During the year as dust collects, pet dander builds, new flowers emit pollen, and mold or dust spores attack you could find yourself suffering from seasonal allergies. All of the sudden your blissful outdoor life could become plagued with sneezing and wheezing unless you use your CPAP for seasonal allergy relief.
Allergies and sleep apnea can combine to make it difficult to breathe, rest, and even disrupt your CPAP treatment. However, you don’t have to let allergies affect your sleep. Check out how to use your CPAP to stop allergies from disrupting your rest.
How Seasonal Allergies Disrupt Rest
As pollen and other irritants invade your airways it can cause hay fever or rhinitis, which causes the mucous membrane in your nose to become irritated and swollen. Plus, your body also releases histamine to try and combat irritants.
As your histamine levels rise you may sneeze a million times, suffer from itchy watering eyes, develop a cough, and more. All of these symptoms can make it difficult to pull in air and if your nasal passages dry out, pulling in air through your nose can be uncomfortable.
But the real issue with inflammation and increased histamine levels is the fact that it leads to congestion that may partially or fully your airways. If you suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) then your airways already become blocked at night, so allergies can make sleep apnea worse.
As you stand during the day mucus properly drains from your sinus cavities, but it can also drain into your airways and block your throat. Then when you lay down, it shifts upwards again and blocks your air passages. So, if you don’t feel congested during the day, it can still affect you at night.
Also, the pain accompanied with mucus and congestion includes sinus pressure, headaches, sore throat, and facial tenderness. All of these issues can make it hard to sleep. However, you can use your CPAP for seasonal allergy relief.
CPAP Allergy Tips
- Clean your CPAP machine and supplies regularly. Your equipment can collect dust, mold, and bacteria over time, causing allergens to build up. Knock them out by sanitizing your CPAP mask and tubing. Clean or replace your filters and wipe off your CPAP with a damp cloth. Speed up the process by using a SoClean to instantly sanitize your CPAP supplies.
- Use a CPAP Humidifier. They add moisture to the air and play a key role in breaking up congestion and heated humidifiers can relieve nasal discomfort due to dryness. Contact your doctor about your seasonal allergies to discover the correct CPAP humidifier settings and change the distilled water daily.
- Change your CPAP mask. If you’re using a nasal mask then you’re only receiving air through your nasal passages, but if they’re blocked due to congestion you aren’t getting the oxygen you need. It could be beneficial to switch to a full face until your seasonal allergy symptoms subside.
8 Ways To Combat Allergies
Your CPAP isn’t the only tool you have to fight back against rhinitis. Use the following tips to keep allergens out of the bedroom.
- Clean your bedroom. Wash the linens regularly and switch to hypoallergenic pillows, sweep or vacuum, dust every surface. Clear out the cobwebs to remove dust, irritants, pet dander, pollen, and more.
- Shower at night before laying down to remove all the pollen and irritants that you may have collected during the day. The steam can also help clear congestion before bed.
- Change outside of the bedroom to avoid tracking pollen and other irritants in.
- Pollen counts are higher in the morning and at dusk, so avoid those times during your outdoor activities and stay indoors during windy days.
- Keep your bedroom windows closed to prevent pollen from blowing inside.
- Wash your pets after they come inside or keep them out of the bedroom. They most likely rolled in pollen and could spread it!
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Doing so will boost your immune system to fight off irritants, plus hydration helps to thin and drain mucus.
- Run a humidifier in your bedroom to prevent mold spores and to add moisture to dry air.
Depending on what you’re allergic to, seasonal allergies could strike at any time of the year. Use your CPAP for seasonal allergy relief so you can get the peaceful sleep you deserve. If you have any other allergy-fighting tips to add, please let us know in the comment section below!