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Top 6 Most Common CPAP Side Effects and How to Fix Them

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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is currently the most effective treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), regardless of severity. However, it is possible you’ll experience a few common CPAP side effects throughout your sleep therapy journey.

The only way to gain the full benefits of sleep apnea therapy is to continually use your CPAP equipment. Therefore, recognizing and solving these problems early is critical to the long-term success of treating your apnea.

In this article, we aim to help you to identify and mitigate these side effects so you can experience the full benefits of this highly effective treatment for sleep apnea and improve your overall CPAP compliance.

The good news is that many of these side effects associated with CPAP therapy can be fixed with proper adjustments to your equipment or by adding other products to your regimen.

Keep in mind that there are multiple variables to consider, so only make these changes with the assistance of your sleep specialist or healthcare provider.

Let’s get started!

1. Dry Eyes Caused by Air Leaks From Your CPAP Mask

If you’re waking up with dry eyes, you may have a leak in your CPAP mask at the bridge of your nose. The most common reason for air leaks around the bridge of your nose is that your mask is too big or too long for your nose.

Choosing the best fitting CPAP mask can help, but we don’t recommend over-tightening your mask since it can cause bruising or even open sores if worn long enough. Instead, we suggest adding a nose cushion or mask liner to help keep the mask flush with your skin.

These items may help reduce mask leaks and prevent dry eyes when using CPAP:

2. Dry Mouth When Using CPAP

You may be wondering “How can I prevent dry mouth with CPAP?” if you’re waking up with a dry mouth. One of the most common causes of dry mouth is simply that the mouth falls open during sleep, which can inhibit the effectiveness of your CPAP treatment. Fortunately, there are three quick solutions for CPAP dry mouth that you can try right now—including checking for leaks, trying a chinstrap, or adding a heated humidifier.

Related reading: Discover the benefits of adding a heated humidifier to your CPAP experience.

Leaking masks over six months old should be replaced soon, but if your mask is brand new and showing signs of leaking, you may need to adjust the fit. If you use a full-face CPAP mask and haven’t observed signs of leaking, consider using a heated humidifier; the added moisture can help relieve CPAP dry mouth. If you have a nasal mask instead, you may benefit from a chin strap to prevent your mouth from dropping open as you sleep.

Are you still experiencing dry mouth after trying these solutions? Try a mask designed for mouth breathing.

3. Nasal Dryness with CPAP (Dry Nose)

Waking up with a dry nose or congestion is common and usually indicates a lack of humidification. You may be wondering, “Why am I congested from CPAP use?”

The air from your CPAP blows through your nasal passages, which can cause irritation ranging from dry nose to nosebleeds. On the other hand, your nasal passages may be trying to create a barrier of protection by producing excess mucus, which causes you to become congested.

Whether your nose is dry or full of mucus, a heated humidifier can add the moisture your nasal passages need to reduce or eliminate the irritation. Already using a heated humidifier? Try a higher setting, an insulating cover for the hose, heated tubing, or add a soothing nasal spray to your care routine. It’s important to correct this issue since dry, cracked, or bleeding nasal passages make you susceptible to infection. 

If you’re asking, “What can I do for sinus and congestion relief?” and looking for suggestions, try these items which may help dry nasal passages:

If you’re still experiencing issues after trying these recommendations, you may need to visit your ENT (be sure to let them know you’re on CPAP therapy) for guidance.

4. CPAP and Sinus Infections

Some new to CPAP therapy report side effects like sore throat, mucus in throat, post-nasal drip, runny nose, and clogged ears after using their CPAP machine.

Regardless of your choice of CPAP mask, sinus congestion can occur. Using a heated humidifier, though, adds moisture back into the air and helps alleviate irritation. Less irritation means less produced mucus, and less mucus means less congestion. Our online catalog features sinus relief products that are designed to relieve sinus congestion.

5. CPAP and Headaches

After waking up with a pulsing throb at your temples, you may be wondering to yourself: “Can a CPAP give you a headache?”

Morning headaches from untreated sleep apnea can occur, but side effects from using a CPAP machine typically do not include headaches.

If you are experiencing a headache after starting CPAP therapy, your CPAP pressure may be too high or your equipment could be causing a sinus blockage, creating the pressure in your head that causes a CPAP sinus headache.

While over-the-counter medication may help open your sinus passageways, giving you the sinus congestion relief you need, it’s important not to rely on such drugs, as they can become problematic over time

Alternatively, you may benefit from using a heated humidifier, which is much safer to use as a go-to method of relief. Another option is to add aromatherapy into your CPAP regimen by using something like the CPAP Vapor Clear Sinus Blaster.

If you’ve tried these solutions and still don’t have any relief, you may need to contact your ENT.

6. CPAP Mask Skin Irritation: Break-Outs, Sores, and Red Marks

CPAP side effects may include skin irritation, particularly along your cheeks or nose. Bumps, sores, and redness are usually caused by three main reasons: 

  1. Build-Up of Facial Oils Underneath the Mask
  2. An Overly-Tight Mask
  3. An Allergic Reaction to the Mask Material

How Do I Avoid Red Marks?

Similar to nasal sores and other skin irritation, red marks can be caused by over-tightening your CPAP mask. Your mask should only be tightened enough to create a seal. To avoid over-tightening your mask, work clockwise to make small adjustments to the headgear until the mask is secure but not overly tight. Cleaning your mask cushion, nasal pillows, and nasal prongs on a daily basis helps you achieve a better seal, too.

If you know your mask fits and you are routinely cleaning it, consider adding mask strap pads—a soft covering for the headgear straps—to your CPAP set-up.

