(January 22, 2024) — For people with sleep apnea, CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) treatment can be what finally helps them get good sleep and avoid long-term health problems. But it’s not always easy. 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 general CPAP problems.
For other problems, check out these other CPAP articles:
- Troubleshooting CPAP Machine Problems
- Troubleshooting CPAP Mask Problems
- Traveling with Your CPAP Machine
I have trouble falling asleep on CPAP
If your CPAP pressure feels overwhelming at the beginning of the night, your machine may have a feature called “ramp” that can be set to start your pressure at a lower setting and gradually increase it over a period of time.
I don’t like wearing the mask to bed
Practice makes perfect. To help get used to wearing the mask during sleep, practice by wearing it during the day while you are sitting in a chair watching television or reading. With your focus shifted from the mask to a familiar activity, CPAP use will become more of a habit and part of your routine.
I am still snoring
Snoring, choking, and gasping noises should be eliminated during CPAP use. If you are still making noises, it could mean that your machine pressure is not strong enough. Call your CPAP clinic to find a solution.
I get air in my stomach, boating, and gas
This is a common CPAP issue called “aerophagia.” The air delivered by your CPAP machine is entering your esophagus and stomach instead of the lungs. Your CPAP pressure may be set too low or too high. Or you may be a mouth breather but not wearing a full-face mask. Consult your physician if the problem is chronic and persistent.
My pillow is a problem
Often, side or stomach sleepers find that their head sinking into the bed pillow causes blockage of the mask’s exhalation ports, which creates the risk of dangerous CO2 (carbon dioxide) poisoning. Other people find that their pillow pushes the mask frame off center, causing mask leak, pressure point soreness, or bruised cheekbones. Contact your CPAP clinic for a PAPillow, a specially made bed pillow designed for CPAP users who are side or stomach sleepers.