Can Using a CPAP Machine Cause Sinus Problems?

Can a CPAP Machine Cause Sinus Problems?

Many new CPAP users may experience nasal congestion or sinus infections. While using a CPAP machine does not cause sinus problems, sleep apnea and your sinuses both impact the quality of your sleep.

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, is an inflammation of the lining of the sinus tissue. Your sinuses are located on the forehead and on each cheek. When they become obstructed, they fill with mucus, which can lead to infection. Sinusitis affects 1 out of every 7 adults in the United States, with more than 30 million individuals diagnosed each year.1

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that prevents breathing due to an obstruction or blocked airway. Sinusitis affects the nasal passages, making it difficult to breathe through the nose. While no significant evidence suggests that sleep apnea and sinusitis are causally related, a patient diagnosed with both may have difficulty sleeping, even with CPAP therapy.

How to Prevent Sinus Infections

The good news is that sinus infections are temporary. If you find that you are prone to sinus infections, follow these tips:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Use steam to open nasal passages
  • Sleep with your head elevated
  • Use a humidifier in your home

How to Prevent Sinus Infections with CPAP

If you believe that your CPAP machine is the cause of your sinus problems, you may want to thoroughly clean your equipment. Ensure that your CPAP filters are inspected and changed regularly. Replace damaged or wet filters immediately.

Clean your mask, cushion and tubing daily. Clean all mask parts with warm water and a mild detergent, making sure to rinse them thoroughly and let them dry completely before using them again. Alternatively, products such as CPAP wipes and CPAP sanitizers are helpful tools to keep your equipment clean.

Lastly, if you are using a CPAP humidifier, be sure to dispose of any leftover water each morning. Warm, moist environments like humidifiers are a breeding ground for bacteria that may make you sick. Wash your humidifier regularly with warm, soapy water and make sure it is completely dry before reassembling.

While CPAP machines may not cause sinus problems, sinus infections can make CPAP compliance more difficult. Keep your equipment clean help prevent sickness. For additional information or tips regarding your CPAP therapy, contact our knowledgeable customer care team. Give us a call at 866-414-9700 or email us at questions@thecpapshop.com.

Reference:

  1. Medscape. Itzhak Brook, MD,  What is the incidence of sinusitis (sinus infection) in the US?. March 2018. Accessed July 2020.
Chris Vasta CPAP Expert & President at The CPAP Shop

Author

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. Over his tenure, Vasta has been involved in everything from website design to warehouse layout. His hands-on approach with customers has evolved into an in-depth understanding of the challenges of beginning and adhering to sleep therapy. He often provides his insights on product…


9 Comments Leave new

  • Martha Dunham

    I’ve been using my c pap for at least5 years but a couple of weeks ago I been dealing with bad sinus infections I wash my machine but still have getting problems with sinus I can’t sleep well at night. What can I do?

  • S

    I have chronic sinusitis and recently got a CPAP machine. Within two days of using CPAP I got an awful sinus infection. CPAP can definitely make things worse if you have an underlying sinus issue.

    • Elizabeth

      Yes, it made mine worse and has my ears hurting…it blows bacteria from sinuses into ur ears,and I has to get more antibiotics..doctor says it happens to him…

      • Chris Vasta

        We are sorry to hear that you are having sinus issues, and hope that improves. You can use the controlIII Disinfectant CPAP Cleaning Solution, or incorporate one of the sanitizing machines to help combat sinus complications.

  • Angelika Renate Lakis-Zimmermann

    After using a CPAP machine for more than 10 years I developed a severe sinus problem. I switched to a a mouth only mask and have such a dry mouth, I am waking up at least 3 times to drink and wet my mouth. my humidifier is on the highes setting, I am wearing noseplugs, there is no leak at the mask, I covered my pipe to prevent the loss of warmth. I did everything…HELP… what can I do?

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