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Philips CPAP Side Effects

Common Philips CPAP side effects such as aerophagia, nasal inflammation and skin irritations go away after a few days. Symptoms of exposure to the degraded foam in recalled Philips CPAP machines include irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract and carcinogenic side effects.

Last Modified: August 17, 2022
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Common CPAP Side Effects

In general, Philips CPAP side effects share the same common side effects with other CPAP machines. This page will discuss side effects of CPAP therapy as well as side effects that may occur from recalled Philips CPAP machines.

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.

Some side effects may come and go or surface later during treatment.

Potential CPAP side effects include:
Air Leakage
Air leakage from CPAP masks can disrupt sleep. Some research suggests nasal masks that fit over the nose instead of oronasal masks that fit over the nose and mouth may reduce air leakage.
Skin Irritations
Skin marks, rashes or sores can occur from poorly fitted masks or the material the mask is made from. Mask liners or creams may help.
Nasal Dryness or Inflammation
Nasal dryness or inflammation may occur because of continuous air being pushed through the nose. Sometimes, this can cause nosebleeds.
Aerophagia
Aerophagy or aerophagia happens when people swallow pressurized air, causing abdominal discomfort and flatulence. It may also cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Dry Eye
Dry eye or eye irritation from air leakage, bacteria trapped under the mask traveling to the eyes, or air passing through nose ducts into the eyes.
Face Growth Problems
Reduced face growth in children may occur from prolonged mask use.
Ear Pressure
Mild ear pressure or ear pain can occur because CPAP can affect middle ear pressure.
Tooth Chipping or Shifting
Tooth chipping or teeth shifting may occur from tight chin straps or the position of the tongue while using CPAP.
Respiratory Infections
Respiratory infections may occur when users first start using a CPAP machine. This may also be caused by a bacteria left on the mask or air pathway.
Insomnia
Difficulty sleeping or insomnia may occur because of the noise from the machine or difficulty adjusting to breathing in and out with pressure generated by the machine

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.

Possible Serious Philips CPAP Side Effects

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.

Philips issued a CPAP recall in June 2021 because 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)-.

Symptoms of exposure to degraded Philips CPAP foam include:
  • Airway inflammation, which is especially dangerous for people with lung disease or reduced breathing capacity
  • Irritation of the respiratory tract, eyes, nose and skin
  • Various cancers
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Organ damage, such as liver problems or kidney problems
  • Asthma
  • Sinus infection
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Chest pressure
  • Dizziness

Because recalled devices may cause potentially serious side effects, several people who used Philips’ recalled devices are filing Philips CPAP lawsuits. 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

Some mild CPAP side effects can be prevented by proper use and care of your CPAP machine.

Tips for avoiding CPAP side effects include:
  1. Prevent a dry stuffy nose by making sure your mask fits snuggly. Air leaks can dry out your nose. A humidifier that attaches to the machine or using a nasal spray may help.
  2. Prevent feelings of claustrophobia by getting used to it while you’re awake. 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. Prevent dry mouth by using a chinstrap to keep your mouth closed while you sleep.
  4. Prevent skin irritation by making sure your mask fits well or using mask liners or pads. Make sure to tell your doctor if you develop sores or skin deterioration.
  5. Prevent difficulty with forced air by slowly ramping up the pressure if your machine has a ramp feature. If not, 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 2019 study by Dr. Yuanjie Mao and colleagues at the University of Arkansas for Medical Studies found 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.

Another 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.

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.