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How Does a Humidifier Improve CPAP Therapy?

A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is one of the best remedies for those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
If a CPAP is used correctly, issues such as snoring and awakening suddenly in the middle of the night can be dramatically
reduced (if not limited altogether).

Humidifier Improves CPAP Therapy Humidifier Improves CPAP Therapy

However, some individuals may find that they are not comfortable using a CPAP machine. This is often caused by a lack of humidity within the airflow. In order to appreciate the options at your disposal, it is a good idea to take a look at how a supplemental humidifier can improve your
CPAP treatments as well as why this could very well represent the best option for unique requirements.

Addressing Common CPAP Complaints

The main purpose of a CPAP humidifier is to alleviate some common issues which many users experience; particularly those who might not be accustomed to a constant flow of air into their mouth and nose. A handful of the most prominent complaints will often include:

  • Sneezing
  • Dry mouth and nose
  • Sinus congestion
  • Coughing due to a dry throat

Ironically, these situations can actually counteract the beneficial effects that would otherwise be experienced with a CPAP. If you happen to be dealing with one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, the chances are high that a humidifier will provide relief. Let's now take a look at how one of these devices works.

How Does a CPAP Humidifier Work?

The main component of this type of humidifier is a water chamber. This chamber is connected directly to the CPAP machine and in turn, to the airway hose that attaches to your mask. When the machine and humidifier are activated,
a small amount of water will transform into vapour; leading to higher levels of humidity within the airflow.

This is beneficial for those who use an oral mask while they sleep. Of course, the exact configuration of the humidifier in question will vary from provider to provider. The main intention and results are nonetheless the same; to offer you a more comfortable breathing experience during the overnight hours.

Amazing Advantages With a Humidifier

Now that we have a basic understanding of the fundamentals associated with a CPAP humidifier, it is important to take a look at how these clever devices will enhance and improve your sleep therapy treatments. The most obvious advantage is the fact that you will be provided with a greater level of comfort. This enables you to fall asleep faster and to remain asleep throughout the evening. However, this is only scratching the surface in regards to what you can expect to enjoy.

A handful of other benefits include:

  • Preventing your throat from becoming dry
  • Decreasing the chances of nasal congestion
  • The ability to include a warming mechanism

A CPAP humidifier is also able to address a condition known as upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). This situation is essentially a combination of the symptoms outlined above. As your mouth and throat will remain moist, the body will no longer have the need to produce excessive levels of mucous. This results in fewer instances of coughing and sneezing.

Are There Any Possible Issues to Address?

While CPAP humidifiers are extremely useful, it is still important to highlight a handful of potential issues which might decrease their overall effectiveness.

The most common is a condition known as "rain-out". This is another term for describing condensation that can accumulate within the tube leading up to the face or oral mask. This type of condensation is caused by differences in air temperature (think of the water that forms on the surface of a cold glass when it is placed within a warm environment).

Such a situation can lead to a gurgling sound and it may sometimes be slightly uncomfortable while laying down in bed. The most common solution is to purchase a hose "fleece". This is a type of insulating material that can be used to protect the flow of humidified air;
decreasing the chances that condensation will occur.

Another potential problem to highlight is the fact that the majority of CPAP humidifiers are not meant for travelling. The main issue here is that water contained within the reservoir can sometimes leak into the CPAP machine; causing possible damage to sensitive internal parts.

The good news is that many humidifiers are separate from the CPAP unit, so they can be detached and then reattached when they need to be used
in conjunction. It is best not to travel with a CPAP containing a built-in humidifier.

Increasing Your Level of Comfort and Satisfaction

CPAP humidifiers are excellent options if you have trouble sleeping with your current unit. They are also worthwhile recommendations for anyone who sleeps within a cool and dry environment. If you have been struggling with your current CPAP unit or should you constantly awake throughout the night, it is wise to take a look at the different designs and variants that are currently available.

The good news is that there are a host of configurations to choose from, so be sure to take a closer look at this selection. Not only are these units reasonably priced, but different sizes and dimensions are able to accommodate different circumstances.

Let's never forget that the main intention of CPAP therapy is to provide you with a sound night of sleep. The addition of a cutting-edge humidifier can represent a very effective option. Of course, it is always wise to speak with your doctor or sleep therapist if you happen to have additional questions.

To shop for the highest-quality humidifiers: https://www.cpap.co.uk/shop/cpap-humidifiers.html

To shop for all high-quality CPAP devices: https://www.cpap.co.uk/shop.html

Author: Jenny Hall

About author: Jenny Hall is a clinical manager at Baywater Healthcare. She has extensive specialist clinical experience from Regional Nurse Adviser through to Senior Nurse Adviser, Service Lead and Contract Manager. She has provided leadership for the Regional Nurse Advisers ensuring best practice, implementation of National Guidance and Clinical Governance. Ms. Hall has worked with Baywater Healthcare since 2013, with leadership responsibility in delivering Home Oxygen and Long-Term Conditions services. Her clinical team focuses on delivering services closer to home which offer the NHS value with optimum clinical outcomes. Previously, Ms. Hall provided leadership to Regional Nurse Advisors with Air Products, a company providing home oxygen services to Wales, East Midlands and North London. She has served as a Senior COPD National Trainer and Nurse Adviser COPD Response with Innovex, ensuring highest competencies were maintained and best practices delivered. Ms. Hall has a Ba Honours Degree as a Registered General Nurse from Oxford Brookes University and MSc Health Studies from Staffordshire University. She completed Respiratory Education and Training Courses and the Edinburgh Sleep Course. Jenny Hall’s LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenny-hall-34331b60/

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