CPAP And Sinus Infections

One of the more common complaints from CPAP users is that they are prone to sinus infections. Typically, they deal with it using saline irrigation, decongestants, and sometimes even go to their doctor for antibiotics. As a result, people suspect contamination or infection from their equipment, especially the mask, tubing or even the machine itself. Other suspects include molds, allergies or even sensitivity to their masks.

I had an experience today with a patient that makes me rethink how CPAP may aggravate nasal or sinus infections. This patient was unable to use CPAP after 4-5 days because his nose and sinuses would burn. He interpreted this as an infection. His numbers and other compliance parameters were perfect. While performing nasal endoscopy (placing a thin flexible camera in his nose) he commented that the sensation was identical to the feeling that he experienced when he used CPAP.

That got me thinking about how most cases of sinus headaches and pain have been shown to be a variation of a migraine. This is a neurologic reaction to any sort of irritation or stimulation. If you were to undergo a CAT scan during an episode, you’ll see that in most cases, it’ll be completely normal. Unfortunately, too many people end up being given oral antibiotics.

What can you do about this if you’re susceptible to these problems? Unfortunately, it’s a catch-22. In theory, the best way of handling this is to treat the underlying obstructive sleep apnea, but in this case, the treatment itself can cause nasal inflammation that can worsen sleep apnea. Many people benefit significantly by using CPAP, but there will always be a few people who absolutely can’t tolerate CPAP, no matter how hard they try to use it (different machines, settings, masks, medications, or other gadgets.)

Do you get recurrent sinus “infections” when you use your CPAP?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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181 thoughts on “CPAP And Sinus Infections

  1. Like most I have been frustrated with Sleep Apnea and having to use the CPAP device. I was diagnosed in 2008 and since then have had re-occurring bouts of what has been diagnosed as Sinusitis.
    Late last year (Oct) I contracted a rather serious bout of Bronchitis. I was prescribed the usual anti-biotics and inhaler and after about 6 weeks started to show some signs of recovery. Then in April it came back and the same sort of regiment was applied again, another 6-8weeks. Early July again…this time I got into a local clinic as my GP was booked, same routine anti-biotics and inhaler. I had just recovered from that episode when it hit again this time sending me to the ER as now my breathing was severely compromised, chest xray’s led the Dr. to diagnose Bronchitis once again and once again the aforementioned regiment however each time the Anti-biotics seemed to change and Predisone was added.

    I suspected something with my machine must be causing this and despite a thorough cleaning on regular basis I decided it was time for an upgrade. The technician examined my old machine closely and was able to get inside and I was horrified to hear him tell me it was infected with Mold!
    After doing some research on my own I have insisted on an ENT as I was tested previously and confirmed to have an allergy to Mold, I suspect I have mold that has taken up residence in my Nasal Cavity if not Lungs as each night the constant air pressure sends these spores into my lungs causing the Bronchial like conditions.
    What else could it be? Many of the symptoms a lot of people describe sound so familiar, sinus headaches-infections, facial pressure, hot and cold flashes even though I am Male, nasal discharge, dry and “very” wet cough, extreme fatigue at times and the list goes on.

    I am a non-smoker in relatively good condition and active, 53 years of age but have become very ill over the past few years all stemming from my diagnosis of Sleep apnea and the use of this machine.

    Someone will make a fortune when they invent a machine that is Mold and Infection free and smart enough to force only enough air to prevent an apnea episode throughout the night.

  2. Dr. Park,

    In response to your comment to Matt on March 25th, 2014:

    This is interesting. Would you go as far as to say that nasal congestion caused by CPAP equipment that is not clean can negate a good CPAP prescription?


    Jess, Better Rest Solutions

  3. Dr. Park,

    You say that having a very sensitive nervous system in one’s nose can make it react to pressure changes, which is a common migraine feature, but is it possible that not keeping one’s CPAP clean could also factor into these unfortunate problems?

    Also, I would love the opportunity to ask you questions during one of your teleseminars. Can you give me some more information on this? I’m curious when your next teleseminar is and how the Q&A portion works. Is there a chat box or some other way of asking questions?


