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What are the side effects of using a CPAP machine?

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The most common side effects reported by users of continuous positive airway pressure machines are claustrophobia, nasal congestion and a chronic sneezing condition known as rhinitis, according to the National Sleep Foundation. These side effects are caused by CPAP masks and may be eliminated by utilizing proper mask-wearing practices.

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To eliminate common side effects associated with the use of CPAP machines, the individual must ensure his mask is fitted properly, notes the National Sleep Foundation. The user must also ensure the mask is not too tight, but if he must loosen it to the point where air leaks are an issue, a different mask should be used. If the user experiences nasal issues, he should activate the heated humidifier built into his machine or switch to a machine that has one.

To overcome claustrophobia while wearing a CPAP mask, the patient must desensitize himself to the mask while he is still awake, explains the National Sleep Foundation. To build his confidence with the mask, the patient must do something distracting while wearing it, such as watching television before bed. Claustrophobic patients should start with 10 minutes of wearing the mask while desensitizing themselves to it. They should take it off before bed, and increase the amount of time they wear the mask the next night. Patients can gradually work toward falling asleep with the mask on.

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