One of the most highly recommended and highly effective treatment methods for OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). What it does, basically, is provide uninterrupted, pre-measured, pressurized air into the lungs, keeping the air passages open which helps stabilize breathing during sleep. There are, however a lot of drawbacks to using a CPAP machine, which turns off a large percentage of sleep apnea sufferers from this particular treatment.
The key to making this treatment work for you is learning how to manage these CPAP side effects:
HEADACHE/EAR PAIN- Trapped air can cause sinus pain, which affects both the ears and head. If there is an underlying congestion such as colds, flu or a sinus infection, it prevents the air from getting out. Treat the congestion first and when it’s all clear, you can resume CPAP use. Buying a CPAP without Prescription
NASAL CONGESTION/NASAL IRRITATION- CPAP machines produce mostly dry air and that usually leads to either dried out or congested nasal passages. Try adding a heated humidifier to your CPAP machine; it will help provide moisture so the air that goes into your nasal passages is not too dry.
AIR IN THE STOMACH/BLOATING- Air produced by CPAP machines sometimes get trapped in the stomach; changing your body alignment when sleeping will usually lessen the occurrence of excess air in your stomach. If your head is too elevated, you might want to consider lowering the angle by using just one pillow so the air does not get blocked in the throat. You might also want to check if the pressure is set too high.
MASK ALLERGIES/SKIN IRRITATION- This particular CPAP side effect may come from using a mask made of a certain material that your skin is allergic to, or a mask that does not fit you well. Try another mask that is made of a different material, a different shape or a better size.
DRY MOUTH- This usually happens when you breathe through your mouth when sleeping, as your mouth will have been open for a long period of time. You can avoid this situation by getting yourself a new mask that better fits your face, getting a chin strap that will help keep your mouth closed during the night or adding a heated humidifier to your machine.