10 most common CPAP side effects and how to fix them

Aug 20, 21

10 most common CPAP side effects and how to fix them

Continuous Positive airway pressure (CPAP) is presently the handiest remedy choice for moderate to mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, it's viable you’ll revel in some unusual place, in the course of your sleep remedy journey with CPAP. The simplest manner to benefit the overall blessings of sleep apnea remedy is to usually use your CPAP equipment in the best manner for you. Therefore, spotting and fixing those issues early is important for the long-time period fulfillment of treating your apnea.

Common issues with CPAP encompass leaky masks, hassle falling asleep, stuffy nostrils, and a dry mouth. The correct information is if one CPAP mask or tool does not work for you, you've got to try different options, and most of the CPAP masks are adjustable.

Here are the 10 most common CPAP issues and what you may do to fix them: 

  • Breathing out is difficult 

It is simple to respire in, you could discover that it is hard to respire out in opposition to the stress whilst you first begin the usage of CPAP therapy. This can also additionally enhance over time, however, the attempt might also induce insomnia. 

In a few cases, ramping from a decreased preliminary stress may be helpful. In uncommon cases, bi-stage therapy—wherein one stress is used to respire in, and decrease stress is used to respire out—can be needed.


  • Aerophagia

Many patients who use CPAP machines to treat obstructive sleep apnea complain of "swallowing" or "eating" air; this is a common problem when the air pressure is too high, patients often swallow air. From a medical point of view, this is called aerophagia. This can cause severe belching, flatulence, and abdominal discomfort. To avoid swallowing, patients should calibrate their CPAP machine to lower air pressure. It is recommended to seek help and advice from a sleep specialist who will prescribe the correct CPAP pressure to ensure successful treatment results.


  •  Claustrophobia

 Practice wearing a CPAP mask when you are awake. First, practice pressing the mask on the face without other additional parts. Once you are satisfied with this, try wearing a face mask with shoulder straps. Getting used to using CPAP masks is very important. Try to hold the mask with the tube secured to the face without the strap. Connect the hose to the CPAP machine with a low-pressure setting. Finally, wear a strap-on mask and with air pressure monitor when you are awake. When you feel comfortable, try to sleep with it. Try relaxation exercises. Certain exercises, such as progressive muscle relaxation, can also help reduce your anxiety about wearing a CPAP mask.


  •  Taking off my CPAP mask at night while sleeping

Sometimes you wake up and find that you have taken off your mask while sleeping. If you move around frequently while sleeping, a full face mask may fit your face better. If so, ensuring that the mask fits snugly and adding a warm moisturizer to your CPAP machine may help. The chin strap can also help you fix the device on your face. If this is a persistent problem, consider setting the alarm for a while at night to see if the device is turned on. If your device is turned on for a long time, you can gradually set the alarm clock for later in the evening.


  •  Loud Noise

Noise can interfere with your sleep, especially for people sleeping with you. Although the equipment used today is much quieter than the previous equipment, it may take some time to adapt. Generally speaking, most couples find it easier to adapt to predictable situations. CPAP sound, like a snoring sound, is very common in treating obstructive sleep apnea.

  • Leaky mask and pressure sores

A leaking or improper mask means you are not getting the required air pressure, which can irritate your skin. The mask can also blow air into your eyes, causing them to dry out or fill with tears. When the device is placed on your nose, please be careful not to sit too high, otherwise, air will enter your eyes. You may need to ask a doctor to help you choose a different mask size, especially if your weight changes significantly. Or try other devices, such as nose pads. If you have skin injuries or wounds, please tell your doctor immediately.

  • Nasal Congestion

One of the most common side effects associated with CPAP treatment is nasal congestion or nasal blockage, which may include runny nose, burning sensation, or nosebleeds. Air passes through the sinuses, which is especially common in people who have frequent sinus infections. To avoid this, For short-term relief, try nasal spray with saline to moisturize the nasal passages. For long-term care, consider using a ventilator. Consider using a humidifier to humidify the air to reduce dryness. In order to increase the soothing feeling, the heating humidifier can gently heat and humidify the air for a more natural feeling.

  • Dry Eyes

If you wake up with dry eyes, this must be a sign of a leaking mask. The escaping air will blow across your face and dry up your eyes while you are sleeping. You may not even notice this because the amount of leakage may vary, depending on how you sleep. To avoid this, first, make sure that the mask is suitable for you. As your face changes when you lie down, adjust your lying position to a comfortable sleeping position. Loose straps can allow air to escape, but a strap that is too tight can also cause leakage and make it unsuitable for you. If your mask type requires an inflatable pillow, place it gently on your face so that you have time to increase CPAP pressure. If you still have dried-up eyes after putting on the mask, it may be time to replace it. For your sleep therapy to be effective, you must change the pads every 24 weeks, the mask frame every 3 months, and the headgear every 6 months.


  • Skin Irritation and Acne

Your CPAP mask traps sebum, dead skin cells, and sweat while you sleep, which can cause bacteria and dirt to accumulate. This congestion can cause skin irritation, rashes, pimples, and sores. Wash your CPAP mask regularly with soap and water, and change the pads every 24 weeks. Even with regular cleaning, over time, micro-cracks will accumulate in the silicone or foam. Lubricate the skin with oil and prefer the tight fit of the mask.

  • CPAP mask is way too uncomfortable to wear at night!

When you get a new CPAP mask, be sure to work closely with your doctor and CPAP provider to ensure that the mask and equipment meet your needs and are suitable for you. Ask your doctor, sleep therapist, or CPAP provider to show you how to adjust the mask to get the best fit, and read the manufacturer’s product instructions. This can also help you better choose the right mask. The good news is that there are many types of masks. Read about the different types of CPAP masks and the advantages and disadvantages of each to ensure you choose the mask that best suits your needs.