The fall and winter season can be a tough time for CPAP users for multiple reasons. The dry cold winter air lacks humidity and if you combine that with your CPAP therapy, your nasal passages are bound to become dry. These conditions are bound to make you feel worse when combined with the cold and flu.
The main function of your nose is to moisten and warm the air that you breathe in. When the air is cold, it causes the blood vessels in your nose to dilate which will warm the air but this extra blood flow will cause your airway to narrow. This will lead to additional production of mucus to protect these sensitive tissues which will add moisture to air that you are inhaling. While this sounds okay, it will actually cause a runny nose or increased nasal congestion.
If the air inside your CPAP feels cold and it disrupts your sleep, there are a few things that you can try including:
- Closing the windows
- Increasing the temperature inside your room
- Placing your tubes under bedding or clothing
Continuing Use of CPAP with Respiratory Infections
Sleep is never easy when you have an upper respiratory tract infection, the flu, or a cold. When you combine the need for CPAP therapy with these illnesses, it becomes even more annoying to continue with your treatment plan. However, it is not advised to stop the use of your CPAP machine since it can actually make your symptoms worse.
Tips that you can try to make your treatment more comfortable include:
- Using saline nasal spray to add moisture can help you breathe easier by relieving swelling
- Using a decongestant before bed
- Using an over the counter nasal spray to add moisture and relieve swelling
Make sure that you never add oil to the water in your humidifier and do not add it to the filter of your CPAP device. This can damage your equipment.
Using the Best CPAP Cleaner
While you are sick, you are more vulnerable to illnesses being spread. Your immune system is weakened. Illnesses spread quickly. The best way to put a stop to this is by keeping your machine (and yourself) germ free. This means using the right CPAP cleaner for your machine, sanitizing, and constantly washing your hands. Avoid high populated areas while you are sick. If you cannot, be sure to wash your hands. Visit your doctor if your remain sick for more than a week. Be sure to check with your doctor and pharmacist before starting OTC medications.
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