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 on 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 a 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 than he needs.

But how can the air pressure 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

Comments for My Husband Snores With His CPAP On!

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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

Dec 03, 2016
Full Face Mask, Auto Adjusting CPAP & Still Snoring?
by: Anonymous

It took me four years of lost sleep to convince my spouse to go for a sleep study. After being diagnosed with apnea it took another year for him to follow through and order a CPAP machine (since he didn't want to hassle with it). Low and behold, he's STILL snoring. And he's not obese, either!

What can be done if the apnea patient is wearing a full face mask and it using a variable (auto-adjusting) CPAP machine and STILL SNORES?

The whole reason why we went through with the expense and hassle of trying to adapt to this machine was to eliminate the nightly sleep loss (apnea for him) and the noise (snoring) keeping me awake at night. I thought this was going to be a marriage saver. The mask does a good job dampening the noise of the machine (almost inaudible on) and it dampens down his snoring, too. But it's not making it go away!

How common is this problem? The doctor told him to use a Quatro brand full face mask and we even went with the doctor's size recommendation, too. Is there anything more likely to fit? The Quattro full face mask seems prone to leaking, sometimes loudly, to the right and to the left of his lower jaw near the chin (he has what might be considered a "weak" chin meaning not a lot of structure to the lower jaw area). In some cases there is no discernible leak — the leaks are noisy when they occur — but I can hear the muffled sound of my spouse snoring with it on. It's an auto-adjusting machine!

We thought this would allow him to begin sleeping on his back to spare his neck, which had started to cause him pain from years of sleeping on his side. Now what?

Jan 20, 2017
Responce to the last person
by: MountainMan

If your hubby continues to have problems even though u have tried everything i would reconmend finding other ways to solve the sleep problem. there are alternative methods besides the cpap machine

Jan 24, 2017
Kept awake!
by: Tired partner!

So my partner has now been asleep for the past hour and has sleep ap machine on and is snoring with it! Any tips? Tried nudging him but dead to the world! He also twitches in his sleep is that part of it?!

Any tips before I bulldoze him back to specialist!

Jan 26, 2017
Responce to Tired partner!
by: MountainMan

Does your partner have a nerve disorder? did he do this before the machine?the best thing to do before posting is google your question around the internet Most of the time you can find out your answer with that being said every has their own way of dealing with effects of the cpap machine,90% of people has the same or differnt patterns/side effects. If you cannot find the answer then call the specialist or doctor an go from there . i wish you the best on finding your answer

Feb 13, 2017
Cap on
by: Anonymous

Obese, high blood pressure, CPAP and still snores. Me no sleep for years and miserable. Cane we just pinch his nostrils already? Geez
So done I just want a good night sleep. I literally am going to have to move out.
I think because his neck is SO fat like the rest of him, plus he drinks, loves sweets it's not going to get any better. Nothing works without medicine of some kind anymore. I miss the guy I married In the military 20 yrs ago that cared and could make love and go for a swim. My life sucks. I would say our life but he's in denial always.

Dec 05, 2017
My Husband Snores with His CPAP on!
by: Anonymous

My husband still snores with clap, but not surprised because the cpap helps with apnea episodes (stoppage of breathing) not so much the snoring.

It's reduced, but still there probably because there's other causes for snoring not apnea. Like deviated septum. You may want to find out if there's an underlying cause for the snoring other than sleep apnea.

Mar 05, 2018
Looking in to getting a CPAP for snoring husband
by: Anonymous

I see every ones comments on here and it makes me nervous to get a CPAP. My husband is in his 4th week of Myofunctional Therapy and still snoring and we want to take a vacation together soon.

I though a CPAP would be the answer but I guess I'll wait another 2 months. Once he's advanced in the Myofucntional Therapy. But for most of you talking about the recessed chin and open mouth, you should look in to getting this therapy too! We see Joy Moeller in California on Skype. She's amazing!

Aug 21, 2018
Until He Goes Back to the Doctor
by: Anonymous

If I were you I'd sleep in another room until he goes back to the doctor. Maybe he will quit being stubborn a little sooner.

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