Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy can be used to treat sleep apnea, snoring, and daytime fatigue, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These machines are used by more than 8 million Americans, with numbers increasing 8 to 9 percent annually. Initially, it takes a few nights or weeks to adjust to wearing a mask over the mouth and nose while sleeping.


Some of the most common CPAP side effects can be remedied. However, other side effects are more serious, and will require both medical and legal interventions. Contact us at Showard Law Firm if you have any questions.


Common CPAP Side Effects


The most common side effects include:


  • Air leakage from the CPAP mask
  • Skin rashes, creases, or sores
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Nasal dryness, irritation, inflammation, and nosebleeds
  • Abdominal discomfort, flatulence, and gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Dry eye, irritation, and eye infections
  • Reduced facial growth (in children)
  • Ear pressure or pain
  • Tooth chipping or shifting
  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
  • Respiratory infections like cold, flu, sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and pneumonia


What To Do If You Experience Common CPAP Machine Side Effects


Make sure you speak with your doctor about CPAP machine side effects. Sometimes it’s necessary to adjust the pressure due to weight changes, allergies, recent surgery, substance use, or other medications you’re on (like muscle relaxants or benzodiazepines).


Common fixes include:


  • Getting a personalized mask fitting and cleaning to reduce air leakage at the seals.
  • Using mask liners or nose cushions to prevent dry eyes.
  • Using mask liners or creams to prevent skin irritation.
  • Using nasal pillows and a newer mask style to reduce face growth problems in children.
  • Lowering CPAP pressure and using a heated humidifier to alleviate sinus headaches.
  • Lowering CPAP pressure and using sleeping wedge pillows to reduce gastroesophageal side effects.
  • Using nasal spray, heated humidifier, heated tubing, or insulated covers to reduce sinus irritation.
  • Cleaning the mask, choosing a different mask, and using a heated humidifier to relieve sinus illnesses.
  • Repairing leaks, using a chinstrap, or adding a heated humidifier to treat dry mouth.


After making adjustments, some people feel better after one night of rest. However, it could take up to two weeks to experience true relief. If you are not feeling better, schedule a follow-up with your doctor to rule out more serious medical conditions and explore alternative treatment options.


Potential Serious CPAP Side Effects


Philips Respironics and ResMed are the two leading CPAP manufacturers in the country. In June 2021, Philips recalled millions of CPAP machines due to customer complaints and tests that revealed the sound abatement foam could degrade when exposed to heat, humidity, and ozone cleaning products. The recall impacted nearly every Philips CPAP machine on the market– except for the April 2021-launched DreamStation 2. It uses polyester-based foam that is softer, more comfortable, and more resistant to moisture.


A wide range of adverse health effects is possible due to ingesting foam particles or inhaling foam off-gassing. Many of the long-term effects are still unknown, as it can take years for malignancies to arise. Toxic chemicals discovered in PE-PUR foam particulate and gases include: toluene diamine, toluene diiscocyanate, diethylene glycol, dimethyl diazine, and phenol 2,6-bis.


Potentially severe side effects may include:


  • Airway irritation and inflammation
  • Asthma exacerbation
  • Cancer – various types
  • Chest pressure
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Headache
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Organ damage to the liver or kidneys
  • Sinus infections


What To Do If You Experience Serious CPAP Machine Side Effects


Philips has instructed patients to stop using the machine, contact their doctors, and register their equipment online or by calling 877-907-7508. Next, you can fill out a form on the FDA’s MedWatch website, which puts pressure on a federal agency to investigate reports of dangerous side effects and order the company to take corrective action at once. In addition, you can contact us at Showard Law Firm. Even if you’re not sure whether you’ll file a lawsuit, it’s important to contact someone as soon as possible to discuss the possibility– as states have various deadlines for pursuing financial compensation related to a defective medical device.


The statute of limitations for product liability cases ranges from one year in Louisiana to six years in Maine. Some states start the clock when you purchase the product, while others may begin when you were diagnosed with an injury or when it became public knowledge that the product was associated with adverse side effects.


At least 40 lawsuits, including a number of class actions, have already been filed against Philips, alleging that the manufacturer released a defective product to market and failed to adequately warn users and their doctors of the risk. Consolidation of similar lawsuits into MDL proceedings is likely, which may enhance the potential for a settlement.


Contact Showard Law Firm for a Free Consultation on CPAP Recall


Call now for a free consultation to explore your legal options. You will not owe attorneys unless we secure compensation on your behalf. You may be entitled to financial compensation for the cost of your machine, the cost of a replacement machine, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.