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00:00 - Introduction
00:35 - Aerophagia - Air in your stomach
03:00 - Dry Nose and Throat
05:40 - Dry, Sore Eyes
Hi Everyone, hope you're all safe and well.
I'm sure many of you have experienced some unwanted side effects associated with Cpap therapy. Some of you will experience none of them, some of you a few and some many! Here's a few common ones.
1. Aerophagia (stomach bloating)
Aerophagia is excessive air swallowing. It’s a condition that occurs when you have air entering your gastrointestinal tract, including your intestines and stomach. As this air builds up, it can cause significant discomfort in your bowels and belly. The most common aerophagia symptoms are:
Heartburn and acid reflux
An uncomfortable “full” feeling
Anybody can experience aerophagia, even individuals who don’t use CPAP and those who don’t have Sleep Apnea.
Causes of Swallowing Air with CPAP
Some causes of aerophagia may include:
Pressure is set too high
Pressure is set too low
Solutions for Swallowing Air with CPAP
If you’re swallowing air with CPAP, here are some aerophagia solutions you can try:
1. Check the Pressure Settings
If you have a high pressure, consider dropping it down a bit to see if that helps resolve the problem. If it does help, just check to make sure you AHI number isn't going to high (ideally you want that number under 5 but under 10 should still be find).
If you're AHI is high, your apnea might be causing you to gasp and swallow the air in also.
Experiment with your pressure to see if it helps alleviate the stomach bloating.
2. Check Your Mask
Figure out if you’re using the wrong mask. For instance, a nasal mask isn’t the best choice if you’re a mouth breather. Your mask might not be the best style or size for your face. If you’re experiencing pressure point soreness from the straps being too tight or a frequent mask leak, consider picking a different mask.
3. Obtain Expiratory Pressure Relief
Most CPAP machines today have expiratory pressure relief features. They may be called BIFLEX or AFLEX, depending on the machine brand. This feature reduces air pressure automatically upon exhalation and could help decrease or eliminate aerophagia.
4. Adjust Your Sleep Position
Your sleep position is another essential factor. If you normally sleep on your back, it might be better to sleep at an incline which can prevent a “kink” in your esophagus that could cause it to easily allow air flow into your stomach.
5. Try a BiPAP Machine
Bilevel positive airway pressure machines, or BiPAP machines can help relieve aerophagia symptoms.
6. Try an APAP (Auto) Machine
In one study, switching from a CPAP machine to an APAP machine led to reduced aerophagia symptom severity. The group of patients being treated with APAP saw substantially decreased median therapeutic pressure levels when compared with the patients using CPAP.
2. Dry Throat and Nose
Probably the most common side effect.
Make sure you learn how to adjust your humidifier settings and heated tube settings. If you have dryness you will need more humidity so you will need to turn up the humidification level on your machine.
Also try preheating the water or just put hot water in the chamber to begin with so that it will start delivering humidification from the moment you start using the therapy.
Try and get your cpap therapy pressure as low as possible whilst still maintaining good control of your apnea. The higher the pressure, the more airflow and the quicker it will dry you out.
You might also need to change to a full face mask or use a chin strap if your mouth is opening and you are mouth breathing during the night time. This will also dry you out.
If you don't have a heated tube i suggest you get one. There's a great aftermarket universal heated tube system called hybernite. https://www.remsleep.com.au/product/hybernite-universal-heated-tube-kit/