CPAP therapy problems are not uncommon. But the good news is that they can be easily fixed with a few slight adjustments.
If you suffer from dry eyes after using your CPAP machine then you are not alone. Below, we walk through why this issue happens and what you can do to stop it so that you can continue to enjoy the benefits of CPAP therapy.
Waking Up With Dry, Itchy Eyes?
Dry and irritated eyes are a common complaint for many as they go through treatment for Sleep Apnea especially right at the very beginning. While this can be an unpleasant feeling, it doesn’t mean that it will last forever or that it’s a sign of CPAP therapy not working for you.
Our eyes tend to become dry when they are not receiving sufficient lubrication. It is important to note that there are many factors that can cause this issue so make sure to narrow everything out before putting the blame solely on Sleep Apnea treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the following then it is a good indication that you’re having issues with dry eyes:
Stinging and burning
Sensitivity to light
To solve this problem, you need to fully understand what can cause this to happen during CPAP therapy.
Causes For Dry Eyes During CPAP Therapy
The first step to relieving this CPAP therapy problem is to understand why it is happening in the first place. As we’ve mentioned, it is not fair to put all of the blame on Sleep Apnea therapy so we must recognize the other factors that can cause you to experience this symptom during CPAP treatment.
CPAP Mask Leaks
If there is a mask leak located along the seal of your CPAP mask, this may be one contributing factor that is causing you to have dry eyes.
All CPAP masks no matter if they are a full face mask or a nasal pillow need to seal well and be flush against the face in order to function effectively. A mask that fits incorrectly has a higher chance of dispersing air around the eye area. This can lead to feelings of puffiness and itchiness that is associated with dry eyes.
Do you or someone you know suffer from hay fever? If so, then you are aware that redness around the eyes is common if you are suffering from allergens.
Environmental allergens can cause our eyes to become dry at any time during the year. And they aren’t just associated with the pollen from flowers and plants. If you wake up often with irritated eyes, it is worth paying attention to the quality of your sleep environment.
Is there a lot of dust or pet dander around? This could be another contributor to CPAP dry eyes.
Existing Health Conditions
Finally, other existing health conditions can make it difficult for us to fully close our eyelids while we sleep which can exacerbate dry eyes. For example, floppy eye syndrome (FES) causes loose, rubbery eyelids. This means that patients aren’t able to completely close their eyelids, leaving their inner eye exposed.
Treating Dry Eye In Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients
Dry eyes with CPAP therapy is uncomfortable but treatable. There are a number of steps that you can take to continue CPAP compliance while also reducing eye irritability each night.
Our top tips include:
Ensuring that you pick a CPAP mask that fits correctly. If you need help with this, our CPAP equipment experts will be happy to help you find a mask that is suitable for your facial features.
Clean your mask. Dust and other particles can build up on our mask after regular use. By cleaning it on a regular basis you can make sure that your mask’s seal works effectively.
Use a CPAP humidifier. If the air in our bedrooms is too dry then this can increase your chances of developing dry eyes. By using a humidifier, you ensure that there is enough heated moisture circulating through the machine providing relief from cold air and dryness.
If none of the solutions above help, we recommend speaking with a physician to make sure that you aren’t suffering from an underlying health condition that is contributing to the problem. Learning how to reduce and prevent dry eyes during CPAP therapy will not only help to achieve optimal eye health but it will also improve your quality of sleep.
Think your irritated eyes are due to a mask leak and you need a replacement? Speak with our team here at Monster CPAP today and we can help guide you through our catalogue of Sleep Apnea masks.