Helpful Hints/Tips and Troubleshooting
- When you are using NIV for the first time
you will notice an unusual sense of pressure when breathing. You will need
to consciously push out when you breathe out. This is normal and will happen
automatically when you are asleep. At first you may feel as if the pressure
is making it difficult to breathe out, but this is not so. In time, you will
adapt to the sensation. Taking a few deep breaths when you first turn the
pressure on may help you adjust to the new sensation better.
- While wearing the mask, keep your mouth
closed. Do not try to talk. If you open your mouth, air will leak out and
this may feel slightly unpleasant. When you are asleep, your mouth usually
stays closed. However, if you awake and open your mouth, the sensation of
air rushing from your mouth might alarm you at first. You should close your
mouth and try to go back to sleep. If you have trouble keeping your mouth
closed at night while you are sleeping, you can use a chinstrap to help keep
it closed, if your physician approves. Ask your Therapist about a chinstrap
if you are having trouble with this.
- The delay timer can also be useful in
helping to overcome these potential problems. The pressure will build up
more gradually from a more comfortable level to the prescribed level over a
period of time.
- Some people experience a dryness of the
mouth and nose when using NIV, particularly during the winter months. A
humidifier can be added to your system to help with this problem. Talk to
the therapist who is taking care of you if you are having this problem so
that they can obtain an order from your physician for a humidifier.
- Wash your face to remove excess facial oils
prior to fitting the mask. This will help prolong the life of the cushion
and also help the mask to stay in place better.
- The mask should not fit too tightly. The fit
should be tightened only to the point where an air leak around the mask is
prevented. Pulling the headgear straps too tight can cause skin irritation
at the bridge of the nose, or above the lip. It's best to fit the final
tension on the straps while lying down in your normal sleeping position. A
minor leak is preferable to overtightening the mask. However, you should
eliminate any air leaks that cause blowing in the direction of your eyes in
order to avoid eye irritation.
- If the air feels too cool and causes your
nose to be uncomfortably cold, you may want to reposition the tubing to run
under your bed covers to reduce heat loss.
- If you experience sinus troubles, a runny
nose, or suspect you may have an upper respiratory infection, you should
consult with your physician. He or she may want to alter your therapy for a
period of time, or prescribe other remedies to help with these problems. ·