Cpap advice?

So my mom has been told that she would benefit from using a cpap machine. She has had it for about four days now and hasn't been able to use it. At first she was just basically refusing to figure it out, then when she tried it she said that she couldn't breathe. Last night was the best when she lasted 1 1/2 hours before she gave up. Maybe claustrophobia? Does anyone have any tips or tricks we could try to get her used to it?


  • CPAP does NOT work for everyone. I have OSA and have tried several times to live with CPAP with zero success.  Do you know why your mom has been advised to use it? I have a very bad jaw so my airway is really really small which is why I have Sleep Apnea, but my husband is a big fatso so the extra weight on his neck makes his airway narrow and the CPAP (which he loves and has changed his life) works to keep his airway open. A CPAP cannot keep an airway open if it is structurally deficient. My insurance will not cover the MMA surgery needed to fix the deficiency and I get a crappy lecture on how I should be using my CPAP every time I go to the doctor. My ENT says that up to 40% of patients cannot tolerate CPAP. 

    I would advise your mom to call the sleep medicine department that gave her her CPAP and see if they can titrate it--maybe it is blowing too strong. There are also other kinds of masks that make it a little easier for people. She should try all the avenues, but if she has a small airway that cannot be "blown open" then she should see if there are other options available to her. Good luck. 
  • Thanks for the input. She did a sleep study where she wore a cpap for part of the night and part without. They told her that she would benefit, but I don't know if sleep apnea was the actual diagnosis. I will suggest that she make an appointment and see if they can help.
  • Check the settings- some 'ramp up' at first (I don't like that...feels like I am suffocating), try insted to just set it so it 'kicks in full' instead...).

    Also, I had a real hard time with the standard mask...I use one that is mostly on the bottom half of my face..(if that makes sense).  My apnea was so bad I was so glad to (finally) get a decent nights sleep.... (there are also several helpful groups for apnea folks on Facebook)
  • Concur about going back to the medical professionals who got her the cpap to begin with. My spouse had to go through several different models/masks to find the right one for him. 
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