My Husband Snores With His CPAP On!

by Karen

My husband still snores..with his cpap on! He refuses to return to the doctor which I have suggested he do.

In the meantime neither of us are getting much sleep.

Do you have any suggestions?


Snoring with CPAP on is not normal, and is usually a sign that your husband needs an adjustment (mask or pressure adjustment).

The problem is that the airways are partially collapsed when your husband sleeps with his CPAP on.

So the air pressure that was determined during the titration study is now inadequate to keep his airway open. And so the snore begins...

But why the pressure is not so effective anymore? The main causes of snoring with CPAP are:

  • the mask is not properly adjusted,

  • there are some air leaks around the mask,

  • the CPAP air pressure is too low to open the airways due to weight gain, air leaks, improper settings.

  • the sleep position with CPAP on.

Considering these causes, let me explain what you can do next:

Mask Fitting Problems

Depending of your CPAP mask type, there are different strategies to adjust the mask to eliminate the leaks.

So many patients have this problem... In my opinion, if you can find good mask for your face, which is comfortable and with a perfect fit, you are 90% closer to a healthy sleep.

It will be great to convince your husband to adjust his mask, so that he can have a sleep without snoring.

Here are some links with good information about adjusting the mask to prevent air leaks:

These tips are for your husband's best interest. If he doesn't snore anymore, then the adjustment was effective.

The CPAP Pressure Is Too Low

This is the situation when your husband may have a perfect mask with a perfect fit, but the pressure is lower that he needs.

But how can the air pressure can be lower, although it was effective during his titration study?

Well, weight gain can be a cause for partially blocking the airway even with CPAP pressure. In this case, your husband will need a higher pressure to benefit from CPAP.

You need to discuss with a sleep doctor, or DME (where you got the CPAP). They will need to look at your husband's data to see if the pressure is adequate for his needs.

If you don't have experience with CPAP machines, you should not go changing the pressure blindly on your own.

Usually, your husband will need another titration study.

Sleep position is another factor that may cause snoring with CPAP on. Sleeping on your back may cause difficulties for the air pressure to open the airway.

So the pressure can be enough for sleeping on the side, but not for sleeping on your back. Read more about positional therapy here.

Mouth breathing is a huge problem in patients with nasal CPAP masks or nasal CPAP pillows. By sleeping with the mouth open, the air will exit through the mouth instead of entering the airway.

To learn how to prevent mouth leaks, please read "Tips for keeping your mouth closed during sleep" from the CPAP Dry Mouth article.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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Jan 21, 2016
my husband hase nose pillows and snores
by: Anonymous

My husband snores like he doesn't even have it on..keeping me up at night trying to tell him to fix it..and he doesn't..nor tell the morons who gave it to him hes stopping breathing also..thank tired in Florida

Jun 05, 2016
husband with nose pillows snoring
by: Anonymous

My thinking is he would be better suited for full face mask, I would never recommend nose pillows for a mouth breather

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