How to Avoid Mask Leakage, Especially in the Eyes

If you are a sleep apnea sufferer, continuous positive airway pressure technology is an important step in correcting and preventing the cardiovascular and hormonal changes that often present themselves as a result of the condition. Unfortunately, many CPAP users find remaining compliant with their prescribed treatment hard to maintain because they run into issues with mask leakage from their CPAP mask.

Why Mask Leakage is an Issue

If you’re wondering whether or not you are experiencing a mask leak, there are a few things to look for. One sign that your mask is experiencing an air leak issue is hearing intermittent burping or blowing sounds from your sleep apnea mask. You may also notice dry eyes in the morning. A frequently leaking CPAP mask can cause several issues, but the most severe issue is that constantly leaking masks cannot deliver the prescribed pressure levels to your lungs. Without this prescribed pressure, your sleep apnea treatment simply won’t be effective.

Sleep apnea sufferers are likely to discontinue CPAP use if they’re finding that their mask leakage is contributing to dry, irritable eyes. When air escapes their CPAP mask, particularly at the top of the mask, the pressured air is likely to blow on their eyes throughout the night, eventually leading to excessive drying and redness. This drying causes itchiness and pain, and many CPAP users find it unbearable.

How to Manage and Avoid CPAP Mask Leakage

In order to continue sleep apnea treatment, users must first recover from their dry, painful eyes while preventing further dryness from occurring. First and foremost, ensure that your mask is securely fitted to your face. You may need to adjust the straps around your forehead if air leaking from the top of your mask is the culprit. Check your sleep apnea mask’s instructions to troubleshoot your fit, or visit Resmed’s website and read a great article explaining a few tricks to ensure your mask fits perfectly.

A boil and bite mouth piece may also help by changing the way your relaxed facial muscles lay during the night. Many companies sell eye shields and support to use overnight if your fitted mask still occasionally leaks. Another common issue may be that your CPAP mask is the incorrect size or has worn down overtime and needs to be replaced. When first using these preventative methods, heal your dry eyes with over the counter eye drops or see your health care provider about prescribed eye treatment.

Research Your Best CPAP Mask Option

Mask leak issues may be prevented by asking your health care provider, or experienced medical supply sales member to suggest an ideal mask style for your face and treatment. You may find that you feel better with a nasal mask like the Philip’s Respironics Pico. You may instead feel more comfortable with a fuller mask like the Amara View. Some CPAP users prefer a more basic mask such as the AirFit F10.

The seasoned respiratory health care professionals and sales staff at are fully equipped to find the perfect CPAP mask style for you. Our website has a large variety of mask styles and accompanying CPAP tubing, and machines. Let us know how we can help you find your ideal fit today.