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How to Address These 3 Little Known CPAP Side Effects

Do You Know About These Side Effects?

Photo of a CPAP machine and a couple sleeping in the background.

At CarePro Home Medical, our respiratory therapists regularly help those living with sleep apnea troubleshoot a wide range of issues. Whether your CPAP mask is leaking air or your CPAP machine itself is making a strange beeping noise, we get to the bottom of what’s bothering our patients.

That’s why in today’s blog, we want to address three little-known side effects of sleep apnea therapy:

1)        Dry Eyes

Few of us would associate dry eyes with CPAP use, but it can happen. Usually, it’s due to the CPAP mask leaking where it touches the bridge of the nose. The air is then pushed into your eyes, causing them to dry out.

The Fix: Adjusting the CPAP mask usually works. If not, it may mean that your CPAP mask is too big or long for your face.

2)        Excessive Gas

While diet is usually the reason one wakes up feeling bloated, in some cases, CPAP use can cause this as well. This is often caused by a phenomenon known as aerophagia, which is when you swallow the air that’s being pushed out by your CPAP machine.

The Fix: There are several ways to address this. The first one is to have one of our respiratory therapists adjust your CPAP machine’s pressure, as a too-high setting can cause air swallowing. Another is to adjust your sleeping position by trying to lay as flat as possible. A third is to adjust your CPAP mask—if you’re using a nasal mask, switch to a full-faced. If you’re using a full-faced, start using chin straps.

Note that if you’re already prone to heartburn, CPAP use can agitate it further, causing the excessive gas in the morning as well.

3)        Zits

You probably thought you left this pesky skin problem back in high school! It’s no coincidence that you started breaking out after you started using a CPAP machine. If the skin irritation is happening around your nose and mouth, it’s a direct result of your CPAP mask.

The Fix: The first thing we tell people is to keep your mask as clean as possible. Skin oil build-up can cause breakouts, which is why we recommend wiping it down daily. Another possibility is that your CPAP mask is too tight, or that you are allergic to the material used in it. If you think that’s the case, our respiratory therapists can help.

At CarePro Home Medical, we’re passionate about making sure people get a good night’s sleep. If sleep apnea issues are causing you to lose shut-eye, you can easily make an appointment with us from our website.