COVID-19 & Sleep Apnea

Are people with sleep apnea more likely to be impacted by COVID-19? 

People with sleep apnea are not more likely to contract the virus. However, anyone with a chronic or underlying lung condition are at a higher risk of experiencing more severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19. COVID-19 can affect your respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs), and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory failure.

If I have symptoms of the COVID-19, should I continue using my CPAP? 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, it is important to talk to your medical provider before stopping any medical treatments. It is possible that using CPAP could increase the risk of spreading the virus to others around you. Be sure to talk to your medical provider about this risk. 

If I have COVID-19, will my CPAP be helpful for my breathing or could it cause the virus to get worse? 

It is unclear whether CPAP could make COVID-19 worse or help with your breathing. But using CPAP could increase the risk of spreading the virus to others around you. Talk to your medical provider about your treatment options for sleep apnea. 

If I have COVID-19, how should I clean and disinfect my CPAP mask and hose? 

You should clean and disinfect your medical equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions.* The directions for CPAP masks and hoses normally include regular cleaning with soap and water. It is unclear if extra CPAP cleaning is needed due to COVID-19. 

*How to clean your CPAP equipment (ResMed) 

You should also clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your household. This includes door knobs, light switches and handles. 

Distilled water is unavailable in my area. What should I use in my CPAP humidifier? 

Optimal humidifier performance requires distilled water because most or all minerals have been removed, preventing mineral buildup in the humidifier tub. That said, tap or bottled water may also be used. It will not harm the device or pose a risk to you. It will, however, require more rigorous humidifier cleaning to prevent excess mineral buildup in the tub.

Remember social/physical distancing does not mean social isolation. Stay connected with family, friends and the community by phone, email, text, Facebook, Facetime, Skype or Zoom. Organize a family or community check-in.

Where do I find up-to-date information about COVID-19? 

NATIONAL - Canadian Government   

ALBERTA - Alberta Health Services , Alberta Government

Page Last Updated: 03/04/2020