As noted by Direct Home Medical, CPAP machines must be prescribed by a doctor in compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations. A copy of the prescription for a CPAP machine must be given to a CPAP machine provider when ordering. A prescription is not needed for CPAP machine equipment such as headgear, tubing, mask parts, filters and comfort accessories.
According to WebMD, CPAP machine side effects may include dry nose, dry throat, eye or skin irritation, runny nose, congestion, sneezing and abdominal bloating. Some people are prone to nightmares and excessive dreaming when using the device. Sometimes a CPAP mask may leak due to a poor fit. These side effects can often be remedied after consulting with a doctor. To combat runny nose and congestion, symptoms similar to a cold, a doctor may prescribe a decongestant or nasal spray. Humidifiers and nasal sprays can also help reduce an irritated and runny nose. A doctor can adjust the mask to make it fit more comfortably.
Switching machines is another alternative for dealing with CPAP discomfort, notes WebMD. There are two alternate types of machines: BiPAP and APAP. The air pressure systems in both machines make breathing more comfortable than traditional CPAP machines.