One problem about the CPAP mask that I haven’t heard much about is claustrophobia. The CPAP mask can be cumbersome for most at the beginning because it is so unnatural to have a mask on your face while you are sleeping. I wrote about my experiences in an earlier post. But for some the problems might be a little more frightening.
Claustrophobia is a panic disorder that causes anxiety from the fear of enclosed places. Most sufferers fear the lack of movement that a tightly enclosed place puts them in or they fear a lack of oxygen. Training the patients to identify their fears and change their behaviors is the most common treatments.
Sleep Apnea patients who are claustrophobic due to their cpap mask can find relief by wearing the mask during the day for a few hours to get adjusted to the feel and the sound of the machine. They can also try out nasal pillows where tubes are inserted into the nostrils without having any straps on their face. Relaxation exercises might also be tried to control the anxiety of the CPAP mask.
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