    Jess, Better Rest Solutions

  4. Dr. Park,

    You say that having a very sensitive nervous system in one’s nose can make it react to pressure changes, which is a common migraine feature, but is it possible that not keeping one’s CPAP clean could also factor into these unfortunate problems?

    Also, I would love the opportunity to ask you questions during one of your teleseminars. Can you give me some more information on this? I’m curious when your next teleseminar is and how the Q&A portion works. Is there a chat box or some other way of asking questions?


    Jess, Better Rest Solutions

  5. I’ve been on BiPap for two months. Pressure at 22/13, full face mask because I’ve
    never been able to breath through my nose. Severe apnea, waking up 87 times an hour. Allergy MD gave me fluticasone for nasal passages but once I started using a drop of GSE in my humidifier I’ve ceased using the script and have never breathed better. I told the allergy specialist my lung capacity was already improved. He didn’t believe me and said that was probably due to better heart performance (which has gotten better). He then tested my lung capacity and it was up 10 points from 60% to 70%. Grapefruit Seed Extract not only keeps bacteria levels down in my equipment but it has lowered my mucus levels in my lungs and nasal passages. Google the many benefits of this natural product.

  6. I’ve had two sinus surgeries, tonsils out and can clean the damn CPAP daily, but ALWAYS within 1-5 days of use, my nose runs, feels like a nail is being driven through my nose into my sinuses, eyes uncontrollably water and am completely miserable. I hate this machine and apnea with a passion!! Is dying the cure??

  7. I wash it out every 3 to 4 days but I think it is causing me to have sinus colds, chest gets tight after a evening of sleep and I get nasal drippage.
    I have stopped using it and went to doc for some antibiotics that cleared me up after a week I started using machine again and in 4 to 5 days I am getting sick again. tight chested ,coughing is constant.
    Have had it for a year now and thinking this is the cause to my sinus problem.
    Anyone else have problems like this?
    let me know.

  8. I find it helps my sinuses. I sufer from frontal sinus infections and don’t get them as often with sleep machine.

  9. recently I have notice some blood in my ears when I cleaned my ears with cotton bud in morning after using cpap in night.

  10. Oh wow, I thought I was the only one, I have so much to say, I don’t know where to begin. I will never touch a CPAP machine again, I was up to my third night on trial for my severe headaches and migraines. So on this third night I was unsettled with mask etc, which seems to be normal. I went about 6 hrs in total, I don’t know what pressure setting was on as it was fixed, but I woke up severly sick and I was due to travel that day, I had to cancel everything. My symptoms were severe dizziness, I couldn’t lay down without the room spinning, I needed to vommit, I couldn’t vomit but I chucked up white foamy stuff. My ear was muffled and felt blocked. I had on and off chills through the day, mild sore neck pain. All symptoms lasted that day. I thought had gone but today I woke up with mild dizziness again. The worst part is the main doctor and scientist at the sleep unit are saying it def wasn’t from “their” machine but I know it made me sick. I’m in the middle of handling this delicately at the hospital and made formal complaints about the doctor and the sleep unit. Esp with the lack of compassion with what I went through. My 3 and 5 yr little girls were also scared of what was going on. I believe there is not enough research and there needs to be more of an investigation when dealing with oxygen and oxygen pressure. I’m reading more and more stories about hearing issues or hearing loss and other major problems related to CPAP machines esp using long term. My treatment and the response from the doctor and staff was just awful and traumatic. I hope people speak out more of the negatives and doctors listen to their patients when they say, “this is making me sick”
    Been through it.

  11. I feel for people that need the cpap it’s great. I personally think this machine is killing my husband and the doctor just don’t get it. We drive for Schneider National. He was elected to take the sleep study 5 months ago. They said his score was low, and if he didn’t also have high blood pressure he wouldn’t have to use the machine. He always slept 6 to 8 hours before cpap. Now he hardly sleeps, got an infection that now requires surgery, and his front teeth are loose and needs dental work. But, if he doesn’t use the machine he gets put on a DOT safety hold and can’t work. As anyone else had problems like this?

