If you’re new to using a CPAP machine, you’ll probably experience an adjustment period. As with many treatments, you may encounter initial side effects of CPAP therapy. This is completely normal, and it’s important not to get discouraged. The health benefits of CPAP therapy far outweigh the side effects of CPAP machines, and the good news is that most side effects can be easily resolved.
In today’s post, we’ll examine three side effects of using CPAP machines, and simple solutions to make CPAP therapy a positive experience.
CPAP Machine Side Effect #1: Skin Irritation
Problem: One of the most common side effects of CPAP therapy is developing painful rashes, sores and blemishes on your face around where the mask rests. CPAP users with sensitive skin are even more susceptible to this uncomfortable side effect.
Solution: Skin irritation typically indicates that you need a better fitting mask to accompany your CPAP machine. Masks that are too loose can move around on your face and allow excess air to leak, while masks that are too tight put pressure on your face. You may also want to consider using a mask liner, which places a comfortable barrier between your face and the materials of the mask.
CPAP Machine Side Effect #2: Nasal Congestion or Dryness in the Nose and Mouth
Problem: Side effects of using CPAP machines may include nasal congestion or dryness in the nose and mouth. Not only is this a nuisance, but it can lead to long-term damage of your gums and teeth.
Solution: A heated humidifier effectively resolves nasal symptoms and dryness for many CPAP machine users. In fact, you’ll probably find that this makes using a CPAP machine much more comfortable. If you’re still experiencing a dry mouth, try using a chinstrap to keep your jaw from opening while you sleep.
CPAP Machine Side Effect #3: Cold, Flu
or Respiratory Infections
Problem: According to a 2007 study, CPAP device users have an 18% higher risk of getting infectious diseases like the common cold and the flu than those who don’t use a CPAP machine. This is because viruses and bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments like your CPAP equipment.
Solution: Keeping your CPAP equipment clean is the best way to eliminate these unfortunate side effects of CPAP therapy. An automated cleaning device like the SoClean CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer destroys 99.9% of CPAP germs in your mask, hose and reservoir, reducing exposure to pathogens. Maintaining a clean CPAP machine can also lessen the other side effects of CPAP machines mentioned above.
CPAP therapy may be an adjustment at first, but you’ll get used to it over time—especially now that you know how to resolve common side effects of using CPAP machines. Remember that the point of CPAP therapy is to improve your health and make you feel better, so be sure to do what it takes to make the experience as comfortable as possible.