Mask fit is the first step to achieving positive CPAP and health outcomes. If your mask causes discomfort, has persistent air leaks or just doesn’t feel right, there is a good chance it is not the right one for you. Most good CPAP outlets offer a trial period of their CPAP masks, where you can return your mask in exchange for a different size, or style, until you find the right one. Discuss this at your appointment with your CPAP therapist.
A sensation that the pressure is too high is quite common when first starting out on CPAP. These days, most CPAP machines have a ramp function. This works by starting you off on a low pressure to help you fall asleep, then slowly increasing the pressure over time (approximately 30 minutes) until it reaches your prescribed pressure. Speak with your CPAP therapist about any concerns you have with your CPAP pressure to ensure they have enabled this function for your machine.
Proper use of your humidifier does help. Your CPAP machine has different settings for the degree of humidification you receive during the night. These settings should be based around how you feel in the morning. If you wake with a dry mouth or nose, feel abnormally congested or wake with excessive water in your mask (or tubing) you should look at altering your humidifier settings. Refer to your machine user guide or speak with your CPAP therapist to get this right.