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Do you use your CPAP when sick?

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SleepyMommy703 +0 points · over 3 years ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

When I first started using CPAP a few years ago I gave up 10 months in, partially because I kept getting sinus infections that made it unbearable to use. I have my first cold since I've been back on it and I'm wondering what others do when they are sick (in particular congested). I went ahead and used it last night only able to breath through one nostril. I was able to sleep but woke a few times with my throat dry and sore. I don't think it's a coincidence that I woke with terrible abdominal bloat this morning though. I'm guessing it probably took more pressure and I was probably swallowing a lot because of post nasal drip.

I would assume a head cold is going to make sleep apnea worse so I don't want to skip it, but I'm also assuming I probably should be cleaning my machine more often or trying decongestants too. I don't normally take meds for a cold, but being that I have a nasal mask I may have to. I also have a heated tube I may start using so I can up my moisture. I figure that's probably helpful.

Just wondering what others do with CPAP treatment when they are sick and any tips to maybe make it more tolerable.

Thanks, Heather

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snuffie3456 +0 points · over 3 years ago

Good question. I'm only one month in, and have been wondering the same thing. I was congested the other night, and used Afrin, which is highly effective if only used once in a while.

Full disclosure, I don't like the idea of blowing moist air up my nose, so I don't use the humidifier at all. So far I've had no issues with dry mouth/throat, nor any sinus or congestion issues related to machine use.

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RedParker +1 point · over 3 years ago

Hello. I have central apnea and use a high pressure asv machine, so I have to use it no matter what. I have found that using breathe right strips help a lot when I am stuffed up or have a cold. I adjust the humidity and heat up or down a little most nights. Florida's year round blooms made themselves at home in my sinuses ages ago. I bought myself a netI machine that washes the goop out when it gets really bad. It's a little gross, but easier that the little plastic Neri pots.
No matter what, I keep using the apnea therapy! Too many awful health problems happen if we stop. Best of luck!

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OptimisticLimeFlamingo6906 +0 points · over 3 years ago

I changed to a full face mask to avoid that exact problem. I have very severe Central Sleep Apnea and can’t sleep without my machine. With a full face mask, you can breath through your nose or your mouth. So, if your nose is plugged, you can mouth breath. It might be a good idea to order a full mask next time if only to have one when you need it. I found the Mirage Quattro is a good mask that does not cause blisters on my nose (there are some bad full masks out there). I love the full face mask much better than the nasal because you don’t have to keep your mouth shut while sleeping.

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Peter24g +0 points · over 2 years ago

(For Sleepy Mommy703) I was prone to sinus infections when I was younger, however if you clean your mask daily, and tube every other day it shouldn't happen. In fact keeping the system clean and tubes disinfected using some basic tools out there (sprays or baby shampoo) should help with the onset of sinus infections. If you skip more than 1 day, you risk about 24 billions extra germs and bacteria entering your sinus cavity (way more than a normal day out in the park). Remember also that if you have the humidifier on, and the temp set below your room temperature, it is best to put the machine on the floor, as to avoid accumulation of water, which will breed bacteria in any part of the tube or mask. If you don't use a humidifier, you probably live in Florida or a nice humid zone, with that though comes the extra disinfection that should occur daily. You can purchase inexpensive cleaning supplies and filters which your lungs will appreciate.

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