Gas with CPAP?


Hey Sleep Warrior, 

Are you or a loved one experiencing excessive gas from using CPAP? Besides being uncomfortable, these issues can be downright embarrassing. No thanks. 

This is called aerophagia, and it is a common issue faced by many CPAP users. It occurs when air is swallowed and enters the stomach instead of the lungs, leading to discomfort, bloating, and excessive gas. 

This problem can disrupt sleep and lead to uncomfortable or embarrassing gas during the day, ultimately affecting overall therapy adherence. 

But why does aerophagia happen, and what can be done about it? Listen up

The primary cause of aerophagia in CPAP users is simply high pressure settings. When the pressure is too high, it forces air into the esophagus rather than just the airway, leading to swallowed air and subsequent discomfort. One potential solution to excessive pressure is the V-Com, a device that reduces inspiratory pressure without affecting the therapeutic pressure. The V-Com can be purchased online without a prescription for about $30. You could also discuss pressure adjustments with your sleep provider – maybe your pressure can be turned down and still be effective.  Lastly, you can try sleeping on your side or utilizing the ramp feature on your machine, both of which can lower the overall pressure.

Another cause of aerophagia is the type of mask used. Full-face masks are more likely to direct air into the stomach as the air passes over the tongue and esophagus on it’s way to the lungs. Switching to a nasal mask can really help, and you can use a chin strap or the SomnoSeal if there are issues with mouth breathing or dry mouth. You’ll also want to be sure you have a good seal on your mask since mask leaks tend to result in your machine blowing higher pressures to compensate for the leak. 

Finally, anatomical factors can play a role. The way your body was built, with the trachea going to your lungs being right behind the esophagus going to your stomach, can make it difficult to completely avoid swallowing air, especially if high pressures are necessary for treating your apnea or you are stuck using a full-face mask. In these cases, if there are no contraindications, over-the-counter gas relief products, like GasX, may provide some relief. Other options include ginger or peppermint tea, known for its natural anti-gas properties.

Remember, these are general suggestions, and it’s important to discuss your specific issues with your sleep provider to find the most appropriate solution for you. 

By addressing the underlying causes and implementing these strategies, I hope you can reduce the impact of aerophagia and improve your CPAP therapy experience. 

Thanks for being here, I will see you next week!

Waiting on a Machine or Just Getting Started With A CPAP? 

Due to the recent recall and general delays in healthcare services, many people are forced to wait to get their CPAP machines. There are things you can do to prepare, so download the first of its kind guide with actionable tips you can start on today.


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