Monday, December 13, 2010

CPAP and Humidification

To Humidify or not to Humidify

30 years ago when CPAP was first brought to the market, unless you were to jere rig something special, humidification with CPAP was not an option. It was not until some years after having been brought to market that humidification....whether cold or heated...was an option.
Some of the first CPAP patients that I was priviledged to train in its use, were in need of humidification none the less.
There was a period of years that humidification became available but was "stand alone". In other words the humidifier and or heater were not part of the CPAP unit. But more and more physicians were ordering humidification at the outset of treatment.
Today humidification is available on any unit that you might be prescribed.
There are some complications encountered from time to time with the use of humidification.
They are:
  • Water accumulation in the hytrel tubing...thats your 6ft or so tubing that runs from the unit to your mask. Water is often more of problem when the temperature of the room is cooler. This causes "rain out" in the tubing. The gurggling can be annoying and the volume of water can be significant enough to obstruct your air flow. Your service company will know how to eliminate the problem. Sometimes it is as simple as placing the tubing under the covers and up off the cold floor.
  • Even with the use of humidification a sore, scratchy throat can be experienced. Most often an increase in the temperature level will help. Also always make sure the humidication chamber is filled to proper level. Just be aware that an increase in temperature can increase the level of rain out.
  • Somes sinuses are aggravated by warm moist humidifation.
  • Improperly maintained humidifiers will sometimes lead to sinus infect.
  • There are times that the use of humidification seems to cause adverse reaction in the airways.
So what is the bottom line for use of humidification?

       Humidification has one basic is not in of itself therapeutic
  •  Humidification is for your comfort
  • That being said....the choice is yours....there is not any specific way that humidification must be used.
  • There is no need to use the heater on your humidifier if cool humidification feels better to you.
  • In some cases people choose to not to use humidification at all.....again it is preference....your choice
  • If you complain to your physician that you have sore throat or dryness of course he is going to want to know how you are using your humidification.
  • COMPLIANCE....whatever it takes for you to consistently use your CPAP....that is what is important.
To Your Success

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