What a CPAP humidifier does

cpap passover humidifierA CPAP humidifier lets you prevent dry mouth (which almost 40% of CPAP patient populations experience) along with the dry nose, dripping nose, dry lips, sinus-like headaches, and nose bleedings – all by performing an easy job that our noses usually do on their own.

When we breathe normally, our noses serve as humidifiers, heat the breathed air to our body’s temperature so that it is more pleasant to us, and so that it does not affect the fragile membranes of our upper airways and lungs, and thus it does not end up keeping us as moist or cold.

Air going from a CPAP system needs its humidification because it reaches our upper airway quicker than our noses can regulate it. This is particularly true of those who live in cooler or drier climates and who need high pressure.

CPAP humidifiers: A brief history

The very first CPAP machine was designed in 1980. In the late 1980s, sleep specialists started humidifying CPAP airflow by moving it into a room-temperature water chamber, in which it would suck up any little moisture that had evaporated when it approached the patient’s tube. This approach was called Passover humidification and was found not to be very useful.

The next rational move was to heat the water itself to produce more vapor for the air to absorb. And thus, the heated humidification started in the mid-1990s.

In 2001, Chest released a report that found that humidification “improves dramatically” patients’ compliance with CPAP and that its need can be projected if individuals are over 60 years of age, take oral drugs that describe dry mouth as a secondary effect, or have undergone a surgery to remove tissue from their throats.

Of course, we now know that humidification may make sleep apnea care more convenient, especially, such as AirCurveTM 10 and ResMed’s AirSenseTM 10, which come with an attached CPAP humidifier. If you like, you can uninstall it and install a cap at the end of your machine.

Two side effects and how to avoid them

Humidification has two significant side effects:

One is that you can also suffer dryness-related side effects if the CPAP humidifier’s humidity level and the temperature is kept low.

The next and more frequent side effect is called rainout. It happens as the hot air cools off in your tubing and hits your mask like water, allowing you to get a wet forehead. Rainout can be prevented when using a heated tube and changing the tubing temperature and the humidification amount that the water chamber creates.

Your home medical equipment (HME) provider or sleep expert will teach you how to make changes to your specific machine.

Benefits of a CPAP Humidifier

CPAP is much more convenient and tolerable when using a heated humidifier since the dry mouth and nasal cavity congestion can be minimized. That said, the local environment and personal interest will determine how much you need it. Depending on the vendor, you will be able to adjust the humidity and temperature to be supplied.

While using standard tubing, there can even be a condensation issue inside the tubes, which is more inconvenient when the bedroom is cold. There is no chance that this will happen while the humidity is turned up through the different use of the environment line or hot tubbing.

Increased humidity will result in less dryness—especially in the nose and sinuses—which can minimize the risk of infection, nasal irritation, swelling, and nosebleeds.

It’s probably better to crank up the humidity enough so that you’ll only need to refill the water tank every night, or at least after a few nights, to prevent it from drying up.

Can You Use Tap Water With CPAP?

humidifier sleep apneaYour water source’s reliability and consistency can be a crucial factor when determining whether to use bottled water in the humidifier.

Boiling water destroys bacteria but does not remove minerals or chemical toxins. These elements that make the water “hard” include magnesium, calcium, iron, and others—if they are found in the water in the water chamber of the humidifier, they can accumulate over time to discolor the reservoir and could destroy the system.

Filtered water may eliminate any minerals, but it may not remove live organisms or other contaminants. Bottled water, which has been purified by distillation, is the best alternative and most manufacturers recommend the use of bottled water in your CPAP.

A Word From Best CPAP

If you wonder about your water source’s reliability or consistency, fall on the side of precaution and use bottled water in your CPAP humidifier. This is particularly true if you’re traveling in the dangerous water-scarce regions of the planet.

Tap water can contribute to your water tank’s mineralization and the possibility of adverse exposures and side effects. If used irregularly, there could be no adverse consequences. Besides, if you do not have access to safe water, you can consider using a CPAP without a humidifier instead. If you are in doubt about your CPAP humidifier, Call our Coral Springs, Florida offices at (855) 275-8951 for more information or visit our website at www. best CPAP cleaner.com

References and Resources

CPAP Humidifiers

A Comparison of CPAP With and Without Humidification