CPAP Machine Noise Issues and Noise Reduction Tips
CPAP machines or Continuous Positive Air Pressure Machines are machines that are used in therapy of sleep apnea.
Patients would wear a face mask that is connected to a pump that provides a natural flow of air into the nasal passages during sleep in order to keep the airway properly opened.
There are a lot of people who suffer from sleep apnea these days but are not diagnosed or do nothing about it. There is much less of those people who actually take some action and use a CPAP machine.
One of the reasons could be that these machines can be very loud and sometimes they don’t just affect you, but your partner or roommate as well.
All of the whining and whistling noises coming from the air in a CPAP machine can be very unpleasant when you want to sleep at night.
Since these machines are meant to help you sleep better, but they are not due to the noise, here are a few tricks that you can use to make them quieter.
CPAP Machine Noise Reduction Tips
1. Re-Positioning the CPAP Machine
Sometimes the noise coming from a CPAP machine can be simply reduced by repositioning it to somewhere else, further away from you.
It is always good to place it somewhere under your ear level since the noise will not be getting to your ear that easily like this.
Of course, try to find another place other than carpets, since it is not very advisable because the carpet can muffle and block the air intake and a proper airflow.
Another thing that you should pay attention to is that the surface that you place your CPAP machine on is clean because if it is not, the dirty air will be sucked into it and then to your lungs.
If you place it in a dusty surrounding, you will be breathing in a lot of dust and maybe even cause yourself some irritations and allergies. It's always good to have some CPAP Cleaning Mask Wipes on hand if that happens.
A good thing that you can try to make a CPAP machine quieter is to place it on a clean towel. It will absorb the noise coming from the machine and make it quieter.
The thing that you will have to be careful about when placing a towel underneath it, though, is not to block the airflow.
2. Check the Machine for Any Leaks
If your CPAP machine is making noise when inhaling, there could be a leak.
The most common leak in these machines is a seal leak. This is what happens when the mask isn’t sealed to your face properly, and the air starts to get out of the mask and leaks between it and the skin of your face.
It can not only make noises but affect the air pressure and the good flow as well.
If the leaks are too severe, the machine might even lose its purpose, since sufficient air is needed in order to keep your airway opened and if too much of it is leaking, you are not getting the needed amount.
There is yet another thing that a leak on your CPAP machine can cause and that is a so-called dry eye. If you wake up and notice that your eye feels weird, it is probably because the leaking air was blowing right into it.
Luckily, this can be fixed rather easily. When you notice that the air is leaking, just pull it further away from your face and put it back on.
It is rather possible that the silicone on the mask has wrinkled slightly, and it this way you can get rid of wrinkles and creases on it.
Another thing is to move it around a bit until you feel that it is sealed properly. It needs to be adjusted to the curves of your face well.
Another thing that can make a mask leak is if the mask is too old and/or worn out. An old mask will start leaking and you ought to replace it to prevent the leakage.
It would be good if you could replace your mask every 6 months to be sure that it will not start leaking.
If you decided that you want to buy a new mask, make sure that it is the right size for you. If you purchase and use a mask that doesn’t fit you, it may cause leaks even though it is a new one.
Don’t make the Mask too Tight
A lot of people would try to prevent the leaks by tightening the mask, and this is not the right way to do it.
The tighter mask will not make a tighter seal, that is for sure, but it can have just the opposite effect. Over tightening it may cause additional leaks.
As I mentioned, it is important to have the right size of the mask. Tightening it if it is too big will not help compensate for the wrong size.
3. Give another Look at your Humidifier
If your machine has a humidifier, you should keep an eye on it, since it can be making a lot of noise if it doesn’t have enough water in it.
The level of water in a humidifier will drop over time due to it being used.
The purpose of a humidifier is to keep your airway moist and not to let them dry up from the wave of air coming in.
When there is not enough water in a humidifier, it might start to produce gurgling noises.
Of course, some machines have the humidifier already built in, while others require you to purchase one, but whichever the case is, you should keep the water level.
Of course, your body can humidify itself on its own, but it is much better to use a humidifier with these machines since they control everything for you while you sleep.
They can also make the quality of the air you are breathing much better.
Hoses on a Humidifier
Another thing to give a look at on the humidifier is the hoses.
If the hoses going to your mask are not set properly, they might also leak air and produce some hissing noises.
Make sure that the hose has no bandings since this is also a thing that can make noises and interrupt the airflow.
If there is pressure in the hoses the water in the humidifier might start bubbling, same as it would if you blow air through a straw.
You might want to get a hose management system (like this Hose Buddy) to eliminate tangles.
4. Prevent Leaks With a CPAP Pillow
The hard part with CPAP machine and sleeping with it is making yourself comfortable while keeping the mask on your face.
There are CPAP pillows that are specially designed for people who are using the machine. This pillow has slopes built into it that will allow the person wearing the mask to sleep normally and comfortably without ruining the seal that you have made when you went to bed.
5. Use the Benefits of White Noise Machines
I have been talking about white noise before and the benefits of it.
White noise and white noise machines are machines that produce sounds in random frequencies and make a distraction for you.
Your brain is deceived and it will let you sleep comfortably because the noises from the CPAP machine will be masked by the beneficial sound of a white noise machine.
Not only that white noise can mask the noises coming from your CPAP machine, but it is widely used to help you sleep during thunderstorms, while there is loud traffic on the streets, rain, train, wind, and much more.
Here are some great white noise machines for children, but also works for adults.
6. Buy a Quieter CPAP Machine
As always, the last thing that you can try is buying a new machine.
If you have tried what I have previously suggested and you are still not satisfied with the results, you might want to get a new machine that works better and that produces less noise.
I am sure that you are familiar with the fact that a lot of quiet machines are being manufactured these days, so there are quiet CPAP machines as well. I recommend this Whisper Quiet CPAP Machine.
They are not that cheap, but they are sure worth it if you will be able to breathe undisputedly and your partner to sleep without a problem that might be caused by the noise coming from your machine.
On CPAP Machine Noise Issues
Suffering from something like sleep apnea is surely not comfortable to begin with. But if you have to use a machine to help you breathe while you sleep, it is all the worse.
A lot of things might occur when using a CPAP machine, like dry airways, air leaking, and so on, so preventing the noise will make it just a bit easier for a person that has to use one of these machines.
I hope that the things listed above like using a proper pillow, placing the machine underneath your ear level and using a humidifier and preventing leaks will help you in getting a good and rested night.
Hope that these ideas helped. Sleep tight!
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