Struggles of CPAP Therapy

Allen Levine

Welcome to the struggles of sleep apnea - I have witnessed the initial struggle of getting used to the CPAP supplies first hand and am here to offer some support! CPAP therapy is hard enough without having to deal with all the extra mishaps that come with trying it for the first time or changing masks and machines with the newest ones. Here are the common obstacles that pretty much everyone has to deal with (You're not the only one, nice to know huh? …) The good news is that if one CPAP mask or device doesn't work for you, you have other options. And most CPAP masks are adjustable, to help make them more comfortable for you

Obstacle 1: Leaks

Do you wake up in the morning or middle of the night and notice something has been leaking through the night? No, you didn’t dream it (unless you had a sad dream maybe teared up) but that means your CPAP mask is leaking. This leak could be that your mask is the wrong size or it is just leaking either way, it means you are not getting full air pressure that you need!

How to solve it:

Always try the first two options before the third one listed below:

  1. First adjust your pads and straps to tighten your mask.
  2. Replace the liner or add cushions to your particular mask. **Not all masks are made the same, so no, you cannot use your husband’s/wife’s mask or cushions sorry!
  3. Call your provider. If you tried both options above, it means you have the wrong size mask or just a leaky one. Call us at (877) 307-2727 to talk to our clinical care to get the comfort you deserve asap!

What happens if you ignore this:

Not getting your needed air pressure means you are not getting the most out of your cpap therapy, which means it is not helping you treat your sleep apnea.

Besides that, having your mask leak means you could also irritate your skin. This skin irritation could cause skin chaffing and rashes because the moisture is making your mask run against your skin.

Obstacle 2: Sinus Infection

CPAP user or not, sinus infections are not fun nor do you wish them on anyone. No, not even your enemy. Are you getting them more often recently? Ask yourself when was the last time you cleaned your CPAP?  Yes that is right, you have to clean your machine because unfortunately it does not clean itself. If you have not cleaned your tubes, machine or masks you are infesting yourself with all this bacteria you never knew existed! Having these unwanted germs can cause you to be sick more often or worsen your sickness!


Guess what?! We thought of that problem too! Have you heard of SoClean? SoClean makes cleaning 99% of germs 100% easier! Click here to learn more.

Want to clean the old fashioned way? That is fine too! Click here to read our cleaning blog or here to shop cleaning supplies.

Obstacle 3: Claustrophobia- Feeling uncomfortable in a mask

It happens! If you are already claustrophobic you know the feeling too well and can cope but if this is new to you don’t worry. There are millions of people with claustrophobia & we have tips for you! That’s right we want you to feel like a million bucks!

How to solve it:

Practice while you are awake by putting on the mask during the day. Take it in steps:

  1. Hold the mask to your face and breathe through it.
  2. Wear the mask and all accessories and do the same as step 1.
  3. Do steps one and two but attach the hose to your CPAP machine and set at a low-setting. **Make sure ramp feature is turned on**

If you still experience discomfort while using CPAP therapy, know that we do not want you uncomfortable any longer. Call us to see what other masks we have to offer you at (877) 307-CPAP.

Obstacle 4: Mask falls off in sleep

We have this conversation ALL the time! We trust you but here are a few solutions to be a pro at CPAP therapy.

Do you move a lot in your sleep? If you do, you probably knocked your mask off your face. It is normal to wake up with it off.

Consistent falling could also mean that you are wearing too big of a mask. Whether it is clothing, food or you cpap supplies, too big is too big. Don’t know how it should feel? Your mask should always fit snugly not too tight nor too loose. The issue could have been that when your respiratory therapist came into your house it wasn't tightened to your head size.

Did your mask get looser with time? Age of your mask will also affect the size of it!


-If you are a crazy sleeper (like I am) try a full face mask or a chinstrap. Having extra support means you’ll have more control in moments you feel like you do not have any at all.

-Set an alarm for the first couple of weeks to check to see if your device is still on.

-Adjust your headgear. This might seem like a self-explanatory task but it is almost always overlooked and is an easy carefree fix.

- Call us today to see if you are up for a replacement mask!

Obstacle 5: Dry Mouth 

I am the first to admit I sleep with my mouth wide open. (I know, attractive.) They call us “mouth breathers” I like to call us “singing enthusiasts.” Unfortunately, we end waking up with dry mouths thirsty for water and our cpap masks do not make it any easier, as if we weren’t already horrified.


Chinstraps are the best friend we always needed but may never have wanted. In the case of CPAP therapy, we learn to love them. Another option is a full-face-mask which covers your mouth and nose.

Not a patient person? Time to start practicing because one night can change your life.

Add a comment

* Comments must be approved before being displayed.