April 23, 2023

Can a CPAP Machine Make You Sick: Exploring the Risks and Side Effects


Those who suffer from sleep apnea often rely on a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to help them breathe throughout the night. This device works by delivering a steady stream of pressurized air through a mask that covers the nose and mouth, keeping the airway open and allowing for uninterrupted sleep. While a CPAP machine is an effective treatment for sleep apnea, there are some instances where it may cause side effects that make users feel uncomfortable or ill.

Risks and Side Effects

Any medical treatment comes with potential risks and side effects. Here are some of the most common risks and side effects associated with using a CPAP machine:

Mask Irritation

If the mask used to deliver the pressurized air is too tight, it can cause irritation, redness, and even pressure sores on the nose and face. This can make users feel uncomfortable and may lead to infection if not properly treated.

Dry Mouth and Throat

Using a CPAP machine can cause a dry mouth and throat. This is due to the continuous flow of air which dries out the membranes in the mouth and throat. This can lead to discomfort, a sore throat, and even an increased risk of infections.

Bloating and Gas

Some CPAP users may experience bloating and gas due to the excess air they are inhaling. This can cause abdominal discomfort, flatulence, and even belching.

Nasal Congestion

Using a CPAP machine can cause nasal congestion, particularly if you are using a nasal mask. This can make it difficult to breathe comfortably and may lead to sinus infections.


Some users may experience headaches after using a CPAP machine. This is because the continuous flow of air can cause changes in pressure within the head and sinuses, leading to headaches and migraines.


If the CPAP machine is not properly cleaned and disinfected, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. This can lead to infections of the nose, throat, and lungs, particularly in those with weakened immune systems.


Can a CPAP machine make you dizzy?

Yes, some users may experience dizziness when using a CPAP machine, particularly if they are not getting enough air or the pressure is too high.

Can a CPAP machine cause weight gain?

No, a CPAP machine does not cause weight gain. However, some users may experience bloating and gas, which can make them feel more full and lead to weight gain over time if not properly managed.

How often should I clean my CPAP machine?

You should clean your CPAP machine and mask daily to prevent the buildup of bacteria and fungi. Use soap and warm water to clean the mask, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning the machine itself.

Can I travel with a CPAP machine?

Yes, most CPAP machines are designed for travel and can be easily transported. Be sure to check with your airline to ensure that the device is allowed on the plane, and pack it securely in your carry-on luggage to avoid damage.


While a CPAP machine is an effective treatment for sleep apnea, it can cause some side effects and risks. By being aware of these potential issues and taking steps to properly clean and maintain your machine, you can ensure that you are getting the most benefit from your treatment without any unnecessary discomfort or health concerns.

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