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Wearing mask with a Cold
I haven't wore my mask in about 5 nights cuz my throat is scratchy and now my nose is totally clogged. Will wearing your face mask while being sick harbor the germs inside?
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Hi Sweetdreams2013,
Just be more diligent about cleaning your mask during the time you have your cold. For example, if you clean it once a week, you might clean it every day while you have the cold.
You might get a sinus rinse or something like that to help you so you can mask up and use your machine. Just remember, your apnea is not being treated when you aren't wearing your mask and using your machine.
I hope you get to feeling better, soon.
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A good night sleep will help with your recovery. Be more diligent about cleaning, use a ffm if you've got it and it may be an idea to turn up the humidity to try to avoid additional irritation of an already scratchy throat Smile
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It is always important to treat your apnea; but it is even more important to treat your apnea and get good sleep when you are sick. You cannot infect yourself with a virus or bacterial infection that you already have, so unless you are sharing your mask with others there is no reason to break from your normal routine (some switch from nasal interface to full face mask, but I noticed you already use a Quattro FX according to your profile). Some find it helpful to raise the humidity level when sick, as noted by others, and it is always a good idea to follow a reasonable cleaning schedule.

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jgjones is right...you can't infect yourself while infected by the same bug. That being said, if you have a reserve of the virus in your mask, it is possible that it could slightly prolong your battle with your cold until you build up enough antibodies to be immune. Unless you have a weaker immune system, it's probably not really an issue.

I wouldn't say you should change your frequency of cleaning if you're following what the manufacturer recommends (most manufacturers suggest a quick clean of some sort daily and a bigger cleaning weekly anyway), but use the cold as a chance to pay a little more attention...I find it is easy for complacency to creep in and to be a little slack with cleaning.
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Hi Hi Sweetdreams2013,

This can perhaps help you.

It is not recommended to use their CPAP when you have a cold ... big deal!

That at least is what is mentioned in my CPAP owner's manual . The forced air increases the natural drainage of the sinuses to the lungs and thus causes more secretions thus microbe to the throat and lungs. This helps to increase the infection, risk of complications and even more distant day of healing !

a vicious circle , it does not come out !

I am developing a little ritual that I apply when I have a cold and that works very well for me.Thumbs-up-2

I noticed that my colds always begins in the nose, and thus in the sinuses , more secretions that usually, pain etc. Then at the very beginning , from the first symptoms , I rinse my sinuses with a saline solution under pressure (sold in drugstore), sometimes during the day, it increases the drainage and evacuation of the germs, disinfects the sinuses and decongest it. Do not do it before bed. I take zinc lozenges (sold in drugstore) throughout the day and especially at bedtime to still have the effect of zinc in my mouth when I use my CPAP .The zinc lozenges helps to destroy cold germs present in the mouth and throat ( It is not yet proven, but apparently zinc help the immune system fight , I tend to believe that ).

The first few nights I go to bed like that with my CPAP. You can adjust your humidity differently than usual to help you and provide more comfort. For me I do not increase the humidity, because in my case, I tend to clog my lungs and cough, I keep cold moisture as usual.

Often everything stops there. But when the cold is tougher, I continued my ritual.

When the worst of my cold arrived, I sleep without CPAP. One, two or three consecutive nights in a position where I do not sleep apnea. For me it is sitting on a comfortable chair, leaning my head on the side and slightly forward. You must find the most comfortable position to sleep without CPAP and without sleep apnea.

These nights will surely not the most enjoying ones of your existence...! You sleep only a few hours, but it will be recuperative and above all they allow your lungs and your throat to repair like a normal person and heal quickly rather than worse your case, to bronchitis, by assault with a constant air flow load with secretions and germs.

Here's how I apply the recommendation of the manufacturer of my CPAP !

Also if you are asthmatic and your doctor prescribes bronchodilator and / or cortisone pumps, is the time you use it as prescribed.

I hope this can help you a bit and I wish you good recovery.

Au revoir ! Coffee

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For me, it is the humidification while I am sleeping that seems to do the best for me.

I don't get flu shots.

Yet I don't get the flu as often as friends who get the flu shot.

If I do get ill with sinus issues, they are short lived. I sleep great because the air keeps the clogs from happening. Yeah, I often wake up with a gob of gross stuff in my throat but it is the price I have to pay. To be even grosser, I just cannot get much done when I blow my nose. I can huff and puff and not much comes out. Yet I can snort inwards and there it is. Gross indeed.

When I am ill, I do take more care with cleaning stuff just because it makes me feel better to do so. Kinda like throwing away the Kleenex and changing out the bathroom cup.
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CPAP helps me survive a cold or flu. With the humidifier it keeps my stuffy airway open and keeps me from coughing. When I'm sick is when it does me the most good. My wife agrees and she has been on CPAP for years.
"Sometimes the magic works . . . and sometimes it doesn't" -- Chief Dan George in the movie Little Big Man
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I work on oil rigs, so often times when I come home from the nice allergen free rig in the middle of the gulf, my allergies go berserk or I catch a cold as I'm not around many people at work.

Like you, I find it hard to wear the mask with a cold but have found some things that work.

1. Like others say, increase humidity.
2. I also put a little Vicks vapor rub on a paper towel or old mask liner and put it near the air intake of my cpap. This way the fumes are drawn in and the vicks will help keep you less stuffy. You can put some under your nose with a full face mask but that can be troublesome, outside the air intake works much better and lasts longer.
3. If you can tolerate them, use a nasal spray only before bedtime. I do this sometimes and can often manage to use just 1 spray rather than 2-3 like the directions say. I only use it for bedtime so that my nasal passages are clear when I go to sleep.

Hopefully with these and everyone's suggestions, you can find some rest and sleep easier despite the cold. Sleep with your cpap is always better.
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I've been on CPAP/Bi-PAP for many years and have found that using my mask while sick gets be better faster than not using it. I do tend to increase the humidity while sick as it helps keep my airway open and I cough less.

Sick is sick, but sick and apnea sux~!
*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional. My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
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