  12. I’ve been on CPAP for quite some time. I believe my machine is forcing mucus into my ear canal somehow. At one time I had over $1,000.00 worth of masks and couldn’t get used to any one of them. Now, I use Nasal pillows. My machine was set real high, so I found out how to turn it down. Sometimes my nasal passages get what feels like “Wind burn” so I would take it off, but then I couldn’t sleep. One night I took a “Q” tip, and put a tiny bit of Vaseline on it and rubbed the inside of my nose. It worked!. I’m not suggesting to put a big glob of Vaseline in your nasal cavity, just enough to coat your sinus. works for me.
    Also, one of the times that I went in for a sleep study, the nurse kept waking me up to tighten my mask. She had it so tight I couldn’t stand the pain. I told her about it and she said the mask was leaking. Till this day I have dreams of her getting in bed with me and trying to tighten my mask. Not good! (I’m a retired truck driver, but having worked local for the last few years of my carrier, I never got caught by the DOT)

  13. I successfully use Nutribiotics grapefruit seed extract concentrate in my cpap reservoir it not only knocks out the sinus infections but I believe it processes through the lungs and kills candid and other things. Silver Sol or colloidal silver works but so far I stick with a couple drops gse to a tank of water

  14. I am having the same problem. And no matter what I can’t get rid of this cough.been on antibiotics steroids shots cough syrup doesn’t help

  15. I had to stop using the CPAP due to awful infections in my nostrils using nose pillows. I would have a hard crust and cracks in my inner nose along with tenderness when touching the nose tip.In my left nostril I have lost the cartilage in the nose tip. I started using the mouth devices which helped,but my lower teeth started to loosen. I have great looking teeth so that option was trashed. One good thing is that I did not get those nostril infections for about 6 months when using the mouth piece, but the cartilage remains missing. I decided to try another type of nose cover and damn if that infection did not return immediately! This time in the right nostril. I found that the triple antibiotic grease applied in the nose helps greatly, but I don’t want to overuse use even this over the counter topical antibiotic. My blood pressure has become hypertensive and am now on lisinopril which I’m not too happy about. When I read about other problems many people are experiencing I just can’t figure out how we can resolve this awful diagnosis. Forced air does not appear to be the answer, but just another entry way for more problems with some being serious.

  16. I just started using a CPAP machine. However, I also purchased a SOCLEAN CPAP cleaner at the same time. This machine uses ozone to disinfect the entire machine from the inside. Supposedly this will kill all the mold, bacteria, and viruses. I would recommend this to anyone using a cpap machine.

  17. Vanessa on February 24, 2015. Ditto! Ditto! Ditto! When I left the sleep clinic (the day after using the CPAP), I was sick. The longer I used it, the more sick I became. I had a terrible sinus infection and began to have migraines. I stopped using it to get over this sickness (literally couldn’t breath) with it–too stopped up! I began using it again with different setting. I got sick all over again. Of course, I have a phobia about the thing now and WILL NOT use it again! When I called my health care provider to inform them of what was happening, they were not caring–frankly, they were down right rude and mean and they told me that the machine “DOES NOT MAKE YOU SICK.” Now, I have a machine that I owe $500 on and cannot use it! Lots of research should be done on this! Personally, I think this is the latest medical money making scheme! Why would you send a patient home with something that you have no idea whether it works (nor do they seem to care)!?

  18. Today 3/25/15
    I just came back from the CPAP distributer and got a complete new machine and all accessories that are included. I have used a CPAP machine for 12 years and thought I would check on the internet to see if any other people have problems as I do.
    I was told you dont have to use the humidifer part in the winter so mold could not be a problem.. So I am not using any water in my machine for about 2 months.
    I have a constant sinus problem od nose drainage all day and especially in the morning when getting up. I must use 10 or 15 tissues with my 2 cups of coffee. It is a pain through the day but I put up with it. I thought it was an alergie but after taking Zertex for 3 months it didnt stop the drainage…. BUT..

    I was watching a program on 20/20 or something like it. I really cant remember exatly…The show was talking about a Lady, her Husband and Son.

    The lady was on a plane coming home from a work flight and she was sneezing and sneezing and the gentleman sitting next to her was listening to her problem concerning Her son developing an allergy problem or something like it. It got so bad he had to be put in the hospital and under care until they could dioginize the problem. Her husband was an intelligent person but lately has been having some of the forgetting problems and has been dioginazed with altsimer problem.

