CPAP and Humidity. Your Questions Answered

I started CPAP therapy and now I have a “cold”, what happened?
I got water in my tubing, what do I do?
My CPAP is making funny gurgling noises, please help!

All of these questions are related to the same subject, humidity.
But what is humidity and how does it affect the CPAP user?
When we are breathing normally, our nose and throat help to humidify (moisten and warm) the air coming into our body. When we add the increased air flow from the CPAP, the body can’t keep up and this can cause either dryness or congestion.
When they get congested (or a stuffy nose), may people feel that it is because there is too much moisture from the machine, however it is actually the opposite. Your body is producing more moisture in the nose in response to drier air. If you are experiencing any nasal congestion or dryness, you want to turn up your humidity level. If you require assistance with how to change your machine’s humidity levels, contact us by phone 1-888-310-1444 or send us an Email
Sometimes if there is a large difference between your room temperature and the CPAP air temperature, condensation can show up in your mask or tubing. When the air in the CPAP tubing cools, it will lose the humidity created in the humidifier’s water tub, and water pools in the tubing. This is similar to what happens when you have a nice cold drink on a hot day, and water starts to pool up on the outside of the glass. When this happens with your CPAP, you have a few options to help correct it.
The best way is to use a heated hose (not available on all CPAP machines). This hose will insulate the tubing, maintaining a constant temperature, so that the air flowing through it doesn’t cool down and form condensation.
Another way to help is a tubing wrap. This is a good option for those who have CPAP machines without a heated tube option, or for those who need more help maintaining humidity or preventing condensation. A tubing wrap is a sleeve that goes around the tubing, usually made of fleece with ties on each end.
Humidity levels will often need to be changed with the different seasons, or if a person is travelling to another climate. A good rule of thumb is if you are congested or dry, increase humidity (and tube temperature if possible), and if you have any condensation or water in your tube or mask, go down on your humidity level (and/or up on your tube temperature if possible).