As you can probably imagine, a CPAP and allergies don’t go hand in hand. These devices are meant to make breathing easier for you at night, and if seasonal allergens are getting in the way, you’ll have difficulty feeling comfortable and getting rest.
People with Sleep Apnea can develop more serious reactions to allergens than others by causing swelling in their airways which itself causes a build-up of congestion and can make it much more difficult to breathe. That’s why you’ll have to do some extra maintenance work with your device to prevent allergies from getting in the way of a good night’s rest.
Here’s what you need to know about taking care of your CPAP and allergies.
When you unbox your CPAP machine for the first time, wear the mask attachment as you go about your daily routine. You can put it on as you read a book, eat, watch the TV. If you experience any trouble breathing while using the CPAP mask due to your allergies, you’ll know that night will bring trouble.
Wear the mask in the daytime to get a sense of how your allergies will affect your CPAP at night. You’ll know how much the allergies will limit your breathing early on rather than when you need to get rest.
If you’re using a CPAP machine for the first time, you’ll need to find a suitable place to put it to keep it clean and enjoy a good night’s sleep. If you leave your device in a dusty environment or near a window with pollen blowing in, CPAP and allergies will become a huge issue for you.
Here are some tips to decrease allergens from disturbing your sleep:
• Make sure that the location of the CPAP device is not in proximity to any allergy-triggering objects, such as flowers, food, or dust.
• Clean the entire area where you plan to place your CPAP machine before you turn it on. If it isn’t clean, there’s a danger the device could absorb some of these allergens through the air fan.
• Don’t put it on the floor. It could get damaged, or you could impede the air supply.
You may need to distance yourself from any animals in your home if they’re disturbing your allergies. Keep cats and dogs out of the room, so it’s protected from fur.
When it comes to managing your CPAP and allergies, you don’t just want to clean the area surrounding the device; you need to clean the part as well.
The tubing and mask of a CPAP machine can easily collect and store allergens such as dust and pollen. Even if there are no visible signs of dirt on your CPAP machines, these particles can build up and create breathing difficulties for your overnight.
Instead of using soap and water, consider purchasing a deep CPAP cleaner to keep your device clean. You should clean all the parts of your CPAP machine at least once a month to ensure there has not been too great an accumulation of allergens. However, you should clean the mask at least once a week as this is the part that your breathing is most exposed to.
Your CPAP machine will not last forever, and you may have to replace parts annually. For example, the straps attaching the mask to your face tend to wear out over time, or the tubing may get punctured or cracked, which stops you from receiving a full air supply due to a leak.
If you suffer from allergies, pay close attention to the filters inside the CPAP device. The filters inside the machine will become dirty and gather dust and other allergens over time.
If you observe a build-up of dirt around the filter, don’t just clean it. Make sure you replace it and have replacement filters available for future replacements. If you don’t do this, you risk having an allergic reaction to the CPAP device further along the line.
We recommend inspecting all the parts of your CPAP machine at least once a month to ensure that all parts are functioning appropriately. If they are not, you are not getting the full benefit of the machine, and you could even be putting your health at risk.
If you have a CPAP and allergies, you can still get great rest. You just need to do some trial runs with your mask during the day to see how much your breathing will be affected at night.
It’s critical to store your device in an environment that’s free of dust, pollen, and other irritants. We also recommend regular cleaning and replacing parts of your device, such as the air filter and tubes. It’s easiest to purchase a CPAP cleaner to ensure all the dust and dirt comes off the device.
If you continue to experience difficulty breathing with your CPAP and allergies, check in with your doctor.