Swollen eyes from CPAP
by T. McKeon
(Whiting, NJ USA)
I have been using a cpap machine for over 6 weeks. Before going for sleep study I was always tired no matter how much I slept.
I would wake often to go to the bathroom.
Sleep study revealed I stopped breathing 39 times an hour and had RLS. I have the cpap machine with the humidifier.
I have tried 5 or 6 different masks. Most left welts on my nose bridge. I now have a FX mask which is not bad but I continue to have leaks around the eye area.
I wake up with marks on my face.
I have tried loosening the straps then I have more leaks. Since starting the cpap I have very noticeable bags under my eyes. I have a hard time waking up and getting started. I no longer get up during the nite to go to the bathroom. But I do wake up with dry mouth, my teeth have started to hurt and lower front teeth seem to be coming up if that makes any sense.
I have gone to the dentist and will return again at the end of the month. Cpap machine pressure is 12. Should I call again for another type of mask, I saw the sleep doctor last week and told him all of this with very little reply to fix the problems.
I applied for the new FDA approved mouth piece but returned the box unopened because I could not get a definite answer as to weather Medicare would give me back the cpap machine if the mouth piece didn't work. Real problems here. Although I must say I am not tired like I was before the cpap so it must be doing something right.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.
PS: I am deaf and have cochlear implants I do not sleep with them so I do not hear the machine going I also live alone except for my hearing dog.
Leaks from the CPAP mask hitting your face and eyes are the main cause for swollen eyes. Fixing these leaks can eliminate these puffy eyes. If I knew which mask you are using, I could offer some ideas on how to stop the leaks.
When you start to put your CPAP mask on, it's very important to let the mask loose on your face and then start the CPAP machine. In this way, the mask cushion will fill up with air. THEN you can tighten the straps on your face.
You can't stop the leaks, you can change the mask. Or, use special goggles
to protect your eyes from air blowing in them. Before buying the glasses (which are expensive in my opinion), check the effectiveness of this method with swim goggles. It's much cheaper this way.
For more information on how to stop the mask leaks and get a better seal, please read here
There are situations where the eyes get swollen even with no external leaks. Some people have internal channels (tear ducts) from the nose directly into their eyes, so the pressurized air from CPAP will irritate the eyes.
This situation can't be fixed by eliminating the mask leaks, but by blocking these channels. Speak with an opthalmologist to investigate (the procedure is simple and with no pain). If these internal leaks are not stopped, the pressure can build up behind the eyes causing Glaucoma in some patients.
Using those swim goggles is a good way to test if the leaks come from inside your eyes or from outside.
To protect and minimize the eyes irritation, you can use GenTeal gel
at bedtime. It will be great if you prevent touching the mask with this gel, because it may wear the mask.
I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back. Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide