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Philips CPAP Side Effects

Common Philips CPAP side effects such as aerophagia, nasal inflammation and skin irritation typically go away after a few days. Severe symptoms associated with recalled Philips CPAP machines include cancer, respiratory issues and organ damage.

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Last Modified: April 26, 2023
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Common CPAP Side Effects

In general, Philips CPAP side effects share the same common side effects with other CPAP machines. Some side effects may come and go or surface later during treatment.

Initially, users who first start using a CPAP may have trouble sleeping the first few nights or weeks as they get used to sleeping with the machine. Most side effect complaints have to do with discomfort from wearing the mask or improper air pressure.

Potential CPAP side effects include:
  • Aerophagia: Swallowing pressurized air can lead to abdominal discomfort, flatulence or acid reflux.
  • Air Leakage: CPAP air leakage may disrupt sleep.
  • Dry Eye: Air leakage, bacteria trapped under the mask or air passing through nose ducts can cause this condition.
  • Ear Pressure/Pain: Middle ear pressure from breathing through the CPAP machine may lead to mild ear pain.
  • Face Growth Problems: Reduced face growth in children may occur from prolonged mask use.
  • Insomnia: Noise from the CPAP machine or difficulty adjusting to it may lead to sleep issues.
  • Nasal Dryness or Inflammation: Continuous air being pushed through the nose may cause nasal dryness.
  • Respiratory Infections: Bacteria left on the mask or air pathway can result in respiratory issues.
  • Skin Irritations: Skin marks, rashes or sores may occur from poorly fitted masks or the mask’s material.
  • Tooth Chipping or Shifting: Tight chin straps or the position of the tongue while using CPAP can affect teeth.

Make sure you talk to your doctor about any CPAP side effects. Some may be alleviated with adjusting the pressure or using a different mask. If you don’t tolerate CPAP treatment well, you may ask your doctor about alternatives to CPAP to treat sleep apnea.

Symptoms Linked to Recalled Philips CPAP Machines

Most CPAP side effects are mild and go away on their own over time or with minimal intervention. However, Philips warned of potential serious or life-threatening side effects caused by recalled devices, including a link between its CPAP and cancer.

In July 2022, Philips released a study of the link between its devices and cancer. According to Philips, “Based on 13 epidemiological studies identified from the systematic literature review, no association has been established between use of PAP devices, including Philips Respironics PAP devices, and risk of cancer in patients with OSA.”

Side effects linked to recalled Philips CPAP devices include:
  • Allergic and skin reactions
  • Airway inflammation, which is especially dangerous for people with lung disease or reduced breathing capacity
  • Asthma
  • Chest pressure
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Irritation of the respiratory tract, eyes, nose and skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Organ damage, such as liver problems or kidney problems
  • Respiratory issues
  • Sinus infection
  • Various cancers

Philips issued a CPAP recall in June 2021 because sound abatement foam used to keep machines from being too noisy or vibrating could break down or degrade. Broken down foam particles or gases emitted from the foam could enter the body through the device airway.

Ingested or inhaled foam particles or chemical gases may lead to carcinogenic, toxic or respiratory side effects. Philips found toxic chemicals in particles and gases, including: Toluene diamine, toluene diisocyanate, diethylene glycol, dimethyl diazine and phenol, 2,6-bis (1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-(1-methylpropyl)-.

Because recalled devices may cause potentially serious side effects, several people who used Philips’ recalled devices are filing Philips CPAP lawsuits. The lawsuits claim Philips manufactured a defective device and failed to adequately warn of the risk.

Did you develop cancer, respiratory issues or other serious health problems after using a Philips CPAP machine?

Tips for Preventing CPAP Side Effects

Proper use and care of your CPAP machine can help prevent some mild CPAP side effects.

Tips for avoiding CPAP side effects include:
  1. Make sure your mask fits snugly to prevent a dry stuffy nose. Air leaks can dry out your nose. A humidifier that attaches to the machine or using a nasal spray may help.
  2. Get used to it while you're awake to prevent feelings of claustrophobia. Try holding the mask to your face while the machine is turned off. Then try wearing the mask with straps. Next, try turning on the machine and then using it while you sleep. Different sized masks may also help.
  3. Use a chinstrap to keep your mouth closed while you sleep to prevent dry mouth.
  4. Make sure your mask fits well or use mask liners or pads to prevent skin irritation. Make sure to tell your doctor if you develop sores or skin deterioration.
  5. Slowly ramp up the pressure if your machine has a ramp feature to prevent difficulty with forced air. If your machine does not have this feature, talk to your doctor about adjusting the pressure settings. Don’t do this on your own.

Can Using a CPAP Machine Help Weight Loss?

Some studies suggest using a CPAP may help people with sleep apnea lose weight. For example, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found people with sleep apnea who used CPAP had significant reductions in body fat and BMI compared to those that didn’t.

Another study found calorie restriction paired with CPAP use showed promising results. Dr. Yuanjie Mao and colleagues conducted the 2019 study at the University of Arkansas for Medical Studies and found that patients with sleep apnea who used a CPAP machine while restricting calories achieved more weight loss that those who used a calorie reduced diet alone.

Weight loss isn’t the only potential benefit of using CPAP for people with sleep apnea, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. It can prevent several health risks associated with untreated sleep apnea.

Potential benefits of CPAP use include:
  • Reduced heart disease and stroke risk
  • Better alertness during the day
  • Accident prevention
  • Improved concentration
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Eliminate snoring
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.