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CPAP can be a tricky therapy to get used to, throw in a bit of claustrophobia and it makes it even trickier.

I see a lot of people (and I reckon I don’t see a lot of people) who are concerned about how they will react to having something on their face blowing pressure.

My thoughts are that you have slept your whole life without things on your face, of course it is going to take some getting used to. The trial process is ultra important in getting people through the initial period of CPAP.

When I see patients (and I have trained my staff to do the same), I ensure the patient is aware of why they are using the device and what benefits they can expect to achieve. We ask several questions to work out what we are aiming for as a result of using the therapy. The motivating factors for using therapy will generally come down to:

  • Stopping snoring
  • Symptom relief
  • Management of other health conditions

Once you work out why you are using the therapy, we find motivation levels increase.

During our trial process my general rule is to go for gold straight away. We aim to get people using for the full night form the start. Some people achieve this and some people don’t. In cases where people are really struggling, we completely flip it and start building up in small increments.

For some people, we find starting with the goal of 30 minutes, then building by 30 minutes increments is a great technique for getting people long term compliant.

Another technique we will use is to get people to try and use the therapy during the day while they are sitting in a chair or have some free time to lie down. By taking away the “pressure of sleep” from the situation we work on the “skill” of wearing a CPAP mask. In this scenario we hope to you the level of thinking “this isn’t so bad”.

If you have tried CPAP in the past but have not been able to succeed, I always recommend giving it another try – especially if the motivating factors are there.

With the release of new equipment we can remotely monitor what is happening and give specific, relevant advice quickly. The new masks are always getting smaller, more comfortable and quiet and are worth playing with if you have found ones in the past hard to use. The current AirFit range of masks all have nothing in front of the eyes which we finds helps with people settling into the therapy.

Also, in the past, the settings may have been set incorrectly and the mask may have been the wrong size.

The equipment is getting better and we are getting better at our job all the time. If you are daunted by CPAP, have a chat with us. 1800799950, [email protected] or come in and see us at 82 Ovens Street Wangaratta.