Red marks from your CPAP mask can be upsetting, but there are several products designed to target and minimize red marks and other skin irritation, including:

Why Is My Face Breaking Out Around My Nose?

You may notice acne or pimples along the area where your mask is worn—especially if your skin is prone to breakouts—due to facial oil build-up under your mask. You can minimize this reaction by washing your face each evening before applying your mask and by wiping down your mask each morning. If you are still experiencing breakouts, you may want to consider a nasal pillow mask since the design makes less direct contact with your skin.

Another cause of your breakouts could be an allergic reaction since many masks are made of silicone. The chemicals in which the mask is manufactured degrade and disperse over time, but may cause an allergic reaction when the mask is first used. Though an allergic reaction isn’t common, washing the mask (especially in warm soapy water) before use can help prevent an allergic reaction.

You can keep your mask clean, which may reduce or eliminate breakouts, with the following:

Why Am I Getting Sores Inside My Nose?

Wearing nasal pillows or nasal prong devices that are too big or the wrong shape for your nose can cause sores.

If you use nasal pillows, try the smallest size available that seals around your nostrils. It may take time for your nose to adjust, but switching back and forth between a nasal pillow mask and a nasal mask might help. Using a nasal lubricant can help reduce irritation, too.

If you use a nasal prong device, it’s possible that the prongs that hold the mask in place are causing your irritation. Switching back and forth between the nasal prong device and a nasal or nasal pillow mask may give you some relief or solve the problem entirely. If you don’t notice a difference or find the alternative to be far more comfortable or effective, we suggest talking with your sleep care provider about discontinuing the use of the nasal prongs.

Additionally, sores inside the nose can be caused by the CPAP air drying out the mucous membrane. Adding moisture from a heated humidifier is your best solution however these items can help too:

While you may be tempted to use a lubricant such as Vaseline to get relief, it’s important to know that it may begin to break down your mask cushion. This can compromise your seal and require you to replace your equipment sooner than necessary, so use it sparingly or not at all. 

Sores at the bridge of your nose may be caused by over-tightened headgear. The pressure can create soreness and then a bruise, which may become an open sore if left untreated. If you have to over-tighten your mask to get a good seal, consider switching to another mask type.

Why Is The Bridge of My Nose Sore?

Sores or soreness at the bridge of your nose are usually indicative of over-tightened headgear straps. You may be tightening your headgear too much to reduce or eliminate an air leak, but over-tightening the headgear can cause soreness—and it usually means the mask is too large, too old, or not the best style for your needs.

If your mask is six to nine months old and the silicone is worn and won’t hold a seal, it’s time for a replacement. You can use our handy Replacement Part Finder to get the parts you need.

You may need to stop wearing your mask to allow the sores or soreness to heal. In the meantime, you can wear nasal pillows to continue your sleep therapy.

Other items that may help with a sore nasal bridge include:

Tips for Preventing CPAP Side Effects

Unwanted side effects can be discouraging, but don’t give up on your sleep apnea treatment just yet. The following recommendations may reduce or completely eliminate some of the issues you’re experiencing:

  • Ensure You Have the Proper Mask Fit
  • Double-Check The Straps Are Secured
  • Clean Your CPAP Equipment Regularly
  • Avoid Using Oil-Based Cleaning Products
  • Add Humidification or Mask Barrier Products
  • Consider Sinus Medication or Heated Tubing
  • Use Water-Soluble Saline Gel on Nostrils

You may also find it helpful to wear your CPAP mask during the day while fully awake to get more comfortable wearing it. You should use this time to also make any adjustments to your mask fit and seal quality to reduce the overall irritation and the number of sores you may experience. 

Adjust Your CPAP Pressure to Prevent CPAP Side Effects

Are you still experiencing adverse side effects after trying the applicable methods in this article? Fortunately, changes to your pressure settings can often be made to improve unwanted side effects.

Before requesting changes from your health care provider, double-check your pressure settings to ensure the numbers match what your sleep care physician prescribed.

If you’ve had changes in your weight, the amount of alcohol you consume, started or stopped smoking, or had changes to your medication or overall health (such as a diabetes diagnosis), changes may need to be made to your pressure settings. Your doctor can review your CPAP data to make a determination of the pressure settings that will benefit you best.

Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your sleep therapy treatment, and consider these quick tips below to help prevent the CPAP side effects you’re experiencing.

Other Questions About CPAP Side Effects Answered

Nasal congestion and mild facial soreness are some of the more common CPAP side effects, but there are some lesser-known side effects that you may be experiencing.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, adhering to your sleep apnea treatment will help you avoid complications ranging from excessive daytime sleepiness to cardiovascular events. It can be frustrating to use a CPAP device, but it’s crucial to stick with it. While CPAP therapy can cause certain side effects, the benefits and advantages almost always outweigh the drawbacks.

While many people don’t have any difficulty using their CPAP and report having the best sleep of their lives after the initial adjustment to sleep therapy, some people do still experience minor side effects like dry eyes and nasal sores. Remember to always talk with your doctor before making any changes to your current CPAP routine.

Time, patience, and attending all of your regularly scheduled doctor visits to troubleshoot issues can empower you to wear your CPAP comfortably and consistently, which will positively affect your health and impact your quality of life.

