Preventing Pneumonia While Using A Cpap Machine
Feeling stuffy, coughing, or sneezing can be the enemy of good rest. On top of that, not getting enough quality sleep can increase your chances of staying sick.
But did you know that dirty equipment can heighten the chances of your cold developing into something more serious?
Keep reading to uncover ways to stop pneumonia while using your CPAP equipment.
What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Using A Cpap Machine
CPAP machines can help relieve snoring and make it easier for you to sleep soundly at night. As beneficial as the device is, it can also cause potential health care issues and concerns. Some reported concerns include rapid bacteria and mold growth in the devices components which can damage your lungs and overall health in myriad ways.
Additional side effects of using a CPAP machine include:
- Machines that force too much air into your upper airways and lungs and cause your stomach to fill with air
- A leaky mask affects your eyes and can cause dry eyes, ocular abrasions, glaucoma, and periodic conjunctivitis.
Bacteria growth and lung infection can damage your lungs and require costly and extensive treatments. Our network of mass tort attorneys will help you build a personal injury case for financial compensation against the manufacturer of your CPAP machine.
Avoiding Pneumonia While Using A Cpap Machine
The major concern for CPAP machine users around the globe is avoiding pneumonia while using CPAP. The last thing that anyone with sleep apnea needs is to compound their condition with respiratory distress complications like pneumonia. Even though studies show that people with sleep apnea are possibly more susceptible to developing pneumonia, there are ways to decrease that risk of getting CPAP pneumonia for CPAP machine users.
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Follow The Cpap Replacement Schedule
If youve been using the same equipment for a long time, then its probably time to replace some of your supplies. This is because they may have started to break down and wont work properly anymore.
Its also important that you dont share any part of your CPAP machine with another person unless instructed otherwise by a doctor or other medical professional. This is because you could get a different bacteria, infection, or illness from them and make your symptoms worse.
Can Cpap Make You Sick Why You Need To Avoid Dirty Cpap Supplies
If youre having difficulty breathing due to sleep apnea, the last thing you want to do is spend all night sucking germs and pathogens into your body! Yet if you use a dirty CPAP machine thats exactly what youre doing.
Thankfully, its easy to avoid the side effects of a dirty CPAP and the health problems that they can lead to. Using your CPAP machine is the beginning of your beautiful journey to better sleep, but it does require a little elbow grease. Read on to learn what can happen if you dont clean your CPAP and how to avoid CPAP infection.
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Is Your Cpap Putting You In Danger Of Getting Sick
Have you noticed that most media including the internet and radio keep broadcasting content that promotes the use of high-tech cleaners for CPAP machines in sleep apnea treatment? Well, the truth is: Mold and bacteria can gather in different parts of a CPAP machine.
According to some ads, all you need to do is touch a simple button, and all those organisms lurking somewhere in the CPAP pump, mask, or tube will burst into non-existence! Yeah, they say that your CPAP will now be sanitized and made ready for use while youre in bed sleeping. Is this true? Even if this is so, some wonder whether cleaning a CPAP machinerequires space-age technology does it?
Why dont we find out?
An Anomalous Case Study
A few years ago, a woman who used CPAP regularly without any issues suddenly developed lung problems when she used well water while traveling, instead of the normal distilled water she regularly used at home. Initially, experts suspected the well water itself contained contaminants that made the patient ill, but they later found that work completed on the pipes in the well caused the problem. The woman was ultimately diagnosed with bronchiolitis, a moderately severe lung infection. The condition cleared completely with treatment, and the patient had no lasting effects.
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Chest Pain And Cardiac Arrhythmias
Chest pain is one of the most common occurrences in patients receiving CPAP therapy. One case report shows that some sleep apnea patients have coronary artery disease, heart block, or chest pain. Obstructive sleep apnea seems to have caused such issues due to transient nocturnal hypoxia or oxygen saturation known to occur in sleep apnea patients.
Furthermore, the case report stated that chest pain and cardiac arrhythmias tend to occur in sleep apnea patients who receive CPAP therapy but are also obese.
In sleep apnea patients that have a BMI of 30 and higher, the chance of cardiac issues is significantly higher than in sleep apnea patients with a normal BMI.
Tips For Beginning Users
Adjusting to the daily use of CPAP therapy can be challenging for new users. If your device is not used properly, it can lead to leaks in an improperly fitted mask, difficulty sleeping, and a persistent dry mouth. The following tips can help beginning users master the device:
- Ask about a machine that slowly increases air pressure
- Work with your prescriber to ensure your mask fits properly
- Wear your CPAP mask during the day to adjust to its feel
- Request a chin strap to hold your mouth in a closed position
- Consider investing in a CPAP-heated humidifier, if needed
- Ensure your air filter is meticulously clean and free of blockage
Mayo Clinic research and guidance point to these tips and recommend a careful and patient adjustment to the use of your CPAP machine. If you continue to have a hard time managing your machine, your prescriber can help you cope by adjusting your machines settings.
