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cpap and colds
09-07-2016, 10:30 AM
I have a nasty cold and did not use my cpap last night - it was awful as my apnea was worse than ever. If I want to change my humidification settings on the Resmed Autosense 10 for her to a higher level, how do I do that? And do you think it is a good idea to use the cpap when one has a cold?? Thanks
It's a real problem wanting and needing to use the machine while having a cold or flu. With nasal congestion and using nasal pillows, how can you get any air at all? Even though I use a face mask, I cannot get to sleep with nasal congestion. After struggling a few minutes, I get up and use a nasal spray and wait until I can breathe through both nostrils. I had been using an over-the-counter medicated spray but have switched to a straight saline spray after learning about the dangers of the medicated sprays over time. The medicated sprays work well and quickly for me, while the saline takes longer to open the passages.
I'm certain someone will soon tell you how to change the humidity setting on your machine.
09-07-2016, 11:48 AM
I find that when I have congestion or a cold, the pressure actually makes it easier to breathe - perhaps because it pushes mucus deeper into your sinus cavity and thus clears a path in your sinuses through which you can breathe.
It's important to continue using your machine while sick. Usually I will do a saline sinus rinse before bed, and then if I'm really desperate use a spray like Afrin. Afrin should be used sparingly though, as it can cause rebound congestion after the initial effects wear off.
Changing the humidity level is quite easy - just go into the settings, and raise the humidity number (start with an increment of 1). If you are using a heated hose (ClimateLine), you might also want to increase the temperature as that will help prevent rainout, and heated, humidified air is usually easier on your sinuses. My sweet spot (sick or not) is a humidity of 5 and hose temp maxed out at 86 deg F, but everyone's is different.
09-07-2016, 12:23 PM
Will try that, thanks! Does your metal plate under the humidifier get hot? My first machine did not get hot at all so I sent it back, the second one did and now this third one does not again!! I think it is heating though as I have condensation in the morning...
09-07-2016, 01:06 PM
Do you have the heated hose? You could set the humidification to the highest level possible. If you get rain out, turn it down it a bit. Hose wrap will help.
I also recommend the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit. It's available at most drug stores. Use it to rinse out your sinuses before going to bed. The pressure from the CPAP machine will push the air through your nasal passages, unless they're totally plugged up, in which case you'd need a full face mask.
If you get replacement supplies on a schedule I recommend you get a full face mask to have as a back up when you get a cold. Getting a heated hose would be a good idea, too.
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09-07-2016, 05:00 PM
(09-07-2016, 12:23 PM)somnia16 Wrote: Will try that, thanks! Does your metal plate under the humidifier get hot? My first machine did not get hot at all so I sent it back, the second one did and now this third one does not again!! I think it is heating though as I have condensation in the morning...
Yes, the metal plate provides the heat to the water reservoir. You should be able to feel it heating up if you use the "Warm up" subroutine in the main menu. Most likely it will not be warm to the touch when you remove the chamber the next morning though. It cycles on/off to maintain humidity throughout the night. Basically, the higher you set the humidifier, the hotter the plate gets to drive more evaporation and increase the humidity.
As long as the water line decreases overnight, then the metal plate is most likely doing its job.
09-07-2016, 05:31 PM
(09-07-2016, 11:48 AM)Possum Wrote: I find that when I have congestion or a cold, the pressure actually makes it easier to breathe
Same here for colds I have had since starting therapy.
If you have one of those gooey sorts of colds and the pillows don't work out, maybe you can use a backup FFM instead for a few nights.
09-07-2016, 07:03 PM
When I last had a really bad cold, I could not use my CPAP. I slept the night in a recliner so that I was not laying down all the way and that helped a bit with the congestion. I also did it partly cause my constant coughing was sure to wake my hubby. I think I only spent one or two of the nights off cpap and in the recliner. Because of high BP I am not supposed to take decongestants, so instead I used a quick spray of the 1/4 strength decongestant nasal spray just to get to sleep which I know my doctor would not have recommended.
Hope your cold gets better soon!
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09-07-2016, 08:14 PM
Since starting CPAP in 2008 I have never missed a night due to cold or other illness. I find the nasal pillows with pressure clear the sinuses and make breathing easier. I actually feel better at night than during the day. I don't change humidity levels for illness because excess humidity can actually make congestion worse. Use what you know is comfortable, and try to relax into the pressure. It may take a few minutes, but the pressure will work to clear you. To prove it, just put on the mask and start the machine. If you open your mouth and air is trying to escape, it's working.
09-07-2016, 10:23 PM
I have been struggling with my CPAP all summer long, but in the last month, I have had a terrible cough that makes it hard to use the machine, at least initially. I understand and agree that cranking the humidity on CPAP is great for congestion, but for cough? Doesn't seem to help and i would cough so hard I was worried I'd rip the plastic off the mask.
I'm making more of a commitment to use it more. one thing is that I had raised the pressure to 9 cm of H20, but I lowered it back down to 5 because I could not stand the higher pressure. That seems to have helped.
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