How do I keep from swallowing air when I use my CPAP at night?

Most often, swallowing air is the result of breathing through your mouth. If you use a nasal cpap mask and a chin strap, you may find that nasal breathing stops you from swallowing air. Also, if you are new to CPAP therapy, you will find that this problem goes away after you get acclimated to using your CPAP.

More information about CPAP problems.


Author: Doug Hudiburg


4 thoughts on “How do I keep from swallowing air when I use my CPAP at night?

  1. I agree with Doug, that most problems with air swallowing happen when using a full face mask. If you have been using CPAP for awhile, the transition to nasal mask use is easier than it would have been when you first started using therapy. Further, studies indicate that nasal masks are a statistically better choice for a number of reasons.

    If you try the nasal mask, you should attend carefully to your humidifier settings as higher humidity settings have a corrective factor with regard to mouth leaks.

    Also, if you are swallowing air for the first time and have been using CPAP for a while, I would want to know if you have lost weight. Pressures that are too high will provoke air swallowing, and you might want to follow up with your physician and check into lower CPAP settings.

    Finally, if your sleep study revealed that you required much higher settings while in REM sleep on your back versus lower settings in all other positions, the CPAP will be set at that higher pressure all the time, even though you only need the highest setting while in REM on your back. In such cases, Auto set CPAP can go a long way to resolve air swallowing.

    1. Thanks Tom, I *always* learn a lot from your replies. In the ‘admin’ side of the CPAP TotalCare platform, our goal is to give you answers to many of those questions through the Patient Detail page. When one of your patients has a ‘complete’ profile, you should be able to see current equipment, previous equipment, daytime sleepiness, the original sleep study & prescription (in documents section), weight & BMI tracked over time, AHI, Leak, average usage, and more. I’m excited that we are finally getting to the point where we can give you, the therapist, the information you need to to help patients resolve issues like this.

    2. Hi Tom,
      I’ve been using a CPAP for 3 months with high pressure (20 setting), nasal pillows & chin strap. I notice bloating discomfort & burping more. I’ve lost weight too. What is the relation of weight lost? What can I do to improve my condition? Thank you.

      1. Hi Cody, sorry for the late reply. If you have lost weight, you may not need such a high pressure setting. That is most likely the cause of your abdominal discomfort. You should have your data and settings checked by a qualified CPAP therapist.

        If you would like help from one of our CPAP therapists, please create an account by clicking ‘Join’ then ‘CPAP Users’ in the top menu. There is no charge for this service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *