Sleep Education

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

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CPAP - Side Effects

CPAP has relatively few side effects. Most of the problems people experience happen after they first begin the treatment, and are easily fixed through simple adjustments:

Irritation of the eyes and face

This is often due to a poor mask fit. By readjusting or switching the type of mask that you use, you can eliminate these symptoms.

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 that blows down your throat.

Nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing

Use a saline nasal spray to ease mild nasal congestion. A nasal decongestant can help will more severe nasal or sinus congestion. In severe cases, prescription medications can be used to help adjust to CPAP.

Nightmares and excessive dreaming

This typically occurs only during the early stages of CPAP use.

Most other side effects are relatively rare.

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