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Adventures in Sleep

Acclimating to a CPAP Mask

Published May 1, 2014 10:39 AM by Penny Mehaffey

There is a good discussion going on this week on the LINKED-IN network. It was started by an AlaskaSleep Clinic blogger and is titled "How Can I get used to this CPAP Mask?"

This topic remains continually relevant because acceptance and/or success with the mask is imperative to compliance with therapy. I wonder if sometimes as professionals we forget that while this may be our ten thousandth mask fit, for the person sitting in front of us, it's foreign and obtrusive.

I like to read other's blogs and am always happy -- or maybe comforted is more accurate -- when I see that techs in other labs are doing things the same as I am. Helping a patient accept that they stop breathing during sleep and convincing them that CPAP is the best treatment for them can be a struggle. But the good news is that it's a struggle that we can win most of the time. It's struggle that's worth it for the patient.

The aforementioned discussion also brings up some interesting opinions regarding alternatives to CPAP, such as oral appliances and various types of meditations or breathing techniques to help lessen the fear or stress created during the acclimation process. I am advocate of stess-relief techniques such as breathing exercises prior to sleep. We had a yoga demonstration at 2 of our A.W.A.K.E meetings, and several people dozed off and snored!

Take a look at the discussion. See what you think.

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    Adventures in Sleep
    Occupation: Sleep technicians
    Setting: Various sleep facilities
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