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Dry Mouth; Dry Throat

 

I am not a doctor or a sleep technician. My comments are strictly from personal experience as someone who is on CPAP sleep therapy. When I invented the CPAP Comfort Cover ®, my goal was to eliminate the skin irritation I had been experiencing. A cover not only solved that problem for me, it filled the gap between the silicone and my skin reducing air leaks. Actually, I now consistently have 100% mask fit.

Even with those great results, I still had a problem.

Humans are meant to breathe through their noses. That is where the mucous membranes are that help prevent air flow induced dryness. I am one of those people who, when I fall asleep, my jaw relaxes and tends to drop down. Some movement is fine but if it drops down far enough, my lips will part and then I become a “mouth breather”.

It is not unusual for me to wake up every few hours with a dry mouth. I get up, take a sip of water and spray in some Biotene. I have tried lozenges, but they do exactly as advertised; they last about four hours. I am not comfortable putting another lozenge in my mouth during the night for fear it could lodge in my throat when I fall asleep.

Recently my sleep doctor increased the pressure in my bi-pap machine to help better control my AHI. The increased pressure not only dries out my mouth, it also dries out my throat. This had become a real problem.

I added one more step to my sleep equipment and it has made all the difference in the world.

Now I never wake up with a dry mouth or a dry throat.

I had been reluctant to try a chin strap but decided it might help; it has. What I found out was that the natural tendency for people is to really tighten the strap to clamp the jaw in place. This can cause unneeded discomfort. It is alright for the jaw to relax a bit and ease open as long as the lips don’t part. I reduced the tension on the chin strap and have now developed a system for sleeping well and staying on my therapy.

Note:

The chin strap I bought has a second strap that goes horizontally around the back of the head. I found that this caused the strap to rub against and irritate the top of my ear. I removed the extra strap and have had no problem keeping the chin strap in place. I put the chin strap on and then the CPAP mask over it.

The strap can become uncomfortable against my skin. Although not pictured here, I made a cover for my chin strap; you can make one also. I took a soft piece of fabric and wrapped it around the chin strap. Using two safety pens, I attached the fabric to the chin strap. I now sleep comfortably cocooned in my covered mask and covered chin strap.

 chin-strap-cropped.jpg                                   chin-strap-with-mask-cropped.jpg

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