CPAP Troubleshooting – Fixing a Leak in a CPAP Mask

A leaky CPAP mask is a serious problem. If air is escaping from your mask, that means you aren't getting the proper air pressure you need to completely treat your sleep apnea. It can also cause discomfort in the airways and nasal passages, causing them to dry out and become irritated, even with the use of the CPAP humidifier.

The air coming from your CPAP machine through the mask is supposed to act as a splint to hold your airways open while you sleep. Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, you might need a higher air pressure than someone with a less severe case of sleep apnea.

This is why it's so important to always get the correct air pressure. Don't want to feel worse or put your health in danger, and you don't want to be using the CPAP machine for nothing.

There are two different types of CPAP mask leaks that you should be aware of. If you notice one of these leaks, you should let your sleep therapist know as soon as possible, or something yourself to fix the problem.

Educate yourself with our Free Oxygen Therapy Guide

Seal Leak: The leak in the seal of the CPAP mask is the most common kind of leak. This is often caused by an ill-fitting mask, and it happens when there's a small space between your face and the seal.

Mouth Leak: This happens when you breathe with your mouth open while you sleep, and the air coming from the mask escapes from your throat out of your mouth.

What happens when your CPAP mask leaks?

Both of these types of mask leaks can cause the same problems. If the pressure isn't being maintained, not only will it affect your health, but it can also impair the machine's sensors, and how the CPAP can respond with the right amount of air pressure. This will ultimately cause your CPAP machine to break down faster and need to be maintained more than usual.

A leak in the seal can cause air to blow on your face and in your eyes, which is a very annoying sensation. This is also when nasal irritation takes place because the air isn't going where it's supposed to.

How do you prevent CPAP mask leaks?

If you get a seal leak, it might be because of a crease in the seal, either from tightening too much or from moving and causing the seal to bend. Turn off the machine and pull the mask away from your face, just enough to straighten out the curve, and rest it back against your face.

You can also choose a high quality mask that won't bend in the seal. You can wear the mask looser, and it still won't create a leak.

Another solution is a special pillow called a CPAP Pillow, which is shaped in a way to prevent leaks.

25 thoughts on “CPAP Troubleshooting – Fixing a Leak in a CPAP Mask”

  • peggy connolly

    my mask suddenly started leaking 5 days ago .

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Have you worked to successfully troubleshoot your mask? If not you're welcome to contact our Service department at 877-303-9289.

      Reply
    • Krissie Dinkle
      Krissie Dinkle March 7, 2018 at 1:09 am

      Can you please tell me if there are more than one supplier in northern virginia, the one that I am using now says that noise coming from my mask and air (Whooshing loud noise is just my husband and my imagination! Is there a mask that the seal is tight so that air does not come out.

      Reply
      • Margaret Goodman
        Margaret Goodman March 7, 2018 at 6:28 am

        Thank you for your inquiry, Krissie. I have passed along your information to a specialist who will reach out regarding your request. For more immediate assistance feel free to give our specialists a call at 888-360-9628 or if you prefer email [email protected]

        Reply
  • Paul Langford

    I have just purchased a Resmed Air Touch Ultra Soft Memorary foam cushion for my Resmed F20 full face mask and it has totally eliminated all the leakage problems that I had before.It has taken 10 years for Resmed to design and produce this piece of genius.The memorary foam forms to the profile of your face to give a perfectly comfortable air tight seal.

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Paul. We are glad to hear you are enjoying your new face mask from our friends over at Resmed. Let us know if you have any further questions!

      Reply
      • Lee West

        I have just started using a Resmed Air Touch Ultra Soft Memory foam cushion for my Resmed F20 full face mask and it leaks like a sieve. I have tried adjusting this piece of junk. Is there anything that will work. I am getting very little rest and don't dare drive.

        Reply
        • Margaret Goodman
          Margaret Goodman April 27, 2018 at 4:03 am

          It may be that this type of mask may not work for you. We have found that not all masks work for all customers. I would suggest trying a different mask to see if that helps.

          Reply
  • Nana

    I use bipap and oxygen and my greatest problem is my mask leaks air on my face. I have brought 3 different masks and continue to suffer in the night. Please advise. Thanks

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Nana. If you'd like you're more than welcome to reach out to our Service Department at 877-303-9289 and they may be able to walk you through troubleshooting your mask leakage over the phone.

      Reply
  • wayne vejraska

    I began having a little bit of mask leak several months ago. 5 days ago they replaced my O2 concentrator since I've had it for a year, and now I have no mask leak at all. It seems like too much of a coincidence to me, but for some reason swapping out the concentrator fixed my "mask leak".

    Reply
  • Steve S

    I have had great difficulty over many yrs finding an effective cpap solution. I finally did within the last yr with a nasal pillow mask. However, I still have major mouth leaking with it that negatively impaxts my qualty of sleep, treatment. I have tried numerous chin straps. Is there another solution? Could it be my pressure is too high? It is set at minimum of 8. Please help.

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Steve. If you'd like you can reach out to our Service Department at 877-303-9289. If you'll provide them with a little bit more information regarding your current solution, the current state of your mask, and the other options you have tried they'll be able to best assist you in trouble-shooting your leaking.

      Reply
  • Carl Glaza

    I have a nasal resmed n20 and I can not get a good seal I have got air leaks on all my masks I have had what can I do to get rid of those air leaks

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Carl. Are there any noticeable cracks visible on the masks themselves or wear on the tubing?

      Reply
  • Bob

    I’m using an Quattro F20 mask. The mask is awesome. Just one problem. When I sleep, air escapes through my mouth, creating a flutter sound. My lips make a “motor boat” sound. It’ll wake me up every time. Ive been trying to trouble shoot this online and have yet to come find anything. I’m definitely not snoring. any help would be tremendous!!

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your inquiry, Bob. Have you tried a different mask with similar results? It sounds like the Quattro F20 may not be quite right for your situation. Feel free to give our specialists a call at 877-774-9271 for more information!

      Reply
  • Annette

    I started using my CPAP two weeks ago. I use the nasal pillows which I love. I noticed that air is coming out of the tubing connected to my mask. I am getting air through the nasal cushions, but not sure if the air is supposed to come out of the tubing.

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman March 15, 2018 at 5:20 am

      Annette, you may have a small crack in the tubing. I would take a look at that and see if you see anything. Depending on the age of the mask you may need a new one.

      Reply
  • Suzi Blake

    Can you give an example of a high quality mask?

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman March 16, 2018 at 9:24 am

      Thank you for your inquiry, Suzi. The SimplyGo and the SimplyGo Mini do not use the same battery. For more immediate assistance feel free to give our specialists a call at 888-360-9628 or if you prefer email [email protected]

      Reply
  • Melvine Riddick
    Melvine Riddick April 10, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    I use the pillow mask and am getting a red sad face that says mask seal. What is the problem. I even changed the mask and tubing.

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman April 11, 2018 at 2:48 am

      Thank you for your inquiry. I have passed along your information to a specialist who will reach out regarding your request. For more immediate assistance feel free to give our specialists a call at 888-360-9628 or if you prefer email [email protected]

      Reply
  • alyce leibowitz
    alyce leibowitz April 30, 2018 at 12:31 am

    I noticed that sometimes if the hose moves, I get a leak. I cannot be bothered at 2:00 in the morning when I am half asleep to start refitting the mask. I am tired. What can be done to stop the hose from moving

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman April 30, 2018 at 8:00 am

      If this a problem that you have frequently you may want to look at a different mask to see if maybe a better fit is available for you. You can also always consult with your doctor.

      Reply

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