My personal experience
After learning about Sleep Apnea, I am sure I had it for many years prior to being tested. My Apnea was so severe it took 3 titration studies to properly diagnose and prescribe the procedure to be used.
I have a BI-PAP (BPAP) machine. These machines have one pressure when inhaling and a lower pressure for exhaling. The pressures used are measured in centimeters of water (cmH2O). CPAP/BPAP treatment can be highly effective in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
The CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) machine has one setting for both inhaling and exhaling which can make it difficult to exhale as you are fighting the high pressure of the machine.
What kind of mask should I use?
Selecting a mask to wear is not an easy task, at least it was not for me in the beginning. Many a night that mask would go flying across the room at least as far as it could being hooked up to a 6-foot hose. It is next to impossible to sleep when the mask is leaking. For me it was always leaking into my eyes. The problem is the tighter you make the mask the more deformed it gets and can actually leak worse. It took me years as I would not give up and finally found find a mask that worked for me. I wear a full face mask that is very small and does not sit on the bridge of my nose. I had those original masks so tight IF I made it through the night with the mask on and when I took it off in the morning my nose was bleeding. After some time passed my nose was raw. Now you are trying band-aids to cover it up, they even make a gel pad you put across the bridge of the nose but that would make the mask leak 🙂 Seemed like you could not win.
The style of mask depends on a couple of things the severity of Sleep Apnea and if you are a nose or mouth breather. My Apnea was server enough I needed to have a full face mask so there was air going in my nose and my mouth. Not to worry, once you get used to it you will not feel anything EXCEPT refreshed in the morning from getting a good nights sleep.
I tell people that I have bags under my eyes because of my age, but they are not dark bags. The dark bags come from getting crummy sleep each night. They used to be dark but not anymore, now they are just bags and this is because I get a good night’s sleep EVERY NIGHT.
I travel with my BPAP machine regardless of where I go. It is a medical device so it does not count as a piece of carry on luggage on an airplane and can be stored under the seat if there enough room. I try not to let it out of my site.
You NEVER want to check it in your baggage, because if the airlines loses it then you are without your equipment and there goes your good nights’ sleep unless you do not plan on sleeping then you are OK. 🙂
The other things you are going to want to get when you travel if it is more than a day or two is distilled water (which you should be using in the machine daily) and white vinegar (dilute to the manufactures instructions) to clean it while you are away from home. You can use the vinegar and water at home as well, but I am going to tell you about another device you are going to want to get to clean your equipment., SoClean 2, Cleaner and Sanitizer.
Apnea affects 10s of millions, male and female alike. My doctor told me if I got up in the middle of the night to use the restroom ( which I was not doing) I probably had sleep apnea as your bladder in most cases should be able to hold whatever it is in. You stop breathing and when you wake up to breathe your brain tells you to visit the restroom. You remember when you did not have to get up to use the restroom?
There are other ways to treat Apnea. I have tried one other method but did not like it. Seems if you keep you mouth closed you may not have any Apnea events. They make a band that goes around your head and keeps you mouth shut. The problem for me was I was having sinus problems and could not breathe through my nose. The band fits very tight and I found that very uncomfortable.
Here is what my setup looks like. the CPAP machine in front of the SoClean 2 Cleaner and Sanitizer,
Let’s talk about what happens when you buy a mask and they are not cheap and you just can not wear it. Either it does not fit correctly or it won’t stop leaking. I have experienced both of those issues. When I started there was no such thing as insurance issued by the seller that would allow you to return the mask. Then insurance was offered, but you paid for it, but it was better than not being able to use something you just paid over $100 for. The insurance was around $20-$30. Now a lot of places offer insurance for no charge so you can buy the mask and return it for the cost of shipping if it does not do what you expect of it.
And YES I wear it every night without fail even when I travel. When traveling I carry an extension cord in the carrying case the CPAP machine came in. Cleaning the mask is very important.