Cold season presents challenges for CPAP users. Here are some useful steps to help you to prevent a cold, and manage well with CPAP if you do get sick.
Preventive Steps Before You Get Sick
Standard health practices such as proper hand washing will greatly reduce the chances of getting a cold. A proper sleeping routine will help as well. Keeping your mask properly clean will also reduce the possibility of catching a cold.
Steps to Take If You Already Have a Cold
What can you do if you’re already sick? If you’ve already contracted a cold, it now becomes especially imperative to keep your CPAP machine clean. Take extra care to keep your CPAP, humidifier chamber, tubing, and mask as sanitary as possible.
If you use either a nasal pillow or a nasal mask, it may be wise to consider switching to a full mask while you’re sick. This is because a nasal congestion can make breathing though the nose a challenge. Having a full mask as a backup will allow you to breathe through both the mouth and nose.
Another helpful tip is to use a heated humidifier to help break down mucus and congestion. Many CPAP systems already includes an integrated humidifier. If humidifier is included, it is important that you regularly clean and replace the water chamber.
When illness strikes, you should make sure you consult with your doctors who will offer further assistance on best practices.
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