The dreaded cold and flu season: survival tips for CPAP users

cpap flu season

Well, it’s that time of the year again. People all around you have been feeling under the weather and you probably have figured out that cold and flu season is in full swing. If you haven’t come down with something already, chances are, either you or someone you know will get something soon enough.

If you use a CPAP machine, then you know all too well how uncomfortable a cold can be when trying to use the machine at night as you normally would. As tempting as it may sound, it is of no benefit to you if you decide to set the machine aside just for a night or two until you can breathe normally again. If having a cold wasn’t bad enough, you will not have the benefit of being able to sleep soundly though the night if you forgo your CPAP therapy. So then you’ll not only be sick, but you will lose sleep as well, which is crucial for fighting off your cold! It may sound like a challenge, but you can fight off this cold AND not lose any sleep from getting frustrated with your CPAP machine.

Here are some tips that can help to both alleviate your cold and help you sleep better at night, without having to set the CPAP machine aside for the night.

  • Try using an over the counter saline nasal spray: this will help to add moisture to your sinuses and reduce the swelling to help you breathe a bit easier
  • Add a heated humidifier to your CPAP machine: this works wonders for CPAP users as the heat helps to add moisture to your sinuses. For best results: be sure to position the humidifier lower than the bed, and try to keep the room temperature on the warm side
  • Try sleeping on your side, or prop your head higher so that your nasal passages are elevated
  • Keep your CPAP machine and parts clean: ever wonder why we always talk about the importance of keeping your CPAP machine and parts clean? This is a prime time to ensure that your CPAP is germ free to help you recover faster
  • Try switching to a full face mask as oppose to a nasal one, until your cold is gone
  • Try an auto CPAP machine, as it will adjust the air flow settings to your breathing patterns, which are very different when you are sick.
  • Be sure to seek help from your doctor if your symptoms progress for more than just a few days and you are still having trouble sleeping with the CPAP machine at night