CPAP Mask and claustrophobia
I have claustrophobia and will be taking my first sleep test with a mask. I'm already starting to panic over this.
I can't even stand the covers near my face and I just don't know how I will ever be able to tolerate a mask!!
I also have low oxygen levels and need to wear oxygen, especially at night. Can the oxygen be worn with the sleep apnea gear? Please help - panic attacks are setting in.
I would suggest a nasal mask--some of them have Oxygen ports so that the oxygen nasal cannulas can feed O2 into the mask. That way if you feel panicky, you will always know you can open your mouth and breathe (but you should keep your mouth closed for effective treatment!).
For some, claustrophobia is due to the feeling of not being able to breathe...but once the mask is on, the air pressure provides air like standing in a breeze.
There are also ways to acclimate yourself to the mask; they may sound silly but need to be tried faithfully because they work. The main one is to set the machine and mask up in the living room during the day, put it on and turn it on. Watch TV, read etc while wearing it. This helps you take your mind off of it and off the fact that you are trying to sleep. You are awake and in full control of it...you can also work out any quirks and learn the ins' and out's of your equipment.
I know this is stressful, but the key to CPAP success is attitude. So you have to be willing to put up with some claustrophobia and discomfort for the end result, which is feeling better.
I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back. Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide