Sleep Education

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

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CPAP - Side Effects

CPAP therapy has relatively minor side effects. Most of these problems can be fixed through simple adjustments:

Strap marks or skin sores

This side effect is often due to a poor mask fit. By readjusting or switching the type of mask that you use, you can eliminate these symptoms. You also should adjust your mask straps to make sure they are not too tight. It also may be helpful to buy soft CPAP strap covers to reduce the rubbing of the straps against your skin.

Dry nose and sore throat

A humidifier attached to your CPAP unit reduces dry nose and sore throat by providing cool or heated moisture to the air.

Nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing

Using a saline nasal spray can ease mild nasal congestion. Taking an over-the-counter nasal decongestant is another option. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe a stronger decongestant for you.

Most other side effects are relatively rare.

Updated Aug. 10, 2015
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