Do I need to tighten my CPAP to avoid leaking?

This question was asked in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 07/17/2013.
I feel like my CPAP headgear is leaking when I use it at night so I have started tightening it, but I don't know what the right fit should be. If I make it tight enough that I feel the leaking isn't a problem, it's so uncomfortable that I can't sleep. What should I do?

Doctors Answers (3)

Timothy J. Delcambre, DDS, MHA
Answered on: 7/18/2013

It sounds as if the CPAP mask/headgear is not fitting correctly. Bring it back to the office or center where you received the CPAP and let the doctor or technicians refit the mask to stop the leak.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 7/18/2013

Tightening the straps of your CPAP mask may help with leaks but making them too tight can make matters worse. There are CPAP liners (one brand is called REM Z) which helps reduce leaking. You place the thin liner over the area of the face where you put the mask.

Courtney Whitney, DO
Answered on: 7/18/2013

Mask leaks can be due to a number of reasons. Your cushion could be over-warn and need replacing. Keeping a clean mask also makes a world of a difference in keeping a good seal. Depending on your pressure needs and mask, yes, you may need to tighten your straps but when you get to the point of the mask being so tight that it's uncomfortable, then you might really just need to explore other mask options.