    He had some sort of forgetting and some of the systems of his child..They lived in a 3 Million home with 50 acres and not afraid of going to the doctors to check the problems.
    To make a long story short, The man on the plane told the lady to check the mold problem in the house and being a clean freak she could not believe this could be the problem.
    The Husband has altzhymer and boy is still having pproblems…

    The mold issue had been the problem and they have moved out since. I believe I have some sort of forgetting problem associated with the mold problem and the mold problem is considered poison. When I picked up my CPAP equipment today, I actulally forgot the correct year, I am getting worried…Ron

  19. Two drops of grapefruit seed extract in my humidifier has
    helped my sinuses. It’s a natural antimicrobial. I’ve heard
    some just use it to keep bacteria down in their equipment.

  20. Humidity plays very important role, it can make a huge difference to the sinus. One of my friend told me that CPAP increase the possibilities of sinus infection. Great article by the way.

  21. I am about to start autoCPAP, but I am puzzled as to why the technician has given me a nose mask when I have MRI-diagnosed chronic sinusitus and can rarely breathe through my nose, even in the day.

    I asked 4 times and was just told that ‘most people’ do best with nose masks.

  22. Doctor Park:

    I am a new user of CPAP, less than a month. A week ago I thought of a potential problem with the devices, and have been doing some research.

    Put a blob of viscous liguid in a straw, and blow gently into it. The blob will move toward the low pressure end of the tube because of the pressure differential.

    Now if the tube were part of the bronchial system, the blob was phlegm, and the pressure was being created by a CPAP device, the phlegm would be blown toward the low pressure end of that tube. At that end we find the alvioli — the air sacs which feed oxygen into the circulatory system. Thus it is possible to destroy the effectiveness of that group of air sacs by bathing then in phlegm by using a CPAP.

    I finally found a paper which appeared in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, which stated that such activity would make it difficult for hospital personnel to use suction to clear the passages.

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you.

  23. I swear every time I use my c-pap I get a cold. Not sure why. But its seems to happen every time. Anyone have any reasons why this happens.

  24. My doctor says, cpap does not cause infection. I know that’s wrong. I haven’t had a sinus or lung issue since 2007. I started using the cpap 3-13-2015 and I have had a horrible lung infection and sinus infection. I also have copd. and cronic kidney disease, and coronary artery blockage. I am so short winded, I thought this cpap would help. Now I cant lay down and sleep on back or side. I cant sleep in recliner. I am lucky to get 3 hours sleep a night. I wasn’t washing nose pillows and water reservoir daily. There is a ton of info on youtube with videos showing how to clean, how to wear, and address other questions. Don’t rely on your family doctor to guide you down the road to good health. I log every visit to every doctor on MS Excel. Date, time, Rx, treatment, etc. that way I can go back and answer any of my 5 doctors when they ask, ” when did this begin”? when did you have that surgery. etc..

  25. I have picked up a lot of good information here and it has convinced me that my recurring nasal polyps are a result of my CPAP usage. I do sometimes wake up stuffy and have had sinus surgery several times for the past 4 years. I had been using my CPAP for about 8 years but I have noticed that I would be very sensitive to allergies. I am getting allergy shots once a week again, and clean the mask and hose every morning with a disinfectant machine called the SoClean. I use twice a day as recommended by y Allergist. My ENT has to remove my nasal polyps again but this time in her office and not the hospital to avoid putting me to sleep again and the high cost of an operation in the hospital. I have a dehumidifier because I live in Florida just to keep the humidity down in my home to help control the allergies. I will try to exercise more and lose some weight so that maybe my sleep apnea will go away and then I won’t have to use the CPAP machine anymore which hopefully will reduce my sinus infections and nasal polyps.

  26. Being an old hand at chronic sinus infection flare-ups, I am certain my infections are caused by breathing cold air in the colder months, whether breathed through the machine, or not.

    I am aware that doctors claim being/feeling cold – and breathing cold air – has nothing to do with ‘catching’ colds, but it 100 percent does with me. We all have dormant bacteria and viruses in our systems which become opportunistic when the body (and sinuses) are stressed by cold. In addition, the capillaries in the sinuses contract at low temperatures and blood supplies are diminished.

