Are you Prepared for the Colder Weather?

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I always look forward to the beginning of a new month. It brings about new adventures, new experiences, and, of course, new beginnings. This time of year is my favorite because the beginning of September not only means new adventures await us, but it also means the beginning of autumn. Soon the long, hot summer days will be gone, and we will welcome the cold! The leafs begin changing colors, Starbucks brings back their holiday flavors, and I get to be trendy with my cute winter wardrobe. Now while the colder weather brings good news for me and most of Houston, it does not bring good news for everyone. CPAP users may have a thing or two to say about the colder weather.

The colder weather does not just bring relief from the muggy weather we experience here in Houston, it also brings along the danger of getting sick. If you use a CPAP, APAP, Bi-PAP, etc., then you know that using the machine while sick is almost always a struggle. Congestion, coughing, etc., are all things that patients must take into consideration every night before putting on their mask and turning on their machine. However, there are a few things that come in handy during the colder months of the year.

Use your humidifier. There are some CPAP users that use their humidifiers year round, some who don’t use their humidifier at all, and some who only use it through the colder months. If you don’t use your humidifier at all, I recommend trying it through the cold weather – it works wonders. Humidifiers work to warm the water and provide moisture to the patient while inhaling. A great thing about the newer machines are that you can adjust the humidifier settings to get more or less moisture. The higher the settings, the more moisture the patient will receive. During the colder months, the air becomes much drier than what we are normally accustomed to. With that in mind, we want a little extra moisture when inhaling to help our lungs function properly. Not to mention, too much dry air can cause nose bleeds, and that’s not cute, so more moisture please!

Avoid rainout. This is caused when the air inside your tubing is warmer than room temperature. When the cooler is exposed to the tubing carrying the warmer air to your mask, there is a good chance that condensation will appear, causing the patient to inhale water rather than air. Last time I checked, you were using your CPAP mask while sleeping, not swimming, so no inhaling water, please. This problem is extremely common through the colder months of the year, but luckily, there is a simple solution. There are two options: the first is using heated tubing, and the second is using a tube sock/wrap. In both instances, there is little to no exposure to the cold room temperature air.
hosewrpAs I mentioned before – with the colder weather, there is a greater chance of getting sick. If you get the flu, suffer from congestion, or catch a bad cough, you need to ensure that you sanitize your supplies well. We offer numerous options that can assist in this process; from wipes to sanitizing machines, we have it all!

Whether you’re a fan of the colder weather or not, there is always something to look forward to – be it the spending time with your family through the holiday season, or perhaps a snow day (maybe we’ll get lucky again, Houston!). As long as you’re prepared for whatever comes your way, everything will be fine. So bundle up, because…. ‘Winter is coming.’

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