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Steven B. Ronsen updated their profile
Sep 15

while wearing the cpap with the nose plugs (not the face mask) phobia & will not wear it.  I awoke suddenly and coul dnot breathe, sweating and heart pounding. I attributed it to my opening my mouth while asleep. Scared me silly. I tried again to sleep, same thing happened tht nite and for the following two nites.  I was given a chin strap to try & hold my mouth closed, which did no good. Finally, I just gave up on the machine, since I wasn't getting any sleep anyway. Any suggestions?

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Well said jnk!
You can try desensitizing yourself to the mask and the pressure. If you havent already tried, try sitting in front of the tv set with the mask on and the machine going for a little while every night before you go to sleep. I can help you get used to the pressure and the mask. It may not work but it is worth a try to help you feel better in the morning. Dont get too discouraged and dont be hard on yourself if you dont tolerate it right away. Hang in there and good luck.
Were it while watching tv or reading. Try a little at a time, telling yourself you will keep it on a little longer each time. Many of us took time to get used to wearing if every night all night. Don't give up, just work with it not against it.
I have no suggestions, although initially I thought that any kind of mask was going to cause my Claustrophobia to kick in and when I told the doctor, he said there were mild sedative he could prescribe, if it did. It hasn't yet but what you describe is exactly what my sleep technician said could happen to me in the Sleep Lab, and she made sure I knew how to get the mask off in a hurry, should it happen. She said it wasn't unusual at all.

I think you got some useful suggestion from others and all I've got to say is, "Don't give up. You can do this.!"

And with all these people to help you out, it will be easier than you think!

Good Luck!
Hi I went through the same thing. I have allergys so I had to get a full face mask so I can breathe either way. I would put it on then walk myself through the can't breathe stages by focusing on my breathing in and out. I couldnt use the chin strap. I would still some times wake up in the middle of the night and jerk the mask off but always put it back on and talked myself through since I knew I was still breathing. It just takes time. Good luck and hang in there
I'm brand new but could you perhaps change to the type of mask that I use? It's called a nasal mask vented. I could not tolerate, for more than an hour, the type of mask that shot the air straight up my nostrils. It hurt and I don't know how people do it. I know I mentioned getting an anti-anxiety drug from your doctor but first I wonder if you shouldn't try a different type of mask.

See how much I've learned in a few days?

I feel for you as I'm the queen of claustrophobia but if I can wear a mask, you can, too. You just need to start at the beginning.

Good luck to you!
It adds to your fear when you have trouble trying to breath threw a stopped up nose. That was why I got a full face. I tried for 2 weeks with tha nasal one and couldnt handle it. I'm also claustrophobic but can handle the full face. That stupid chin strap just added to the fear. gl
Good ideas here already. I was also wondering if the pressure was right for you. I had been using my mask religiously for years when last spring I started waking up with my mouth open. It was weird. (I also use nasal pillow mask.) Turned out that I'd gained 5-10 lbs since my sleep study and needed to up my pressure. I also found during that time that my pressure needs are VERY different when I'm lying down and when I'm sitting up. Sitting up I only needed about an 8. Lying down I was up to a 12. Having my pressure too high (like when I was sleeping in a recliner due to a hip injury) I found that I would wake with my mouth open too. That's why I'm hoping to get an apap that will auto adjust my pressure, but that's going to be a long fight I think.

Good luck with finding an answer. It's definitely worth doing some trial and error and detective work.
A mild sleep aid may help you with this problem.

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