP pillow.

It is possible that after all this, your difficulty in breathing when you put on the mask persists. In this case, you should consult a doctor.

How can RespiArt help you?

At RespiArt, we can help you in many ways if you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea. In this area, we have already helped many people in a variety of ways so that they can regain REM sleep quality without snoring. We are partners with several brands of CPAP devices that clear the airway during sleep.

We market these devices and support our clients with several services to help them through each stage of sleep while they sleep. Thanks to our team of respiratory therapists, all of our clients have seen the symptoms of sleep apnea disappear, especially sleepiness.

RespiArt is with you every step of the way. We start by guiding you towards the right choice of CPAP device and we follow you until the device is fully integrated into your habits.