Aug 25th 2021

How to Tell if Your CPAP Pressure is Too Low & Next Steps

Your CPAP machine is the best treatment option for sleep apnea, and making sure you have a machine that provides effective and comfortable treatment is essential. Your CPAP pressure level plays a significant part in the treatment process.

Below are some signs on how to tell if your CPAP pressure is too low and the following steps to take. It’s important to note that we don’t recommend adjusting the pressure settings yourself, and any major concerns should be directed to your doctor.

What is Your CPAP Pressure?

Your CPAP machine provides ongoing pressured air through a hose and mask. The purpose of the CPAP pressure setting is to keep your airways open and unobstructed throughout the night. Your pressure setting is based on a combination of factors.

  • Age
  • Environmental factors
  • Gender
  • Sleep positions
  • Weight

Everyone’s pressure setting is different and must be prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will take the above considerations into effect, as well as your sleep study results and the type of machine you use (CPAP, BiPAP, or AutoPAP).

Signs on How to Tell if Your CPAP Pressure is Too Low

If you’re concerned that your pressure setting is incorrect, here are some signs on how to tell if your CPAP pressure is too low.

  • 5+ apnea events per hour
  • Difficulty breathing throughout the night (while using your CPAP machine)
  • Loud snoring
  • Chronic fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Wake up gasping for air, which can cause the following side effects:
    • Bloating
    • Excessive belching
    • Discomfort
    • Gas

What to Do if You Think Your CPAP Pressure is Too Low?

After reading the above signs and believing that your pressure is too low, here are some next steps you can take.

1. Check for a Leak

Look over your CPAP machine, tubing, and any other equipment and make sure nothing is damaged. If the tubing is damaged, that could explain the low pressure. Make sure you’re replacing all CPAP equipment based on the manufacturer's recommended replacement. Read our latest blog post to learn how often to replace your CPAP supplies.

2. Talk to Your Doctor About an Auto CPAP Machine

There are a variety of automatic CPAP machines on the market that use an auto pressure feature. The feature will sense when your airway is closing and adjust the air pressure to accommodate the change. Many of these machines will also track your sleep data so you can share the information with your doctor.

#3 Talk to Your CPAP Doctor

The best solution is to call and discuss your concerns with your doctor. It’s crucial that you DO NOT attempt to make any CPAP pressure adjustments yourself. An incorrect setting can lead to worse and potential long-term problems.

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