Treatment FAQ

cpap machine how to know when treatment is not working

by Miss Kylee Lueilwitz PhD Published 2 years ago Updated 1 year ago

  • CPAP Machine Just Isn't Working. If the machine simply does not turn on, it clearly is not working properly. ...
  • You're Still Snoring or Having Apnea. Snoring should never occur with adequate CPAP pressure. ...
  • You Feel Worse. Some people notice a significant improvement with the use of CPAP in a matter of days or weeks. ...
  • Your CPAP Machine Is Aging. Unfortunately, CPAP machines do not last forever. ...
  • A Word From Verywell. If you believe that your CPAP machine is not working properly, don't suffer in silence. ...

Recap. One way to tell if your CPAP machine no longer works well is if you experience the same symptoms you once had before using it—for example, if the snoring returns, your AHI index rises, or you no longer feel rested during the day. It means it's time to reevaluate how the CPAP machine is working for you.Dec 30, 2021

How to repair CPAP that stops working suddenly?

  • If your heated humidifier tank does not need to be refilled more than once every 2 to 3 days, this may suggest that the temperature and humidity settings need to ...
  • If the water never goes down, the humidifier may not be working at all.
  • If the hot plate under the water chamber is not warming, this could be a problem. ...

More items...

Why a CPAP machine is probably not for You?

Most modern CPAP machines have humidifiers to prevent your throat and sinuses from drying out while using your CPAP. However, humidity is easily a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, especially if you don’t routinely clean your machine.

Why does a CPAP machine is probably not for You?

Why does a CPAP machine is probably not for You? A CPAP machine uses a hose and mask or nosepiece to deliver constant and steady air pressure. Common problems with CPAP include a leaky mask, trouble falling asleep, stuffy nose and a dry mouth.

Can you get sick from not cleaning your CPAP machine?

What Happens If You Do not Clean Your CPAP Machine? If you do not clean your CPAP equipment you can expect a few unfortunate occurrences to happen: You will keep getting sick; Your CPAP equipment will stink; Your skin will get irritated


How do I know if CPAP therapy is working?

If your CPAP machine is working properly then you should be getting restful, deep sleep. You'll wake up feeling less agitated, and more refreshed and alert. It may take time to get used to sleeping through the night with a CPAP machine.

What should I do if CPAP therapy is not working?

Treatment options for OSA patients requiring treatment, but who are unable or unwilling to tolerate CPAP therapy, include weight loss, oral appliances, and upper airway surgeries.

How do you know if your CPAP machine needs to be replaced?

Your CPAP machine should be replaced after approximately 5 years of use. The good news is, Medicare and most other insurers typically provide coverage for a new CPAP machine around the same time frame.

Why am I so tired even with a CPAP machine?

If you are using CPAP therapy but still feel tired, there could be several reasons why. It's possible that you haven't been doing the therapy for long enough, you are removing your mask during the night, your pressure needs to be adjusted, or your symptoms are mild.

How do you know if your CPAP pressure is too low?

Another sign your air pressure may be too low is continuing to snore loudly during your CPAP therapy. Proper air pressure should keep your airways open through the night, so if you're still snoring while using your CPAP machine, but your mask isn't leaking, then your pressure may need to be increased.

What is the average lifespan of a CPAP machine?

roughly three to five yearsThe life expectancy of a CPAP machine differs based on the specific piece of equipment. In general, CPAP machines are used for roughly three to five years. CPAP masks, however, should be replaced several times per year.

How often should you replace CPAP tubing?

Replace CPAP tubing, whether it is heated or standard, every three months. Tubing gets dirty over time, with condensation increasing the risk of contaminants that could enter your lungs.

How to know if CPAP is working?

Below are some tell-tale signs of successful CPAP treatment: You feel more rested during the day. You don’t get headaches in the morning.

Why does my CPAP pressure go up?

This could be due to an unrecognized mask leak or an inadequate treatment pressure. Weight gain, increased alcohol use, and aging may spark the need to increase CPAP pressures. Check in with your doctor to see how your CPAP therapy can be improved by adjusting your pressure setting.

What does AHI mean in CPAP?

AHI measures the effectiveness of CPAP therapy. The lower the score; the better you slept. Lower AHI readings often correlate to a reduction of Sleep Apnea symptoms and will make you feel better overall. If your nightly AHI readings are looking good, it’s a sign that your therapy is working. If your AHI numbers are not so good, you may need ...

What is the gold standard for sleep apnea?

CPAP therapy is widely considered to be the gold standard 1 for treating all three types of Sleep Apnea. CPAP therapy provides a constant airflow as you sleep, keeping your airway open so that you can get through the night without interruptions. The level of airflow needed varies person to person, which is why participating in a sleep study is ...

Why do I get tired when I take naps?

You’re tired during the day. The most common problem that Sleep Apnea sufferers encounter is lethargy during the day, which may cause them to take long naps and lack the clarity they need to perform simple daily tasks. This could be due to an unrecognized mask leak or an inadequate treatment pressure.

Why do I snore when I sleep?

