There might be ways to make CPAP more comfortable for you

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Millions of people have obstructive sleep apnea and are told to wear a nighttime device to keep them breathing. However, the CPAP is not always a pleasant fix.

Only about half of the people who need a CPAP are successful wearing the device, says Dr. Maria Vega, a sleep physician at Temple University Hospital. She says a lot of people find wearing the mask just too uncomfortable. But she says there are several styles, so if one doesn't work try a different kind. 

Others complain of feeling closed in.

"I usually tell my patients to try to use the CPAP or the mask during the day and not that they need it because they don't have pauses when they're awake. But it helps them get used the mask, so when the night comes, they're more used to the CPAP and the mask and they can feel less claustrophobic," Vega said. 

It can cause a dry or stuffy nose, which can be relieved by using nasal saline spray at bedtime or turning on the machine's humidifier. Skin irritation can be helped by lotion, a mask liner or loosening the straps so it's not so tight.