If you want success with your CPAP treatment, the number one concern is comfort.
And if you’re suffering from a dry mouth or water in your tube, you’re not setting yourself up for success. Besides choosing the right mask, you need to know how to use your CPAP humidifier to enjoy maximum comfort.
At Apnée Santé, all our CPAP include a heated humidifier and a heated tube. When you begin treatment with us, we set the humidity to Climate Control Auto.
Normally, the Climate Control Auto settings provide the best protection against rain-out (an uncomfortable condition in which humidified air cools too quickly and condenses in your mask, becoming water droplets that dampen your face).
But some nights, it helps to have more control over your humidification to meet your individual needs. To be able to adjust the humidity yourself, you can set your CPAP to Climate Control Manual mode.
Here’s how it works:
How do I find the Climate Control Manual mode?
Resmed AirSense users: You can access the Climate Control Manual setting anytime. From your machine’s Home screen:
- Select My Options
- Select Climate Ctrl
- Change default “Auto” setting to Manual
- Select Humidity Level and turn the dial to change the humidity (1–8; default setting is 4)
- Select Tube Temp and turn the dial to set the ClimateLine/ClimateLineAir heated tube to the temperature you find most comfortable (60–86⁰F; default setting is 81⁰F).
For more details, see your ClimateLineAir user guide.
S9 users: Your equipment supplier must turn on your Climate Control Manual setting for you if they haven’t already.
From your machine’s Home screen:
- For humidity: Turn the dial to highlight the water drop icon; push the dial, turning the background yellow. Then turn the dial again to set the humidity (1–6, default setting is 3). Push the dial once more to set the new humidity level.
- For tube temperature: Turn the dial to highlight the thermometer icon; push the dial, turning that background yellow. Then turn the dial again to set the ClimateLine/ClimateLineAir tube temperature (15–30⁰ C, default setting is 27⁰ C). Push the dial once more to set the new temp.
When should I change the temp in my humidifier and in my heated tube?
Most patients find cooler air easier to breathe while trying to sleep, especially those who are new to CPAP, wear a full face CPAP mask, and women experiencing hot flashes at bedtime. However, warmer air provides the best humidity and helps reduce nasal irritation since your nose doesn’t have to warm all that CPAP air on its own. It generally helps to increase:
- Humidity if dry air is causing you to wake up with dry mouth, an uncomfortable side effect that 40% of CPAP users experience. If you want more humidity, try manually adjusting it and the temperature one notch at a time. If you reach the highest levels and still feel dry, please contact your respiratory therapist at Apnée Santé. There may be other factors causing your dryness. (You should also check for mask leak if you wake up to find your humidifier’s water chamber empty.)
- Tube temperature if you’re experiencing dryness despite increasing the humidity. Consider increasing your tube temperature by just 1⁰C to see if that provides the best comfort.
A few important things to note
There are no right or wrong settings with the humidifier. You need to adjust your CPAP according to your individual needs throughout the year. You may sleep with the windows open during the winter and require more heat in your tube to reduce condensation.
In the summer, when it’s hot and humid in Quebec, you’ll certainly need to turn down the level in your humidifier and you may even turn off the Climate Line heated tube. Trial and error is the best.
And, if you’re still experiencing difficulty please contact your local Apnée Santé clinic. Our clinicians will be happy to help you!
Related blog: Do you really need a humidifier with your CPAP?