Problems that may arise:

Leaky Mask

  1. Adjust the mask, straps may need to be tighter, they may also be too tight.
  2. If mask continues to leak you may need to try a new mask. (Your home-care provider should work with you on this, if they don’t you may need to try a different company.)
  3. There are a huge variety of nasal masks. Don’t stop using CPAP! A well fitting mask is your first key to success.


Air coming out of your mouth / Dry mouth

  1. Close your mouth. CPAP works as a closed pressurized system so opening your mouth  will decrease pressure that is keeping your airway open. If your mouth is open, your therapy will be compromised, also you will experience more dry mouth and throat. it may help to try adjusting to CPAP during short “practice” intervals during the day throughout the first week until you get used to how it feels.
  2. Using the ramp button will help you start at a lower pressure, which will allow you to fall asleep. Once asleep, most people have a tendency to keep their mouth closed while sing CPAP therapy. Occasionally some patients may require the sue of a chin strap to help keep the jaw closed.
  3. For dry mouth, always stay well hydrated. Use a humidifier if prescribed. Keep a glass of water by the bedside, even those who are fluid restricted can simply rinse their mouth as needed and not swallow. Remember that as time goes on you will get used to these changes that are most bothersome in the beginning of therapy. Stick to your CPAP therapy. The benefits of treating your obstructive sleep apnea far outweigh any temporary discomfort that you may have to endure.

Not getting a good nights rest

  1. This may be a problem for the first week or two, but almost every patient who makes a commitment to try CPAP for a full two weeks sees vast improvements. Most patients find within six weeks that they can’t sleep without CPAP because they feel so much better and get better rest. Keep in mind that obstructive sleep apnea did not take its toll on your rest over night. It was a gradual process and it may be a gradual improvement, but almost all patients can find marked improvement in their symptoms and their quality of life with CPAP therapy.
  2. You may need the Ramp adjusted by your home-care provider (do you need more or less time to get to full pressure?) Also keep in mind that if you wake up during the night for any reason, you may use the ramp again to help you fall back to sleep.
  3. If you are still struggling, please contact Dr. Pearson’s office at 435-867-8719. A Sleep Technician will contact you and meet with you if necessary to give you extra support and assistance. We ant you to succeed, you are not alone. Your home-care provider can also provide extra assistance as required.

Drying out of nasal passages / Nasal congestion

  1. You may need to use a humidifier to moisten the air. If you currently use a humidifier, it may need to be adjusted to a higher setting to allow more moisture for your nasal membranes. In addition, there are several over the counter products that my help such as saline nasal spray, water based lubricants, etc..
  2. Nasal congestion can occur due to cold or too much moisture form the humidifier. Heated humidity can help as well as decreasing the moisture control. Nasal spray can be used to shrink the nasal membranes and allow for the passage of air. Please contact Dr. Pearson’s office at 435-867-8719 if it continues.


CPAP General Care

  • Wash mask in warm soapy water every day (use a mild soap or detergent).
  • Cleaners containing fragrance, conditioners or moisturizers may leave a residue behind and could potentially cause facial irritation, be aware if you have sensitive skin.
  • Rinse thoroughly (if mask seems oily wash again).
  • Let mask air dry or simply connect to thee CPAP unit and “blow” dry for 30 minutes.

CPAP unit can be wiped down with a damp cloth weekly. Filters should be removed and washed weekly or replaced as needed.

CAUTIONS: Do not clean any parts of the system with alcohol or any strong household cleaners. Do not use cleaners containing strong fragrance, conditioners, or moisturizers as they may leave behind a residue which may cause irritation  Do not bleach. All components of the CPAP system should be inspected periodically for wear and tear and should be replaced as needed.

Disinfecting the CPAP

  • If you desire you can disinfect the tubing, mask parts, in a cold sterilizing solutions such as Control III, Cidex, or Sonacide following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • You many also use a white vinegar and distilled water solution, mixing one part vinegar with three parts distilled water.
  • Allow all items to soak for 20 minutes. Make sure you thoroughly rinse items after disinfecting them.
  • Rinse well as any residue left on the mask may shorten its life and irritate your skin.

Care of Headgear & Fabric Components

  • Headgear and any other fabric components such as chin straps can be washed weekly by hand in a mild detergent
  • Do not use bleach.
  • Do not machine wash, and do not iron.
  • Rinse headgear well and hang to dry.

Humidifier Care

  • The humidifier should be filled using distilled water only.
  • The humidifier chamber should be cleaned daily after each use.
  • Wash the humidifier chamber thoroughly using a mild dish washing detergent, rinse thoroughly using a mild dish washing detergent, rinse thoroughly and air dry.
  • Disinfect humidifier chamber weekly using the methods mentioned above.
  • Be sure to rinse thoroughly after disinfection.

Tubing Care

  • Clean tubing weekly in warm soapy water.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Allow to air dry.


If you are having problems tolerating your mask or CPAP, BiPAP, or ASV machine, please follow these steps:

  1. Wear the CPAP mask attached to the CPAP, BiPAP, or ASV machine with the machine turned “on”. Practice breathing through the mask for one hour while watching television, reading, or performing another relaxing sedentary activity. If you are experiencing high anxiety while wearing the mask with the machine on, wear the mask with it being hooked to the machine for one hour a day for 5 days or until the mask can be worn without anxiety.
  2. Use the CPAP during scheduled one hour naps at home.
  3. Use the CPAP druing initial 3-4 hours of nocturnal sleep.
  4. Use the CPAP through an entire night of sleep.

Advance by one step after five days or once the step can be carried out without anxiety.

Most insurances require you to use your machine at least 21 days for at least 4 hours a night in a consecutive 30 day perioud to be compliant. There is a 30 to 90 day window to accomplish this. If you are not compliant after the 90 days, your insurance will no longer pay for your machine. If you are having any problems with tolerating your mask or machine, please follow these steps right away to achieve compliance before those 90 days.

If you need a new mask because of tolerance issues please contact your home health company or contact us for a mask fitting.