How To Use Your CPAP For Allergy Relief

Even though at the end of a cold, dry winter many CPAP patients feel relief, brace yourselves, allergens are coming. Flowers are blooming, pets are shedding, trees are pollinating, dust and mold particles are blowing in the wind, and much more!

As the temperature rises and moisture humidifies the air most people don’t have to deal with dry cracked skin, but the new challenge of seasonal allergies arises. If you find yourself reaching for antihistamines and other treatments using your CPAP for allergies can help.

Your CPAP And Allergies

Hay fever is nothing to welcome with a haaaaaaay because seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis is the result of irritation from particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust, and more. Allergic rhinitis develops when the immune system becomes sensitive to particles in the environment and overreacts after coming into contact with them while others may remain unaffected.

Note: Hay fever isn’t always caused by hay, unless you are actually allergic to it. You also don’t have to have a fever to have hay fever. It’s just a slightly misleading term for seasonal allergies.

Seasonal allergies symptoms include: 

  • Itchy eyes, skin, ear canals, or mouth Lisa needs a CPAP for allergy relief
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Headache
  • Wheezing
  • Sinus pain

While all of these symptoms are uncomfortable, the main symptom that causes issues is nasal congestion. When you inhale your nose humidifies the air being pulled in to prevent congestion, itching, and irritation. Without this humidification nasal congestion and throat irritation can grow progressively worse.

As allergies block your nostrils with congestion, you begin to breathe through your mouth to compensate and the humidity level of inhaled air decreases, leading complications such as poor sleep, increased histamine levels, and inflammation. One study found that sleep apnea symptoms greatly increased in patients with allergic rhinitis.

Allergies affect your sleep by:

  • Causing general discomfort that may keep you awake.
  • Blocking your nasal passages from pulling in air.
  • Mucus and drainage may obstruct your throat and airway passages once you lay down during the night.

However, you can use your CPAP for allergy relief.

seasonal allergy symptoms

CPAP With Humidifier

You can use a CPAP machine with a heated humidifier to reduce allergy symptoms and to break up congestion. As air passes through the CPAP moisture and warmth are added to reduce dryness and relieve inflammation.

When air is cold the blood vessels in your nose dilate to warm it up, but this causes the nasal passages to become narrow and can increase mucus, blocking the airways. CPAP humidifiers prevent this issue by introducing air that has already been warmed.

If you have an older CPAP without a humidifier, you may be eligible to upgrade machines through insurance. Many insurance providers, including Medicare, will cover a replacement CPAP machine after five years of use.

Switch To a Full Face CPAP Mask

man uses full face CPAP mask for allergies If you have congestion your CPAP nasal mask might not be able to pull in oxygen through your nose, causing you to become a mouth breather as a result. If you find yourself breathing through your mouth then you aren’t receiving enough air through your CPAP!

However, you can still benefit from sleep apnea therapy with the use of a full face mask to direct oxygen through your mouth. Plus, a backup mask is always great to have on hand in the event of emergencies.

Clean Your CPAP

As your CPAP operates it draws air from the surrounding area and can collect pollen, pathogens, dust, and more. That’s why it’s necessary to regularly clean your CPAP supplies to keep it free of bacteria and other irritants.

Lumin CPAP Cleaner Cleaning CPAP Supplies – Place your mask, tubing, and more in a container of warm soapy water once a week. Then swirl them around for 5 minutes and hang them up to completely dry before reassembling your CPAP equipment. Use a gentle cleanser such as dawn.

*Or speed up the process with the Lumin CPAP Cleaner to eliminate 99.9% of pathogens in as little as 5 minutes.

Clean Your CPAP Machine – Remove dust and allergens from your CPAP device by wiping it down with a warm, damp cloth.

Change Your CPAP  Filter – CPAP filters do a great job at catching pathogens, but need to be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis to operate at peak efficiency. To clean filters, rinse them with warm water and allow them to dry. Disposable CPAP filters should be changed every two weeks.

Replace Your CPAP Supplies

With repeated use CPAP supplies such as masks, tubing, filters, and more break down due to moisture and abrasion. As a result, the items might crack, bacteria can get in scratches, and air might leak.

Replacing your CPAP equipment according to their regular schedule is important for proper therapy and for your health. You may qualify to receive replacement CPAP supplies through insurance and you can subscribe to receive items on a regular basis. This way your replacement parts will magically arrive at your home on a regular basis and you won’t have to deal with keeping up with their schedules! There’s no easier way to keep your CPAP allergen free.

Replace CPAP supplies to prevent allergies

What If I’m Allergic To My CPAP Mask?

Well, then you probably won’t want to strap that allergen to your face. In fact, if you are allergic to your CPAP mask:

  • Stop wearing it immediately and contact your doctor.
  • Consider switching to a newer mask. Older CPAP masks are often made with latex while new ones are made with silicone.
  • Using a CPAP mask liner or gel can also prevent irritation.

Bonus Allergy Prevention Tips

  • Wash your bed sheets once a week to remove allergens.
  • Keep your bedroom windows closed so pollen and other particles can’t be blown in. 
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom. Woman uses CPAP for allergy relief
  • Take a shower after being outside to wash irritants away.
  • Up your spring cleaning game to clear out mold and dust.
  • Rinse your sinuses.
  • Stay indoors during dry, windy days.
  • Avoid being outdoors during cool morning temperatures when pollen counts are at their highest.
  • Use a nebulizer.
  • Change your AC air filters.
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