Answers from the panel
"I use a ResMed S8 with a humidifier attached. I have gradually developed the habit of letting air escape through my mouth when asleep. The blower blows harder to accommodate the loss of pressure. I then wake with a very dry mouth, I then wake and sort my mouth. This repeats and I end up tired in the morning. How can I prevent myself letting air escape through my mouth?"
If you have developed frequent mouth breathing I would suggest two options. You could either switch to a full face mask (our current full face masks are the Mirage Quattro and Mirage Liberty). These work by covering your nose and mouth so when your mouth drops open the pressure does not increase as the device does not feel the need to increase the pressure.
Alternatively, you could try a chin strap. This will not (for safety reasons) completely clamp your mouth shut however it will provide some resistance when your mouth tries to open when you are asleep. The price of our chin strap is £12 plus postage so would be the cheaper option to perhaps try first.
"One problem I have is swallowing air which results in flatulence. Not a very socially acceptable symptom!
Any fixes you can recommend for this embarrassing side effect?"
Flatulance is not a common problem but some patients do experience it. There is no proven remedy but some suggestions that have worked for other patients are as follows.
In the first instance I would recommend that you try peppermint water to see if this will help your symptoms - this can be purchased at your local chemist. Occasionally adjustment of the pressure on the device may also help overcome the problem - you could discuss this with your local sleep department.
"I am an asthma sufferer. What risks are there in using CPAP under these conditions? I have recently suffered a severe attack requiring additional oral Steroids. Is it safe to use my machine in these circumstances?"
Unfortunately we do not have access to your full medical records. To the best of our knowledge use of CPAP will not cause any adverse effects but we would suggest that you contact your sleep or respiratory physician to discuss your concerns with them as they will have your full medical history.
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