Can the CPAP Machine cause a feeling of being sick?

by Gwen.
(Victoria Australia)

My husband has had his machine less than a week and used it each night but finds he does not feel well all day every day. Maybe he has a virus? Or could it be the CPAP machine causing this?

I am feeling awful with him having to use it as I am claustrophobic so could not have anything over my face and am not really wrapped in him in bed looking like a robot but if it really will save his life of course I will accept it :(

Many thanks


CPAP therapy can cause side effects, but I don't have too much information about husband's symptoms.

A problem in some sleep apnea patients is bloating. The bloating is called Aerophagia and is usually due from swallowing air. Several things can cause this. One is the possibility of your husband needing to be retitrated...a decrease in pressure may be needed due to the weight loss.

Keep in mind, some people do not get a decrease due to weight loss...some remain the same and some need an increase. Everyone is different, however a decrease is the typical thing.

There has been talk that GERD can cause the aerophagia.

Does your husband has a sore throat in the morning? Then he is a mouth breather and he needs a full face mask....or chin strap in addition to his nasal mask.

Does he has dizziness during the day? CPAP use has been known to cause ear problems in some people who have a pre-existing tendency.

Dizziness and balance are definitely related to inner ear problems. You NEED to see a good ENT (ear, nose, throat specialist). That is NOT to say that you may not be able to use a CPAP, it is to say that you should have things checked out.

It is well known that CPAP can cause Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. This risk will be exacerbated if you have problems in the nose (deviated septum, sinus problems, enlarged turbinate's).

You can even check if that is the case. If you cannot "pop" your ears, you have a problem. Be careful - if you push too hard you can damage your inner ear.

If there are problems with your Eustachian tubes this can cause a condition called "Alternobaric Vertigo". This phenomenon is well understood by professional divers.

Alternobaric Vertigo is a condition where there is a different pressure in the middle ear between your two ears. Then, you can get dizzy, and even get really Vertigo attacks.

Your husband should also check his blood pressure, especially if he is taking medications for hypertension. CPAP can lower the blood pressure.

You can learn more about problems with CPAP in the page about CPAP side effects.

If you have more information about your husband's problems please tell us clicking on the comment link bellow.

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

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

Comments for Can the CPAP Machine cause a feeling of being sick?

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Dec 09, 2015
by: Anonymous

I have been having dizzy spells and recently vertigo episodes. Every time I put the mask on I have vertigo. Now I wake up feeling worse than when I went to sleep.

I found an article in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Issue 11, November 11. CASE: Alternobaric Vertigo in a Patient on Positive Airway Pressure Therapy. This type of vertigo is a different pressure in the middle ear between your two ears. Commonly associated with diving.

The article states the pressure from the machine could be the problem.

Is this true and should an ear, nose, and throat doctor be consulted? I am contacting my sleep doctor to start. Would appreciate other input. Thanks.

Nov 14, 2017
by: Anonymous

I am also suffering from vertigo and the numerous ent's I have seen cannot find an inner ear issue. I have been using a cpac machine for over 5 years and have been suffering from vertigo for 5 years. I am wondering if this is the problem.

I use it faithfully but do not wake up feeling rested. I struggle everyday feeling fogged, dizzy and extremely fatigued. My doctor does not find anything medically wrong and says I am just a nervous person.

I am so tired of feeling this way, yet afraid to die from not using my machine. Any suggestions. I requested a second opinion from a different sleep center since I have been seeing the same one for past 5 years.

Waiting on a call to set up study. My dr. was reluctant to send me elsewhere, luckily I saw his PA and she referred me. I will discuss what I read in this website.

Sep 23, 2018
I get sick too.
by: AnonymousBodi

I started using a cpap machine and every day for a week I felt worse and worse severe headache tunnel vision chest pains really sick. Prior to using the machine I had no side effects of sleep apnea. I felt rested in the morning not tired during the day, no more than anyone else. No morning headaches no heart problems excellent BP and Breathing tests showed perfectly normal breathing and lung capacity. The only thing I was apparently stopping breathing and snoring while sleeping.

After six nights of forcing myself to wear the mask and use the machine my brother had to physically wake me up at noon I was not asleep I was passed out I felt as if I was breathing Co2 all night, I literally had to tear the mask off my face to breath. I was so sick I went to the emergency room, they did every test in the book and could find nothing wrong. By 7pm that evening I finally started to feel better. It all came back to the machine causing all of it.

The sleep center blew me off said it was simply a pressure issue even with no pressure it should not have made me sick. I am doing more research and looking for alternatives.

Dec 14, 2018
Does anyone have solutions
by: Anonymous

I'm tired of waking up dizzy and groggy all day after using my CPAP machine. I'm so sick that I've stopped using the machine which is not good with severe sleep apnea. Has anyone come up with a reason for these problems. My doctors are dismissing me and in a small rural area there aren't many other options to find another doctor.

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