Snoring is a sign that you’re not getting continual and constant air pressure from your CPAP machine. This is either due to your CPAP mask leaking or the air pressure on your machine not being high enough.

Why is my humidifier not working?

If the air coming from your CPAP machine is anything but a comfortable lukewarm, there may be something wrong with your humidifier. The hot plate that heats the water may not be working properly. This also applies if the air feels excessively dry. In this case, your humidifier may not be working.

What happens if you don't use a CPAP machine?

If you don’t, it can impact the effectiveness of the machine in treating your illness. If your symptoms worsen, or you’re concerned your CPAP machine isn’t working as well as it once did, don’t hesitate to contact your prescribing sleep specialist.

Why does sleep apnea worsen with CPAP?

Even when your treatment is initially successful, weight gain and aging can cause your sleep apnea to worsen. The CPAP machine is configured and based on your initial results, but if your sleep apnea should worsen due to other factors such as weight gain, then it may need to be adjusted.

What is the best treatment for sleep apnea?

The most common and successful treatment is with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. A CPAP machine is medical equipment that keeps the airway free from obstruction and allows you to breathe normally throughout the night.

What to do if you have high likelihood of sleep apnea?

They will evaluate you and determine your level of risk. If you have a high likelihood of sleep apnea they may give you a in-home test to determine the severity. However, they also may ask you to participate in a sleep study.

How do sleep studies work?

During the sleep study, a board certified technician observes and can determine if you stop breathing during the night, how long the episodes last and how many episodes occur per night.

Does sleep apnea cause GERD?

People with sleep apnea are also more likely to suffer from gastro-esphogeal reflux disease (GERD). In one study, CPAP therapy improved GERD in 75% of patients and some were even able to discontinue their GERD medications.

Is CPAP good for sleep apnea?

CPAP is very effective for treating sleep apnea. Some find that it takes a little time to adjust to sleeping with a full face mask or nasal pillow but are able to make the adjustment in a reasonable period of time. It is important to note that CPAP, however, is only effective if used during sleep every night consistently.

How to tell if CPAP isn't working?

How to Tell If Your CPAP Machine isn't Working. When you started to use your CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea, you never felt better. Lately, though, you’ve been waking up during the night and you’re starting to snore again! Before you give up on CPAP therapy altogether, consider whether there could be something wrong with your CPAP machine. ...

Why is my humidifier not working?

The hot plate that heats the water may not be working properly. At the same time, if you’re breathing in air that feels like it’s from the Sahara desert , then your humidifier may not be working at all. A good tip-off as to whether your humidifier is working is to assess how quickly the water in your humidifier’s water chamber goes down.

Can a CPAP mask leak?

The pressure hasn’t been adjusted high enough. If you’ve ensured that your CPAP mask isn’t leaking, then you’ll want to consult with your doctor about adjusting the pressure settings that will get you back on track with sleep therapy.

Do CPAP machines last forever?

CPAP machines don’t last forever, and if your device looks like an R2D2 knockoff then you may want to consider upgrading your machine to ensure you’re receiving the best therapy possible for your sleep apnea.

Why do I snore when I use a CPAP machine?

If you are still snoring, even on nights when you use your CPAP machine, it’s a sign that your therapy is not working. CPAP therapy acts like an invisible splint that keeps the airway open, so you shouldn’t hear much noise from the soft tissues of the airway.

How to get used to wearing a CPAP mask?

All CPAP masks have a carbon dioxide venting system, via vent holes drilled into the mask. Locate the vent holes on the mask.

How to improve CPAP comfort?

Be careful not to hurt yourself by tightening too much. Consider investing in a mask liner. Mask liners absorb oils from the face, increasing CPAP comfort, and can improve the seal. If leaning against the pillow is putting pressure on the mask and in the process breaking the seal, a CPAP pillow may help.

Why is my CPAP mask so quiet?

Quiet masks make it easier to fall and stay asleep , and several models are marketed as being ultra-quiet. Masks like the Swift FX and the Amara View are designed to keep sound output low.

What happens if you spill water in a CPAP machine?

If you spill water into your CPAP machine, it can damage the electronic components, and cause equipment failure. The best way to avoid spilling water in your CPAP machine is by removing the humidifier water chamber and filling over the sink.

Why is it important to be compliant with CPAP?

Compliance is important because if you’re compliant, it means you’re more likely to see the long-term benefits of successful CPAP therapy.

How to get comfortable with CPAP mask?

To get more comfortable with wearing your CPAP mask, try wearing it casually around the house, even when not preparing for bed. Over time, you’ll start to get used to the feel of your mask, and you’ll be more prepared to use it during your routine.

What does it mean when you download from your sleep apnea machine?

A download from your machine can be a tip-off as to whether your apnea is under control. If your download indicates any of the following, you should talk with your sleep apnea doctor about adjusting your machine or reevaluating your condition:

How do you know if you have sleep apnea?