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If I Already Have Lung Disease Can A Cpap Make It Worse
If you or someone you love is already struggling to breathe and sleep comfortably because of lung disease, a malfunctioning CPAP device can worsen your already damaged health. Two commonly diagnosed forms of lung disease include interstitial lung disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
According to Mayo Clinic research, either of these conditions can cause difficulty breathing, chronic dry cough, and shortness of breath. A CPAP device can lead to further lung deterioration if:
- It is not or cannot be thoroughly cleaned
- It is contaminated with dirt and bacteria
- It has faulty or breakaway abatement foam
Other CPAP device issues might also harm your lung health. A CPAP machine is supposed to provide a steady but light, continual airflow. When the machines air pressure is more than your lungs can tolerate, your lungs might become damaged. When our team handles your case, our attorneys will help you prove its correlation and your lung disease.
I Feel Claustrophobic Wearing The Mask
- Try to keep the mask on for a few hours every night and gradually increase the length of time you wear it
- If youre using a full-face mask, you may be able to switch to a nasal mask
- Check youve adjusted the mask correctly so there are no leaks and remember to breathe through your nose if you have a nasal mask – sometimes, air rushing out of your mouth can make you panic
- Try taking a few deep breaths in and out of your nose
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Bacteria And Mold Can Accumulate In Various Parts Of The Device But Regular Equipment Cleaning Reduces Risks
Continuous positive airway pressure can be hard to get used to. The mask may feel bulky, or it may feel strange to have air blowing in as you try to breathe. That keeps many people from using a treatment that may, in fact, be a lifesaver .
People also can be put off because they’ve heard that a dirty CPAP machine can make you sick. Is that true? “Yes, if you don’t clean the machine regularly,” says Dr. Lawrence Epstein, a sleep expert at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
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Use Distilled Water In Your Humidifier Chamber
Many patients opt for using regular tap water in their humidifiers. This is wrong because tap water is extremely rich in minerals which will ultimately lead to scale deposits in the chamber. As scale builds up, it can easily happen that mold will start to appear as well. Mold can easily make its way into these mineral deposits and you are only one step away from inhaling mold through your tubing and mask. Always ensure that you have enough supplies of distilled water so that you will never have to use tap water instead.
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Can You Get Pneumonia From A Cpap Machine
Using a CPAP machine raises your risk of getting pneumonia because it can transfer viruses and bacteria into your lungs if your CPAP equipment is not properly cleaned. This occurrence increases the chances of a condition like an upper respiratory tract infection developing into pneumonia. Even common illnesses like a cold or strep throat can turn into pneumonia as well.
Therefore, CPAP wearers should do everything in their power to reduce the risk of pneumonia by properly and consistently using their machine and keeping their equipment like their mask and hose clean.
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Cpap Treatment Is Causing A Runny Nose Blocked Nose Or Sneezing
- Go to your sleep clinic or your GP to see if there is a medical reason
- CPAPs cool air can irritate your nasal lining and give you a runny nose or make you sneeze. This usually settles down after a week or so. If not, try a nasal spray or ask your sleep clinic. Heated humidification may help if problems persist.
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Respiratory Care & Sleep Medicine
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This study showed that sleep apnea is an independent risk factor for incident pneumonia, wrote Drs. Vincent Yi-Fong Su and Kun-Ta Chou from the Department of Chest Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, with co-authors, according to the press release. Our results also demonstrated an exposure-response relation in that patients with more severe sleep apnea may have a higher risk of pneumonia than patients with sleep apnea of milder severity. The more severe the sleep apnea, the more likely the patient will need CPAP therapy, increasing his pneumonia risk.
The study authors speculated the increased risk could be attributed to patients susceptibility to aspirating contents or liquid from the throat. The obstruction of breathing properly during sleep can allow the entry of foreign material such as food or drink from the oropharynx or gastrointestinal tract into the voice box, or larynx and lower respiratory tract to the lung. Moreover, the use of CPAP may reduce the ability to cough up mucus from the lung and increase pulmonary aspiration. CPAP equipment can be the breeding ground for bacterial contamination that can lead to the emergence of pneumonia, the authors wrote.
Contact One Of Our Team Members Today To Discuss Cpap Defect Damages
Were you or someone your love prescribed a CPAP machine? If you suffered from harmful side effects that damaged your lungs and health, you could be entitled to monetary recovery of your resulting damages.
Fill out our contact form today for help with your case or to learn more about how you can bring the manufacturer to account.
