Can I use CPAP while Sick?
It is that time of year again….cold and flu season. For CPAP users that can mean that they have to choose to go without their CPAP while they are sick. If you are on a CPAP and need to make this decision, then there are some things to consider.
Is it ok to stop using my CPAP while I am sick?
In most cases the Doctors that we work with have said yes. If you are sick enough that your nasal passages are restricted, using CPAP can be a real pain. If the CPAP makes you miserable while you are sick, then it may be a good decision to wait till you feel better to resume CPAP Therapy. However, we have heard from multiple customers that using their CPAP while congested actually helped. So in most cases it is best for you to simply ask yourself this question: “Will using my CPAP make me feel better or worse tonight?”.
Make sure that you keep the CPAP Clean and Sterile while you are sick
Recycling germs in your CPAP mask and supplies is just gross, and it will not help you feel better. Make sure that you clean your CPAP Mask and Supplies every day while you are sick. If you need a better way to do that, then you need to consider a CPAP Cleaner to help you out. They kill 99% of Bacteria, Mold, and Mildew.
Ideas to make using CPAP easier when you are sick:
There are a few tips and tricks for using CPAP while you are sick. You may be a person that has to maintain compliance for your job or for your insurance purposes. If that is the case, then you may not have an option. Trying some of them that we have listed below might make all the difference that you need to keep using your CPAP while dealing with illness.
Try a Full Face CPAP Mask
Most CPAP users use a Nasal CPAP mask. We all know that when you have nasal congestion, that breathing through your nose can be really tough. So changing things up to a Full Face CPAP mask can be a breath of fresh air.
Use Cold or Flu Medication
It may seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning. If you can use some sort of decongestant or medication to help your symptoms, then you probably should. That might make all the difference on whether or not you can use your CPAP while you are sick.
Adjust your Humidity Setting on the CPAP
In many cases an adjustment of your Humidity Setting can help tremendously. Just like when you were young and you used a room humidifier. Depending on your symptoms turning your humidity up or even down can not only allow you to use your CPAP, but can also help you offset the symptoms of your cold or flu. You may also want to add heated tubing to add even more humidity.
Change your CPAP settings
If you are not already on Auto-CPAP therapy, then you may want to consult with your Doctor to see if an adjustment to your settings may be necessary while you are sick. On an Auto-CPAP the machine may make the change for you.
Sit up while you sleep
If you can use your CPAP in an elevated recliner chair, or maybe some pillows to help you sit up a bit in bed, it will help tremendously. It helps with drainage as well as with reducing the severity of your Sleep Apnea in most cases.
Use a Saline rinse on your nose
Opening up your nasal passages with a Saline Spray or Rinse like a neti pot or nasal spray will help you on the CPAP as well while you are sick.