If you've started experiencing any of the following nighttime symptoms, it might indicate that your sleep apnea is not well-controlled: waking up multiple times during the night (sleep maintenance insomnia) having to urinate multiple times during the night (nocturia) acid reflux during the night (nocturnal GERD)

What to do if you wake up feeling refreshed?

If you used to wake up feeling great and ready to attack the day but you've noticed some backsliding in how refreshed you feel, you might need to talk to a sleep doctor. Other daytime symptoms that warrant a reevaluation of your sleep apnea treatment include:

Can you use a CPAP all night?

Don't fool yourself: even though you use CPAP all night and feel good during the day, your body still may be suffering at night. Treating sleep apnea is definitely not a "one size fits all" or "set it and forget it" proposition. If you even have mild residual sleep apnea while on CPAP therapy, you will be at increased risk for sleep apnea effects ...

Can opioids cause central sleep apnea?

spinal cord disorders affecting the neck. Opiate pain control medications also increase your risk of central sleep apnea. If you've started taking one of the following drugs, or your dose has been significantly increased since your original OSA diagnosis, you might need another sleep test: Norco. Vicodin.

Can you sleep apnea if you don't know?

Sleep apnea treatment is one of those cases in life when "you don't know what you don't know.". Since you're asleep, you're completely unable to assess how well the apnea is being treated. Don't fool yourself: even though you use CPAP all night and feel good during the day, ...

What happens if one CPAP mask doesn't work?

Here are 10 common CPAP problems and what you can do about them: 1. The wrong size or style CPAP mask.

What is a CPAP machine?

A CPAP machine uses a hose and mask or nosepiece to deliver constant and steady air pressure. Common problems with CPAP include a leaky mask, trouble falling asleep, stuffy nose and a dry mouth.

How to wear a CPAP mask while awake?

Then try wearing the mask and hose with the device turned on during the day while you're awake.

Why is it important to use a CPAP?

The treatment is essential to avoiding complications of obstructive sleep apnea, such as heart problems and excessive daytime sleepiness.

What does it mean when your mask is leaking?

A leaky or an ill-fitting mask means you're not getting the full air pressure you need, and you may be irritating your skin. The mask can also blow air into your eyes, causing them to become dry or teary.

How to reduce anxiety with CPAP?

Relaxation exercises, such as progressive muscle relaxation, may help reduce anxiety related to CPAP use. If you're still feeling claustrophobic, talk to your doctor or CPAP supplier. It may help to get a different size mask or try a different style, such as one that uses nasal pillows. 6.

Can a CPAP mask dry out your nose?

Check to make sure your mask fits well. A leaky mask can dry out your nose. If you have to tighten straps often to prevent air leakage, the mask does not fit properly. A CPAP device that features a heated humidifier, which attaches to the air pressure machine, can help.

What is the AHI on a CPAP machine?

Most CPAP machines come equipped with an AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index) reader, which objectively measures the effectiveness of your CPAP therapy by tracking sleep apnea symptoms while you’re asleep. The lower your score, the fewer incidents the reader tracked, and the better you slept.

Can CPAP help with sleep apnea?

Before you were diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s likely that you noticed restlessness during sleep from the regular awakenings. Other symptoms of sleap apnea include severe snoring and waking up gasping for air, which are alleviated by effective CPAP therapy. If you’re regularly experiencing restful, uninterrupted sleep, the therapy is working.

Is sleep apnea a condition?

Sleep apnea is like any other condition in that each case is unique and requires attention to detail. If you have any concerns about the effectiveness of your CPAP therapy, your doctor can make recommendations tailored to your needs.

How Do I Know If My CPAP Machine Is Broken?

Like any machine, CPAP machines can break down or wear out over time. If the machine does not turn on or there is no airflow, then this is a case for a service call. Most importantly, if you see no noticeable progress in your sleep apnea treatment that might mean your CPAP machine needs to be replaced.

Can CPAP Machines Be Repaired?

CPAP machines can be repaired. Some companies will come to your home to service the machine. However, a repair can be costly. It’s important to know and check your warranty. You may be eligible for free repair or replacement. Most CPAP machines have a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

CPAP Machine Troubleshooting

If the water in the humidifier chamber never goes down, then the humidifier might not be working. If you have a heated humidifier and the water is cool, then that is also a sign of a malfunction. The humidifier should also operate quietly. If you find that it is getting noisier over time, it may need to be replaced.

Replacing Your Broken CPAP

Most CPAP machines are covered by a two-year manufacturer’s warranty. If you experience any problems with your CPAP machine within the warranty period, contact the manufacturer. The contact information can be found in your user’s manual or online at the manufacturer’s website.

Where Can I Buy A CPAP Machine?

You can purchase CPAP Machines online or in-store at The CPAP Shop. Our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the best replacement CPAP machine for your needs. You can find CPAP machines from top manufacturers like ResMed and others.

Chris Vasta

Over a 10+ year career at PHH Mortgage managing a $100 million portfolio, Chris Vasta learned the ins and outs of the business world. He learned how to establish business relationships, lead a multi-prong team, and implement strategies for long-term growth. In 2007, Vasta used that experience to transition his role into president of The CPAP Shop.

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