As we navigate through one of the biggest health pandemics of our lifetime to date, the question on many CPAP users’ lips is: Does having Sleep Apnea increase my risk of getting COVID-19?
You are probably already aware that having Central or Obstructive Sleep Apnea impacts your lungs’ ability to function properly. Due to the way in which COVID-19 affects an individual’s respiratory system, it is normal to worry about whether this puts you at a higher risk of vulnerability. While medical professionals have classed those with underlying medical conditions as being in a high-risk category, there is currently no evidence to suggest that having Sleep Apnea increases your chances of developing this disease.
Having said that, it is still important that CPAP users stay extra vigilant during this time and follow all measures and precautions to help stop the spread and reduce Coronavirus risks. Here at CPAPMachines.ca, your health and the health of our employees are our top priority. Read what COVID-19 measures we have put in place.
Exactly how the virus is affecting people is constantly being tracked and investigated by medical professionals and scientists. However, we do have some knowledge as to the impact that it has on the respiratory system.
Over the course of the last few months, we have learned that COVID-19 primarily affects the lungs. This disease causes pneumonia and in some cases, acute respiratory distress syndrome, to develop in patients. When the virus enters the body, it enters healthy cells in the mucus membranes that line the nose, mouth and eyes. From here, it multiplies and travels down the windpipe infecting the upper or lower part of the respiratory tract.
Once the COVID-19 virus enters the respiratory tract, our immune systems kick into action and cause the lungs to swell and become inflamed. That is why the telltale signs of this virus are a dry cough and a sore throat. In mild to moderate cases, you may also experience pneumonia due to the lungs becoming inflamed and filling with fluid. This is why difficulty breathing is common among many COVID-19 patients.
In more severe and critical cases, your lungs have more difficulty taking in oxygen and due to this, a ventilator may be needed as part of treatment. While most cases are thankfully only classed as mild or moderate, there is evidence to suggest that this Coronavirus can cause lasting damage to the lining of the lungs.
While the latest data shows that Canada is doing really well in flattening the curve, we still have a long way to go. This is a very serious virus and COVID-19 risks are not to be taken lightly. So, you need to do your best to reduce the risk of infection while staying compliant with CPAP therapy.
The best way to do this is by staying vigilant about cleaning your PAP equipment on a regular basis. Using dirty CPAP masks and machines increases your chance of becoming ill on a normal everyday basis. It is important to follow manufacturer guidelines when cleaning CPAP equipment and also to keep all surrounding surfaces disinfected and clean on a daily basis.
Remember, using a CPAP machine does not guarantee you won’t get COVID-19 but keeping your equipment clean and practising social distancing can reduce your chances. If you are feeling unwell or experiencing any Coronavirus signs, we urge you to speak with a medical professional immediately.
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