The CPAP mask is usually the primary reason why so many people will fail to consistently use their CPAP machine. As the user’s head sinks down into a standard pillow, it will push the CPAP mask out of place, causing air to escape. This is irrespective of even if you have bought the top rated CPAP mask in the market. Pressure point soreness will also usually occur, due to the headgear or mask being forced into the side of the user’s face. If the mask’s exhalation ports become blocked it can cause dangerous levels of carbon dioxide to remain within the mask. The end result will involve another night of restless sleep and ineffective therapy.
How a CPAP Pillow Can Help
When you read CPAP machine reviews 2017, you can get a device that can improve your sleep apnea treatment. If you suffer from apnea and use a type of CPAP machine for therapy, you might be experiencing a difficult time positioning your standard pillow so that it won’t push your mask around. In this instance, you might simply need to change the type of pillow you’re using. Some patients don’t understand how a CPAP pillow can be so useful for their treatment, however, there are a number of benefits to using a pillow that’s specially designed for this type of therapy.
Back Sleepers and Side Sleepers: What Type of Pillow Works Best?
It’s widely known that sleeping on your back tends to worsen snoring, especially in sleep apnea sufferers. If you currently sleep on your back, gravity will pull the soft tissues of the soft palate and tongue into the back of your throat, which causes an obstruction of the airway.
Also, if you frequently toss and turn during sleep, then it can be difficult to avoid experiencing problems with your apnea mask, even if you have a CPAP mask or pillow. Because of this, you’ll need to figure out a strategy to sleep on your side, in order to be compliant with your CPAP treatment.
A patient will be able to sleep better on their side by placing a pillow between their knees and also using an additional pillow in their arms, in addition to using a CPAP pillow. Placing a pillow between the knees will help to relieve pressure from the lower back. However, an even better option to prevent sleeping on your back would be to use a bumper belt, which is designed to promote side sleeping.
If you’re someone who sleeps on your stomach or side you can try using the falcon sleep position, which is also referred to as the partial swastika position, because of the position the arms are placed in.
This type of sleep position can greatly help to decrease apnea symptoms. For a right sleeping position your face should be on the upper right portion of the pillow, with the pillow angled at around thirty degrees, allowing the left edge of the pillow to be under your left shoulder. For a left sleeping position, just repeat using the opposite side of the pillow and shoulder. In order to maximize comfort you should also place a pillow under the right side of your abdomen and chest, or beneath the left side of your abdomen and chest, if sleeping in the left sided position.
Prevent Your CPAP Mask from Moving
To determine whether or not you need to use a CPAP pillow, consider the issues you have when using your mask. For many users, using a standard pillow will cause the head to tilt back, causing jaw joint discomfort, which can feel similar to an ear ache. Using a contoured CPAP pillow can help to support both the neck and head, tilting them forward. Patients who frequently sleep on their side will have the most difficulty in keeping the mask in place throughout the night. Using an apnea pillow will help to prevent the mask from moving, which means you’ll experience the maximum benefits of CPAP therapy.
Before choosing a pillow there are a couple of things you should consider. The pillow you choose should feature a tall edge in order to keep the hose and mask out of contact with the mattress. For most patients, a six inch depth will adequately fill the area between the neck and shoulders. Many apnea patients who use two pillows at night find that using a double edged CPAP pillow to provide a more adequate height, without having to use an additional pillow.
A CPAP pillow isn’t designed for patients who sleep on their back. If you’re a back sleeper than you should use a thin standard pillow.
The cost for an apnea pillow can range from $50 to $100 and can be purchased online or at pharmacies or medical supply stores. Your sleep doctor can help you to select a pillow that will work well with the style of mask you use.