cpap hydration

Why is CPAP Heated Hydration Important?

To make this explanation very simple, let’s think of the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device as a box with a high-pressure fan inside.  The fan spins and pulls air from your bedroom into the box.  Once inside the box, the fan accelerates the air to cause pressure and this pressurized air exits the machine via the tube, through your mask and into your airway to keep it open while you sleep. The actual workings of this process are more complicated, but this is basically the process for how a CPAP device works.  

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Now that we understand how the CPAP machine is functioning, let’s look at the details.  The air pulled into your CPAP machine and pressurized is the same air that is circulating in your bedroom.  During the winter months, heating your house has a tendency to dry out air, in winter months air conditioners make it cold and dry. This air is entering your body through nasal passages and airways that are easily susceptible to being dried out by this air.  This drying of the airways is a main reason for many CPAP therapy related complaints:

·     My mouth is dry

·     My nose constantly runs

·     I’m congested

·     My device makes me sneeze

The simplest way to combat these common CPAP complaints is through use of heated hydration.  Heated CPAP hydration humidifies and heats the air in your device before it is forced into your airway.  You don’t want the air to be hot, but simply warm and humid. You will probably need to change the heat setting based on the time of year, so you keep a consistent temperature year-round.   Your heat setting, and respiration rate will be the main factor in how much hydration you use each night.  

The most common CPAP usage complaints are related to not using the proper CPAP heated hydration. Dry, cold air forced into the airway will dry out the nasal passages and airways.  This drying creates a cascade of events that cause many side effects like runny nose, mucus buildups, sneezing etc.  But heated hydration can fix these issues simply and effectively. Make sure you’re using your CPAP heated hydration to ensure the best CPAP experience.  

 

 

Why You Shouldn’t Use Tap Water in Your CPAP Hydration Chamber

While manufacturers recommend distilled water for use in your continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, many people still use tap water as their hydration of choice.  Tap water is both harmful to your device and it can be harmful to you, if used consistently.  Lets take a look at why you shouldn’t use tap water in your CPAP device.  

Tap water is brought to your home through a labyrinth of usually old, metal pipes traversing the underground of your local city or community.  Tap water can pick up metals from these pipes and contains minerals as it travels to your tap.  Using tap water in your hydration chamber will leave heavy, white mineral deposits in your chamber and on the internal workings of your CPAP device as the water is heated and evaporated.  These mineral deposits can feed fungal growth and they will clog the delicate hoses in your machine with mineral build up, over time.  Tap water also contains extra elements like Fluorine and/or chlorine which are used to kill any microorganisms or living creatures that may contaminate a water supply.  If you use tap water as your hydration fluid of choice, you will be vaporizing and inhaling these elements.  Some data suggests these elements can be harmful at concentrations in the body and is another reason for not using tap water in your heated hydration chamber.

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Most CPAP device manufacturers prescribe using distilled water in your CPAP device to eliminate the buildup of deposited minerals in your hoses and hardware.  Distilled water can still contain some soluble materials.  Unfiltered distilled water can still contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) which vaporize at lower temperatures than water and will remain if not properly filtered.  Overall, distilled water is recommended for the machine, not for the user.  

Tap water is the least desirable form of hydration for your CPAP device.  Your local tap water can contain heavy metals, other solubles and chemicals like chlorine or fluorine.  These dissolved contaminants can be bad for both your CPAP device and/or bad for your health.  Whatever you choose to use as your hydration fluid of choice, make tap water your last choice.