Adjusting to Life with a CPAP Machine

Jan 02, 2024
Adjusting to Life with a CPAP Machine
Finding treatment for a sleep disorder is a great first step to protect your health and wellness — not to mention getting quality zzz’s again. However, a CPAP machine can take some getting used to. Here’s what can help.

If you have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, your treatment may involve a CPAP machine

These devices, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, offer therapeutic benefits by constantly delivering air to your lungs. However, they can also come with an adjustment period since you wear them on your face while sleeping.

Unfortunately, using a CPAP for the first time can be frustrating, and some people may avoid the device altogether — leaving sleep apnea untreated. But there are ways to adjust to life with these machines so you stick with them and benefit from your treatment.

Our team at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine specializes in sleep services, whether you need a sleep study, sleep medicine, or sleep apnea treatment. We supply commercially insured individuals with CPAP devices and equipment, plus tips to make you want to use them.

Do you need a CPAP machine? Here’s what to expect and how to get used to your new device.

Why CPAP machines cause challenges

A CPAP machine can offer life-changing and lifesaving benefits, but only if used properly. However, several issues can cause people to ditch their device early on, such as:

  • Feeling claustrophobic
  • Developing skin irritation or pressure sores
  • Having problems falling or staying asleep 
  • Experiencing dry mouth or a dry, stuffy nose
  • Removing the mask while sleeping

It’s also possible to struggle with the noise some CPAP machines make.

When you know these challenges can arise, you can take steps to avoid them or remain comfortable while you adjust. That’s where our team comes in.

Adjusting to life with a CPAP

Our team can set you up for success from Day 1 with your CPAP supplies with three simple strategies: proper fit, practice, and follow-up.

Proper fit

The most important step in an easy transition to life with the CPAP machine involves having the right size and style.

Technology has only gotten better with CPAP devices, making it possible to find masks that fit everyone’s needs. Our experts keep numerous factors in mind when working with a patient, including facial anatomy, nose structure, and the presence of hair. 

We also consider how easily you can breathe through your nose and the likelihood you can breathe through your mouth instead when sleeping. And are you claustrophobic? That can impact your CPAP options as well.

With our skills, you start the adjustment process with a device that fits properly and comfortably and creates a good seal.


Once you have a mask that fits properly, it’s time to practice using it. That’s right — put your mask on periodically throughout the day, even when you’re not sleeping. 

Wearing your mask in other parts of your home where you can relax can help get you used to the sensation of the device.

Are you claustrophobic? Start by holding it up to your face without putting it on. Every time you practice, move it a little closer or hold it to your nose longer. 

Once your anxiety eases, put it on and secure the head straps, breathing slowly and deeply until you feel relaxed and comfortable.

Our team can offer personalized practice strategies to help you get used to your CPAP machine based on your needs and lifestyle.


Still struggling with your CPAP? It’s time to talk to our team.

Most people adjust to life with their CPAP after a few days, but it can take weeks for others. We recommend reaching out promptly if you experience any issues, challenges, or frustrations with your device so we can make personalized recommendations as early as possible.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all CPAP machine, and every experience is unique. Our team could suggest a variety of strategies to help, such as:

  • Trying a different mask type
  • Using a CPAP device with a heated humidifier
  • Adjusting the air pressure in your machine
  • Cleaning or changing your machine if it causes bothersome noises

And if you’re frustrated trying to use your device on the road, there are travel-sized options that make it easy to take your machine with you, even camping without electricity.

Do you need help with a CPAP? Contact Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine in Algonquin, Illinois, today to schedule a consultation with our experts.