Apnea Health understands that during the coronavirus crisis, you may have some questions related to your CPAP and sleep apnea, so we’ve put together a Covid FAQ.
The information provided below is for informational purposes only and doesn’t represent medical advice.
For medical advice, please visit the Government of Canada site by clicking on this link or call the government at 1-877-644-4545.
My doctor gave me a referral to have a sleep test to determine if I have sleep apnea. Is it safe to take the test?
Yes, Apnea Health is now offering a virtual home sleep test. Thanks to telemedicine, our respiratory therapists can meet with you online for the appointment. Following the initial 30-minute consult with the therapist, we will arrange for curbside pick up of the sleep device. Each device is sterilized after every use and the nasal cannula used to monitor your breathing is thrown out in the morning.
I have just been diagnosed with sleep apnea and my doctor recommends that I start CPAP treatment. Is it possible in the current situation?
Apnea Health is now offering virtual CPAP Treatment. Thanks to the wonders of video technology, our respiratory therapists can help you choose a CPAP that suits your particular needs. We can also fit you for a mask by video!
Next, you’ll pick up your equipment curbside or we can arrange to deliver it to you if you live in Greater Montreal area. The next videochat will consist of coaching you on how to use your machine and care for it.
Subsequently, we will be connecting to your CPAP using cell modem to monitor your treatment and make adjustments if necessary.. It is also during this meeting that you will choose your mask.
Do I have a higher risk of getting coronavirus because I have sleep apnea?
Presently, there is no evidence that sleep apnea causes you to have a higher risk of getting the coronavirus.
However, sleep apnea patients frequently have associated illnesses that are linked to a higher risk for coronavirus.
These illnesses include:
- lung disease
- heart disease.
Another common risk factor for Covid-19 and sleep apnea is age. People who are aged 70 and over are at higher risk of contracting the virus.
If I have caught Coronavirus, can I continue to use my CPAP?
Yes, but you must follow certain recommendations. Here, we share with you easy-to-follow instructions provided by the McGill University Health Center.
Will using my CPAP if I have COVID-19 spread the virus?
If you follow the above recommendations, you will not contaminate other members in your household. As a CPAP user, it’s important for you to be aware that you may spread the virus through the exhalation port on your CPAP mask. This port may release smaller virus-containing participles as an aerosol, which can remain in the air for hours. It’s possible that your bed partner could inhale these virus particles. Here are additional infection control tips:
- Wash your hands with soap and water before handling your CPAP equipment
- Clean your equipment according to your homecare clinic’s recommendations
- Change filters, accessories, and your mask
- If you can’t find distilled water for your humidifier, use tap water in your water chamber and once per week, put vinegar and water in your chamber for one hour. Find out more here.
If I can't self-isolate, what should I do?
If it’s impossible for you to isolate yourself and you have to sleep with your partner, it’s important to discuss with your doctor to find out the best options available to you in order to make the best choices for your health and that of your family.
I am not infected with Coronavirus but a member of my family is. What should I do to decrease the risk of catching it?
Since all affected people must be isolated, you must make sure to sleep in another room than the infected person. In addition, do not forget to respect the basic hygiene rules and to maintain your CPAP equipment rigorously. If the infected person cannot be isolated, contact your doctor to see what options are available to you for making the best choices for your health and that of your family members.
How should I clean my equipment in order to reduce the presence of viruses on my equipment?
Whether you’re suffering from the common cold or coronavirus, you need to wash your CPAP mask daily with soap and water. Once per week, you can wash your tube and water tub.
Find out more here about proper maintenance of your equipment throughout the year: https://apneesante.com/en/do-i-really-have-to-clean-my-cpap-all-the-time/
Can my CPAP filter protect me against the virus?
No, the CPAP filter is used to prevent dust from entering your CPAP and harming the motor. Please ask your sleep clinic with what frequency you need to change your filter.
Once I no longer have Covid-19, what should I do to avoid re-contaminating myself or other members of my family?
You must disinfect your CPAP, CPAP mask and accessories with soap and water. The mask and accessories can be washed in soap and water. The CPAP can be wiped down with soap and water or disinfecting wipes and the filter can be changed.
Here is a blog to remind you how to properly carry out the decontamination: https://apneesante.com/en/do-i-really-have-to-clean-my-cpap-all-the-time/
If I need replacement parts, a new mask or even a new CPAP, can I contact you during the Covid crisis?
Yes, Apnea Health is still here for you. We’ve put our products and services online. Visit our product pages for replacement bundles, discounted masks and other promotions to help you through this period. We’re offering curbside pickup and free delivery.
Our clinicians are also here for you by telemedicine. We’re offering a Zero contact home sleep test and CPAP treatment. Visit our virtual service section on our website.
I can’t find distilled water during this period. Can I use tap water?
Yes, you can use tap water.
Tap water won’t harm your CPAP. However, when using tap water in your chamber, you’ll need to rigorously clean it to prevent excess mineral buildup. Here’s how:
- Empty the water chamber every day and wipe it dry.
- Once per week, use 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water in the tub and let stand for one hour.
- Then clean it with soap and water and wipe it dry.
Can I still get support for my CPAP treatment?
Yes! Apnea Health is here for you, whether you are already a patient or a new patient. Our respiratory therapists and sleep doctors are consulting with our patients online through video calling and we marvel at how well it’s working.
If you’re not comfortable with technology, never fear! Neither were we in the beginning. It’s really easy. We’ll send you a link to connect with us. All you need is a camera and a microphone or a smart phone or tablet. There are so many ways to connect today that you don’t need to put off taking care of your sleep.