CPAP bothering my eyes

Has anyone run into this issue? I have been waking up after a few hours of sleeping with the odd sensation that air is passing through my tear ducts. The feeling I get is that there are bubbles forming on the surface of my eyeball, and it feels like the bubbles are popping whenever I blink. I can actually hear a popping or crackling sound when this is happening. The sensation seems to coincide with when I inhale. I have talked to 2 doctors about this (regular doc and an ophthalmologist) and they both felt it was either a mask issue (leaking or exit port blowing CO2 on my eyeball) or dry eye. I doubt that the mask is leaking, I have tried every type and the machine is not detecting leaks. The issue remains regardless of mask type. I started wearing sleep goggles to keep air or CO2 from hitting my eyeballs and to combat the dry eye. I also use Restasis. This is having no effect. I have also tried decreasing the air pressure a few psi, which helps a little (but kinda defeats the purpose of using the CPAP). The ophthalmologist does not see any indication that my eyelids are remaining open during sleep, and since I have the goggles on, I don’t see how air could be hitting my eyeballs anyway. I have been using a CPAP for about 15 years and this has occurred from time to time, but now it is consistent and becoming more of a problem. Can anyone help?

Hi @SHerr
This is not a typical issue, but it has surfaced from time-to-time. For a broader audience, I might suggest that you go to the ASAA’s AWAKE Sleep Heath Support Group if you have Facebook. Here is the link to request joining. When you ask to join, it will ask you 3 questions just to prove you are a human and not a bot/spammer.

Here is the link:

Thank you MotherT…

1 Like

Yes, I have problems similar but not exactly the same. The air blows into my eyes. I must sleep with my eyes open a little bit. I have to get up and put eye drops in and adjust the mask differently. The gel eye drops work better but I don’t like it. And the gel kind of glues my eyes.
But I have a problem and don’t know what to do to remedy the situation.
j.howie (jim)

I have same problem. Only my eyes are really puffy and sore

Hello SHerr.
It is a mask issue as your doctor has told you, and no matter which mask you use it will happen from time to time, (best mask is a full face one,ok.)

You don’t say if your using a ramp on your machine, but it seems likely if your waking after a few hours sleep, so then it would be a pressure issue, as the pressure increases with the use of the ramp it will cause leaks and go into your eyes no matter what mask you use, so go back to your sleep specialist and get a review of your pressure.

Also it may be now that you have been on a machine for 15 years that the older you get the less tolerant of the pressure you become, so maybe also check with your doctor if reverting to APAP (automatic positive air pressure) would be better for you, as this does start of on a low pressure then builds up to the pressure you need to control your apnea’s.

Well just try this and see how you go, as reverting to all these gel’s and creams plus medications just do not work. save your money my man, ask the doctor.
hope this helps.