Can CPAP cause sinus infections?

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Can CPAP cause sinus infections?

Postby neptune » Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:18 am

I've been on CPAP for about a month. I use the nose pillows. I also use the humidifier. I wash the humidifier weekly, and even make sure it gets "steamed" on the top rack of the dishwasher. I also wash my nose pillows daily.
However, twice I've gotten severe sinus infections since starting. Granted, I was diagnosed with severe allergies, asthma, and severe sinusitus...so I have sinus problems anyway. But, does CPAP make the sinus problems worse? Just wondering if anyone has noticed or experienced this.
Thanks.
---Rich
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Postby Vicki » Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:12 am

Until you get it under control, you should dump the water out every day, let the humidifier air dry and put fresh distilled (or reverse osmosis water) in it at night. Read this link on sinus irrigation because it is extremely helpful to people with sinus issues. Read the whole post because it is much easier than it sounds at first.

Sinus Irrigation How To

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Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
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That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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Re: Can CPAP cause sinus infections?

Postby cpost » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:52 am

I have been using the CPAP for years and have had this happen only a few times, however this winter it has happened to me several times. I was sick for 3 weeks each time- it was horrible. This happened to me 2 todays ago. At the very onset of developing a sinus congestion in the back of my throat and nose I used a nettie pot to wash my sinuses then took 2 benadryl that night and did not use my cpap. The benadryl really made me drag the next day, plus no cpap but it was worth it. It cleared me up in one day. I realized something in my Cpap was contaminated. (I wash it everyday with warm soapy water) That next day, I went in to my supplier and replaced my humidifier tray, got a new tubing, filter, and allergy filter. I got all of this for under $12. I decided I would start all over. I also talked to them about cleaning my equipment, and watched You Tube videos on how to clean equipment. I have decided to be more deligent in cleaning my equipment. ( I use Ivory dishwashing liquid- do not use antibacterial soap or strong dish soap)

Wipe off outside of cpap machine with wet soapy cloth (daily)
Submerge humidifer tray and mask in warm soapy water- rinse then let air dry all day. (Do this in the morning- I was leaving the water in until night then cleaning it. They think bacteria was growing in the porous plastic tray. So you have to clean it right after using it) (daily)
Wash mask submerge in warm soapy water- let it air dry (daily)
Wash hose in soapy water and rinse- hang it to dry (once a week)
I also am now using the little white allergy filter, along with the gray filter ( change as directed)

The respiratory therapist I talked to also has sleep apnea and he puts his machine in a drawer after each use. He said to keep it away from dust and keep it cleaner. (it's a thought). He also said that everything that is in the air in your bedroom is getting sucked down into your mask. So I will be more aware of this. This respiratory therapist uses baby shampoo to clean his equipment.


My son has chronic allergies and he takes allegra everyday of the year. We thought they were just seasonal but in the winter there are dust mites and he's allergic to those too. I know my house in clean because I have a cleaning service every week. Once in awhile his allergies go out of whack. At the onset of the draining down his throat (sore throat) I correct the problem with benadryl at night. This seems to get him back on track right away. I usually can clear him up with 1 dose for 1 night- but sometimes it takes a couple nights to get him back on track. So that is why I tried this to clear up my Cpap congestion the other night and it worked! My sinuses cleared up after one night and I was able to resume my cpap. I felt great and I'm not sick. I had no problems because I started with fresh equipment. Now I am going to be more diligent about cleaning my equipment to see if I can overcome this issue.


I tried cpap in 2006 and gave it up for 3 years. I think the pressure and the mask were wrong. Then in 2009 I went to another better sleep study, they adjusted the pressure and the mask. I went to the same hospital and doctor but the nurse performing the sleep study made all the difference. She told me which mask to use and that the small one just covering the nose was the best. It was successful and the CPAP worked great for me. It changed my life - I can sleep! I decided to try again because I was told that sleep apnea can cause- high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and heart attack. Having sleep apnea is not something that can be ignored, he has to be treated. I am female and was diagnosed with it at 46 years of age and I'm not over weight. I hate this disorder! But I'm not going to give up and let it beat me like it did the first time!

I hope this helps with the sinus problems. - I do think that the person with allergies might try to take allegra every morning. I would try it first to see if it can alleviate any sinus issues relating to cpap use. However, If you have a huge flair up It is still okay to take benadryl at night if you take allegra in the morning. I checked for drug interactions with the pharmacist for my son. However it is not okay to take benadryl with any sleeping pills.

Good Luck!
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Re: Can CPAP cause sinus infections?

Postby minerva9 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:49 am

I have non-allergic rhinitis, and had to stop using CPAP because of it. The air pressure kept pushing mucus (sorry for the graphic) up into my ear canals and causing tinnitus and recurrent ear infections. Tried taking different types of decongestants, but it didn't help. The CPAP also exacerbates my rhinitis, tho my ENT is not sure why. Fortunately, my apnea is such that an oral device is effective, so I'm now in the process of switching.
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