CPAP therapy is the most effective treatment of choice for obstructive sleep apnea. Using a CPAP machine can cause the nasal passages to dry out, especially in the winter months. A heated humidifier will help with this problem.
Research has shown that providing patients with heated humidity will help to prevent nasal side effects, such as dryness, runny nose or congestion. Exposure to cold dry air is the primary cause of these symptoms.
When nasal congestion develops, it becomes difficult for the person using CPAP to breathe in and out through their nose. This results in the mouth falling open and the pressurized air escaping, reducing the benefit of the pressure being given to the patient. Best CPAP Mask For Side Sleepers
The comfort level of wearing CPAP will also be reduced when nasal side effects occur. The compliance of a patient in wearing their CPAP is directly affected by the level of comfort they experience. The more comfortable they are, the more hours they will be willing to wear CPAP at night and the better sleep they will get.
When a patient feels as if they have more problems when using CPAP therapy than when not using it, compliance will be reduced. It is important for anyone who uses CPAP to be given any alternative available to help with comfort.
Humidification without heat, known as cold pass-over humidification, can be used when patients complain of nasal symptoms after the initiation of CPAP. These types of humidifiers are not as effective in treating the symptoms, however, because they are unable to add warmth and moisture to the CPAP air.
Cold pass-over humidification has not been shown to provide an increase in the number of hours used by the patient in comparison to using no form of humidification.
Recent studies have shown that those who used a heated humidifier as part of their CPAP equipment had an increase in the number of hours they wear their CPAP. This increase was an average of 1.5 hours.