Should I use CPAP when I have a cold?
POSTED 24 Jul 2017

A stuffy nose can make it difficult to breathe during CPAP therapy, and mucus discharge may dirty the CPAP mask, especially if you use nasal pillows. Some sleep apnea patients on CPAP therapy may feel caught between a rock and a hard place; their cold or flu makes using a CPAP machine unpleasant, but not complying with therapy will increase their OSA symptoms. We have compiled a few tips that help CPAP users battle a cold or the flu.

  1. Use a heated humidifier to reduce dryness and shrink swollen nasal passages
  2. Use a nasal pillow mask to open up your sinus passages, or a full face mask if passage is still too congested
  3. Use decongestants or nasal sprays to help clear your airways (speak to your doctor or a pharmacist to see if this is suitable for you)
  4. Elevate your head to allow mucus to drain
  5. Wash your CPAP equipment regularly to prevent reinfection
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