Treating common CPAP side effects in Belleview, WA

Stop Struggling with CPAP

CPAP therapy is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, but many patients experience side effects that can make it difficult to comply with therapy. Some of the most common side effects of CPAP include skin irritation, mask discomfort, nasal congestion, and dry mouth, according to Dr. Doneskey of the Sleep Apnea and Facial Pain Center. While these side effects may seem minor, they can significantly impact a patient’s quality of sleep and willingness to continue using their CPAP device. 

Fortunately, there are several simple remedies and adjustments that can help patients manage CPAP side effects. With some trial and error, most patients can find a CPAP routine that minimizes side effects and lets them gain the full benefits of treatment. This article will discuss the most prevalent CPAP side effects and provide practical tips to alleviate problems and improve patient comfort and compliance. With the right adjustments, patients can overcome the learning curve and obstacles of CPAP treatment.

What Is CPAP?

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines are the most commonly prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP provides a constant flow of pressurized air through a mask worn during sleep. This pneumatic splint helps keep the throat and airway open to prevent collapse which restricts breathing in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients.


CPAP therapy has been proven to reduce daytime sleepiness, lower blood pressure, improve concentration and mood, and decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease in Bellevue sleep apnea patients.

What Are Common CPAP Side Effects?

However, getting used to sleeping with CPAP can take some time. Some side effects are common in the beginning.


  • Nasal congestion or dryness 
  • Skin irritation
  • Eye irritation 
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Claustrophobia
  • Stomach bloating
CPAP side effects

Solutions to Side Effects

There are many ways to proactively treat and reduce CPAP side effects for patients in Bellevue:


Use humidification– Heated humidifiers added to the CPAP machine reduce nasal dryness, congestion, and mouth leaks. Models that heat the water tube are best for optimal humidity control.

Adjust mask fit– Schedule regular mask fitting appointments with your equipment provider like Dr. Doneskey in Bellevue. Proper fit eliminates leaks and discomfort. New cushion styles or sizes can make a big difference.

Try a different mask type– Switching to a nasal pillow, full face, or hybrid mask could offer more comfort and eliminate certain side effects.

Use OTC nasal sprays– Saltwater nasal sprays lubricate nasal passages to reduce irritation. Steroid sprays treat the underlying inflammation. OTC options are available without a prescription.

Keep head of bed elevated– Raising the head while sleeping minimizes sinus congestion and helps reduce puffy eyes or skin creasing.

Add a chinstrap– Stabilizing the jaw with a chinstrap prevents mouth leaks that cause eye irritation and dry mouth symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I’m having trouble falling asleep with my CPAP machine?
Why does my nose feel so dry and congested with CPAP therapy?
What type of mask will help prevent marks or irritation on my face?
Can I still sleep on my side or stomach while using CPAP?
What if I’m having trouble falling asleep with my CPAP machine?

Starting a relaxing pre-bedtime routine, keeping the room cool and dark, avoiding screen time before bed, sleep medication, and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia can all help with sleep initiation problems when getting used to CPAP treatment.

Why does my nose feel so dry and congested with CPAP therapy?

The constant airflow from CPAP can dry out nasal passages. Using an integrated heated humidifier and nasal lubricants are the best ways to combat nasal congestion and irritation. Saline nasal sprays also help hydrate nasal membranes.

What type of mask will help prevent marks or irritation on my face?

Look for CPAP masks with soft silicone cushions rather than rigid plastic. Make sure it fits properly without excessive tightness or pressure. Adjust straps regularly as needed. There are also protective skin barriers and mask liners that can help.

Can I still sleep on my side or stomach while using CPAP?

Side and stomach sleeping is possible with the right mask. Nasal pillow masks allow more mobility. Proper mask sizing and adjustments are key to prevent air leaks and blowback that disturb sleep. A body pillow can provide comfort and support for side sleepers using CPAP.

CPAP Frustrations Fixed

If you’re struggling with CPAP side effects, you don’t have to suffer through discomfort and lost sleep anymore. Help is available. Our team of compassionate professionals understands the frustration of skin irritation, mask discomfort, and other issues that can make CPAP therapy so difficult. They’ve helped thousands of patients find the right remedies and adjustments to make their CPAP machine a source of restful, restorative sleep rather than a nightly nuisance. 

Don’t wait to start waking up refreshed and energized again. Pick up the phone now and take the first step toward effective, comfortable CPAP treatment. Call (425) 646-6409 today to schedule a consultation with CPAP side effect specialists who will help you sleep and breathe easy once more.