There is more than one type of sleep apnea. Depending on which type of sleep apnea that you have, there are quite a few different kinds of CPAP sleep masks that can be used for reducing the effects of the sleep apnea or for even getting the sleep apnea under control.
When it comes to the CPAP mask and machines, which help the person with sleep apnea to breathe better while they are sleeping, there are many different ways that the masks and machines are made.
But basically the majority of CPAP masks fall into 2 general types of masks.
One type of CPAP mask covers the nose, but not the mouth and the other type is considered a full face mask, where it covers both the nose and the mouth.
When we sleep, breathing through our noses helps us to get more oxygen to our brains and into our blood while we sleep.
Those of us, who tend to breathe more through our mouths, when we are sleeping, tend to have a much lower level of oxygen being supplied to our brains and to the rest of our bodies from the oxygen levels in our blood, which circulates through out our bodies.
The reduced levels of oxygen in our bodies and our brains can greatly reduce the abilities of our brains and our bodies to function as they should normally.
Often the CPAP mask that covers only the nose is tried first, during the overnight CPAP sleep study to see if it helps us to be able to get adequate levels of oxygen while we are sleeping.
At times, the CPAP mask that covers the nose only does not help enough, since if allergies are present or if you tend to breathe through your mouth while sleeping, the full face mask is needed to boost the oxygen levels back to the level that is needed to help your bran and your body to function as they should.
Mouth breathers often have an obstruction in the nose, throat or some other part of the airway or they can have a problem with congestion from allergies, which can prevent them from being able to breathe through their noses only.
If sleep apnea is suspected, an over night sleep study is done with you to determine if sleep apnea is present.
Multiple Sclerosis can set us up for sleep apnea to develop, since MS is known to attack the nervous system and cause many parts of our bodies and our brains not to function as they should.
Once it is determined that sleep apnea is the problem that you are having problems with, another overnight sleep study is done to determine which type of CPAP sleep mask will work for your particular type of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is basically where for one reason or another, the person stops breathing temporarily several to many times a night, while they are sleeping.
Most often the breathing problems occur while the person is lying down to sleep, but sleeping while sitting up in a chair can sometimes cause the restricting of the airway too that can cause breathing problems while sleeping.
Difficulties, which can present more problems with MS sleep apnea, while you are trying to get used to sleeping with a CPAP sleep mask can include:
Allergies can cause congestion
Congestion can make it difficult to breathe through your nose.
To use a sleep mask that covers only the nose, you need to be able to sleep with your mouth closed. This can present a problem when allergies are present.
Chin straps can be used to help to keep the mouth closed when using a sleep mask that only covers the nose, but the congestion can cause a problem that can prevent being able to drain the congestion enough for you to be able to breathe through your nose and not your mouth.
We unconsciously breathe through our mouths when we are congested.
Sleep masks do have filters on them, but some only come with 1 filter and some have 2 filters.
The sleep masks with 2 filters work better for those who have allergic reactions, since 1 filter removes dust and other particles from the air and the second one removes molds and other airborne pathogens, which can help reduce allergic reactions while sleeping.
It is best if you can clean up the room that you sleep in to remove as much dust, mold and clutter to minimize clogging the filters on the masks and to help reduce possible allergens in the room that you sleep in.
When it comes to MS sleep apnea, getting used to wearing a CPAP sleep mask when sleeping can be difficult.
Typically, problems encountered when getting used to sleeping with a sleep apnea CPAP mask can include:
* Difficulty getting used to sleeping with the mask on your face
We can unconsciously find it uncomfortable at first, when we first start wearing a CPAP mask to sleep at night to help us to breathe better when we sleep at night, especially if you have never had to wear a mask on your face before..
This is the fear of not being able to breathe with the mask on your face or fear of the feeling of being closed in or too restricted.
This can be more of a problem if you need to wear a full face sleep mask, since there are also ones that just cover the nose and not the mouth.
* Sinus congestion or problems with Allergies
This can make it difficult for you to breathe through your nose when sleeping.
We get much more oxygen to our brains and into our bloodstream, when we breathe through our nose and not through our mouths, while we are sleeping.
But this problem can also make it so that we can't use the type of sleep apnea mask that covers the nose only. This can make it so that we need to use a full face CPAP or sleep mask.
* Difficulty breathing more deeply and more regularly
Sleep apnea already comes with the characteristic where we stop breathing temporarily a few to several times when we are sleeping at night.
This can just add to the sleep apnea problem or it can be a major contributing factor to the sleep apnea problem to start with.
This type of problem with holding your breath is more of a problem where learned responses of holding your breath when you feel under stress can make it where you are not getting enough oxygen to the brain and the rest of the body.
This can be a learned response from past traumatic events in your life, where you tend to hold your breathe more often when you feel stressed out.
Finding ways to relax and de-stress the nervous system can help reduce this problem, as well as learning to breathe more deeply and more regularly.
We can retrain ourselves, while we are awake to help us to learn to breathe more deeply and regularly and then carry this over to helping retrain ourselves to do the deeper breathing, where we slow down our breathing and make it more regular to help relax our nervous system, our bodies and our minds before we go to sleep after we put on the CPAP mask.
At times, we may have difficulties retraining ourselves to breathe more regularly and more deeply while we are wearing a sleep mask, simply because we are so used to our old habits of not breathing regularly like we should be doing.
These and other problems that learning to sleep with a CPAP or sleep apnea mask can be overcome, but it does take some retraining ourselves and with changing our habits from what we did previously and it can often take a few weeks up to 1 or 2 months to get used to sleeping with wearing a CPAP sleep mask.
When sleep apnea is present, especially for more prolonged periods of time (we are talking often we can have sleep apnea problems for years before we are diagnosed), it can take time to convince ourselves that we are actually allowed to be able to get a good night of sleep every night.
This can be part of the problem too with sleep apnea
We need to give ourselves permission for us to be able to work with our bodies to allow them to relax and find sleep to be an enjoyable experience again, instead of us feeling like we are being tortured almost every night.
Getting used to sleeping with a sleep mask or CPAP mask and machine can be a challenge, but I have found that in my case of multiple sclerosis sleep apnea, that sleeping with a CPAP mask does help me most nights with with being able to actually get a very good restful night of sleep each night.
It isn't as intimidating as it may seem at first to get used to sleeping with a sleep apnea CPAP mask.
Although sleeping with a CPAP sleep apnea sleep mask is not necessarily the only solution for your case of sleep apnea to get it under control, it can help a lot with allowing you to finally get a good night sleep.
Sleeping with a CPAP mask may not be the only solution, since sometimes undergoing surgery to correct any physical obstructions, that may be creating much of the problems that contribute to sleep apnea, can sometimes help to correct the sleep apnea, so sleeping with a CPAP mask may not be needed after the surgery.
Going for surgery doesn't always fix the physical obstructions with sleep apnea either, but this may be a consideration, if using a CPAP mask doesn't seem to be helping you to sleep better at night.
If you want to at least consider if surgery can help to correct the problem you are having with sleep apnea, you can get additional opinions by visiting an ear, nose and throat doctor to see if there is a deviated septum, a problem with the tonsils or a problem with the adenoids, which could be contributing to the problem that you are having with sleep apnea.
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