• If you feel bloated and full of gas after using your cpap machine, you are not alone.
• This is one of the many uncomfortable Cpap side effects – cpap machines and gas. The medical term for this is Aerophagia.
• The primary cause is – you are swallowing air when you are using your Cpap or Bipap machine.
• First and Foremost, there are no clear cut solutions. Irritatingly so. The following are suggested strategies you can consider using :
a) Use a
CPAP Chinstrap regardless if you use a CPAP Nasal Pillows, CPAP Nasal Mask or a CPAP Full Face Mask. This will reduce the likelihood of you swallowing air through your mouth while in therapy.
b) Over the counter medication - Simethicone (generic name) chewable tablets, capsules or liquid. We have met a number of sleep doctors who advice this. “Use it before going to sleep with your cpap” and other doctors would advise to “use only when you wake up and if you feel bloated”. Fortunately for most people, this experience is temporary until they get acclimated to using the cpap machine. At any rate please check with your doctor.
c) Lower the cpap pressure settings temporarily. For example, someone is at a cpap pressure setting of 12cmH20. The pressures are dropped to 10 cmH20 for a month. Then raise the pressure up to 11 cmH20 the next month. And then raise it back to 12 cmH20 the third month. This way it gives your body time to gradually acclimate itself to the original prescribed cpap pressure. Your doctor must be willing to do this and write prescriptions to reflect these gradual changes.
d) Use an “Auto Cpap or Auto Bipap”. This way your cpap pressures are not on the high side through out the night.
d) Use a Cpap or Bipap machine with EPR or C-Flex feature.
e) Raise the EPR or C-Flex setting. Have the Respiratory Therapist from the home medical Equipment Company show you how to do it.
f) Lengthen the ramp time. The Respiratory Therapist can easily do that for you.
g) Elevate the head. By raising the front of the mattress to make it incline.
h) Try a totally different position of sleeping than you have been doing since using the cpap. We know this is horrible advice. But it does work. For instance side sleepers have a lesser incidence of bloating. The question to be figured out is which side is better for you?
i) Do you currently use a Cpap Full Face Mask? Do you feel you are swallowing down a lot of air? Example, your mouth puffs up with air all the time when using the full face mask, and you wake up feeling bloated. At this point you either use a chin strap with your full face mask to control how wide your jaw opens. Or switch to using Chin Strap & Cpap Nasal Pillows or using Chin Strap & Cpap Nasal Mask.
j) Try a different type of cpap mask. Different mask makes how you feel and respond to your cpap pressure very differently.
k) If you are a Cpap user and have tried all the above suggestions, the doctor might just prescribe a Bipap machine.
l) See our mask recommendation listed for High Cpap pressures. They have helped a lot of people. Hopefully it will help you also.