g CPAP Machine Problems(January 15, 2024) — CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) is one of the best treatments for sleep apnea. Millions of people get apnea relief with CPAP, but it’s not unusual to encounter a few bumps in the road. If you have issues with your CPAP, don’t let those problems get your treatment off track!

Try these troubleshooting tips in this article for CPAP machine problems.

For other problems, check out these other CPAP articles:

My CPAP machine is so noisy that I (or my bed partner) can’t sleep

Today’s machines are nearly silent, so unless your are extremely sensitive to noise (try ear plugs), this would indicate a problem.

  • Check the machine filters. They should be changed monthly and when they are visibly discolored.
  • If you use an AutoCPAP, there will be a slight noise as the machine changes inhalation pressure.

If your machine is otherwise noisy, there may be a machine defect. Make an appointment to have the machine evaluated at your CPAP clinic.

I get tangled in my CPAP tubing during the night

Try placing the tubing behind your head near the top of your pillow or positioned behind the headboard bed post.

I keep pulling my CPAP machine off the nightstand

The length of standard CPAP tubing is about 6 feet. Active sleepers who toss and turn are more apt to tug on the tubing and pull the machine off the bedside table. Your CPAP clinic can order tubing in 10-foot lengths, which can give your more freedom of movement, especially when combined with a tubing lift.

Humidifier Problems

Dry mouth, dry throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, or sneezing

Adjusting the CPAP humidifier or temperature setting can usually resolve those issues. Start with the lowest heat setting, and turn up as needed for more moisture. For dry mouth, try Biotene spray or oral rinse. For nasal lining dryness, try Ocean or other simple saline sprays. Both are available over the counter. Consult with your physician if the problem persists.

Water in CPAP tubing

Excess condensation can form in the tubing when your bedroom temperature is cooler than the air coming from the machine. Most CPAP suppliers offer inexpensive, insulating hose covers that can resolve this common problem.

White or pink film in a humidifier water chamber

Bacteria can develop quickly, and you should always clean it immediately. Using distilled water (as all manufacturers recommend) can help avoid bacteria, though it’s okay to use tap water occasionally.

  • Daily cleaning — Every morning, empty any leftover water, rise the chamber with water, and let it air dry.
  • To remove film — Fill chamber with 1/3 white distilled vinegar and 2/3 tap water. Let sock for one hour. Rinse with clear tap water and air dry.

Water spill

Always remove the water chamber from the machine before filling with distilled water. Spilling water into the machine may compromise the interior circuits, damage the machine, and void the warranty.

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