CPAP Diaries: Feeling Claustrophobic
“CPAP opens my airways through forced air…but it makes me feel so claustrophobic. How can I fix this?”
Try taking these four simple steps to become comfortable with the forced air:
1. While you’re awake, practice by first just holding the mask up to your face without any of the other parts.
2.Once you’re comfortable with that, try wearing the mask with the straps.
3.Next, try holding on the mask and hose, without the straps, with the hose attached to the CPAP machine at a low pressure setting (turn the ramp feature on).
4.And, finally, wear the mask with the straps and with the air pressure machine turned on while awake. After you’re comfortable with that, try sleeping with it on.
Relaxation exercises, such as progressive muscle relaxation, also may help reduce your anxiety. If you’re still feeling claustrophobic, give your local Alpine branch a call and they can speak with you about further options. It may help to get a different size mask or try a different style, such as one that uses nasal pillows.
Do you frequently have CPAP questions that you’d like to discuss with your peers? Alpine now has a CPAP forum available on our website for you to do just that. From time-to-time, Alpine will also bring a Respiratory Therapist on the site to answer your commonly asked questions. Visit the forum today! CLICK HERE TO ACCESS