7 Common Complaints from CPAP Users (and What to Do About It)

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For many who suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, doctors will prescribe a method of treatment known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy, or CPAP. But many people are unable to sleep when using these CPAP machines, and the specialists at Sleep Apnea Surgicure want such persons to know that they’re not alone in their complaints.

"...for many, the application of a mask during sleep makes it nearly as difficult to fall and stay asleep as simply coping with the malady."

Numerous American citizens who struggle to secure a restful night of sleep will come in to a specialist to get their problem diagnosed, and many will discover that they suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Most doctors are quick to suggest CPAP therapy for the treatment of this condition. CPAP works by forcing air down a person’s throat while they sleep in order to prevent the blockage of the airway that is the hallmark of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. CPAP therapy requires the use of a bulky mask that must be worn during hours of rest.

While recent research from the American College of Physicians as featured in a September 24, 2013 Annals of Internal Medicine report entitled “Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults” suggests CPAP is, after weight loss, the most recommended initial therapy for OSA, the report is quick to note the limitations of CPAP and the difficulties some users have tolerating the device as they struggle to fall asleep.

Dr. Stephen D. Ochs has heard many of these complaints as Chief Medical Director and Founder of the Sleep Apnea Surgicure center in Denver, Colorado. As a proponent of the Get2REM Maxillomandibular Advancement operation, a surgical technique that can treat sleep apnea without the need for a CPAP mask, he’s well-informed of the difficulties associated with CPAP.

“We understand the need among many to turn to CPAP therapy for help with their sleep apnea,” said Dr. Ochs. “But for some, the use of a mask during sleep makes it nearly as difficult to fall and stay asleep as simply coping with the disease. We’ve fielded many complaints from CPAP users looking for solutions and we’d like to share these so that people know they’re not alone in their plight. We have suggested solutions for these common complaints concerning nightly CPAP mask use. I would encourage interested individuals to review their treatment options for these complaints and others on the NEWS tab on the home page of our website (http://www.sleepapneasurgicure.com). We know that 40-60% of all patients started on CPAP therapy for obstructive sleep apnea will either discontinue or significantly decrease their actual hours of mask use over one year thereby placing themselves at increased risk for the associated pathologies of untreated or undertreated OSA such as sudden death, heart attacks, diabetes and stroke. Our outpatient, Get2REM bimaxillary advancement (MMA) procedure, in selected individuals, can be an excellent option for success in permanently and safely discarding CPAP therapy.”

Those who use CPAP but suffer from one of the following complaints may be able to look into alternative treatment options, such as Get2REM:

  • Claustrophobia- For those who have trouble being in small spaces, the placement of a mask that fits over the face can cause panic and anxiety that make it nearly impossible to fall asleep.
  • Sores and Rashes- When a mask is too tight, it can contribute to noticeable marks on the face. People can begin to feel self-conscious about their appearance or even start to experience pain because of this incursion.
  • Allergy-Type Symptoms- Many who submit to CPAP report symptoms not dissimilar to what one could expect when their allergies are heightened. Eyes can feel dry and itchy, and the constant pushing of air can dry out an individual’s mouth. Congestion is also more common among CPAP users.
  • Pressure- It’s hard to secure rest when an item is pushing against your face or air seems to be forcing its way into your mouth. Many people have a hard time adjusting to this situation.
  • Temperature- During summer months, many CPAP users report feeling excessive heat, accompanied by profuse sweating. In the winter, the opposite holds true, with a cold mask pressing down upon the face and causing chills that make it difficult to sleep. The humid nature of the mask also leaves users with a wet feeling that is hard to shake.
  • Strangulation- The CPAP mask works by attaching to a hose hooked up to a larger device. When a person sleeps, this hose can wrap its way around their arms or even their neck, startling them awake even as they try to reach the deeper stages of sleep.
  • Dislodgment- CPAP masks, even when strapped properly, can fall off partially or fully, undermining the therapy that an individual needs to fall asleep.

“For some, CPAP simply isn’t the answer,” said Dr. Ochs. “We want people to know that there are alternatives, like Get2REM, to be considered.”

Sleep Apnea Surgicure is a physician-owned healthcare enterprise headquartered in Denver whose mission is to increase awareness among the general public about both the health risks of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and the potential surgical cure that the Get2REM MMA procedure can offer. Dr. Ochs and Dr. Robinson are well-versed in the intricacies of sleep disorders and the various ways in which patients might seek effective treatment. Persons tired of suffering through sleep apnea are encouraged to follow this link to learn more about the treatment options available to them.

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