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Allergy to CPAP machine

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Expand view Topic review: Allergy to CPAP machine

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by Pugsy on Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:53 pm

Janetkaye wrote: There is no question it is the machine.

Or the humidifier or lack of humidity or too much moisture added to the air. Both will give you the exact same symptoms you are complaining of.

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by Janetkaye on Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:36 pm

I have used the cpap for over 3 years. I am 65 years old and never had an allergy in my life. Now I can go through a box of tissue in a day with runny nose and eyes. The noise of the machine (which is very minor) was bothering my husband so I stopped using it about 3 months ago. Have not had one allergy symptom since. There is no question it is the machine.


Post by rusvkq on Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:42 pm


Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by robysue on Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:25 pm

dhill wrote:Okay, this is what I'm talking about. I too, have that horrible allergy like symtoms after starting my CPAP. I had allergies before but nothing like this. It feels like I have a worm wiggling around up my right nostril. I sneeze about 25 times in the morning but it bothers me ALL of the time since I use my CPAP every night. When I put it on, I can breathe perfectly but as soon as it comes off in the morning the sneezing and mucas begins all over. I'm at my wit's end. I too use Dawn to wash my hose and pillow. My humidifier part is soaked in 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water and allowed to dry without rinsing. I have the allergy filter in and I was told the rough side faces away from the machine so that's how I have it. I usually sleep with the humidifier on 1. It's such a shame that I can breath so good with it on but everything goes to crap when I take it off.

Methinks you have the real answer staring you in your face: At night the CPAP's filter is filtering out all or most of your allergens and you are peacefully breathing all night long. But as soon as you take the mask off, you're exposed to the allergens and you start sneezing and getting congested.

The solution is to figure out how to treat your daytime allergies now that they are severe enough to bother you.


Have you seen an allergist? If not, you should consider it.

Do you have any ideas on what you might be allergic to that is in your house and where ever else the sneezing and severe congestion are problems? Things you might be allergic to include: dust, pet dander---if you have pets, pollen---if your problem gets worse at certain times of the year, mold or mildew---it can grow unseen in the heater vents, and more.

Do you take any allergy meds? If not, then maybe taking an OTC antihistamine might help. Have you tried taking something like Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra? Does it help at all? Or a prescription nasal spray like Flonase may be of some use to you.

Do you use saline nasal sprays or a nasal rinse or neti pot? If not, you might want to start using them. Since your problem starts in the morning AFTER you take your mask off, you might want to do a nasal rinse or neti pot as soon as you get up or perhaps just after breakfast. You may want to use the saline spray anytime your nose is feeling a bit clogged.

In other words, I think you need to be treating this problem in the same way you would have treated it prior to CPAP: If your allergies started to get worse pre-CPAP you would have gone to your PCP and asked for some advice and maybe a referral to an allergist. And that's what you need to do here too. Because whatever it is that's bugging your nose, it's likely NOT the CPAP since you can breathe just fine when the mask is on your nose.

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by archangle on Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:51 pm

It's worth trying anything that isn't dangerous, expensive, painful, or difficult. Sometimes trying different things will help you stumble across the real reason.

Pasteurized water is probably no better for your CPAP or your allergy symptoms than your tap water, but since it come from a different source, it might be better or worse because of that.

It sounds like it probably isn't demineralized like distilled water would be, so dump the water every day and clean the chamber more often if you decide to use pasteurized water. I'll recommend distilled, just to make maintenance and cleaning of the tank easier.

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by BlackSpinner on Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:48 am

You are looking at things backwards.
When using cpap you are breathing filtered air and have no symptoms, when not using cpap you are breathing non filtered air and have symptoms. That means the problem is NOT you cpap machine but your environment! The sneezing first thing in the morning is your body reacting to the filthy air. No amount of special water is going to make your environment cleaner.

It is kind of like going on vacation and when you return to your polluted city you react by getting a sinus headache. The fault was not the vacation.

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by Gaga58 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:24 am

Yep...seriously pastuerized...none of the other things, so don't know that it's any better or worse than any other bottled water. Just thought I'd try it since there were those who think the steamed distilled, filtered and osmosis might have caused the trouble. No difference for me that I can tell! It is 30 cents cheaper a gallon though!! :lol:

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by archangle on Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:51 pm

Gaga58 wrote:Wanted to post...I found pastuerized water at Walmart.

Wow, was it really labeled as "pasteurized?" Was it also filtered, distilled, reverse osmosis, etc. as well?

Pasteurization would probably not help much. It wouldn't remove any allergens or minerals like distillation does.

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by Gaga58 on Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:37 am

Wanted to post...I found pastuerized water at Walmart. It was the only one different from the steamed and reversed type of distilled I'd been using. I've used it now for the past 3-4 nights and can't say that I see a difference. I didn't go into a full blown, all day sneeze the other day, so that was a plus. I did start in with some again this morning about 10 mins. after unmasking, but again it didn't go into full blown. I can't really say the water made the difference as of course now the pollens are picking up around here and I was outside yesterday. I just normally don't react that bad to pollens, or I should say I've never reacted this bad to whatever this is in previous years! :)

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by archangle on Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:45 am

Be sure your CPAP machine isn't sitting somewhere that the air intake is vacuuming up dust or something else that's irritating.

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by dhill on Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:08 am

I turned up the humidifier and it was better. Instead of sneezing 50 times in the morning, it was only like 10. I had the dial on 1 and turned it up to 2. Tonight, I'll turn it up to 3. I knew my nose was really dry inside and that makes sense that if wasn't hydrating it more, it would get drier. Now we'll see if I can't lick this.

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by RocketGirl on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:27 am


I wonder if maybe some people's noses and sinuses just don't like rapid change. If I don't use my ramp feature when I go to bed, my sinuses and nasal passages complain bitterly for about half an hour. Similarly, if I go from, say, a hot summer day into cold air conditioning I stuff up for a while. So I just got to thinking, what if it's somehow too much of a rapid change to just turn the machine off and unmask, after a night of continuous positive pressure.

Not sure how to test this, since machines don't have a reverse ramp :?

Just a thought.

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by Gaga58 on Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:36 am

Dhill...it has been the same for me! With the mask on I breathe like a charm, no itchies, no sneezies...but let that mask come off and it's a whole 'nother ballgame! I just finished my second round of antibiotic and I'm still taking the zyrtec and also had a round of steroids in Dec., along with using Flonase. I can say the the frequency of the episodes seems to be slowing down(I've made it 5 days without symptoms!), although this morning within 30 mins. I've started feeling the muscus building in the nose again and just got through with a round of sneezing! My ENT does not seem to think it's related to the cpap, but I've never had this kind of prolonged allery symptoms before...I've been battling this since Oct., started cpap in Sept. I've checked the humidity levels in the house, changed mattress, pillows, ect. Swap out my fine filter every two weeks, use a neti pot, set my humidity on the machine to high (lower made it worse), so really have no clue what else to try. I've come to the conclusion that while it may not be the cpap itself causing this, I'm thinking because the cpap does open up my sinuses so well, I am now experiencing allergies to things I've never been allergic to before! It's the only theory I have! :lol: Just not sure how to fix it!

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by pickuptruck on Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:11 pm

Some people need more humidity not less for runny sinus. Each person is different. try all levels of humidity. :)

Re: Allergy to CPAP machine

Post by 1tree on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:17 pm

Perhaps try a mask that will have you breathe through your mouth? If you get the air, that is the important thing.