CPAP Troubleshooting

It takes time to get used to any new device. The following has been helpful for first-time CPAP users. If problems persist, contact your durable medical equipment (DME) provider—or your physician, if indicated.

Problem Causes Fix
Mask leaks, skin irritation, pressure sores/blisters Straps too tight or too loose  

Worn-out mask

Dirty mask

  • Readjust straps, mask should be as loose as possible, while still creating a seal.
  • Inspect mask for stiffness, cracks or breaks.
  • Wash mask and face daily.
Dry nose or throat, nasal congestion, epistaxis (Bloody Nose) Dry air
  • Increase heater setting.
  • May desensitize over time.
  • Try nasal saline spray.
  • Consult physician if symptoms persist.
Dry mouth Sleeping with mouth open
  • Try chinstrap.
  • Increase heater setting.
Dry irritated eyes Mask leaks.  

Mask is too tight.

  • Try reseating/readjusting mask on face.
  • Readjust straps.
  • Inspect mask for stiffness, cracks or breaks.
  • Consider replacing mask.
Rhinorrhea (runny nose) Dry air
  • Try nasal spray.
  • Increase humidity.
Allergic rhinitis Irritants drawn in with room air through unit
  • Minimize dust/animal hair.
  • If available, place allergy filter in unit.
  • Increase humidification.
  • If symptoms continue, consult physician.