We use cookies and other tools to enhance your experience on our website and to analyze our web traffic.
For more information about these cookies and the data collected, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

Do you use your CPAP when sick?

100 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
SleepyMommy703 +0 points · almost 5 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

55 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
snuffie3456 +0 points · over 4 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.

2 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
RedParker +1 point · over 4 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!

26 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
OptimisticLimeFlamingo6906 +0 points · over 4 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.

1 post
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Peter24g +0 points · about 4 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.

7 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
airboss27 +0 points · 6 months ago

There seems to be a conflict of opinion when it comes to using the Cpap when we have a head cold. Recently, my wife and I came down with a head cold and we were concerned it might be early onset of covid. Thankfully, the tests came back negative. However, I use a cpap and she does not. Her symptoms are abating and mine are getting worse. I now have the head cold symptoms AND chest congestion and productive, barking cough. I suspect the use of the cpap may have driven the virus down my trachea into my lungs. Some sources online seem to indicate that can and does happen. I have a call into my Sleep Doc and his RT. Any feedback here will be appreciated. Thanks all and Happy New Year!

2,696 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Sierra +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Patron

I have used my CPAP every night I have had it since I got the machine, whether or not I have a cold. If I have any congestion I use Otriven just before bed, but very seldom use it. I have a P10 Nasal Pillow mask and tape my mouth so I do not have the mouth breathing issue. I also use a heated hose and a humidifier. I find the humidifier helps to keep the nasal passages from drying out. My wife also uses a CPAP and uses it every day.

I have a F20 full face mask as a backup but never use it. In fact I hate using it. I find the nasal mask keeps the airways clear. You are going to breathe the same amount of air whether you are on a CPAP or not, or you suffocate. There is no way of preventing the virus from going down to your lungs. The CPAP will not make it any better or worse. When I did have a really bad "cold" back in January 2020 I found the CPAP quite helpful. I am convinced it was COVID, but doctors and nurses have told me that it was not possible at that time. Not so sure about that. I was the worst "cold" I ever had. Not nice at all.

7 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
airboss27 +0 points · 6 months ago

Thanks! I didn’t use my res11 last night and the coughing has lessened. That said, your statement “There is no way of preventing the virus from going down to your lungs…” makes sense. I have really come to be quite used to using it and seeing the positive results so the sooner I can get on track the better.

2,696 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Sierra +1 point · 6 months ago Sleep Patron

As I understand it the omicron virus does not like to infect the lungs for some reason, but prefers the upper respiratory tract. So it may not even want to go deeper into your lungs.

My other trick when I have a sore throat or cold is to take one Fisherman's Friend lozenge jut before I put my mask one. I find it gives me some relief long enough to get to sleep.

7 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
airboss27 +0 points · 6 months ago

As it turns out my Covid test came back negative so what I had/have is likely a bad cold. Seems that is what lots of folks here in SW Fl are dealing with…a bad cold. My hacking, productive cough seemed much worse after using my CPap Thursday night. Didn’t use it last night and the coughing was way less today. I’m hopeful my symptoms will continue to subside so I can get back on “Ol Pappy” soon. Not sure if the cold virus plays by the same rules omicron does. Thx again Sierra!

760 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Biguglygremlin +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

I don't think you can depend on Covid test results, especially if the samples were taken in the early stages of the disease.

False Negative Rate of Covid Testing

Even where the test itself is reasonably accurate there can be issues with timing, collection, handling and of course, just general bungling.

Australia's population, beyond a few small clusters, has not been exposed to Covid until the past few weeks.

We had numerous documented false negatives issued recently and I know of someone locally who came home really sick and tested positive, then some days later, when the partner developed symptoms and was tested, it came back negative which is highly unlikely under the circumstances.

Another point to remember is that Omicron did not wave it's super-charged glycoproteins and make Delta disappear.

In this population Delta is alive and kicking and just getting started.

Delta is likely to do more harm in the long run than Omicron, because of the differences Sierra referred to above.

7 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
airboss27 +0 points · 6 months ago

Thanks "Big" I may have pointed the gang in the wrong direction with my reference to covid. The question should have been more clear. I should have said, "...should I use Cpap when I have symptoms that include those consistent with a bad head cold OR covid, which, I understand, can mimic one another. To your point, the negative, positive, false negative and false positive matter is a real issue causing many to test and retest.

760 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Biguglygremlin +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

I am often off subject airboss27

It's more fun that way.

:)

112 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
PutSleepApneatoBed +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Commentator

airboss27: using PAP would probably help you, personally and help maintain your O2 levels. If you don’t already have an overnight recording oximeter, try to get one, so you can check on your O2 levels during sleep. (They are available inline, but tend to go out of stock during COVID outbreaks. But it’s like having a thermometer or BP cuff on hand. Good to have in the house.)

The big problem is, absent some filtration, the exhalation ports will spread the pathogens, of whatever nature, around the room. Any roommate or bed partner should move out for the duration and sleep in another room. Also, HEPA filters on all the air-ducts might not be a bad idea.

7 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
airboss27 +0 points · 6 months ago

As it happens, I do have one! Thx for the great suggestion!