82 thoughts on “Top 6 Most Common CPAP Side Effects and How to Fix Them”

  1. Most of my 34/hr OSA events were hypopneas during my limited sleep study (maybe 3hrs of actual sleep, no REM, tried additional meds on this the 2nd attempt). I had to get a CPAP machine to trial. I never got a single minute of sleep with it. Tried to use it while sitting in front of the TV to acclimatise. Adjusted settings to the lowest with maximum exhale relief (c-flex aPAP), slower ramp. About 30mins and the pressure in me had built up so much: headache, nausea, lightheaded, gas in stomach, heart was pounding trying to push blood against an unknown pressure, diastolic pressure increased by 20mmHg or more. I could consciously try to breathe with it but when I relaxed the CPAP pressure would stop me from breathing out. It was making me hyperventilate if I went with the flow (@volume*rate not normally associated with hyperventilating) and then it thought I had stopped breathing when I was trying to breathe out slowly (my natural rate). It made it easier to breathe in (inhale), but much harder to breathe out (exhale). No panic, no anxiety, I knew all about CPAP and the value of it from my brother so problems were not expected. Lung Xray, PFT and heart tests indicate all good, except: the peak flows were really high (150% of predicted), low resistance (sRAW 41%) and lower ERV/RV (63/79% of predicted). For a 38yr old with Asthma, hiatus hernia, reflux and a BMI of 26, They said I should be fine and didn’t understand my symptoms apart from insisting CPAP would be good fo me. Suspected anemia/thyroid tested but results were normal. PB typically 110/70 but sometimes as low as 90/55. These medical/OSA/CPAP textbooks don’t seem to have enough detail regarding the rare cases.

    1. Timc, have you seen an EMT? I had OSA due to lack of space. I had a tonsilectomy, uvulectomy, pharyngoplasty and my tongue shrunk. Cleared the OSA right up.
      Good luck, I know how horrible both OSA and CSA treatment can be, just keep pushing for something that works for you.

      1. Gloria Primeaux

        When I use my CPAP machine, I wake up with thick saliva in my mouth and throat. I have to hack it up to get it out. What causes that? It makes me feel like I’m gagging. It’s really thick saliva.

    2. I am also experiencing extreme shortness of breath not as much breathing in as I am trying to push the breath out. This goes on throughout my days. My original diagnosis is IPF and real bad sleep apnea. I can’t find any proof of this as a side effect from CPap usage. I was thankful to see your mentioning not easily expelling your breath. This goes on every day and I have contacted my Pulmonologist and asked to f this was possibly caused by the CPAP and they weren’t aware. I also called sleeping center and they suggested ramping, turning the level 10 lower or try BiPAP. How long have you experienced this side effect before you were able to figure out it was a CPAP side effect

    3. You probably have CO2 phenomenon which is caused by excess CO2. The capularies expand due to CO2 build up and press on the nerves in your forehead behind the eyes.
      I treat people with such issues and have found that using bilevel with a ST modality helps purge the CO2. I used this theory with mine and it works.
      I adjusted my Bilevel to an ST modality with backup rate of 12. This guarantees a RR rate of 12 even if I don’t initiate a breath. This purges the Co2 .
      Second theory is to increase the delta (difference ) between the High IPAP and EPAP. This will improve ventilation and exhale more CO2.
      Third theory is to have your Bilevel adjusted to give a shorter Inspiratory time and more time to exhale. This gives your lungs more time to empty and prevents breath stacking and only partial emptying. Hope this helps.
      Everyone is different. Make sure you go to an experience Sleep Doctor and….a good registered RRT/RPSGT that knows their stuff.

    4. First 4 months on cpap were great. Then I started feeling like LOTS of presure builds up in throat immediately, I can breathe in or out without taking mask off. I have incredibly bad allergies that cannot be controlled and causes extreme amounts of postnasal drip a night but no other time and cpap makes it worse. I also have GI problems and I have extreme amounts of gas on my stomach almost constantly & was told nothing can be done and the cpap makes this much worse.
      I have been to sleep specialist, allergy doctors, ENT & lung specialist. No one can understand my evening (starts by 7:30pm) mucus build up in back of my throat or the reason I feel like can breath in or out within seconds to minutes of turning on the cpap even if using the ramp. I have tried both my machine & one at 2 different hospitals. All did the same. I am so frustrated with things. The doctors all say my chest should not hurt where it does just about my breast & like my lungs wont expand. My throat hurts so bad so bad when I use the cpap I feel like it’s going to burst. I feel like I am sufficating.
      I have had xrays of my chest/lungs & a stress test for my heart, tons of bloodwork as well as my nose & sinuses scoped & breathing test done. My life has come to a stand still because I dont sleep well & my breathing is so bad in the evening/night. I can exercise and my breathing is fine but at night I often rock back & forth in pain from mucus & or breathing issues I feel like im dying. Even the times I am okay usually middle of seasons I try to use the cpap and its horrible.
      The first few months i used it every night. But i still never got a full nights sleep & had taking my mask off just to drink something because my mouth stayed so dry. The cpap machine as been a curse.
      If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I even went to Duke University to see a sleep specialist with no help. I feel like any happy or productive days are gone. I cant even work now.

  2. My cpap experience landed me in the ED with Hypoxia. severe head ache nausia tunnel vision dizzy.. They could not determine what caused it. i know what caused it the damn cpap machine suffocated me by not allowing enough air to escape when exhaling so I kept breathing carbon dioxide back in. Know I have a duo pap the high tech multi function more advanced version woke up with a headache again some disorientation.again lasted all day. Can’t get any straight answers.

    1. Hey Henry, sounds like you had an extremely scary experience with your CPAP Therapy. Hopefully, your doctor will be able to provide you with some straight answers soon for what is causing your headaches and dis-orientation.

      You may want to confirm with your doctor that your pressure settings are at an optimum level for you.

      We wish you the best!