    So, here’s the rub in my case. The air in the hose – whether under blankets, wrapped in woolen fabric, or other improvisations I dare not mention, has always been too cold for me in colder weather, thus I have had to restrict my use to the warmer months.

    So, for all those who are seriously worried about infection in their c-pap system, consider that the infection may be within the tubes of one’s own body!

    Any thoughts from technical c-pappers out there.

    N.B. An easy option for cleaning – which I use when lazy, but can’t be certain of it’s efficacy – is a UV wand like the Purelight. I’m fairly confident it sanitises the system, but can’t prove it.

  27. Also re cold air, I always cover my lower face with a warm scarf when outdoors in winter and it makes a major difference to the state of my sinuses.

  28. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2002. I have to say that the CPAP has significantly improved my life and allows me to get the sleep each night. However, it s seems I have cured one problem to create another. It was around 2005, three years after using the CPAP I started to waked up with a bleeding nose each morning. My right nostrile is so sensitive, just bumping it lightly sets it off. I use a naisal gel each night which helps with the bleeding but still at times it makes not difference. Sinus has now become a problem and 2-3 times a week I would wake with headache, pain behind my eyes and very sore naisal passages. The only thing that helps me ease the pain is cold and flu tablets but who wants to take these all, your life. I’m now taking the advise of others have have posted here and thoroughly cleaning my hose and water tank regularly plus using a good sinus rinse system. I have to say that after 3 months I’m seeing some releif.

  29. Wow, So much great information. I relate to all of it!

    The pressure is definitely moving mucus and all sorts of stuff backwards in my nasal passages. I can say I feel it going out my throat instead of blowing it out my nose in the morning. I use to have buggers that I would clean out of my nose in the shower all of my life. They are now gone, but I feel mucus I have to clear out of my throat coming from upper sinus cavities. This change was gradual and not a problem at first. Now, I feel like this back up no longer come out of my throat but has settled in my ear canals and is steadily getting worse. My ears itch a bit and are painful sometimes. Allergy medications help alleviate acute pain. However, I have gotten to the point where I have had a persistent cough for a month that lead to an antibiotic treatment for pneumonia. I have been 100% compliant for 9 months. Only stopped to heal for the last 7 days.

    I am rethinking some of my cleaning habits. I will now let the water pan dry out during the day. I am definitely getting some of that grapefruit seed extract. Everybody likes that one. Replacing the hose every six months. Getting more of those ridiculously expensive machine filters. Something, I learned from my son and his sleep tech girlfriend, to use 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt in the water to help eliminate bacteria growth. That is if the grapefruit extract does not work. I agree the machine needs to be cleaned on the inside. I am going to look up how to do this and if I can do this online.

    I also agree the medical community is being very evasive about admitting that the cpap pressure therapy could be causing respiratory problems. The first step to solving a problem is admitting it. I love the sleep I get but not at the risk of my lungs. If I can do a better job of cleaning or maybe have to change out some parts more often, I will do so. Fix the bacteria issue, or give my body rests from it. That is what I am concluding so far.

  30. Yes my sinuses close and fill up every night with cpap. In order to stay compliant, I first used Afrin every night but of course you can’t do that forever. Then I went to a full face mask so I could mouth breath… Just awful and left strap marks on my face four hours… Hey I’m young and have a public profession. Now I’m on tap pap… No straps but the only way I keep my sinuses open is by using Clear essential oil on my filter plus I put some on my hands just before putting my nasal plugs in…I cup my hands over my nose and breathe deeply fur a couple minutes till my sinuses are open. It’s all such an awful pain.

