One of the concerns most people have about any type of medical treatment is the possible side effects. While there are some common of using a CPAP machine, they are generally mild and are not associated with any major medical conditions.* If you use a CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea, these are some of the common side effects you may encounter.
Nasal and Throat Dryness
Because CPAP machines use positive pressure to deliver air to patients while they sleep, this can cause the throat and nose to become itchy and dry. Thankfully, this side effect can be addressed by using a CPAP machine that has a humidifier.
These can be common at first and can be the result of blocked sinuses. If you have a headache, you can talk to your doctor about reducing the pressure on your CPAP machine.
Because you are constantly swallowing air during CPAP therapy (known as Aerophagia), you can become bloated and gassy at night.
Although the source of this side effect is unknown, some people have reported it in the past.
Slight Burning in the Lungs
This can be caused by the dry air coming from the device. Like dryness, it can be solved by using a humidifier.
Discomfort or irritation on the Face/Nose
This is usually caused by a mask that is too tight. It can be alleviated by either loosening the CPAP mask or purchasing a new CPAP mask that better fits your face. Also be sure to clean your mask regularily.
This is usually caused by air leaking from the CPAP mask. It can be caused by a mask that is too loose — in which case you can tighten it — or a mask that is faulty. If your mask is properly fitted and still leaks, you may need to replace it.
These can be caused by using a dirty CPAP machine and/or mask. It’s important to properly clean your CPAP device and interface, and replace disposable parts on a routine basis.
Wearing a mask can be off-putting at first, and patients can often feel claustrophobic when they first begin their CPAP routine. Nasal perimeter or nares seal masks often help mask wearers to feel less confined. Over time, many find they become used to wearing a mask at night.
*This article is for general information purposes only and is not meant to taken as medical advice. Consult with your medical providerabout any possible side effects before starting treatment with CPAP machine.