CPAP Therapy and Nasal Congestion: What if I’ve Already Got a Humidifier?

A stuffy nose and dry throat; are you getting sick or just experiencing side effects of your continuous positive airway pressure therapy? While CPAP machines are great for keeping your airways open, they may also cause drying of the mucous membranes and nasal congestion. To combat this, many users find using CPAP humidifiers to be the perfect solution, but, when nasal congestion returns as a product of an upper respiratory infection, users need other solutions to deal with their congestion.

Treat Your Nasal Congestion Symptoms Early

The best way to treat your nasal congestion is to prevent it. Practice a great hand washing regimen and make sure to avoid others who are sick. If you’ve come down with a cold or a stuffy nose from allergies, treat your nasal congestion during the day by using a neti pot to clear your sinuses or taking over the counter nasal-drying cold medications. It can also help to use a neti pot just before bed.

Throughout the Night

If you’re experiencing nasal congestion, try sleeping with the head of your bed elevated just a bit in order to promote drainage from your sinuses. You can also use a neti pot just before you lay down for the night. When it comes to using essential oils or products like Vick’s Vapor Rub, ensure that are placing them on your body, under your nose and on your chest for example, and not adding them to your CPAP humidifier’s water chamber. Adding things like essential oils to your water chamber may erode the quality of the tank or the tubing. More seriously, while essential oils may not be harmful in small doses, adding anything that will be delivered directly to your lungs is dangerous.

Nasal Congestion Still Won’t Go Away?

Still tempted to use aromatics? A medical supply company, like may have ideas for dealing with your discomfort. They should be able to direct you in the direction of aromatherapy-safe products. Some CPAP filters and humidifiers has special reservoirs or areas to place essential oils.

Still struggling? Contact your health care provider if you’ve got nasal congestion that won’t go away or is interfering with your CPAP therapy. You may have an infection that needs to be treated. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition, prevent nasal congestion from ending your therapy altogether.