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Tips on Using Your CPAP in the Winter

Tips on Using Your CPAP in the Winter

Winter: some people love it and some do not. In addition to the cooler temperatures, with winter comes the potential for respiratory concerns. It can be even more cumbersome to those with sleep apnea who use CPAP devices. Don’t let winter get the best of you, stay on top of your sleep apnea this season.

Sleep Apnea in the Winter Months

Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea are snoring, episodes of not breathing, breathing through the mouth, dry throat, headache and dry mouth. These are also common ailments that occur during the winter. As you can imagine, these combined with sleep apnea can pose added hardship over the winter months. Studies have shown that sleep apnea may get worse in the winter. This is due to the dry air and in some situations, caused by the smoke from fireplaces. The heat that we use to compensate for the frigid temps does a disservice to our respiratory system. It dries everything out, making it harder to breathe and sleep comfortably.

Cleaning Your CPAP

While it’s always important to clean your CPAP, it’s even more important to stay on top of cleaning while you are sick. Moreover, a good cleaning routine during cold and flu season is a good preventative measure. Normally, it’s suggested to clean your mask once a week. During this time of year, it’s best to clean it daily. In fact, we recommend cleaning all of the accessories once daily. Be sure to wash your hands before handling the pieces.

Using Your CPAP While Ill

It’s even more important to stay compliant while you’re sick. Here are some tips you can use to make it more comfortable.

  • Invest in a full face mask

If you currently use the nasal mask, you may want to consider a full face mask for the duration of your sickness. If you aren’t able to breathe through your nose, this is a great alternative.

  • Use a humidifier

Combat the dry heat with a humidifier. Part of the reason colds happen so often in the winter is the dry air. It dries out the nasal passages which normally have mucus to protect from impending germs.

  • Elevate your head

Place an extra pillow under your head to aid in breathing.

Using your CPAP can get frustrating as the seasons change, but now that you know exactly what to do to be prepared, your winter nights will fly by. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to CarePro Health Services today.