      1. 2 years later after suffering from severe vertigo brought on by the cpap an bipap machines I went to a different sleep center one associated with a world famous hospital and university had new sleep studies done and was prescribed the latest hi tech version of the bipap ASV machine it is supposed to treat obstructive and central apnea. Sleep study showed no apnea’s during a nearly 6 hour session of sleep. Woke up with terrible =head ache lasted all day long. finally got the machine used it one night 6.8 hrs woke up very tired with moderate headache.2nd night for a full 8 hrs slept through an alarm ( which never happens) woke up with terrible headache rapid heart rate 93bpm elevated blood pressure slight tunnel vison and completely exhausted felt like I was going to [pass out, had to go to a friends house who said I looked terrible wanted to bring me to ED had me lay down I slept for 3 hours to partially recover enough to go back home hrs later still feel like crap. Something is going on no one knows what. Recently went to a Neurologist because the headaches cause by cpap use 2 years ago neve went away all test’s negative could find nothing wrong WTF!

        1. One more thing like the person who posted below, my chest also felt funny like pressure on it too. I am sure these machines cause serious problems in a small number of people and the doctors who claim to have never heard of anyone having these problems and machine companies cover it up just like they do with statin drugs.

    2. They are not going to listen to anything negative about the Capp or BiPAP ! This makes no sense to me if you feel horrible when using it and fine without it then there has to be something going on. They even put contrast in my lungs to see if I had a problem they weren’t aware of on I was aware of but all good no clots no nothing ???? So why are the sleep folks so not gonna here this . I like sleeping with it but it was killing me from all accounts

  3. I love my cpap machine, however, I wake up in the middle of the night with the most powerful farts. I could win a fart competition with the power of the 3-5 continuous loud farts. I don’t use my machine when my girlfriend spends the night because of this. Any recommendations to stop these loud farts?

    1. Hi Michael, I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing some bloating and gas problems with the use of your CPAP machine. You may want to try changing your sleeping position, even sleep on your stomach if you are not already. If the problem persists, you should speak with your doctor about your symptoms, as the pressure on your machine may need to be adjusted.

      Please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com with further questions, or concerns.

      We wish you the best!

      1. Robert Macneal

        Hi all! I have been a cpap user for years! All of the sudden I have a sore on my gums and it causes me great to pain!! I am having a hard time chewing because of it! Is there a setting I can adjust to somehow stop it from happening? Thanks for any and all help!!!
        God bless!

  4. I’m having chest pains and trouble breathing throughout the day since I started using my machine. I’ve only used it for 2 nights and I’m struggling with it. My chest feels like someone has punched me and I’m bruised. I have headaches which I never get, dry throat and feel horrible. I have a collapsed lung so I’m wondering if the extra air I’m getting is expanding my chest that’s why I’m feeling so sore??

    1. Hey Kellie, i’m sorry that you are having some problems with tolerating your CPAP Therapy. I would encourage you to speak with your doctor about the way you have been feeling and your breathing troubles. While, it may take some time to get comfortable using your CPAP machine, it could be that you need to have your settings adjusted.

      If you would like to speak with us further, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you the best!

  5. I restarted using my cpap after several years. It’s a new machine, same company make but it’s an updated machine. It’s day 2 and my muscles ache and I have muscle soreness too. Yesterday it was horrible, today not as bad. I don’t know if the pain is related to cpap use or if it’s a coincidence. Have you ever heard of this before?

    1. Hi Sharon, I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing some soreness. I have not heard of muscle soreness being a symptom of CPAP use although, it could be. It may take some time to get re-acclimated with using your CPAP therapy. Are your settings on your new machine the same as the old one? You should consider speaking with your doctor about the soreness that you are experiencing as well. It may not be related to your CPAP therapy at all.

      Please feel free to reach us with further questions, or concerns at: 1-800-356-5221, or email us: cpap@cpap.com.

      Enjoy your day!

    2. Hi Sharon, I am a CPAP user that also struggles with muscle stiffness and soreness. Trying to determine the cause is difficult. My stiffness is in my neck and shoulder areas. I’ve been paying for physical therapy because my pain is so bad.

      When trying to sleep, I find myself tense so I make a conscious action of trying to relax my head, neck, and shoulders. Last night I swapped out the hose and all my head gear for new, and this morning I feel better. I use a SoClean every day so I was not thinking it could be related to my gear. My body may have been reacting to “something” in the old gear. If more days go by and I continue to get better I do believe it was the CPAP host/gear that needed to be swapped out. It doesn’t make sense if SoClean kills all bacteria. But hey – I’ll gladly replace my head gear/hose if it makes me less sore. My gear was probably 6+ months old.

      I am no doctor. Captain Obvious says: “there are many possible causes for achy muscles”.
      Have a blessed day!

  6. My atrial fibrillation has increased. I am having more episodes. I sent for a man fitting and I was told the mask was too small for my face. I have been using this mask for 2years. Could this cause my afi to get worse?

    1. Hi Carole, I am sorry to hear about your increased Atrial Fibrillation. I am not able to answer your question with certainty, but it is a possibility. My suggestion, would be for you to speak with your doctor, as there are many reasons that you could be experiencing an increased Atrial Fibrillation.

      I would also recommend, that you change to a different sized mask. If your mask is too small, this does interfere with your CPAP Therapy. If you need assistance with selecting a different mask, or determining which size mask would best suit you, please feel free to contact us at: 1-800-356-5221.

      Have a great day!

  7. Lately I have been experiencing a daily odor and my tongue has actually become quite sensitive
    I have tried to rule out things in my environment that may be causing this and now I’m wondering
    if it may be related to the CPAP machine.
    I do have a SoClean machine that I use on a regular basis..
    The odor is stronger in the AM and my tongue is much more sensitive then also

    1. Hi Bob, I am sorry that you are experiencing such problems. I would definitely, recommend that you speak with your doctor/dentist about your symptoms. We have a CPAPtalk.com Forum, http://www.cpaptalk.com/viewtopic/t56558/lung-odor.html that shows other CPAP users have experienced odor also. Not sure if the information may be helpful to you, but it is a good place to hear what others are saying.

      Also, we do not sell the SoClean therefore, we have very little information on the effects of using it. You may want to speak with whomever you purchased your SoClean from to see if that cleaner may have a bearing on the odor that you are experiencing.

      We wish you the best!

      1. I recently purchased a cpap machine &after a few uses I found I was. Suffering from excessive sneezing & a continuous runny nose. I stopped using the machine for a few weeks which seemed to stop my problem . When I started using the machine again I was okay for awhile but it has returned with a vengeance. I also am now suffering dizziness which is frightening. The shop where I purchased the equipment tried different masks but I wonder if I wasted my money on this machine. Have any other users had these problems.

  8. Carolyn Foster

    Since started using my cpap machine I have to fallen out of bed 3 times. On 2 of those times I hit my head really hard. I am 65 and afraid of hitting my head so much.

  9. Yes can the straps on my full mask cause my head to break out with these pimples like the pressure of the straps thanks Sue

    1. Hi Susan, there is potential to develop a rash, or breakout with any product that touches your face, especially if you have sensitive skin. I have a couple of suggestions that may help.

      Please be sure that you are keeping your mask and headgear clean by washing in mild soap and warm water. Also, you may find the Pad a Cheek helpful. Please see the links below for available products.




      Please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, with further questions, or concerns.

      We wish you the best!

  10. I have recently developed a large amount of peeling on the bridge of my nose. The mask does not touch this area, but the air from the mask does put air pressure inside my nose. What can be done to prevent this?

  11. I’ve been using the CPAP for 4 months and I read another note about odor. I also have noticed that there is a bad odor in my nose. Can’t figure out what causes it. Doesn’t seem to be many others experiencing it. I’m keeping it clean and only using distilled water. I’m going to start using saline solution before bed. Any other ideas?

    1. Hi Carl, i’m sorry to hear about the odor you are experiencing. I would recommend you making sure you are changing your filter on a regular basis. If you are using a machine which requires disposable filters, be sure to change them every 30 days. Make sure you are keeping your hose clean, each day you should hang over a shower rail, or a door to let it dry completely and be sure to clean it with vinegar and water every 7 days, or you can use some Control III Solution also. You should change your hose every 6-12 months.

      I am not certain which mask you are using, but for Nasal and Full Face Masks, the cushion should be cleaned daily and changed every 3 months. If you are using a Nasal Pillow, most time you need to change the cushion every 30 days and wash them daily.

      If you are already performing all of the maintenance above, I would recommend you speaking with your doctor about the odor you are experiencing. It is possible that you are suffering from a sinus infection, or possibly some other medical condition.

      For further questions and concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you the best!

    1. Hi Katie, what type of mask are you currently using? Is it a Nasal Pillow, or a Nasal Prong?

      If you use nasal pillows, try the smallest size available that seals around your nares. Your nose might also be sensitive to the presence of the nasal pillows, and it might take time for your nose to “toughen up” and adjust to the nasal pillows. Try switching back and forth between the nasal pillow mask and a nasal mask.

      Please see the link below with a Nose Lubricant, that may provide you some relief. If you aren’t currently using a humidifier, you may benefit from one and if you are, please try increasing the humidity level, as this may reduce dryness that may be contributing to the nose sore.



      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you the best!

  12. I had a bad episode sleeping with CPAP. I woke up, but still half asleep, and felt short of breath. SoI was trying to get my breath and as I was doing that all of a sudden my whole body became tingly and I couldn’t lift my arms. I couldn’t really do anything. Could barely talk to let my husband know. Ever since then I’ve felt weak, but getting a little better each day. But the day before I was put to sleep for a procedure I needed and was instructed to not take any sleeping pills the night after the procedure bc of the anesthesia. And I didn’t. I don’t take any sleeping pills, but do take a medicine, Seroquel, for anxiety that is sedating. Is that considered a sleeping pill? But anyway, I didn’t take the night of procedure, but took the next night when I took the episode. Was it the CPAP or was it probably the pill and maybe the anesthesia still maybe in my system? Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Angela, that sounds like a really scary episode! We’ve never heard of a CPAP machine causing your symptoms, but we are not medical professionals. In this case, I would recommend you speaking directly with your doctor about the incident and the weakness that you have been experiencing.

      Please feel free to contact us at: 1-800-356-5221 with further questions, or concerns.

      We wish you the best!

  13. I have successfully used a CPAP for about 2 years. I don’t like using the heated tube with the humidifier. I much prefer cool air. Will there be any humidification benefit if I don’t use the heated tube but place water in the chamber? I do sometimes awaken with dry mouth and also have phlegm in the back of my throat.

    1. Hi Sharon, my apologies for the delayed response. The heated hose is optional, if you decide to use your regular hose instead you will still receive moisture with your therapy, minus the heat.

      For further questions, or concerns, please reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or e-mail: cpap@cpap.com.

      Have a great day!

  14. I’ve used my cpap for 2 yrs, and for the lst time, woke up with what looks like a large pimple just inside my right nostril. It’s painful to touch, but not painful otherwise. Any idea why this has happened?

    1. Hi Cathy, that sounds painful. What type of mask are you using? Please make certain that you are keeping your cushions sanitized, and make sure that your mask isn’t too tight.

