As you have probably heard, coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, headache. And in severe cases coronavirus may cause pneumonia and organ failure. If you have sleep apnea, it’s completely understandable to worry about how this pandemic can affect your health. That’s why we have answered some questions regarding coronavirus and prepared some tips for you.
Is Sleep Apnea Linked to a Higher Risk of Coronavirus?
For now, no evidence connects sleep apnea with coronavirus risk. People who do have a higher risk of developing severe illness from the coronavirus are the following:
- People who are 65 years or older
- People who already have serious underlying medical conditions such as:
- Chronic lung disease
- Moderate to severe asthma
- Serious heart conditions
- Severe obesity
- Chronic kidney disease
- Liver disease
- People who are having a medical disorder, or taking a medication which weakens their immune system
- People who have had close contact with another person who has the coronavirus
How to Handle the CPAP Treatment If You Have Coronavirus
The best thing to do when you notice that you have symptoms of the coronavirus is to isolate yourself right away. If possible, use a separate bedroom and bathroom and continue using your CPAP machine. What’s important is:
- Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water before and after you touch the CPAP device, mask, tubing, and filters.
- To clean your CPAP equipment very carefully and fully according to the manufacturer’s directions
- To change filters and other accessories as advised in your user guide.
- Not to let anyone smoke where you stay, especially around the CPAP machine.
- To keep pets away from your CPAP machine.
- Don’t forget to use distilled water in your humidifier to keep the tub clean at all times
- If you have trouble breathing and constant pain or pressure in the chest, get medical attention instantly.
After you are cured of the coronavirus, remember to get new CPAP filters and all the disposable accessories.
If You Have Symptoms of the Coronavirus, Will Using CPAP Spread the Virus to Others?
Evidence shows that coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so you shouldn’t be in close contact with other people if you are infected.
When it comes to the CPAP machine, there is a concern that using CPAP might spread the virus through the exhalation port. This could happen because the exhalation port allows carbon dioxide to escape from your mask and there is a chance that it will release smaller virus-containing particles as an “aerosol”. And these particles can remain suspended in the air for a few hours and someone can get infected by inhaling them.
This is why it’s extremely important not to sleep in the same bed as your partner. You can use your CPAP but do so in isolation.
What to Do If You Have the Coronavirus
You should continue using your CPAP, but the important thing is to do it in a separate bedroom, otherwise, there is no evidence that the CPAP will make the coronavirus worse in any way.
If you are sure you have coronavirus, you should continue using the CPAP, but in strict self-isolation. Also, if you have the coronavirus, you can spread it to others even before you have symptoms.
So, even if you don’t have symptoms of the coronavirus, our tip is to sleep and use CPAP in a separate bedroom during this pandemic crisis.
The most essential thing is to clean and disinfect your medical equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions.