Question: Does using a CPAP machine cause sinus problems? Read on to find out.
Most CPAP first time users experience sinus infections and nasal congestion. Sinuses and sleep apnea negatively affect sleep quality although using the CPAP machine doesn’t necessarily cause sinus problems.
Sinusitis otherwise known as sinus infection occurs when the soft sinus tissue lining is inflamed. The sinuses are usually found on the cheeks and forehead. They are filled with mucus when obstructed leading to infections. Sinusitis is rampant in the United States with millions being diagnosed every year.
Relationship Between Sinus Problems and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea usually occurs when the airway is blocked which makes breathing difficult and is the most common sleep disorder. Sinusitis on the other hand affects nasal passages thereby making nose breathing hard as well. There’s no evidence to show sinusitis and sleep apnea are related but a patient dealing with both will have trouble catching sleep even when using the CPAP machine.
Preventing Sinus Infections
Fortunately, sinus infections are only short-term. Those prone to this type of infection are advised to follow the tips below:
- Always drink a lot of water to stay hydrated
- Use a pillow to elevate your head when sleeping
- Use a CPAP machine with a humidifier
- Use steam as it helps open blocked nasal passages
Preventing Sinus Infections When Using the CPAP Machine
Clean the CPAP machine thoroughly especially if you suspect it’s the cause of the sinus problems you are experiencing. Ensure you inspect and change the filters of the device regularly. Replace wet and worn-out filters immediately.
Always keep the cushion, tubing and mask clean. Use mild soap and warm water to wash different parts of the mask ensuring you rinse thoroughly and dry it completely before use. You can alternatively use CPAP sanitizers and wipes to keep the device sparkling clean.
Finally, for patients using a CPAP machine with a humidifier, ensure you dispose leftover water every morning when you wake up. Moist and warm environments are usually prone to bacterial build-up that can worsen your condition. Use lukewarm soapy water to wash the humidifier regularly and ensure it dries off completely before reassembling and using it again.
Does using a CPAP machine cause sinus problem? The answer to this question is NO! However, complying with the CPAP therapy is quite hard if you have a sinus infection. Ensure your device is clean enough to avoid getting sick.