      Also, please see the link below for more information that you may find helpful.



      Please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com, with further questions, or concerns.

      Have a great day!

      1. Ive had a resmed10 machine for about 6 months, bought new, partly covered by my medical plan. I started noticing a bad sort of hose like smell every time I used it. I was cleaning the hose / nasal mask daily & everything weekly. I bought a used so clean 2 cleaner ( very good / new condition I believe) & since then & I get sinus congestion ( flem build up) head aches & dried out airways (some redness /blood when trying to blow nose recently). I ran the 12 sec cleaning cycle 3 days ago & it was suggested I run it weekly & keep the reservoir empty. I find that with the so clean now part of the picture, I don’t sleep as well, a strong co2 smell lingered the first day. So had I did not use the CPAP machine for day 1. Something isn’t right here. I used to work out twice a week. Now I just feel ill all the time no energy & these flu like symptoms.

  15. Hi, I just received my Cpap and after the first night, I felt literally horrible all day. My head had pressure all day, similar to a sinus headache. My heart rate is all over the place and my BP was 148/80 this morning, 3 hours after I had taken my BP meds.
    I’ve been freezing all day but my face feels on fire. I have Graves Disease which is currently under control. Why is my BP rising?
    I have a nose piece not a full mask.

    1. Hey Bettina, i’m sorry to hear that your CPAP therapy seems to be making you feel worse, instead of better. Please keep in mind that it takes time to become acclimated with your therapy. Please see the link below from our cpaptalk.com forum to see what other cpap users are saying.


      Every person is different, it may take a few weeks for some and others months and that is not abnormal. Also, be sure to check your therapy data, to be certain that you don’t have any significant leaks.

      A comfortable mask is key to your therapy success. If you are getting a lot of mask leak, you may need a different size, or even a different mask.

      I would encourage you to speak with your doctor about how therapy is making you feel and your high blood pressure so that they may review your therapy data to confirm that your settings are working for you.

      Also, please see the link below regarding high blood pressure and sleep apnea.


      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Enjoy your weekend!

  16. Deborah A Chappie

    I have had great results with my new APAP. I sleep 8 hours a night rather than 11 and am very happy with that. I have been feeling a little light headedness during the day. I equate that this my body adjusting from going to 44 non-breathing episodes an hour rather than about 2 now when I sleep. I am a very active person, swimming 30 minutes 3 times a week and walking 3 miles 2 times a week (which I also did before the CPAP). Is it correct to assume that my body is adjusting to this new energy I have?

    1. Hi Deborah, congrats on your seemingly successful therapy so far! It does take some time to get acclimated with your CPAP therapy. Most folks feel worse before they feel better.

      Please see the link below, to read what other CPAP users who have experienced light headedness have said.


      I would encourage you to keep your doctor informed on how your feeling, as they can view your therapy data to confirm if your settings need to be adjusted.

      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you continued success!

  17. I am just starting on sleep therapy with a CPAP machine, a mask with pillows. I have had trouble adjusting to it due to my sinuses being very inflamed and then the violent sneezing that will continue for at least 2/3 of the day. I have tried a heated tube but think it is not working. I have asthma and worry about all the inflammation. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Deborah, it can be difficult wearing nasal pillows when you are experiencing sinus problems. I would recommend you switch from a Nasal Pillow mask to a Nasal Mask, please see the link below for a few different mask that may interest you.


      Also, to help with your sinus issues, you can try a Sinus Rinse and/or Nasal Spray. Please see the links below for a couple of products that we offer.



      I would also suggest that you follow-up with your doctor about the symptoms that you are experiencing for further medical guidance.

      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you the best!

  18. Using C-Pap for 3 months and have awoken with serious swelling around my mouth and cheek randomly. Looks like a serious tooth issue but no pain and goes away in a day. To swollen to be seen in public. What’s up?

    1. Hey Keith, i’m sorry to hear about the swelling you are experiencing. Is your mask too tight? Is it possible that you are allergic to the material that the mask is made from? I would recommend you speaking with your doctor, or if tooth issue, speak with your dentist.

      Please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you the best!

  19. carol I have been using my cpap machine for years and have newer machine with heated tubing ,I feel like my machine has given me some type of alergy feeling very stuffed up in middle of night and when I get up in morning I blew my nose several times until I get relief any suggestions on how to prevent this irritation thanks randy

    1. Hi Randy, i’m sorry to hear you’re having some sinus problems. What setting do you have your humidifier set to? If possible, you may try increasing the heat. Please see the link below for information on a Nasal Rinse, that may provide you some relief.


      Please see the link below to see what other CPAP users are saying on our cpaptalk.com forum about congestion during CPAP therapy.


      Please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221 with further questions, or concerns. You may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you the best!

  20. I am having an issue with my nose looking red and having small little areas of bleeding at times. I use a pillow mask and have for years. Only started about a year ago.

    1. Hi Mark, I’m sorry to hear that you are having problems with your Nasal Pillow Mask causing nose irritation. Are you cleaning your pillows each day? Also, please be sure to change your cushions on a regular basis. Some patients have irritation while using nasal pillows because the pillows are too big.

      Try using a smaller cushion, but you may also consider using a Nose Lubricant. Please see the link below for a lubricant, that may decrease the irritation that you are experiencing.


      Please feel free to reach us with any further questions, or concerns at: 1-800-356-5221, you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you the best!

  21. bette sue rothman

    I have been experiencing a runny nose and very watery eyes daily and wondered if others have experienced this as a complication of using cpap?

