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I have had a heavy cold which has left me with a chesty cough, is it best to use cpap with the humidifier or without?

I have had the cold for a few days now and it has moved to my chest. I also have asthma so have made sure I have kept up use of steroid inhaler and reliever. I use the steroid every day. 

Before I used CPAP I woke with terrible pains in my hands and arms every night. Since using my machine I have had no pain during the night until last night. My GP thinks I was being asphyxiated before CPAP. If that was the case being blocked up last night was probably doing the same. 

When I woke with pains last night I couldn't settle back to sleep so I got up and I cleaned my mask and face and put my mask back on and then slept until about 9am.

I have noticed that when sleeping on my side the CPAP doesn't work as well at preventing me from stopping breathing as it does when I sleep on my back. It may be that I was so zonked with the infection that I was on my side more last night.

My husband and son are convinced that I should stop using my CPAP until I am clear of infection. I am intent on continuing CPAP. But I am not sure if it is a good idea to remove the humidifier for a few nights. I do have an incredibly dry mouth without it. When on holiday I ran out of water and was not on mains water. 

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Ha Ha, so I have more power then when I come on here as The SleepGuide Crew :-D

The main reason we are told to use distilled water is to protect the humidifier chambers, and people who do use it have much less hassle cleaning them.  We're in a hardwater area, so I have to keep on top of mine, and I use a Sonic Cleaner, which brings it up real good without the nasty vinegar after-smell.  We are given mixed messages about which type of water to use, but I did a lot of research in the past on de-ionised water, and after the advice I was given chose not to use it anymore.  Besides, bottled water we know is safe for drinking, yet de-ionised isn't, so that alone convinces me!

The cold may be causing you more apnoeas and hypopnoeas, so see how you go when you're better.  Do you always have asthma?  If so I would recommend using the CPAP Bacterial Filters if they're compatible with your machine.  There's a separate discussion on them here BACTERIAL FILTERS DISCUSSION and you'll see why I use them all the time, even though I don't have asthma. 

Hope you're on the mend now :)


Before I had a humidifier attachment for my CPAP machine, I used to take a dose of (UK formula) Sudafed decongestant before bedtime, whenever I was feeling bunged up.  I cannot prove that a nasty skin irritation on my legs was caused by Sudafed, but I now avoid it.  HOWEVER, the good news is that I find that a deep breath of Olbas Inhaler is enough to clear my nose for long enough to start breathing through my CPAP with the humidifier, and the damp air stops me getting stuffed up again.  I did once read that someone had added Olbas oil to their humidifier and they thought it had damaged their sense of smell.  Go carefully!

When I first got the humidifier I purchased Purified Water BP from the chemist.  Eventually I found a chemist who sold 5 litre containers, which was more affordable.  Then one day I tried supermarket mineral water and found it's almost as good, leaving hardly any limescale in my humidifier tank.  Finally, I had a water softener installed, and now I use the bathroom tap :)  When travelling, I use mineral water.  I buy some once I've gone through airport security so I have a "starter kit" when I travel abroad.  When the tank in the humidifier is looking chalky, I wash it out with vinegar, and it comes up sparkling.


not sure who or where,but when i was a newbe,some one told me Ashbeck water from tesco is fab for humidifiers..anyway iv been using it since the beginging,and its brill..not a problem,and very very cheap ....x x


ohh and i wash it with Johnsons baby shampoo,and distilled vinegar....LOL...x x

I am amassing information here thank you everyone. I didn't know any of the things you have mentioned. We are going to Tesco tomorrow so I will stock up on Ashbeck mineral water. It is much easier to go with something already tested by someone else, thank you Paula.

Kath, I have had a look at the filters and mentioned them to my asthma nurse. She says I should wait until my asthma is a bit more stable before I introduce anything else but I will order some in readiness. We have soft water here so I don't have the calcification problem luckily.

Glad everyone's helped Judith.  The only comment I would make to what your asthma nurse said, is that they are actually for helping with conditions such as asthma, COPD + allergies, so can only assume they would help.  I'm not an expert though!

Sainsbury's Highland Spring water works just fine, too :)

So does Morrisons' :)

Jonathan said:

Sainsbury's Highland Spring water works just fine, too :)

Awww..no Probs hun..glad to help...x x

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