There is no greater nightmare than finding it difficult to breathe. If you have been prescribed to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to treat issues of sleep apnea, you may wonder what are some of the side effects which you are about to encounter with this therapy.
Well, you’re making the right choice, as you need to know what kind of problems you might be facing. In this article, you will learn what is normal after undergoing CPAP therapy.
We will talk you through most of the common side effects that are associated with its use. You are about to discover the things that might go wrong if you use the CPAP therapy to resolve sleep apnea issues. But first, there are few things you need to understand about the process of CPAP.
What is CPAP?
This is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep your airways open. This will help you have improved breathing every day. It is typically recommended for people who have breathing problems as well as sleep apnea issues.
This therapy is also used with infants whose lungs are not fully developed.
The mild pressure applied in the process of CPAP prevents your airways from being blocked or collapsed. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, this blocks and collapses your airway, resulting in difficult breathing.
When you attempt to breathe, the air that has been squeezed through the blockage can cause loud snoring, which may awaken people sleeping in your house.
If you and your doctor decided to have the CPAP therapy, this involves the use of a CPAP machine which consists of the three main parts.
1) A kind of mask or any device that fits to be placed over your nose and mouth. Through the use of straps, it keeps the mask in place while you are wearing it.
2) The second part is the tube. Its role is to connect the mask to the machine’s motor.
3) The motor’s role is to blow air into the tube, thus opening up your airway. It prevents you from creating noise while you sleep.
So, there you have it. These are the parts of the machine essential to your CPAP therapy.
CPAP Side Effects
There is nothing serious for you to worry about. This therapy is 100% safe. However, there are still some minor problems this therapy can cause, such as discomfort caused by the mask itself.
Unwanted marks or rashes
It is essential for the doctor to ensure that the mask is perfectly fitted on your nose or mouth. This is to prevent unwanted marks on your face. If the pressure of the mask persists, may lead to serious skin problems, so, don’t hesitate to look for a mask better fit for your mouth and nose.
Some of the masks used in the CPAP process have latex content which is not advisable for users who have extra sensitive skin, as this may cause unwanted rashes and marks.
There’s a possibility for the air to leak out from the CPAP masks. If you’re mask is not properly fitted with the accordance of the right size of your nose and mouth, then there’s a possibility for the air to come out from the edges.
This may cause loud noises that can disturb your significant other’s good night sleep. The position you take as you sleep may change, and that may also cause the mask to shift and cause leaks.
Nose or mouth area dryness
Always bear in mind that if your nose is dry, you can request a nasal saline spray from the pharmacy. A common reason CPAP users complain about this therapy is the dryness it can cause in the mouth and nose.
This can be solved by using a heated humidifier. If in your mouth falls open while you sleep, air can escape. This may lead to your mouth and tongue becoming dry.
Air Eating or Aerophagia
The most common complaint of CPAP users is air swallowing. When the air does not enter your body through your esophagus instead of your lungs, this is an instance of air eating. This may cause your abdomen to bloat as well as frequent belching and the passing of gas.
This may lead to heartburn, so it is important to always set the pressure to just the right amount to open your airways and avoid air entering your digestive tract. Raising your head can help with this too.
Child users may develop face growth problems
It is important that you are aware that children’s bodies, including their facial features, are not yet fully developed. It is necessary that parents monitor children who use CPAP.
They should check if the pressure is in the right amount. You may need to purchase different mask sizes, nasal pillows, and other materials so you can prevent potential side effects from afflicting your child’s face.
These are the most common side effects that you or your child may encounter once you undergo the CPAP therapy. Changes to the therapy are on the horizon, so the process is still going to improve.
If you’re struggling never hesitate to reach out for help. Your health should always be a priority, and you should always take care of yourself. Improve your breathing with CPAP, and always make sure your equipment is fitted and functioning properly.