    1. Hi Bette, I’m sorry for the extremely delayed response. I have spoken with many CPAP users who have experienced the same side-effects. Are you currently using a Humidifier? If yes, you may want to increase the Humidity, to see if this provides you with relief. If not, and your CPAP machine has the option, you may benefit from adding one.

      Keep in mind that the symptoms that you are experiencing could be related to allergens, so please be sure to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.

      Also, please be sure that you are cleaning and replacing your CPAP supplies according to the replacement schedule linked below.


      I hope this helps, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com, for further questions, or concerns.

      Have a great day!

  22. My husband has been using a cpap machine for several months. From day one he has experienced excessive phlegm when he gets out of bed. He will gag, cough and spit out the phlegm for about an hour when he gets up. So much so if he gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom he cannot go back to bed. He uses a cpap with a humidifier. Any suggestions?

    1. Hey Nancy, I’m sorry to hear about the issues your husband is experiencing with his CPAP therapy and hopefully, things will get better soon.

      The dry, cool air supplied by CPAP may cause problems such as nasal dryness, congestion, sinus pain, a runny nose or sneezing. When your nasal passages are too dry, your body increases mucus production to add moisture to the sinuses. Make sure your mask fits well and doesn’t leak, which can dry out your nose. If the mask is not the problem, using a nasal saline spray at bedtime might help. Adding a humidifier to your CPAP also can relieve these symptoms. Ask your sleep specialist about options for a CPAP humidifier or heated humidifier. Heated air carries even more moisture than cool air and can provide the most relief for nasal congestion and sinus irritation.

      Please reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, with further questions, or concerns.

      We wish you the best!

  23. I have used a cpap for several years.I was wondering if anyone else experienced a decrease in gurd.since starting this therapy my gurd has been almost nonexistent.although I have found my sense of smell is not very good now.would you have any suggestions for that?

    1. Hi John, my apologies for the the delayed response. I’ve spoken with a few folks complaining of the loss of smell/taste. I have found some information regarding this issue.

      For people with long-term CPAP use, the theory is that loss of taste and smell might actually be due to becoming desensitized from the smell of the CPAP machine. This can then cause the loss of taste. For individuals who might have issues with their nose, mouth or throat from long-term use, this fact can also prompt the loss of taste and smell.

      You may try using Aromatherapy, which is an oil that can be put on a diffuser and placed near your machine’s air intake. Please see the link below with more information.


      Please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Have a great weekend!

  24. have you ever heard of anyone complaining of a smell or odor being produced from the blower area of the unit? The unit has been completely cleaned, resevoir along with hose and mask.

    1. Hi Mike, what type of odor do you have? For example, is it a burning odor, plastic smell, or something else? You mentioned you’ve cleaned the unit, have you changed your filter(s)? If not, please do so.

      Please give us a call at: 1-800-356-5221, ask for Carol and I’d be happy to further assist you.

      Enjoy your day!

  25. I keep having a dry cough ever since I started using my cpap. Its a cough in my throat. It does not disturb me at night but during the day I feel this pressure (drive to cough) in my throat. I use a heated cpap tube with my res med. Anything I can do to stop the cough.

    I also clean my cpap once a week or so in warm soapy water so iuno anymore.

    1. Hi Neil, i’m sorry about the dry cough you are experiencing. Whereas, the dry cough, could be related to CPAP therapy, it could also be unrelated.

      My suggestion would be for you to speak directly with your doctor about your concerns.

      I’m sorry, I couldn’t be of better assistance. If you think of any other questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at; 1-800-356-5221, you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Best Wishes!

  26. I’ve been using a CPAP machine for about 2 months. I started out with the AirFit P10 extra small nasal pillows but they kept falling off every time I moved my head.

    I am now using the Resmed AirFit N20 Nasal Mask in size S, but when I switch positions, or try to sleep on my side, air blows out of the top of the mask into my eyes. If I try to sleep on my stomach, the sound of the air hitting the pillow is so loud, I can’t sleep (not to mention again, the air leakage). I also find the outgoing air is so strong, I can’t bring my arms up to hug my pillow because the air hitting my arm keeps me up.

    Another issue I am finding with the nasal mask is that my nose and surrounding area is red all day after using it and by the afternoon, it shows through my makeup, that’s how red the skin is. My skin also feels itchy under the mask at times and I notice water droplets in the mask when I take it off in the morning, but I have a heated hose and the humidity level and temperature set to auto.

    Any advice? I’m getting so frustrated. I am waking up with slightly swollen eyes, and headaches (which I thought would be cured with the CPAP machine) and not seeing much benefit for all the side effects.

    1. Hey Sarah,
      I’m sorry about the troubles you are having with your CPAP therapy. Have you tried using a different size cushion for the AirFit N20? If not, I would recommend you try using a size medium to see if this helps with the leak.

      Please see the link below to view a few of the masks we have available with the hose on top of the head which may allow you to sleep on your side better without getting the mask leak.

      Also, please keep in mind that all of our masks are sold with free 30 day returns, so if you try a mask and it doesn’t work out for you, simply return the mask for a refund, or a different mask (prescription required).


      To help with the red marks you are receiving, you may try using mask liners to see if you receive some relief. If you have to pull the mask straps real tight, this could increase the facial marks you are receiving. Air blowing into the eyes can cause swelling. Reducing the mask leak should help remove/decrease the issues with the puffy eyes.

      The water droplets, is referred to as rainout. You may try raising the temperature of your bedroom, try keeping your machine at the same level as your bed and you may try reducing the temperature setting on your heated humidifier.

      I would recommend you speaking with your doctor regarding the headaches you are experiencing as you may require a pressure setting adjustment.

      I hope this information helps, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com, with further questions, or concerns.

