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Using CPAP when you're sick?
#1
Do you think it is a good idea? I have a terrible cold right now, and I didn't use it night before last, but I used it last night, and now my cough is worse. If I have the flu, I don't use it. But then, my sleep apnea is mild so I can get away with not using my machine for a night.

Do you guys use your CPAP when you're sick? Do you worry about germs cycling through the machine?
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#2
Oh heck yeah. Use the machine.

The air will push the crap in your nose out of the way and you'll sleep better. Good sleep is imperative while sick.

Germs won't go back down the tube to the machine. However, it is even more important than ever to clean the mask. While you are sick, do it each morning and let air dry.

I use my machine every night without fail. When I am sick (cold, flu, whatever), I sleep soooo good. The humidity from the machine really helps not just my sinuses, but the lungs as well.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#3
Rebreathing your own germs from a cold or flu isn't going to hurt you. You've got billions of the germs living inside your body when you're sick. Every time you breathe, cough, sneeze, or swallow, they are moving around.

Rebreathing a few thousand of the germs you just exhaled isn't going to hurt you any more than the germs you already have all over you.

Once you get well, your immune system is going to be primed to fight that particular strain of the germs for quite a while, or you wouldn't have gotten well in the first place. The germs will tend to die off if they're not in a human for a while. Rebreathing them constantly might actually help keep you from catching that particular strain again because it keeps your immune system "tuned" to that particular germ.

However, I'd still be sure to clean the machine extra carefully once you get well.

I would also suggest extra care about anyone else handling your equipment. Or handling anyone else's equipment.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#4
(12-28-2012, 10:39 AM)Sweet72947 Wrote: Do you think it is a good idea? I have a terrible cold right now, and I didn't use it night before last, but I used it last night, and now my cough is worse. If I have the flu, I don't use it. But then, my sleep apnea is mild so I can get away with not using my machine for a night.

Do you guys use your CPAP when you're sick? Do you worry about germs cycling through the machine?
suppose you can get away not using your machine but the thing is the definition of apnea (stop breathing for 10 sec or more) is the same for mild or severe sleep apnea .. just the severe have more of them

full face mask is good option to use when sick so you can breathe from your mouth. pay extra attention washing mask, hose and water tank so don,t become breeding ground for germs to grow

I find sinus rinse, just saline solution does help clearing stuff from the nose

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#5
Hi Sweet72947, I use my machine all the time, even when I have a cold. I had a 24-hour bug a couple years ago, and I used it then, too.
trish6hundred
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#6
When I have a stuffy nose, my CPAP pressure actually helps to clear out my sinuses to a degree. If one side is more stuffed up than the other, when I'm wearing my nasal pillows, I'll push the clearer nostril closed, so that the pressurized air is focused on the stuffed up nostril more. I'll do that for a few seconds to clear out the passage.

Cold

I have a full face mask to use when/if I get a really stuffed up condition, but fortunately, when I've been sick for the past couple of years, using my nasal pillows is sufficient and I don't need the FFM.

SuperSleeper
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.



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#7
Thanks for the advice!

I guess my main issue is that I have chest congestion and a terrible cough, and I end up taking the mask off because I can't cough with it on. I've tried taking Tussin DM but it hasn't really worked very well. Dayquil works during the day, but I don't want to take a medicine with a stimulant in it at night, and I read on here that it is bad to take a sedative when you have sleep apnea, so I have avoided taking nighttime meds. Mucinex helps some with the congestion, but doesn't really help the cough. What do you guys do?

I should probably go to a doctor, lol.
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#8
(12-28-2012, 10:07 PM)Sweet72947 Wrote: Thanks for the advice!

Mucinex helps some with the congestion, but doesn't really help the cough. What do you guys do?

The doctor is in! Too-funny

Long term, the Mucinex will help the cough by breaking-up the mucus that causes the congestion, you're only coughing because your body is trying to rid itself of excess mucus. Always drink a lot of water with any version of Mucinex or it won't work very well and it has a drying effect instead.

If your sinuses are really congested, your best bet is Sudafed 12-hour or 24-hour, don't take the regular "red" Sudafed and expect to sleep, the time-release versions are much easier to sleep with since they don't hit you all at once.

If you have post-nasal drip or runny nose then Benadryl works great and makes you drowsy too.

I've used all of the above both separately and all at the same time, I've been given the same instructions by more than one doctor, I used to get a sinus prescription that was a combination 12-hour Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and Guaifenesin (Mucinex) but after Mucinex became OTC it was cheaper to by both products OTC than to get the same thing in a prescription.

The other most helpful thing for a cold or flu is to run your humidifier fairly high, it really helps to keep the mucus draining, you may still cough some but it should subside fairly soon.

Sleep-well
Ren

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#9
I also got a little humidifier for here on my desk. I realized I was waking up feeling clear and not so coughy and figured it was the humidifier. Yep. Works great when I get a cough or asthma run.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#10
I have only been using cpap since the end of August and I posted a similar question last week. I have a sinus infection and was concerned about using cpap. I am a mouth breather so I always use a full face mask. I made sure that the humidifier was cranked way up and had no problem at all using the mask at night. In fact, the humidity helped me to sleep
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