Posted on Friday, July 15th, 2022 at 4:17 pm
If you use a CPAP machine but have experienced discomfort and other side effects, know that you’re not alone. There are some common (and quite frustrating) side effects related to CPAP machines, but there are also solutions that you could explore to treat your sleep apnea without needing to use the machine. Some common side effects of CPAP machines include:
Discomfort: Your mask might feel bulky or constrictive. The hose sometimes gets in the way of sleeping in any position that is not on your back. If the sleep apnea equipment pressure is too high, exhaling might be uncomfortable.
- Claustrophobia – Because it fits snugly over your nose, many people feel claustrophobia while wearing a CPAP mask.
- Aerophagia – This means that you are swallowing air. This may cause gas and bloating. It usually occurs when the CPAP pressure is too high.
- Nosebleeds or Dry, Stuffy Nose- The constant airflow into your airway sometimes causes a dry or stuffy nose and may trigger nosebleeds.
- Mask Leak – Air leakage can occur if your mask isn’t adequately cleaned or does not fit properly. If there is a leak, your CPAP machine may not be able to reach its set pressure.
- Infections – Lung or sinus infections can occur if your CPAP mask isn’t cleaned correctly.
- Headaches – This is a less common side effect of CPAP machines. Headaches might occur if you have a blockage in your sinuses or your pressure is too high.
- Dizziness – This symptom often resolves on its own after a short time of wearing a CPAP mask.
- Shortness of Breath – While this is a common complaint in CPAP users, it is usually just a sensation. A CPAP machine doesn’t limit the amount of air you can inhale.
Consider Switching to an OSA
Oral appliance therapy allows you to ditch the CPAP machine in favor of a removable oral appliance you wear when you sleep. The device is similar to a sports mouthguard or dental retainer. It keeps the airway collapsing by supporting your jaw in the correct position. An oral sleep appliance (OSA) will be custom fitted to you and is effective for mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Treating sleep apnea could prevent strokes, heart disease, and diabetes. You’ll also notice improvements in daytime concentration, alertness, and emotional health. Oral sleep appliances are often preferable to CPAP machines because they are easy to use, do not have as many annoying side effects as those mentioned above, and are extremely easy to travel with!
If you are experiencing side effects from your CPAP machine, consider switching to an oral sleep appliance. At Silent Night Therapy, our OSA specialists have the experience and skills to help create an OSA that could help you ditch the CPAP machine once and for all. Contact us online or by phone at (631) 983-2463.