Oh winter! The snow may look pretty but the cold weather is not so fun to deal with. As Canadians, it’s no secret that cold weather comes with dry skin. And when you use a CPAP machine at night, the flow of air through your airway can dry out and irritate your nasal passages. This can cause nosebleeds, nasal congestion and could even make your airway swell up to the point where the therapy will not work properly. So how do we solve this problem?
The good news is that many CPAP machines today come with a built-in humidifier. This adds moisture to the air of your CPAP therapy in order to reduce your symptoms of congestion so you can breathe better at night. What you should know, is that CPAP humidifiers come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are directly attached to the machine, and some attach itself to the hose of the mask. Some machines have heated humidifiers and others only produce air flow at room temperature.
Here are a few tips for finding, and using a humidifier that works with your mask, and your lifestyle:
- Don’t think of it as an added on luxury to your CPAP machine. Keeping moisture in the air that you breathe is a necessity, regardless of the climate outside. Do you get a lot of nosebleeds when you use your CPAP machine? In that case, without a humidifier, it’s actually doing you more harm than good.
- Be sure to clean your CPAP machine and all the parts with it on a regular basis (at least a few times per week). This will help the therapy to work better. You should also remember to empty out the water chamber on a daily basis
- Be sure to ask your doctor if you need help deciding what is right for you. They may have a recommendation that fits your condition and you lifestyle best.