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You certainly wouldn’t want this to happen to you-not once, not twice- imagine the scenario: You're wearing your fresh pair of pajamas prepared to go to bed; yes, the temperature is just right, it’s neither too hot nor cold. The darkness is calmly inviting you to drift to sleep. How happy! But suddenly everything changes!
Just before you drift off-there it is! Again! The annoying sound is back, and it might keep you awake all night! Yes, it's the sound coming from your CPAP machine. What should you?
Yes, what steps can you take if the sound coming from your exhaling, inhaling, or whirring air gets noisy? Well, you can have a quiet CPAP device and mask. We’re here to teach you how to solve the problem.
Comparing Common Sounds with a Quiet CPAP Mask and Machine
There’s no doubt about it- If you use a CPAP mask and machine-there must be a degree of noise; you cannot expect complete silence. Why?
Ordinarily, while air is cycling continuously through the CPAP machine, there should be some sound (similar to a soft fan’s). Most CPAP machines usually indicate a decibel rating (Db). The average rating for each device is about 30 db. This is as loud as a human whisper. Thus, it shouldn’t really keep you awake. Indeed, if your CPAP is keeping you awake, take steps to adjust it.
Consider the following standard decibel ratings:
- 30 db – The usual human whisper.
- 40 db – Library environment quietness.
- 50 db – moderate faking rainfall.
- 70 db – Vacuum cleaner or traffic noise.
- 80 db – Alarm clock sound.
Why Your CPAP Mask is Loud, and How to Adjust the Mask
Here’s what to do to fix a noisy CPAP Mask:
First, always remember that the port located on the front section of your CPAP mask is designed to release carbon dioxide. This means the equipment will release the gas continuously while you’re asleep.
Most of the time, if your mask produces noise, it’s because you’re using one that is not fitting correctly. If the mask is loose or tight, it will leak air, which produces noise. Keep your mask snug but don’t make it too tight. Ensure it’s cradling your facial features without causing pressure or pain.
If your mask is still leaking air even after you've made the adjustment, this is a sign that your mask is not the right size. You can either change the headgear or cushion size to fit better or get a different style.
At times, your mask might not allow you to make the right pressure settings. For instance, it’s advisable to use a full mask if you’re using a high CPAP pressure setting. This will efficiently expel the air across your nose and mouth.
What if you're using a nasal and pillow CPAP mask, and yet you're a mouth breather? The result can be loud snoring or exhalation. This might disturb your partner. But these masks are usually beneficial because they use less space. However, a full face mask is likely to leak air because it creates a bigger seal. What should you do?
- Change the CPAP Cushion:
To have a quieter mask, you should change the cushion. Keep in mind that the more you use your CPAP mask, the more the cushion works. It contacts your skin oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and other substances that gradually causes it to break down. It also cracks and leaks. If you hear a sound that was not there previously, change the cushion promptly. In fact, always replace the cushion as regularly as you replace other CPAP components.
- Clean the CPAP Mask:
While you breathe and the air cycles through the CPAP, debris will usually collect. Thus, there’ll be an accumulation of allergens, bacteria, moisture, and dead skin. You can regularly remove the gunk by cleaning the CPAP mask. This also makes it durable. And it’s certainly a great idea to clean the mask using a high-quality CPAP sanitizer!
What Can You Do if the CPAP Machine Produces Whistling Sound?
Some users of the CPAP machine have reported hearing a slight whistling sound whenever they use the device. Here’s what you can do to solve this:
Check if Your CPAP Mask is Properly Fitting:
When the CPAP machine is still on, and the hose remains connected, disconnect the mask from the hose. You'll know that the problem is an ill-fitting mask if the whistling sound disappears. Adjust the mask until the noise is no more. If this doesn't work, it's time to get a new mask.
Check the Connection on the Hose:
When the hose is not well connected to your CPAP machine, this causes a whistling sound. Adjust the connection at the end of the machine. If the noise disappears while you’re holding the hose tightly to the machine (but it comes back when you let go)- this means the hose is the problem; you need a new hose.
Are There Other Hose Issues?
Most whistling issues can be traced to the hose. Are there holes in the hose leaking air? Find out. Dip the hose in the water, letting it fill up. Plug the two ends of the hose before getting it out of water. In case there are holes, you’ll notice water leaking out. Find out whether there are cracks or dried up places on the hose. Remember: Buying a new hose is often the ultimate solution.
How to Make a CPAP Machine Quieter
You’re not the only one disturbed by the persistent CPAP machine noise- your partner will not have a sound sleep unless you fix the problem!
Here are a few ideas to prevent the noise:
- Put the Machine Away from the Bed:
How much noise the machine produces usually depends on its position. Put the machine below the ear level and away from your bed (as far as possible). This diminishes the sound coming from it.
- Suck Up Vibrations:
Your machine makes noise because of vibrations. Place a small towel under the CPAP machine to suck up these vibrations. Use a clean towel. Take care not to block the area of the air intake.
- Check the Humidifier Water Level:
There’ll be noise if the humidifier water level is not right (either too small or too much). Always check the water levels (check the water-level marker).
- Check Whether the CPAP Mask is Well- Fitting
It may be that the machine is okay- the problem is merely the loose-fitting mask. Use a right-fitting full face mask– change it every 6 months.
- Use Earbuds:
Use earbuds if the sound disturbs your sleep. Why, the machine will always produce a little noise!
We believe you're now well-equipped to deal with any noise coming from your CPAP machine with these practical tips. You know the possible causes, how to prevent the issues, and how to get practical solutions. You don’t have to endure suffering from disturbed sleep when these issues can be solved.
Have a sound sleep while using your CPAP machine!