  31. Many of the symptoms mentioned sound very much like the symptoms my daughter had for nearly a year when we suddenly learned that her home was exposed to toxic black mold. Aches and pains, sinus issues and infections. She learned of the mold after her dog nearly died from exposure within two weeks of a rain storm. Southern California during the Summer by the way, and that is the last place you would expect to have mold grow. So she moved from the home back to my home. Did not use her CPAP for three months. Recently, she decided to use the machine again and during the night, her dog nearly stopped breathing. We removed him from the room and he got better. Removed the CPAP and the dog could sleep in the room fine. In reality, the dog saved my daughter more than once. CPAP issue: I personally made a call to the medical company that the sold the CPAP machine. I was told how to clean the machine and made a point to thoroughly clean the machine as instructed. They said the machine itself (inner parts), would not be affected. WRONG! Do not ignore your symptoms. My daughter had necessary wrist surgery, six ER visits and an endoscopy procedure during the year she was unknowingly exposed. From the moment she moved the medical visits ceased. Check the machine and if needed, have it tested by an expert. Black mold has always caused medical issues however, there are a lot of toxins in the air these days. Oh, lastly, I wanted to point out that my daughter also began to have memory and cognitive problems. I was only exposed one day a week while visiting, I too began to have memory and cognitive issues. Don’t underestimate black mold.

  32. I too have been having sinus problems and infections…coughing up a white frothy Flem…I too wondered if machine itself was contaminated…it was! I just took apart and the blower wheel and the intake and out take was black….I figured I had nothing to was either that or get a new machine….we will see tomorrow if this helped which I suspect it will.

  33. Kim,

    CPAP machines come in very small sizes, and can be used in different countries and even on planes. There are battery packs as well as solar panels to recharge the batteries. Campers usually have no trouble at all.

  34. I have used cpap for 10 years. cleaned tube and nose pillow every couple of months . Poured and sprayed rubbing alcohol on and in hose and nose pillow maybe once a week or less.. I hang hose with head harness and nose pillow on a hook everyday.Always used city tap water with chlorine and would sometime just top it off. Foam filters were replaced every couple of years. Meant to do more often but I stay busy.If I didn’t reorder I would just wash old ones. Always had my yearly upper respiratory(feb–march) problem along with a consistent mucus related deep cough.
    I recently received a new machine. Had it two years already and replaced foam filter once. I recently stopped using water and put a quarter inch of sea salt in bottom of reservoir. Perhaps the salt will prevent bacteria and/or mold from running rampant. Where I live there are membership clubs that you attend and sit in a room lined floor to ceiling with dead sea salt and breathe. I’s humid where I live so I really don’t need water.Once a week I let it run as I spray rubbing alcohol near air intake filter .
    I let it run to let mist of alcohol run through the machine and out the hose.
    I’m probably breaking all the rules but I’ll see how I do.
    I really should order a new head harness and nostril thing as tape is holding it together.

  35. Please help. I just started using the ccpap and I’m miserable. My sinuses have taken on the worst ever I’ve had. Every day gets worse and this morning I can’t stop sneezing and blowing my nose. I woke up in pain a d my nose was burning I can’t do this anymore but I supposedly have a severe case of apnea. It’ll better getting g more sleep and tiredness but my head is pounding. Isn’t breath and my nose is raw. My ears also have been itchy g a d swelling.

  36. I picked up my CPAP machine kit last Tuesday. Haven been trying to use and slerp since then. Today is Sunday, and after nit being able to sleep for more than a few hours the first 3 days, I finally was able to sleep around 4-5 hours straight with cpap on fir 2 days. Was.hoping I was getting used to it and would finally feel rested when I woke up. But no, after 4 hours Saturday, I woke up Early Sunday morning with watery eyes, horrible singe drainahe, and coughed for about 45 minutes straight. I did not put mask back in, and now am coughing and my chest hurts. The doctors knew I had sevete mold allergies, and asthma, but after reading all if the problems, it seems quite clear that he should have recommended thst I try the dental guard first. I am come yell frustrated and depressed…and now out over 900 freaking dollars! Am not happy with anyone at the moment! And yes. I’ve followed the given cleaning instructions, but are obviously not enough!

  37. Well, a number of these people confirm that the incessant watery eyes and nose in the mornings, and a headache may be related to the CPAP, which I started 2 1/2 months ago (and so did the eyes and nose running). I have cleaned the machine regularly, but don’t know how to get inside the machine to check for mold. I have Grape Seed Extract, and will definitely try it in the tank of distilled water. And, I may try using the machine without distilled water as suggested by a couple of folks. I sleep very well for 8 hrs. Straight through, but wake up almost every morning with a headache. How the medical profession begins to recognize these issue.