      Best Wishes!

  27. Periodontist feels that a growth on my gums ( at the base of my front teeth) has been caused by the use of a CPAP machine. Anyone ever hear of this??? Thanks for any input

    1. Hi Bill,
      When using a CPAP machine, some patients have dry mouth and yes, dry mouth can lead to dental/gum problems.

      What type of mask are you using? If not full face, you may want to consider switching to one. Are you using a humidifier with your therapy? If not, you may benefit from adding one and if you are using a humidifier, please try increasing the humidity.

      Also, I would recommend you following up with your doctor/dentist regarding your concerns.

      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Best Wishes!

  28. I’ve been using CPAP machine for nearly 6 months for EDAC. I have adjusted to using it and found it helps me in having a better night sleep. However,I have for the past month that I have developed swellings across the top of my head that are slightly tender. Can this be caused by the machine.

    1. Hi Hanifa, I’m sorry to hear about the swelling. What is the name of the mask you’re using? If you have a mask that goes across the top of your forehead, you may have the straps too tight.

      I haven’t heard of the machine itself causing swelling across the top of your head, but over tightening the headgear/wrong size mask, could be the culprit.

      Also, I would encourage you to speak with your doctor about the swelling, as the cause could be unrelated to your CPAP therapy.

      For further questions, or concerns, please reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Best Wishes!

  29. I”ve been using CPAP since about 2014 with full face mask and it took a long while until i got used to and is been helping However, recently i developed a rush on the bridge of my nose tip of my nose, nastrels and part of my chick.
    i went to my Doctor of sleep apnea and he told me he did not know anything about it and said and go to see a skin doctor. i thank him for his honesty and called ENT. with whom i had an appointment on 3/24/20, however, they called me to cancel that date However, when i called them back and explained the stinggin rush and kind of red spots, they called me back and put me on 250MG Azithroycin for 5 day and same ointment twice a day for 7 day.
    this stinging and itchy rush comes back on and off very strong. Now after reading the posts i`m wondering if the chemicals of the mask is causing this itchy rush. Any recommendation.

    1. Hi Nelson, my apologies for the delayed response. I’m sorry to hear about the skin problems you’re having. There are a few reasons you could be developing the rash.

      In some cases facial oils build up underneath the mask, the mask is too tight, or you could be having a negative reaction to the material from the mask.

      If you are otherwise, happy with the fit and comfort level of your mask, you may try using mask liners, to see if they provide you with some relief. Please see the link below for a liner we stock. You may consider trying a different mask to see if the problem persists also.


      Also, please be sure to wash your cushion each day and allow it to air dry, change the cushion every 3 months and replace your entire mask every 6 months.

      For further questions, or concerns, please contact us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Best Wishes!

    1. Hi James,
      I’m not aware of the CPAP machine causing swelling in the ankle and feet. It could be possible, but certainly, the swelling could be unrelated to using a CPAP machine.

      Please see the link below to our cpaptalk.com form, to see what other CPAP users are saying.


      I would recommend you contacting your doctor regarding the symptoms you are experiencing.

      Best Wishes

  30. Every night, I cough 8 or so times after I put on my cpap mask (nasal pillows with a chin strap) and lay down to sleep; after 5 minutes or so, the cough goes away. I don’t cough any other time. I do wash my mask daily. What can I do to stop the coughing?

    1. Hey Kathy, i’m sorry to hear about the trouble your having with your therapy. I’m really not sure what is causing you to cough. My guess is with the air flowing through your nose, it may take a little time for you to adjust to the pressure.

      Also, please make sure you are changing your disposable filter every 30 days and if you use a reusable filter, it should be cleaned every 7 days and replaced every 6 months. This will ensure you are breathing clean air.

      If the problem continues, or worsens, please be sure to follow-up with your doctor.

      For further questions, or concerns, we can be reached at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Have a great weekend!

    1. Hey David,
      I’m not able to confirm if using a CPAP machine causes swelling of the ear, or ear infections. It may be possible, but I would recommend you speaking with your doctor regarding the symptoms for confirmation and/or treatment.

      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Kathy,
      I’m sorry to hear about the sores. What type of mask are you wearing (full face, nasal, nasal pillow)? If wearing a full face mask, please make certain that you’re wearing the correct size mask. An ill fitting mask may cause discomfort and/or sores, from having to pull the headgear too tight to stop leaks. You may consider switching to a different mask for a better fit as well.

      Also, are you using a humidifier with your therapy? If not adding moisture with your therapy, may lessen the sores your experiencing. You may try using a mask liner as well which will create a barrier between the mask and your skin and help reduce the skin irritations. Please be sure to clean your mask daily to help reduce irritations.

      If the sores persists please consult with your doctor. For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221.

      Best Wishes!

  31. I’ve been using my cpap since 2015. I have good sleep and also no more nightmares. For the last 9 months I’ve been waking in the morning with blood taste and sometimes thinned blood in my mouth. I’ve always struggled with dried mouth from my cpap. I’ve increased humidity with no results. My concern is the blood. What do you think is the cause?

    1. Hi Susan,
      I’m very sorry for the delayed response. What type of mask are you using (nasal, nasal pillow, full face)? If you’re currently using a nasal, or nasal pillow mask, please consider switching to a full face mask which covers your nose and mouth.

      In some cases dryness, can cause bleeding from irritated mucous glands. I would encourage you to speak with your doctor regarding your symptoms for further guidance, if the bleeding persists.

      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may email us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you the best!

  32. Can the CPAP cause extreme belly bloating? I have seen my Doctor had all sorts of tests and ultra sound and they can find no reason for it?

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