COVID-19 and Sleep Apnea FAQs

Do I Have a Higher Risk of Getting Coronavirus Because I Have Sleep Apnea?

Is sleep apnea dangerous with COVID-19
There is no evidence that sleep apnea puts you at a higher risk of getting the coronavirus. People who do have a higher risk for coronavirus include:

  • Older adults, especially in nursing homes, seniors’ residences or assisted-living facilities
  • Those who have chronic medical disorders. These disorders include:
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung disease
  • Those who have or had close contact with another person who has or had the coronavirus
  • Those who have a medical disorder, or take a medication that weakens the immune system

If I Have COVID-19 Symptoms, Should I Continue Using My CPAP?

If you are sick with the coronavirus, you should follow the instructions of the government; all over the world, other countries have their citizens following the government of recommendations strictly. Be sure to check with your physician before stopping any medical treatments.

If you have coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, using CPAP may further spread infectious droplets than normal nighttime breathing. To avoid putting bed partners at increased risk, anyone with coronavirus symptoms should sleep in a separate room and maintain distances from others in the house.

If I have the coronavirus, will my CPAP be helpful for my breathing? Or could CPAP cause the coronavirus to get worse?

It is unclear whether CPAP could make the coronavirus worse. Talk to your physician if you have any concerns.

If I Get the Coronavirus of Someone in My Home Has the Coronavirus, How Should I Clean and Disinfect My CPAP Mask and Hose, and How Often?

It would be best if you cleaned your CPAP mask and humidifier daily. Deep cleaning of all CPAP equipment should be completed at least once a week. It is unclear if extra cleaning is needed due to the coronavirus. It is essential to continue to properly clean and disinfect your CPAP equipment regularly, including the air tubing, mask, and humidifier. Wash your face and hands before putting on the CPAP mask and using the CPAP machine. Daily and weekly cleaning steps are outlined below:

Daily Equipment Cleaning

  • Clean your mask daily with warm water and mild soap, rinse it and let it air dry. Alternatively, wipe your mask every day with a CPAP mask wipe. CPAP mask wipes are a simple and effective way to keep your mask clean.
  • Refill the chamber with distilled water before using the machine.
  • When not in use, empty the water from the humidifier chamber, rinse it and let it air dry. Do not leave water sitting in the humidifier.

Weekly Equipment Cleaning

  • Mask – Disassemble your mask and in a sink, soak your mask cushion and headgear. To remove any oils, gently rub with mild soap and warm water. Rinse and let air dry.
  • Humidifier – Soak the humidifier in a solution of 1-part white vinegar and 3-part water for 15-20 minutes.
  • Hose – Soak your hose in warm soapy water, rinse the inside and outside of the tubing with water and let air dry.
  • Rinse all parts with warm water and allow the parts to air dry.

When Recovering from COVID-19 and Previously Stopped CPAP Treatment, How Should I Restart CPAP Treatment Without Becoming Reinfected?

Sleep apnea treatment with COVID-19
Before restarting CPAP therapy, we recommend setting your CPAP machine aside for three days and then deep cleaning it.

To deep clean your CPAP equipment, follow the weekly equipment cleaning steps that include thoroughly washing all CPAP parts with mild soap and warm water, and run your humidifier through the dishwasher (if applicable).

CPAP Sanitizers also do a thorough job and require much less effort and time.

Resources and References: