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Sleep apnea, CPAP/APAP

There are several options for protecting your eyes at night if you wear a CPAP or APAP mask for treatment of sleep apnea.


Many people experience dry eye for the first time while using CPAP or APAP due to air leakage from the mask into their eyes, and of course this poses more serious problems for those who already have dry eye. Excessive drying can happen with CPAP/APAP masks if:

  • the user doesn't know that they can/should protect their eyes, or
  • the most commonly available devices for protecting their eyes may not be compatible with their mask.

I've talked with many people over the years who needed eye protection for a leaky CPAP mask. And at this writing (Nov. 09) I've also finally just recently been personally exposed to this issue because my husband has been trying out an APAP mask. When we met with the sleep treatment company our insurer contracts with, and they were fitting Panos with various masks to test, I talked about this issue with the consultant and he was actually quite dismissive of the need for protection from leaking. He felt it could always be prevented by taking sufficient care in mask selection, fitting and adjusting. So if you're new to CPAP/APAP it may be worth really pressing this issue before you finalize a purchase.

But for the rest of you who already have a device that's affecting your eyes no matter how it's adjusted, and for those who simply can't get a perfectly fitting mask (or it doesn't stay perfectly in place all night) there are thankfully more and more options available to cope.


The best-known night protection item is called Tranquileyes. However, this only fits with certain CPAP/APAP devices (more about that below).

The only products designed specifically for CPAP users are the new-in-09 Onyix and Quartz, by the company that makes Tranquileyes. These are low-profile foamless soft silicone shields that can fit easiliy with most masks. While they do not offer the complete seal of the foam cushions on Tranquileyes, they're about as close as you can get, and they have the advantage of simple care and not need replacement foam.

Onyix and Quartz below (black & clear respectively).

Other options:

Sleep masks. I've got a variety of these in the shop here. If you use a sleep mask I'd go for a low profile one light Contour or Silhouette.

Taping. That's as low profile as it gets... a hassle but in some cases still the best option if one cannot get sufficient protection from any other method.

USER FEEDBACK on mask compatibility

Want to add your experience with a specific mask here? Please email your comments to me at Thanks! As I get time I will start to distill the information into a compatibility table.

These are comments kindly provided by users of CPAP/APAP masks about which products can work with which masks.

PAM says:

I use cpap. My dry eye issues come and go, but when they are bad, like right now, I use the tranquileyes hydrating goggles with my mask, which is called a Hybrid. This mask covers nose and mouth, and is considered a full-face mask, but does not go up to the bridge of the nose like most other full-face masks. I don't get leaks that affect my eyes that often because of the style mask I use, but when I do, the tranquileyes work fine.

Since the Mirage Liberty is made the same way as the Hybrid, the transquieyes hydrating type goggle should work okay with it as well.

The transquileyes do not work with other full-face masks I've tried: Quatro, Ultra-Mirage Full-face, Zzz-Mark, Flexifit Full-Face.

The masks that leak air into the eyes the most are all full-face masks that go up to the bridge of the nose. I've found it almost impossible to find any eye covers/goggles, etc., that work with these type masks. It sure would be great if there was something.


I wear the Swift LT for Her mask. Actually, it is not a full mask, but just "nasal pillows" which are a lot smaller than a mask. I use Tranquileyes with no real problem, although I do have to be careful as I put them on. I have also successfully used Onyx and have tried a variety of other eye masks which have interfered with my CPAP pillows. I do have a very small face, so there is bound to be little space between my eyes and nose.


I use a CPAP and have also tried your goggles [presumably Tranquileyes] but with no success. My CPAP mask covers my entire nose andhas a bar that that attaches to a forehead brace. Lots of straps.... The manuf. is Fisher&Paykel Healthcare. The model is FlexiFit 406.

PAUL says:

I use a cpap machine with a Hybrid mask . The mask covers the mouth and has nasal pillows that fit under the nose. I recently bought the Tranquileyes eye cover/mask. It works extremely well. I no longer have to strain for ten seconds in the morning to open my eyes. I believe the reason the two work well together is because the mask I use does not cover the nose and interfere with the eyeware.

JEFF says:

Got two for you that work with Tranqueleyes. I wear a Swift LT and my GF wears a Resmed Breeze. We both use the Tranqueleyes mask.

ELAINE says:

I use the ResMED Mirage Quattro full face mask. I don’t care what the respiratory therapist say – the CPAP mask leaks at night and causes eyes to dry out. I’ve had dry eye for about 19 years and was already sleeping with ointment, but could still feel the cold air in my eyes all night. I would wake up with painful, blood shot eyes every morning. Wal-Mart sells a cheap $2+ traveler’s sleep mask that is thin enough to fit under the nose of the CPAP mask. It worked so-so – it kept the ointment off my pillow case, fit securely when I first went to bed, but it bent my eye lashes horribly! LOL I started researching your site to find a different type sleep mask or a way to repair my eyelashes. (I have to say I’ve purchased sleep masks before but couldn’t sleep in them – but now that I have the CPAP mask – the inconvenience of a strap around my head seems so minor!)

I had purchased the tranquil eyes a year or so ago and tried it under the CPAP and I loved it – I could blink and there was no CPAP air leak, but the adhesive wouldn’t stay. (I have so many eye infections that I meticulously washed it every morning which probably didn’t help the adhesive.) Everyone’s CPAP mask is different – the tranquil eyes were actually a little large to fit under my CPAP but I was determined to give my eyelashes a break and make it work. I researched your site again and found the Onyix goggles. I waited for almost a month for the clear ones to become available, but decided to use the black instead. I do love them. They seal nicely, I don’t wake up with the cold hissing air leaking into my eyes at night. The ointment stays in my eyes rather than being absorbed by the sleep mask. I probably could have used the tranquil eyes without the foam and got the same results, but I have both now.


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