Should you use your CPAP during a cold?
Hey Sleep Warrior!
With cold season just around the corner, I tend to get lots of questions about using a CPAP machine while battling a cold. Should you or Should you not use your CPAP while sick, That is the Question!
The short and sweet answer? Probably... but it depends
One of the biggest factors determining if you should use your CPAP during a cold is - you guessed it - how congested your nose is.
With just a touch of congestion, your CPAP can save the day (or night!). It blows air past the blockage, ensuring you sleep comfortably. The pressure actually helps to open up your nasal passages. Hooray!
A quick tip? You may need to turn up the humidity on your machine. Keeping your nose moist can prevent further congestion. Dryness is not your friend when you're already stuffy.
However, if you're feeling like there's a brick wall inside your nose, using your CPAP might feel like a challenge. It's okay to give it a rest for a night or two.
During these times, nasal rinses or Breathe Rite strips can be handy tools to help you breathe easier. Use caution if you reach for Afrin-type nasal sprays - I recommend using these in only one nostril at a time and for only for 2-3 days (or nights) max - otherwise you run the risk of serious rebound congestion.
If you are using your CPAP, remember: HYGIENE FIRST!! Wash (or at least rinse) your mask, tubing, and humidifier chamber daily. The last thing you want is those pesky cold germs planning a reunion.
Of course, these are general guidelines we're discussing, your personal experience might differ. If in doubt, ALWAYS, reach out to your sleep provider. They can offer advice tailored just for you.
Thanks for being here, I’ll see you next week!