This therapy is commonly used in the treatment of sleep apnea, hypopnea and/or snoring (depending on the severity). This is done by introducing low air pressure through the nose to the back of the throat, which splints, or holds, the airway open. Nasal CPAP is steady pressure whereas Nasal BiLevel varies,allowing you to inhale at a higher pressure than you exhale.It is a non-surgical, non-invasive way to treat breathing disorders and can be very effective if used properly.
The drawback to this therapy is that it does take some getting used to. A few simple reminders can go a long way to help tolerate this therapy. First of all, when the homecare company delivers the machine make sure you understand how to clean, setup and use this device. Put the mask on and make sure it fits properly and comfortably. The mask should not leak, and the headgear should be snug (but not too tight) to eliminate leaks. Request a different mask is it does not fit properly. The company or you may want to try a different mask than the one used during your sleep study, so make sure this new mask fits properly.
Another main problem is nasal dryness. An in-line humidifier can usually be purchased with Nasal CPAP/BiLevel. Additionally, keeping a bottle of saline nose spray next to the bed can also help in times where additional moisture is needed.
Sitting in front of a mirror is helpful the first couple of times you put on and take off the mask. The healthcare company should contact you the morning after your first night to see if there are any problems, which identified and solved quickly can go a long way in getting comfortable with this therapy. Don’t hesitate at any time to contact your home healthcare company when problems do occur, and they will usually set a follow-up schedule to see how you are doing with the Nasal CPAP/BiLevel device.