112 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
PutSleepApneatoBed +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Commentator

Airboss27: I just saw the earliest part of this discussion where you raised the question about PAP forcing the infection deeper into the lungs. My Dad had that concern, and it drove him away fro using the machine in his last years. It’s an interesting question because part of how you rid yourself of a respiratory infection is the upward motion of cilia and the coughing process. Let us know what your doc or sleep lab says on the subject…

7 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
airboss27 +0 points · 6 months ago

Update: After a three night hiatus my cough finally subsided. Could be whatever it was ran its course or the respite helped. Dunno. I went back on cpap last night and had a good 8+ hours, 2 events per. Twas good to get back on the therapy. Thx for all the feedback and advice.

112 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
PutSleepApneatoBed +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Commentator

It’s a general issue though, because one needs it most when the lungs and O2 levels are impaired as would be typical during a flu, bad cold, or even COVID (PAP machines were used in the US, at least, as a form of non-invasive ventilators.

On the other hand, PAP therapy is contraindicated among those with a combination of CHF and centrals. So, it’s complicated….

7 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
airboss27 +0 points · 6 months ago

Complicated indeed PSAtB. And like many things, there is not one answer that “fits” all. Be well!

2,696 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Sierra +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Patron

When I had the "cold" that I still suspect may have been the original COVID strain, I had a sore throat, not much congestion, and a deep in my chest dry cough. The cough was so bad that I strained my chest muscles, and it became very painful to cough. The best relief I found was a Fisherman's Friend lozenge for the sore throat, plus an over the counter cough syrup called "Benylin Dry Cough Night". The Benylin seemed to do a good job on the cough. But, I believe it contains a drug, diphenhydramine hydrochloride, that you do not want to take for any length of time. This got me through it though, and I actually stocked up on it, in preparation for potentially getting COVID. I recall at the time there was a major run on cough syrup at the drug stores, and I had a hard time finding it. Fortunately I have not found a need to use it since that initial "cold". Now if I can avoid omicron!

But, as I said before I used my CPAP through it all and felt it helped me a lot with my breathing. I don't remember how I had my machine set at that time, but I think having the EPR (ResMed) or Flex (DreamStation) set a maximum would work best to assist breathing. A BiPAP machine, which I do not have, could be set even more aggressively with more of a differential between EPAP and IPAP pressures.

760 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Biguglygremlin +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

I have rarely had serious respiratory illness since starting CPAP but when I have I cranked the pressure (fixed) up a notch and keep using the machine despite the messy congestion.

The gear can be cleaned but breathing is rather useful and if there is a time when CPAP is essential it is when congestion is at it's worst.

At those times I focus on any additional ways to keep the airways clear, like inhaling steam or using steroidal or decongestant nasal sprays.

I have also been known to enclose the intake filter in an upended pot of vapor-rub.

Coughs are probably the hardest to deal with and might be the best argument against mouth taping and perhaps even full face masks.

For me, winding the humidifier up to max would probably help a bit and certainly having effective supplies of syrup or lozenges can provide relief or at least sympathy.

I'm not sure how relevant the central apnea issue is under those circumstances but if the aim is only to achieve normal airflow to the lungs it might not be a major issue.

3 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
daniel12 +0 points · 4 months ago

Hey there, I would recommend to pause using the machine as having cold and stuffy nose and chest are self limiting respiratory illness that can affect your breathing. Congested nose normally becomes difficult to breath but in addition to using CPAP masks can make it slightly more difficult. Using masks having infections can make it more prone to be partially be stirred up in certain places of the masks especially when it comes to pillows causing to breed multiply which is a much higher risk. Using the mask with cough can be difficult as when we cough opening the mouth can make the incoming pressure be more comfortable causing irritation to the throat, mouth and nose.

2,696 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Sierra +1 point · 4 months ago Sleep Patron

In the 4 years now that I have been using a CPAP I have never felt the need to discontinue the use when I am sick. I find that the CPAP makes my breathing easier, and also helps to keep my nasal passages decongested. In January 2020 we think we had COVID before there was testing for it. I had a horrible chest cough and while it was a big of a challenge I got through it. With the EPR turned up to max a CPAP functions like a mild ventilator to improve respiration. A BiPAP with pressure support turned up would be even better.

112 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
PutSleepApneatoBed +0 points · 4 months ago Sleep Commentator

It depends. If you desaturate badly, and I do (to below 60%) NOT using the machine can be life threatening.
It’s NOT merely about the sleep. It’s about the O2.

BTW, there is a recent French study showing an increase in all cause mortality upon cessation of use of PAP.

2,696 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Sierra +0 points · 4 months ago Sleep Patron

I think part of the problem is the constant barrage of misleading advertising by SoClean and other manufacturers claiming that CPAP machines are spreading bacteria and viruses to users. I am surprised that the CPAP manufacturers have not sued SoClean and the other manufacturers using ozone for damaging their machines.

Please be advised that these posts may contain sensitive material or unsolicited medical advice. MyApnea does not endorse the content of these posts. The information provided on this site is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for advice from a health care professional who has evaluated you.