It’s OK to Hate Your CPAP Mask
Last updated: March 2022
I remember coming home from my sleep therapist session with my new CPAP machine and mask. There it was, the hoses, the mask, and all the other bits and pieces I needed to begin my therapy. I didn’t quite know what to make of it. I was sure that the mask was something I couldn’t get used to. I knew I needed help with my sleep apnea, but the mask was too much.
Early frustrations with CPAP
The first night, I put the mask on to try and get used to it and instantly hated the thing. I couldn’t believe that someone would wear one night after night and like it. I ended up throwing it on the floor halfway through the night.
After that, I slept without it for the most part and had the same poor sleep I always had. I was frustrated and resigned that this CPAP thing wasn’t a good idea. The mask felt so foreign on my face, and I didn’t want it there to begin with.
How could I wear this night after night?
The next few nights were more of the same. I wore the mask but woke up and found myself hating how the mask felt. How was I ever going to get used to this thing? I felt pretty lost and without hope. I was like many others that started CPAP therapy. I was struggling with my mask.
I thought about giving up and returning the equipment. There was no way I could wear this thing night after night. Thankfully, I resisted this temptation, which turned out to be my best option.
An unexpected adjustment
Over the next few weeks, something happened that I didn’t expect. I started wearing the mask throughout the entire night. I was able to get to sleep quite quickly and forgot that the mask was even there. I noticed in the morning that I felt a lot better. I was getting the rest that I needed and wasn’t as concerned about the mask on my face.
A few days turned into a few weeks, and soon after that, I was wearing my mask for months on end without throwing it on the floor. I got used to cleaning it, changing filters, and ensuring my water was topped up each night. My CPAP mask and machine became a part of my life. I gave the mask a shot, and I haven’t looked back since.
Not every day is easy
There are days when I do take the mask off in frustration. Sometimes it’s too tight. Other times a clasp comes off at night, and I don’t get the proper airflow. Some nights the mask is too hot. I have cursed my mask more times than I can count. Some days I have that feeling of giving up, but I resist.
Why I don't give up
I don’t give up because my mask gives me the best quality sleep I have had in years. I’m not tired during the day, and I don’t have the headaches and general fatigue I did without my mask. I don’t snore and keep my wife up at night. I feel a lot better, and that’s because I use my mask, even though it bothers me from time to time.
Give yourself a chance with CPAP
Your CPAP mask is there to help you, but you can’t get that help if you don’t try. I’m thankful for my mask because I feel better than I have in a long time.
Give yourself a chance with CPAP, and you’ll find that it’s not a bad as you think. The mask can be a pain from time to time, but you gain so much more from it. I gained my sleep back, and a better quality of life.
CPAP can be a curse, but it’s also a wonderful tool, so give it a try. You may find it’s the best thing you ever did for your sleep.
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