Does your CPAP machine dry out your nasal passages and make you sneeze? Or maybe you’re experiencing the opposite, ending up with your nose so stuffy your throat gets gunked up with mucus? Both outcomes are likely keeping you up at night, and a sign that you should invest in a CPAP humidifier.
If you suffer from any of the above, you’re far from alone. The American Sleep Apnea Association provides some interesting statistics on the usage rates and benefits of using a CPAP humidification system:
Having a CPAP humidifier is a godsend for those with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. These units - either built into your CPAP or bought separately - adapt the ambient humidity within your mask to provide optimal conditions to prevent chronic nasal issues. A good purchase of a CPAP machine should always come with a humidifier and it should never be sold separately. Beware of vendors selling units without it.
A CPAP humidifier either attaches to or is built into your CPAP machine, and increases the natural moisture in the air you breathe. This alleviates the problems associated with CPAP machines without humidification: stuffy or dry nose and waking up as a result.
CPAP machines force air into your nasal passages to help you breathe, and without the aid of a humidifier, this air is often dry. The act of forcing dry air into your airways also agitates the nasal lining, which is the result of your dry or runny nose. Boosting the humidity and temperature of the air allows you to breathe easy all night long.
A CPAP humidifier comes in two varieties: cold pass and heated.
The cold pass system is a tank of water that allows the air intake from the CPAP to pass over it, picking up the evaporated moisture. Since the cold pass system doesn’t have any active heating, it is more effective for those living in warmer climates. These systems are also typically separate from the CPAP machine, making your setup bulkier.
For those of us who are not so fortunate or want all-year comfort, a heated humidifier is the way to go. This system works the same as the cold pass system but actively heats up the water to provide the optimal vapour temperature and humidity to your mask for the current climate. While there are separate heated humidifier units you can purchase that integrate with your current CPAP, many newer CPAP models come with heated humidifiers built-in.
A CPAP humidifier is a great addition to your therapy, but there are some maintenance issues to keep in mind.
You may find that the heat setting on a humidifier causes the water to run out before the night is through, especially if you require high pressure. You also need to be careful that if your heat setting is too high you may experience “rain out” - condensation building up in your mask that drips onto your face. In this instance, you may also need to turn the heat down or purchase insulation for your tubing to help prevent build-up.
Lastly, it is recommended that you use distilled water in your CPAP humidifier, and empty the tank daily. This helps reduce the chance of bacteria buildup from standing water, and also damaging residue that can come from using tap water. Therefore, contributing to the longevity of your water chamber.
Without using a CPAP humidifier, you risk losing out on precious hours of sleep and giving up on your therapy. If you have yet to try a CPAP device with a heated humidifier, we highly recommend you give it a whirl and see how it improves your quality of life.
At CPAPmachines.ca, we carry all the popular lines of CPAP machines with integrated humidifiers, and attachable units as well. We guarantee the lowest prices in Canada and ship directly to your door.
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Kit includes: A mini portable sanitizer, 3 or 6 pack of filters (depending on machine), 2 packs of aloe cleansing wipes and a premium tubing brush.