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First week- why is my cpap making me dizzy?
I was very excited to have an solution to my exhaustion and tolerated the cpap at night just fine. But I've only been able to use it 4 nights now- My problem is in the daytime. I feel dizzy. Sometimes I even have nausea. I called the sleep center and the nurse told me that dizziness is not a side effect that people get from cpap and I must have a virus. But it doesn'Huht feel like a virus at all. it feels like too much pressure in my head and my heart is going a little fast too. I went on a backpacking trip for two days and couldnt bring cpap- and the dizziness went away. I came back used the cpap and the next day - dizzy again. I feel certain that its related to the cpap but if I cant fix it or even convince the MD that the symptom are real then I dont know what I'm going to do. Any ideas?
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sleepjunky, Welcome, I wouldn't call it a side effect but more getting used to it, you have to remember you have been sleep and oxygen deprived for a long time. What you are getting is the oxygen and blood to the vital organs you needed before but weren't getting.
Everybody is different, we all have different bodies and different reactions to the treatment.
What many people find after the first night or two of CPAP is a sudden rush of energy which then tapers off and over the next 3-6 months you start to get back to a more 'normal' feeling. You have to listen to your own body and brain rather than the nurse.
The other thing is unless they are a CPAP user they have no idea really what it's like or what we go through.
Everyone on here has gone through what you have in one way or another and we can give you the advice and support you need.
Finally, I look at this journey as a marathon not a sprint and sometimes we have to put up with some of these things to look at the long term goal which is a better quality of life and a longer life. I would try to stick it out a few more weeks before you follow up more.
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I felt ear pressure when first started CPAP, took few weeks to settle down. I suffer from allergy type symptoms/congestion, find humidifier and doing sinus rinse helps
If you google it or search the forum, you find CPAP use can cause dizziness in some people due to ear/sinuses problems
Check blood pressure and maybe a referral to ear and nose doctor

Make sure mask vents holes not getting blocked by bed covers so you,re not re-breathing exhaled air
Whats AHI, leak rate and 90% pressure

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Sometimes doctors are stuck up on their own delusions of grandeur and they don't listen.

Lots of things happen when people have apnea. Sleep deprivation, stress hormones, O2 deprivation, etc. The body adjusts chemically and neurologically. When they start CPAP and stop having apnea, the body may be "off balance" until it finds a new equilibrium.

I think of it as being like the withdrawal people have when they stop smoking, drinking, drugs (legal or otherwise), or when they end some period of great stress. The adjustments the body made to the previous situation now leave them chemically or neurologically maladjusted for a while.

Even something as simple as going from working the night shift to working day shift can leave you off kilter for a while due to changes in sleep patterns.

Some people have strange reactions when they start CPAP. To some extent, it's a good sign. It may be a sign that apnea was greatly affecting their body before and the body has to readjust to normality.

Of course, you could be having some problem unrelated to CPAP or apnea. We do need to be careful that we don't put our CPAP blinders on and assume everything has to do with CPAP or apnea.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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Hi sleepjunky,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
What archangle said.
If you can't get your Dr. to listen to you, it might be time to try to find another one who will.
Best of luck to you.
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Would lowering the treatment pressure for a few weeks make it better for the OP?
Apnea Board Moderator

Breathe deeply and count to zen.


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Thanks all. What is OP? They would not lower the pressure because they say dizziness is NOT related to cpap. But it co-incides with use of cpap, so Im stuck with no treatment currently. frustrating. I couldnt get an appointment until next week. I find the lack of responsiveness by the sleep center frustrating, but I doubt there is another alternative.
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Don't forget it can be something unrelated to CPAP.

If it is related to CPAP, it will probably go away in a week or two. You've talked to your doctor about it. It's probably not dangerous. Other than the short term discomfort, there's little downside to continuing CPAP.

A certain number of people do feel off kilter at first even if the CPAP is doing the right thing. It goes away after a while. No apnea vs. apnea is a big change in your metabolism.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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Firstly, OP = "Original Poster".

Secondly, from personal experience, I can tell you that starting CPAP _can_ cause all kinds of bizarre side effects, particularly if your sleep apnea has gotten really bad. But it's not because of the CPAP per se. For me, it's because my metabolism suddenly went from "hibernation" into "alive", and suddenly my being morbidly our of shape meant that I felt constantly out of breath. Fortunately, these issues seem to be temporary as my body gets used to its new normal. Plus, my feeling of increased energy and lowered appetite mean that I'm expecting my weight and fitness issues to be resolvable a lot more easily. My doctor told me that trying to lose weight while suffering from severe sleep apnea is next to impossible.

Don't blame the emergence of previously-hidden issues on the removal of the significant badness that was masking them. Stick it out to see if the issues resolve themselves.
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OP, sometimes I over-tighten my mask while I am asleep. Not that I know how & when I accomplish that trick. The only problem is, that the next day, I wake up with a headache & dizziness. Might be that you are wearing your to tightly.

;-> gjw
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