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Can CPAP Treatment Worsen Coronavirus
A COVID-19 diagnosis can be scary, especially if you have an underlying health condition, such as sleep apnea. If infected, you may be worried that your daily CPAP therapy may worsen the coronavirus symptoms or drive it deeper into your lungs.
The good news is that there is currently no evidence to suggest that CPAP therapy increases the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Doctors recommend that you should keep using your CPAP machine throughout your coronavirus recovery.
Importance of Sleep for COVID-19 Patients
Regardless of a COVID-19 diagnosis, one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle is sleep. Numerous studies have shown a strong correlation between sleep and improved immune function. For those with sleep apnea, the recovery effects of sleep are hindered due to an obstructed airway. This leaves individuals not only fatigued but also compromises their immune system making it more susceptible to infection. CPAP therapy offers sleep apnea patients with a continuous flow of pressurized air, keeping their airway open and recovering while sleeping.
So, while you may be tempted to discontinue CPAP therapy, that may lead to an increased risk of severe coronavirus symptoms.
Precautions for OSA Patients After COVID-19 Positive Test Result
Here are some best practices for continuing your CPAP therapy while recovering from COVID-19.
Self-Quarantine with CPAP Machine
If you have been infected with COVID-19, you should already be self-isolating in a room to prevent the spread of the virus to others.
Be sure to keep your CPAP machine in this room with you and limit exposure to other people.
Washing Your Hands
According to CDC guidelines, washing your hands effectively is one of the primary ways to prevent coronavirus spread. Be sure to sanitize your hands with soap and water before touching your CPAP equipment.
Cleaning Your Equipment
Keeping your CPAP equipment clean is part of proper therapy. Follow these tips for thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing your CPAP machine, mask, and hose to help check the spread of viruses. You may want to increase the frequency of your CPAP cleaning routine beyond equipment manufacturer recommendations, or use a CPAP sanitizer for faster, easier equipment cleaning.
You do not need to replace your CPAP supplies more regularly if you are infected, but if it’s been a while since you replaced your CPAP mask, hose, and/or filters, it’s as good a time as any to get new ones. Dirty filters and old masks and hoses can harbor germs and may worsen your current illness. Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines for accessory replacement.
A good night’s sleep is more important than ever while contending with COVID-19. Stay on top of your CPAP compliance to ensure you get the proper rest and recovery to get well soon.