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Solutions for Common CPAP Problems

common CPAP problems

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and have been prescribed a CPAP machine to help you sleep and breathe better, you may have some questions. Here are some solutions for common CPAP problems.

I can feel air leaking out of the CPAP mask.
All CPAP masks have an exhalation port that allows some air to escape. This keeps the air in the mask “fresh” and allows your CO2 to escape. This leak is controlled and accounted for by the machine. The exhalation port is typically at the front of the mask (it varies depending on the mask you are using), and you can usually feel the air if you place your hand in front of the mask.

However, you should not feel air on your face anywhere (on your cheeks, in your eyes, below your chin). If you feel air in any of these places, the mask is leaking. Remember: the mask you’ve been given is a good fit for you; but it may still leak at times. If this happens, adjust the mask and headgear until the leak is eliminated.

The PAP machine keeps drying out my nose and/or my mouth and throat.
Most CPAP problems related to dryness can be alleviated with the humidifier. The humidifier is able to heat the air, which will help with the feeling of dryness. If you experience dryness, try increasing the level of humidity. Leaks can also cause dry mouth. A chin strap or a Full Face Mask may be the answer. Let a technician or the doctor know.

Recommended OTC Medications

  • Dry Nose: Vaseline or Aryogel
  • Dry Mouth: Oramoist or Biotene

I feel like I can’t exhale (breathe out). I feel like I’m not getting enough air.
This is a very common complaint at the beginning. Because the PAP machine is blowing air in at a constant pressure, it is going to feel more difficult to exhale. This is something that your body will adjust to with time.

Nasal congestion and “allergy like” symptoms.
These symptoms are usually short-term. Your nose is not accustomed to the air pressure, but will adjust to it with time. If these symptoms are prohibiting you from continuing treatment, please contact our daytime staff. We have many strategies for helping you overcome this hurdle.

Machine is noisy.
Check your mask, make sure it is assembled properly, check the cushion and make sure its attached to the frame. You can also check your tube for water, water can accumulate throughout the night because of condensation. If the problem still continues let the technician or the doctor know.

The above are just some solutions for common CPAP problems. Patients should contact the clinic if they have other questions or problems with their equipment.

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