You may have seen humidifiers attached to CPAP machines and wondered if they’re really necessary. After all, how can using water make breathing easier? The answer lies in the air itself.

Dry air can cause all sorts of respiratory problems, from nosebleeds to bronchitis. It’s also one of the leading causes of sinus infections. When you use a CPAP machine without a humidifier, you’re more likely to experience these problems.

What Does a CPAP Humidifier Do?

A CPAP humidifier adds moisture to the air, making it easier to breathe. It also helps reduce congestion and headaches, two common side effects of using a CPAP machine.

If you’re using your CPAP machine without a humidifier, you’re more likely to experience these side effects.

Benefits

There are many benefits to using a CPAP humidifier. In addition to making it easier to breathe, a humidifier can also:

  • Reduce congestion
  • Relieve dryness in the nose, throat, and sinuses
  • Prevent nosebleeds
  • Soothe irritated skin
  • Ease coughing and wheezing
  • Help you sleep better

CPAP humidifiers come in all shapes and sizes. Some attach directly to the CPAP machine, while others are standalone units.

There are even travel-sized CPAP humidifiers that fit easily into a suitcase. No matter what type of CPAP humidifier you choose, it’s sure to make a world of difference.

Why You Need a CPAP Humidifier?

If you’re using a CPAP machine, you need a humidifier. It’s that simple. Not only will it make it easier to breathe, but it will also help reduce congestion and headaches.

If you’re not using a humidifier, you’re more likely to experience these side effects.

Can I Use CPAP Without Water?

No, you cannot use CPAP without water. A CPAP machine humidifier uses water to add moisture to the air. Without water, a CPAP humidifier will not work.

Do I Need Distilled Water for My CPAP Humidifier?

Yes, you need distilled water for your CPAP humidifier. Tap water contains minerals that can damage your CPAP machine.

Distilled water is free of these minerals and won’t damage your machine.

distilled water illustration

How Often Should I Change the Water in My CPAP Humidifier?

You should change the water in your CPAP humidifier every day. Empty the water chamber and add fresh, distilled water. This will help ensure that your CPAP machine is working properly and that you’re receiving the full benefit of the humidifier.

Using a CPAP machine without a humidifier is not recommended.

Not only will it make it harder to breathe, but you’re also more likely to experience congestion and nosebleeds. If you’re using a CPAP machine, be sure to use a humidifier. Your lungs will thank you for it.

Who Needs a Humidifier for Their CPAP Machine?

If you live in a dry climate, you may need a humidifier for your CPAP machine. People who live in dry climates are more likely to experience respiratory problems.

Also, if you are over the age of 60, you may need a humidifier for your CPAP machine. As we age, our bodies become less efficient at producing moisture. This can lead to respiratory problems. Using a humidifier will help reduce these problems.

If you are taking any medications that cause dryness in your sinuses or throat, you may need a humidifier for your CPAP machine. These medications include antihistamines, decongestants, and some asthma medications.

What is the Importance of CPAP Humidification?

CPAP humidification is important because it helps reduce respiratory problems. Dry air can cause nosebleeds, bronchitis, and sinus infections. It can also make it harder to breathe.

Using a CPAP machine without a humidifier will increase your risk of these problems over time. Also, if you already have respiratory problems, using a CPAP machine without a humidifier can make them worse.

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What You Shouldn’t Put in Your CPAP Humidifier

You should only use distilled water in your CPAP humidifier. Tap water contains minerals that can damage your CPAP machine.

You should also avoid using essential oils in your CPAP humidifier. These oils can damage the plastic components of your machine.

Additionally, you should avoid using perfume and cologne in your CPAP humidifier. These products can contain chemicals that can damage your machine.

CPAP Humidifier Tips

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your CPAP humidifier:

  • Change the water in your humidifier every day.
  • Use distilled water in your humidifier.
  • Avoid using essential oils in your humidifier.
  • If you’re using a travel-sized humidifier, be sure to empty it after each use.
  • Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using your CPAP humidifier.

These tips will help you get the most out of your CPAP humidifier and ensure that your machine is working properly.

Can You use a ResMed CPAP Without Water?

No, you cannot use a ResMed CPAP without water. A ResMed CPAP machine humidifier uses water to add moisture to the air. Without water, a ResMed CPAP humidifier will not work.

Think about it this way: if you wouldn’t use a humidifier in your home, why would you use one with your CPAP machine? A CPAP humidifier is an essential part of your therapy and should be used every time you use your machine.

Problems of not Using a Humidifier with a CPAP Machine

Not using a CPAP humidifier can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Dryness in your nose and throat
  • Congestion
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dry skin

If you’re using a CPAP machine, be sure to use a humidifier. The added humidity to the airways of your lungs will make breathing much easier. 

nosebleed illustration

Final Thoughts

Can you use CPAP without water? No, you cannot. CPAP machines use water to add moisture to the air. Without water, a CPAP machine will not work effectively.

Additionally, not using a humidifier with your CPAP machine can lead to a number of problems, including dryness in your nose and throat, congestion, nosebleeds, and dry skin.

If you’re using a CPAP machine, be sure to use a humidifier. Your lungs will greatly, greatly appreciate it. Thanks for reading!

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time.

References

The following are the sources that were used while doing research for this article:

  • Soudorn, Chuleekorn, et al. “Effect of Heated Humidification on CPAP Therapy Adherence in Subjects With Obstructive Sleep Apnea With Nasopharyngeal Symptoms.” National Library of Medicine, Respir Care, Sept. 2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27220350.
  • Nilius, Georg, et al. “Mask Humidity During CPAP: Influence of Ambient Temperature, Heated Humidification and Heated Tubing.” National Library of Medicine, Nat Sci Sleep, 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5935083.
  • Yu, Chung-Chieh, et al. “The Effects of Heated Humidifier in Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Titration.” National Library of Medicine, Sleep Breath, 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3575558.
  • Wenzel, Markus, et al. “Sterile Water Is Unnecessary in a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Convection-Type Humidifier in the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome.” National Library of Medicine, Chest, Oct. 2005, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16236866.