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Keeping CPAP Machine Clean This Season
Springtime. After a long winter, it provides a welcome change. It’s the period of renewal and preparation for summer – a time for spring cleaning and spring gardening.
Indeed, there is a downside to the season. For those who suffer from bad seasonal allergies, spring is the season for scratchy throats, itchy eyes, runny noses, sinus pressure, sneezing and headaches that usually accompany tree and grass pollens, mold spores and other seasonal triggers. Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever as it is commonly known, occurs typically in the spring, summer, and fall. It results from the body’s overzealous reaction to such allergens and the subsequent creation of chemicals such as histamine that can cause symptoms like those of the common cold.
If you know this from personal knowledge, you have plenty of company. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “National Health Interview Survey, 2017,” nearly 20 million American adults were diagnosed with hay fever the previous year. And like those of a cold, the symptoms that result can have a direct and significant implication on sleep – both due to discomfort and in the case of nasal congestion, the inability to breathe through one’s nose.
For those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, the implications of spring allergies can be even more pronounced. If not addressed, it can dramatically affect the effectiveness of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Fortunately, you can take steps to mitigate spring’s effect on your health and your CPAP device. If you suffer from severe seasonal allergies, consider the following tips.
- Consult Your Doctor if Your Allergies are Affecting CPAP Treatment
- Your physician may recommend that you see an allergist to identify the specific cause of your reactions. Be sure to remind your physician of your CPAP therapy. Many pharmaceuticals are available that lessen the discomfort linked to allergies, but side effects – including insomnia – should be considered.
- Close Your Windows to Evade Pollen
- A sunny spring day with a gentle breeze begs for open windows, mainly if you live somewhere where a good airing out is welcome after a long winter. On a heavy-pollen day, it doesn’t take long for allergens to contaminate a household.
- Replace the Filters in Your Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
- Depending on where you stay, spring can be a mixed bag, with warm days and cold nights. Irrespective, ensure that you have clean filters in place for air conditioning and forced hot air heating systems. When combined with seasonal pollen, molds, and other allergens can result in more discomfort. Find out which filters are most effective for your systems and replace them regularly.
- Consider a Different or Change CPAP Mask
- If you use a nasal pillow-style or nasal CPAP mask, but suffer from nasal congestion or sinus pain due to spring allergies, consult your doctor and consider using a full-face mask until your symptoms subside. Having a spare on hand can also be helpful at other times of the year when colds and fall allergies make breathing through one’s nose problematic.Of course, a far more comfortable, more effective method is putting your mask in the SoClean and closing the lid – allowing it to circulate activated oxygen that eliminates up to 99.9 percent of all germs and bacteria can build up in your CPAP equipment.Following these simple guidelines can assist in ensuring that you have a great night’s sleep, enjoy all spring has to offer, and are healthy and well-rested when summer arrives.