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Steven B. Ronsen updated their profile
Sep 15
I have been using a CPAP machine now for a year and a half and have noticed a lot more drainage from my ears than normal.  My ears have always had some drainage due to some sinus problems and allergies(however, have never had to take meds for them that much)  However, since using the CPAP machine, my right ear,which is the side I sleep on most of the time, drains to the point of stopping up everynight which wakes me up.  I have found the lower strap that goes below the ear seems to be putting pressure below my ear to the point of keeping it from draining or causing it to collect and not drain.  I wonder if this is a problem with anyone else and if so, what can be done.  I am at the point of an ear ache at this time.  Besides that, CPAP has changed my life.  A lot better sleep and more energy than I have had in years.

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Scott, glad to hear it's better, but sorry about the ear drainage. You could be right about the strap causing lack of drainage. Can you switch to another mask with a different strap configuration?
Mary Z.
That's very interesting, although I'm sorry you're having problems with your ears, Scott. In the beginning, that being about five weeks ago since it took so long to find a mask that would work for me, I would feel a fullness in my right ear every time I put on the mask and started the machine. Interestingly, that's not happening on a nightly basis any more. Since I have had problems with my sinuses for time infinitum I just kind of ignored it.

Do you take any kind of decongestant during the day, such as Pseudafed? That might cut down on the drainage. You'd want to take it during the day, though, and not too close to bedtime because it might keep you awake. Just an idea...I'm no doctor.

Good luck!

Couple of ?s for you Scott. Did you have (or do you currently have) tubes in either ear (s) due to chonic infections? Are you using a humidifier. I would lean towards (I'm not a MD by the way, just a sleep tech) the strap location being and issue given the information so far. Keep us informed.
I have never had tubes in my ears. I am using a humidifier. My right ear has always seemed to give me more problems than my left ear. However, it is not a chronic problem. Just seems when I do get a ear ache, it hits the right more than the left. I do have some sinus problems every now and then, but it is usually affected by the weather. I hate taking medicine. I do find that moving the earstrap up to where it is halfway across the ear opening takes some pressure off and allows it to seem to drain a little. Is there any mask that you all may recommend. Thanks so much for responding thus far. I will continue using my CPAP even though it seems to aggravate my ears. The sleep is more valuable for me than the little pain I am getting from the ear.
Don't know what type of mask you're using now....but...they do make some nasal pillow masks that might give you less ear discomfort. Personally think nasal pillows are one of those love it or hate it type things. I have found that in regards to nasal pillows the ResMed Swift FX Nasal Pillow Mask seems to be the most popular one we offer.
Personally, I'd see an ENT to see if there is anything that can be done regarding the sinuses and the ear(s). Our hearing is too precious to risk losing or damaging.

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