COVID-19 is a viral infection that affects the lungs and is communicable from person to person. People with breathing problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea, understandably have some questions about whether their condition could cause complications if they get infected with COVID-19. The biggest questions that people with sleep apnea and their families may have are whether OSA increases the risks associated with COVID-19 and whether using a CPAP with COVID-19 poses any risk to the patient or others.
According to early studies, there did not appear to be an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 in patients with sleep apnea. A more recent study shows that untreated sleep apnea may increase the risk of infection with COVID-19, perhaps because poor sleep depresses the immune system. Conversely, using continuous positive airway pressure to treat sleep apnea, as with the ResMed AirFit P10 nasal pillow CPAP mask with headgear, may actually reduce the risk of contracting COVID. In either case, health conditions associated with sleep apnea, including obesity and heart conditions, are known to increase the risk of COVID-19 complications.
If you do become infected with COVID, using your CPAP to treat sleep apnea may be more difficult, but you should continue treatment to the extent you are able during your illness. Cessation of CPAP can cause your OSA symptoms to come back, adding to your misery at best and complicating COVID at worst.
If either you or your bed partner gets COVID, you should sleep in separate rooms until fully recovered. If this is not possible, you can protect yourself from getting COVID from your partner by using a filter on the machine that blocks bacteria and viruses and changing it after you have used it for at least 24 hours. You can protect your partner from getting COVID from you by choosing a CPAP with mask that does not have vents that would disperse aerosolized exhalation droplets.
The Differences Between CPAP Machines & Ventilators
A CPAP machine blows air into your airways at a continuous pressure that is higher than the general air pressure in the room. It is considered noninvasive because there is no need to stick a tube down your throat. Ventilators typically require intubation and so are more invasive. They work by changing air pressure levels to force the lungs to work if they are not able to breathe on their own. CPAP machines may help with oxygenation of blood on a short-term basis but cannot replace a ventilator, a common treatment for severe COVID-19.
Maintaining Good Health With Your CPAP Machine
The best way to prevent contracting diseases such as COVID-19 from your CPAP machine is to keep it clean. The air tubing should be cleaned weekly, the mask and headgear should be cleaned daily, and both daily and weekly cleaning tasks are recommended for the humidifier tub.
Your doctor can recommend the best CPAP machine 2021 to suit your needs. Once you have a prescription, you can then purchase the machine from online suppliers.