    I am seeing an ENT Doctor at University of Kansas Medical Center, and I will ask him about this. He is a professor, and seems to be on the cutting edge of research and technology. Will be interested to see what he says; and, may visit the Pulmonary unit at KU to see what they have to say. Interesting information here. Thank you.


  38. Becky. I would be very I treated in what you find out. I have had a nonstophradach for 3 weeks now. Very curious if it could be related to the c-pap.

  39. This will be my third attempt at CPAP. Waiting for machine to be delivered. However I just had a EP study at Hospital, and 2 hrs with oxygen in my nose and I came home with terrible sinus infection. Eyes swollen and tearing, nose running, and pain and burning in sinuses. I don’t think this new CPAP will be any better. Dr. Park speaks of alternatives, what are they? Apnea, 10 episodes per hr. 46 when in REM.

  40. I’ve been told I have a moderate case of sleep apnea. I also have sjogrens syndrom, chronic sinusitis, menieres disease, mucus buildup constantly, migraine, plugged ear, chronic bronchial infections. I always seem to have a cold of some sorts and can never get rid of the phlegm or mucus. I tried the cpap for 1 week and was ready to give it up but was talked into trying it more as special nurse said it takes a while to get used to and once I do it will change my life. I feel it could do more harm than what it’s worth. I’m also very sensitive to the environment, thinking specifically about the mold in some cases in the machine. After reading all the pros and cons I think this is not for me. I was never informed of any negatives with the mask only positives. It makes me think as someone else mentioned that there isn’t enough research done on this yet. Scary to use a machine when you’re not sure if it’s causing further damage. I’ve read about the things that can happen and a lot of it is what I already struggle without using the mask. Would appreciate some feed-back.

  41. My husband has to use the CPAP machine. It seems that the machine he is using is making me sick. Is that possible?

  42. I have been a CPAP user since 2007 and it has helped both my wife and I tremendously. I no longer snore, which was not good for her and I feel rested and active during the day.

    In late 2014, I had another sleep study to qualify for a new machine to replace my aging Respironics REMstar AutoPAP. The new machine issued, was a ResMed S9 CPAP, which I have been using since 11/2014. Since that time, I have had numerous sinus infections and chest colds. I might note, that before switching machines, I rarely got sick and certainly was never prone to sinus infections.

    As others have stated in these posts, I would go to the Dr., get antibiotics, and symptoms would clear. However, within 1-2 months I would have another sinus/chest cold relapse that would last 2 weeks or longer. These episodes continued until 2 months ago. I was terribly frustrated and decided to determine what was different or had change. Was it that I was getting old (57) and more susceptible to infections or some other cause? As a researcher, I conduct experiments and test hypotheses every day, so I decided to get back on my 8 year old Respironics REMstar AutoPAP which I had stored and still worked.

    The results: within one month of being on the old machine, my sinuses had totally cleared and I no longer have chest congestions or nasal problems. I can certainly notice a significant difference in the flow and delivery of air between the two machines, even though they are set to the same ramp settings (4-13 cm). The older machine is much smoother and “softer” in air delivery than the new. The other major difference is that the older machine was an autoPAP and the new one was not. I have since requested another autoPAP which I will pick-up next week to determine if Auto vs. Std. is the culprit or if the inherent style and air delivery systems between machines are truly different to cause me so many problems.

    I will follow-up in a few weeks after using a new AutoPAP to see if I remain clear of infections or if they return.

    Hope this helps as I have been miserable for the past 1.5 years and thought age was finally catching up, but in the last couple of months, I feel like myself again and have my life back.


  43. Eddy,

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m not surprised to hear about your experiences. Between APAP and CPAP, some people do better APAP and some with the other. If you’re being treated more effectively with a machine that works for you, then you’ll be less prone to sinus inflammation. Persistent apneas can cause reflux, which can also go into your sinuses. Many cases of pressure-related sinus inflammation can lead to sinus migraines, which can mimic infection.

    Glad to hear you’re doing better. Please keep us up to date.

  44. Since starting CPAP, I had 6 months of bronchitis year 1 and so far 5 months of chronic viral bronchitis.

    I am a very sensitive person. I think I am
    Allergic to my CPAP.

  45. I sure do and ot’s very discouraging when it comes to trying to take care of my health.