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Thoroughly Inspect Your Cpap & Equipment
It is not at all difficult to tell if your CPAP is dirty and should be thoroughly cleaned/disinfected. For example, if you can sense a bad smell coming from your mask or tubing, it is definitely time for a thorough cleaning. You may even smell mold and then you should immediately take action. Never use a CPAP machine when you can already sense a bad smell coming from the mask/tubing.
Donât forget to clean your main CPAP unit from the accumulated dust. In case the filters look dirty and somewhat discolored you should either clean or better replace them as soon as possible. Inspect the tubing for any discolorations or residues, and also clean it or replace it.
The Risks Of Sleep Apnea And Pneumonia
Pneumonia occurs when a virus or bacteria gets into the lungs and causes an infection. If the body isnt able to combat the infection, it can be fatal. Pneumonia causes fluid buildup in the lungs, as well as swelling and breathing difficulties.
The risk of pneumonia is higher for individuals with sleep apnea because they are more likely to suck fluid from their throat down into their lungs during apneic episodes.
The constant sleep interruptions associated with sleep apnea also weaken the immune system and prevent the body from fighting off infection.
The Risks Of Dirty Cpap Machines
Do CPAP systems really get dirty? Yes, they can harbor germs if theyre not cleaned. The mask sits on the face, in contact with organisms on the skin. Over time, bacteria and oils on a dirty mask may give you a rash or infection on the skin, says Dr. Epstein.
Another risk one mentioned in some of those commercials has to do with the bugs you may breathe in from a dirty water reservoir in the air pump. The water is needed to put moisture in the air you breathe through the mask. Otherwise, the air would be too dry.
But if the standing water in a reservoir isnt cleaned regularly, there is the potential for bacteria or mold to grow, which you could breathe in, Dr. Epstein points out.
Breathing in those organisms can make you sick or increase problems related to conditions such as asthma, reactive airway disease, or other lung conditions. If you are frequently getting sick or your CPAP smells moldy, it could be a sign that the device is not clean.
Avoiding Lung Problems While On Cpap Therapy
Some of the abovementioned lung conditions can potentially occur when you dont take proper care of your CPAP machine. In rare cases, not adequately sanitizing your device may result in serious health problems.
But you dont have to let these possible risks stop you from having a successful CPAP treatment. There are a couple of easy ways you can do to keep your equipment clean and therefore free from potential health risks.
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Clean Your Cpap Machine
Dirty CPAP machines are the most common reason for pneumonia complications in people with sleep apnea.
Your CPAP should have specific instructions for proper cleaning of your machine and filters.
It should outline the cleaning products to use, methods of cleaning, and frequency. Following these directions is your best defense against mold, fungus, viruses, and bacteria from growing in your CPAP.
There are a few general CPAP cleaning guidelines you can follow:
- Use distilled water Using distilled water in your CPAPs humidifier will significantly minimize your infection risk. Tap water houses minerals that can clog up your water chamber and hoses. Unpurified water can harbor organisms that might grow in your machine. While most tap water is safe, some can harbor microscopic bits of E.col, Salmonella, or even amoebas in certain regions. Its best to be safe and only use distilled water in your machine.
Even if not symptomatic, other people can spread illness that in turn transfers to you. An add-on to this advice is that its best not to purchase used CPAP equipment, particularly masks and tubing.
Why Sleep Apnea Increases Pneumonia Risk
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be disabling or deadly. It occurs when bacteria or a virus gets into your lungs, and your body is unable to fight off the infection. This results in swelling and fluid accumulation in the lungs that can make it difficult or impossible for you to breathe.
Sleep apnea increases your risk of infection because it makes it more likely that you will suck fluid from your throat into your lungs when struggling to breathe. The frequent sleep interruptions also impair your immune system.
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Always Empty The Water Chamber
You do not want your water chamber to become a thriving ground for bacteria and viruses. This is why you should empty your water chamber every single day. Not only that, but you should wash the chamber using warm water and a mild detergent and then refill with fresh water for the next treatment session. When you allow that water to sit too much in the chamber, you also give room for the bacteria to start multiplying.
Can A Cpap Machine Cause Pneumonia
A recent study published in CMAJ researchers concerning patients suffering from sleep apnea found that more than 9% of the study group developed problems that may be related to pneumonia and CPAP use. Researchers speculate that many of the sleep apnea patients that developed pneumonia were more vulnerable to aspiration of liquid and other contents from the gastrointestinal tracts to the larynx and lower respiratory tract into the lungs. Researchers also aimed to establish the answer to the question raised by many CPAP users can CPAP cause pneumonia? They suggest that people who use a CPAP machine are susceptible and may have greater difficulty in coughing up mucus from the lungs, which intensifies the pulmonary aspiration. Although further study is required to make any definitive determinations on a higher risk of pneumonia for sleep apnea patients, we are sure that a CPAP machine, hose, and mask that are not well maintained can lead to bronchitis, respiratory and sinus infections as well as pneumonia.
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