CPAP Therapy Treatment and Tips

COVID-19 & CPAP: What you need to know about coronavirus & your sleep

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Right now, you might be wondering if it's still safe to use your CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea. The short and simple answer is yes. This is a time when your body needs healthy sleep the most to boost its immune system.

As we head towards winter, the chances of catching a cold, the flu or even COVID-19 do potentially grow, so healthy sleep with CPAP therapy is essential.

In the face of several myths we've seen on the internet, we want to set the record straight when it comes to sleep apnea, CPAP and COVID-19. Here are some of the most common questions people have been asking us:

1. Am I at a higher risk of getting COVID-19 if I use my CPAP?

There's no evidence that CPAP therapy increases the risk of catching the virus. However, we do recommend you wash your hands before starting therapy every night and wash your equipment after each use.

2. Can my CPAP machine help prevent COVID-19?

CPAP therapy can do many great things for your health but preventing or curing COVID-19 is not one of them. Your best bet to avoid getting the virus is to wash your hands frequently, maintain social distancing, and follow lockdown orders.

3. Will CPAP help me if I'm diagnosed with COVID-19?

Your CPAP machine is designed to treat sleep apnea only. While there are rumours of specific PAP devices being used for minor respiratory issues, they can do more harm than good. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, we strongly suggest you play it safe and speak with your doctor first.

4. Can I continue to use my CPAP machine if I'm diagnosed with COVID-19?

While treating your sleep apnea with CPAP should be fine, you should take extra care if you live with others. There are suggestions that CPAP can increase the risk of the virus spreading. It's best to ask your doctor for advice or take a short break from therapy until you fully recover.

5. If I'm diagnosed with COVID-19, should I get a new machine?

Unless you need a device upgrade, there's no need to buy a new machine if you've recently had COVID-19. If you clean your equipment well enough, you should eliminate any infection risk to yourself or others from contamination. 

We hope you've gained some understanding regarding your therapy. If there's anything we've learnt recently, it's that there is a lot of unhelpful advice being spread at the moment, leading to a lot of unnecessary stress and lost sleep. 

We won't pretend to have all the answers, but what we do know is that during this pandemic, we should all try to look after our sleep and health. Both are crucial to how our immune system will respond if we become exposed to the virus.

Oh and lastly, eating garlic, while having many potential health benefits, does not cure COVID-19. It might, however, make you or your partner a bit more aware of your every breath!

ResMed

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