Using a CPAP humidifier this winter
When the weather outside is frightful, using humidification can make CPAP more delightful. Cold, dry air:
- Is often less comfortable to breathe.
- Can cause you to wake up with uncomfortabledry mouth.
- Makes your nose work extra hard to heat air up before it reaches your lungs, which can cause sinus headaches and irritation.
Humidification can help you avoid all of that and sleep more comfortably all winter – and really all year! Here are some tips for breathing heated comfortable air during the cold months.
1) Use Climate Control to automate your settings – and your comfort
The Climate Control feature on your Air10™ or S9™ machine adjusts your humidification settings for you based on the room conditions to help you get the right amount of humidity for added comfort. Plus it automatically balances your settings to protect you from rain-out – a discomforting event that occurs when humidified air cools in your tubing, causing some moisture to condense and reach your mask as water, dampening your face.
2) If you choose to manually change your humidification, make small changes
Some nights, you may want to manually control your humidification settings, especially when the weather turns cold, dry and/or rainy. It’s easy to do if you have a ResMed Air10™ or S9™ CPAP machine and a ClimateLine™ or ClimateLineAir™ heated tube; just follow these simple steps. But we suggest making small changes to help avoid:
- Air that’s much warmer in the humidifier than your tube, which can cause rain-out.
- Air that’s too hot, causing the desired air moisture to evaporate, leaving you once again with non-humidified air.
3) Even if you haven’t needed humidification yet, it may help in the winter
If you don’t use humidification, you still might find it helpful as the weather gets colder and drier, if you get sick and experience congestion, and/or you have allergies that act up in the winter. In each of these cases, your nose will have to work extra hard to perform its crucial air-warming job, and humidification can help make that job easier and more comfortable. This is true if you experience allergies or congestion in any season or environment.
4) If your CPAP humidifier runs out of water, address mask leak
Your humidifier should never run out of water. If you find that it does in the wintertime, that’s likely because colder conditions are magnifying an existing problem – most likely mask leak. Learn the three common causes of mask leak and how to address them.
If your room is particularly dry in the winter, ask your equipment provider if you should consider getting a room humidifier as well. It might give your room’s air that little bit of moisture needed to help out your humidifier and keep your CPAP air warm throughout the night.
How has humidification helped you use CPAP in the winter?