Archive for the ‘Negative Effects of CPAP’ Category

Rethink: SOAP

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

I’ve always had eczema. Severely dry, red, flaky, itchy, nasty looking skin. Even after using topical steroids, the scars of eczema remain as dark brown patches on my skin. It seems like my condition will never go away, but I have made some major changes which have really helped with eczema. Here’s one: I have given up soap for daily bathing.

Why? The head dermatologist at my local Kaiser suggested to try it out after several unsuccessful treatments for what turned out to be contact eczema.

When? Going on about 6 months now.

Result? I feel “cleaner”, go figure! I don’t know if we really need to remove these natural oils that our skin works so hard to produce. It almost seems like I was washing my skin off with soap. I had a case of contact eczema which went away pretty quickly after ditching daily soap, however the typical eczema is still around. It isn’t nearly as bad now compared to before. The daily routine now includes no soap or lotion. It’s so easy to travel now!

And nobody else knows but me. And you. Give it a shot for a few months. It can’t really hurt to try it out… you will be saving your precious skin, time, and money! It’ll be our dirty little secret.

Teeth Grinding on CPAP

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

CPAP therapy can be very effective treatment of Sleep Apnea. Unfortunately the technology hasn’t gotten to the point where CPAP machines are whisper quiet so new CPAP users have to get acclimated with the noise and equipment all over the place.

It can take a long time to get used to CPAP therapy, and beginners to CPAP can oftentimes experience trouble sleeping even though this medical device is designed to help its users get better quality rest.

One possible side effect of CPAP is the potential for teeth grinding. I think I experienced this because of the stress of trying to fall asleep with all this stuff attached to my head and hearing the machine. While the Remstar M series CPAP machine is a relataively quiet machine, it still makes some audible noise which can be hard to tune out in the initial stages of treatment. I was wondering how CPAP was making my jaw hurt, and after investing about 10 bucks on an mouthguard from eBay I soon found out that I was indeed grinding my teeth while on CPAP. There really isn’t anything positive about grinding teeth. One could result in chipped teeth or a cracked tooth or two with extreme grinding.

I only needed the mouthguard for a few weeks. The teeth grinding went away as I got used to sleeping with CPAP. The teeth grind side effect that I experienced on CPAP therapy seemed to be temporary since I haven’t needed it ever since the first and only instance of grinding.

Does CPAP Use Cause Hiccups?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Maybe. I can definitely say that I’ve experienced more frequent hiccups in the morning following routine CPAP treatment.
homer-snore-converter
I was on vacation in Hawaii and didn’t use my Remstar M Series CPAP machine for 10 days. My snoring seems a little lighter there, maybe it’s due to the higher humidity. I used a regular mouthguard (as opposed to a CPAP mouth piece that is specifically designed to prevent snoring) which was actually effective in stopping my snoring on this trip. Upon returning to the mainland I immediately went back to CPAP and the next morning got the hiccups. It doesn’t happen all the time, however it does seem to happen more often in the morning right after a night of CPAP therapy.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend replacing conventional CPAP therapy with a regular mouth guard without checking with a doctor or sleep specialist. I still feel more rested after a night with the CPAP machine versus the mouth guard given the same duration of sleep.

CPAP Therapy Side Effects

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Many people with sleep apnea that are new to CPAP equipment will do some online research to find out what side effects certain users experience. Here are a few that I have personally experienced:

  • Chronic nose bleeds / nose bleeding: This doesn’t sound as bad as it really was. There wouldn’t be a lot of blood at all; just a tiny bit almost every day (noticed when blowing my nose). However it was reoccurring and became a little annoying. I thought that it would never end but after about 6 months of CPAPing it just magically went away. My sleep lab technition recommended not heated humidifier because he said it may increase the risk of of infection (it may be more difficult to keep your equipment clean with the heated humidifier) so I just rode it out.
  • Teeth grinding / jawing: I don’t believe that this is a direct side effect of CPAP but I have a theory about this. You need to get used to Sleep Apnea therapy and it could take weeks or even months. After the first few weeks of starting CPAP I noticed minor headaches as well as jaw and teeth soreness and I couldn’t figure out why it was happening. This was only a temporary problem which I solved by purchasing a cheap mouth guard (one of the boil and bite types) which I used while sleeping for maybe 2 weeks. I stopped grinding my teeth and have never had to use it since. My theory is that I was stressed out because I normally have a difficult time getting to sleep and bringing CPAP supplies into the equation wasn’t helping. Some time is needed to get used to the sounds of the sleep apnea unit to alleviate this problem.
  • Dry mouth / throat dryness: I used to have a glass of water by my bed occasionally since I would get thirsty during the night sometimes. Now with daily CPAP therapy I make sure I have water by my side every night because my mouth and throat get dry. It’s not severe just taking a sip of water if i wake up helps to remedy this side effect of CPAP.

CPAP can be very strange for beginner users. There are strange sounds introduced into your sleeping environment that previously didn’t exist. You may be breathing differently if you’re used to breathing through your mouth. There can be pressure on certain parts of your face and head to secure the equipment. Some people get used to this faster than others so be patient and hopefully your efforts will pay off.

The benefits of CPAP therapy greatly outweigh the potential side effects. It took a while to get used to it, but now I’m getting a much better night’s sleep and I wake up feeling fully rested now! I never thought I could feel so “awake” after waking up, but this is now typical because of CPAP.