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Managing CPAP Complications

Published on October 26, 2022

2 minutes

If you are experiencing minor CPAP complications, please know that you are not alone.  Some CPAP clients experience minor complications from therapy.  Here are our tips to help you manage these so you can get a good night’s sleep.

What should I do if I am experiencing CPAP complications? 

Don’t give up!  Most CPAP complications can be easily avoided or corrected. Read through our tips below, or contact your VitalAire clinician to find solutions that will work for you.

The skin on my face is irritated.

You can avoid irritation by making sure you clean your face thoroughly before wearing your mask every night.  Also, always ensure that you keep your mask properly cleaned!  Built-up dirt in your mask can collect bacteria, causing skin breakouts and irritation.

I notice marks or indentations on my face after using the mask.

Be careful not to tighten your mask too much.  Use it the way it was fitted for you by our experts.  There are also specially designed pads and gels that can be used to help alleviate these marks. Call or email us for details.

I’m having nasal congestion.

Did you know that your nose heats up and humidifies the air you breathe?  This is a natural function of our bodies.  CPAP therapy may dry out your nose, causing irritation and congestion; the air may feel too cold or too dry.  Ensure you use your CPAP humidifier and adjust it as needed.  Certain saline nasal sprays and gels may help too.  If these simple solutions don’t work for you, speak to a VitalAire healthcare professional.

It is hard for me to breathe through my nose.

Some clients can have difficulty breathing through their nose because they are not used to CPAP therapy.  They may feel a little claustrophobic.  In the early days of CPAP therapy, it can be hard to adjust to receiving this airflow.  Practice using it for a few minutes at a time, while engaged in a stationary activity like reading or watching tv. This is a good way to get use to the airflow. As you use CPAP and get used to it, this sensation will start to go away.

I am having stomach discomfort.

When starting CPAP, it is common to swallow air during therapy. The related stomach discomfort will tend to get better as you adjust to your therapy, so hang in there!  Consider using chin straps as some people find this helps prevent them from swallowing air.