Why have I been given this leaflet?
You have been diagnosed with a condition called sleep apnoea. We treat this with CPAP APAP therapy.
- CPAP is short for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
- APAP is short for Automatic Positive Airway Pressure.
CPAP gives you one continuous pressure level flow of air that you must inhale and then exhale over. APAP automatically titrates (measures and adjusts) the flow of air to meet your breathing needs. These often change through the night as you move in and out of different stages of sleep.
These types of therapy involve a machine. The machine has a tube or hose that connects to a mask. You wear the mask while you are asleep. Air is delivered to the mask, and to you, from the machine.
What happens during my first consultation?
At your first consultation with the Sleep Apnoea Nurse, you will find out about:
- how to set up the machine
- types of masks available
- application of equipment
- length of time to use the machine
- benefits of using the equipment.
What happens during my review appointment?
Four to six weeks after you are set up with your machine you will have an appointment with the sleep apnoea nurse, either face to face or via telephone.
If your appointment is face to face you will need to bring in your machine. We will also monitor your usage remotely which we will discuss with you at your appointment.
Hints and tips: How do I solve common mask issues?
My mask moves when I lie down
Our faces can change shape slightly when lying down flat. Mask straps may require some adjustment to the tension to make sure you are comfortable and prevent the mask from moving.
My mask feels like it is vibrating
Some people find that they have a vibrating sensation from their mask on their face. This could be because the mask is too loose.
My nose feels sore after wearing my mask
When it has been tightened, please make sure you are still able to put two fingers under each strap, to make sure it is not too tight and to prevent marking.
The bridge of your nose may become sore if your mask is on too tightly. We can prevent this by giving you a different kind of mask. We can also give you a Gecko nasal pad. This is a gel-like pad that sits under the mask on the bridge of the nose and prevents soreness and air leaking into your eyes.
My mask is leaking
If the mask leaks, this could be because it does not fit properly or has not been applied correctly. Please contact the sleep apnoea nurse specialist for help. You can find a contact number at the bottom of this page. If you have a beard or moustache, this may require trimming as this prevents a good seal between the mask and your skin.
The mask leaves a mark on my face
Mask liners can help to prevent your face being marked by the machine. You can buy mask liners online.
I do not know how high my head needs to be
Your head needs to be at a 30-degree angle. You may need an extra pillow to sleep on.
My mouth and throat feel very dry
Dryness to your mouth and throat can be resolved by using humidification and setting to desired temperature. Please note you may need to contact the Sleep Service to provide the water chamber for your device. This can be adjusted by yourself. Please be aware that the temperature in your room can affect how much water is used. Some mornings you may find the chamber remains nearly full, and other mornings nearly empty or empty.
I take my mask off in my sleep
If you remove your mask overnight without knowing it, it may mean you subconsciously have not really accepted the mask or treatment.
If your brain associates wearing the mask with enjoyment, the likelihood is it will be better during the night too. You could try wearing the mask for an hour before you go to bed, disconnected from the machine. Do something pleasurable like watching TV, listening to some music, or having a bath. Aromatherapy scents can also be of benefit by associating a good state of mind with wearing the mask.
I am waking up overnight because the pressure is too high
Waking up overnight with high pressure can be experienced. This is where the APAP machine has detected limited airflow or high mask leak and has increased the pressure to accommodate leakage or open your upper airway up.
Please use your ramp facility. This will drop the pressure and then build it up gradually over a period of selected time.
I feel claustrophobic at the start of the treatment
If you have a claustrophobic sensation at the start of treatment, this may be caused by the ramp being too low. You could try not to use the ramp facility or contact the Sleep Service to increase this parameter.
My stomach feels bloated
Stomach bloating (Aerophagia) can be caused by high CPAP air pressure and swallowing the air. If this happens, we could try lowering the CPAP pressure or by switching devices to APAP therapy.
How should I look after my machine?
It is important to maintain the hygiene and cleanliness of the water chamber. If this is not cleaned daily it can lead to build up of lime scale and debris. This can be removed by soaking with white vinegar during the day. Please make sure that the vinegar is tipped away and the chamber rinsed thoroughly before using.
Filters must be changed every three months as this can affect the flow of air drawn into your device.
If you have an F&P Simplus mask, please make sure you remove the dark grey connector piece at the end of the elbow before attaching a new mask. Often these connector pieces are left behind which then makes new masks impossible to fit correctly to the hose.
How can I order spare parts of equipment?
You can leave a message regarding replacement equipment, queries on treatment on the Sleep Service answerphone which is attended Monday to Friday. The number is 01273 523110 and your call will be returned at our earliest convenience.
When telephoning please leave:
- Your name, date of birth, and contact number so if there are any issues we can call you back.
- Product details, including the manufacturer’s name. For example: Resmed S10, Resmed s9, Fisher & Paykel Icon, Sleepstyle 200/600, Sleepstyle Auto or Philips Respironincs Dreamstation.
- Component required. For example, hose, water chamber, filters, or mask. Please be aware there are many different types of masks so please try to be specific. For example: Resmed F20, F30, Quattro Air or F&P Simplus, 405, 407, 431 or Philips Respironics Amara View, Dreamwear.
Also include your size and whether it is full face, nasal, or nasal pillow system.
Please make a note of any questions you may have to bring to your next appointment.
Who can I contact for further information and advice?
Sleep Apnoea Nurse Specialist
Phone 01273 523110
Phone 01273 696955 Ext. 67867
This information is intended for patients receiving care at Brighton and Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.