For many people, they just can’t tolerate a CPAP machine. Patients report side effects including nasal drying, increased congestion, sneezing, rhinorrhea, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, claustrophobia, pressure sores on the bridge of the nose, difficulty exhaling, allergic reaction to the materials in the mask, air swallowing with gastric distension, machine noise, and skin creases the next morning.
Dr. Nugent’s Top reasons people quit using the CPAP:
This can be due to a variety of reasons including the mask being too large, small, or tight. Furthermore, the mask can trigger a sense of claustrophobia. If a fitting problem is the issue, it may simply be a matter of finding the mask that is right for you. Red marks can be due to skin irritation or allergy to the rubber or plastics being used. There are a number of different masks to choose from, and mask pads for the straps may be purchased to help cushion the face. Another possibility is tightening the headgear a little bit at a time on each side.
Noise of the machine
Though machines have gotten much quieter over the years, some can still be quite noisy and keep sufferers up through the night.
Excess gas in the stomach
CPAP users who experience excessive belching, stomach bloating, stomach distension and agonizing gas pains may be suffering from aerophagia. Aerophagia occurs when air from a CPAP enters the esophagus and goes into the belly, rather than the airway and into the lungs.
It is called the continuous positive air “pressure” machine for a reason. The CPAP machine increases air pressure in the body. If a person experiences congestion from illnesses like cold or flu, sinuses or allergies, it will block the ear canals, causing an imbalance of pressure throughout the body and pressure of the head.
Dryness of the nose, mouth or throat
This can be a troubling problem for many people that use the CPAP as it can cause inflammation, runny nose, pain, nasal congestion and in some cases, nosebleeds. The fast-moving air irritates the inner tissues of the throat and nose, which are already under extreme exertion in preparing air for the lungs.
Some people just can’t get comfortable going to sleep with the large mask and hose attached to their face.