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Can you catch a cold from the CPAP machine?

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Can you catch a cold from the CPAP machine?

Postby pippincat » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:11 am

This is my 4th night on CPAP and I feel like I have a cold with sore throat and running nose. (nose sore as well but thanks to you guys now have Ayr gel to help it).

I say I am just getting sick, but my daughter says maybe it is getting used to CPAP.

Is that possible?

Thanks
Pippin
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More likely it's....

Postby dunetraveller » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:48 am

Nasal irritation can cause those symptoms. May feel like a cold precisely because the dryer air rushing in from a CPAP causes the mucous membranes in the nose to swell up just like a cold would, and the air can cause the throat to feel sore.

The air we breathe has to have sufficient humidity in it to allow the transfer of oxygen from the air to the blood in the lungs. To help humidify dry air, the nose linings swell up to increase the surface area that air has to pass over, increasing the chance to make it humid enough to be of benefit to the body. It will also increase mucous production to help, too. It can make you feel you have a full blown allergy, or cold when the air is so dry. It is not that CPAP air is that dry, but it is coming in so fast, because it's under pressure, that it spends much less time in the sinuses. With additional moisture from a heated humidifier, you can reduce the irritation from the air rushing through your nose. The throat should feel much better at the same time. You may also want to use Nasal Irrigation to increase moisture, too.

Even if it is a cold, the CPAP is often found to relieve those symptoms while in use because the air is filtered and humidified, which will cause less reaction from the sinuses. Drinking enough to be adequately hydrated can help the body maintain proper moisture to the air before it gets to the lungs as well. Even though we don't all live in a desert, to your nose, it can feel like one with a CPAP.

John
"Death doesn't really worry me that much, I'm not frightened about it... I just don't want to be there when it happens." - Woody Allen
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Thanks John

Postby pippincat » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:12 am

Thanks John for your response.

I am using the humidifier at 2. It is about as warm as I can stand as I get hot at night. Do you think it will get better as my body adjusts to the CPAP?
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Postby Bearded One » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:21 pm

Many of those sorts of problems will go away as your body gets used to the therapy.

It is also possible that the CPAP isn't causing the problem and it really is just a cold or allergies.

Most CPAP machines come with a disposable white filter that is effective at removing pollen and other allergens. If yours has just a foam filter you can get disposable white filters from your DME or on-line. Make sure that you replace the disposable white filter when it starts turning gray -- check it every week or so. Throw dirty disposable filters away, don't try to wash them.

Make sure that nobody smokes in the same room as your CPAP, whether it is turned on or not. Cigarette smoke particles and gases can contaminate the machine and cause respiratory problems, as well as plug up sensors and cause certain parts of the machine to deteriorate.
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Re: Thanks John

Postby dunetraveller » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:23 pm

pippincat wrote:Do you think it will get better as my body adjusts to the CPAP?


You can get used to it in time. I got used to the desert to the point the dry air doesn't bother me at all. I used to get some nose bleeds my first year out in Vegas. If it's allergies as Bearded One pointed out, you can use some basic OTC sprays or tablets to relieve the congestion in addition to adding in the pollen filter. Just do some of the other things I mentioned to increase your body's moisture level... hydrating a lot, even though that can make for more nightly visits to the bathroom, and nasal irrigation which may be more successful, but not too soon before bed since it takes a couple of hours for your sinuses to really drain if you give them a good dousing. Some get good enough results from the irrigation they can do without the humidifier... YMMV.

John
"Death doesn't really worry me that much, I'm not frightened about it... I just don't want to be there when it happens." - Woody Allen
Respironics M Series Auto with A-Flex :-D, Pressure 9-12cmH2O, Mirage Swift II Nasal pillows, and Ace bandages ;-)
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Postby hhopper » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:02 pm


When I first started with cpap, my nose got really sensitive and I sneezed all day long. It took about two weeks to get used to the air blowing through my nose. Nasonex and Zyrtec helped.
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