One of the most annoying things about CPAP treatment is something called rainout. Just picture a glass of ice cold tea or water glistening in the sun on a hot summer’s day and now picture a stream of cold water splashing you in the face and going backwards through your nose while you are trying to sleep at night. Which sounds better? Rainout happens when the ambient temperature of the room is colder than the humidified air traveling through the CPAP hose, which can cause condensation to build up on the inside of the hose. Sometimes this condensation can build up and spray you in your face. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it can happen. Many of us who use a heated humidifier may experience rainout during the wintertime. The good news is that there are a few extremely effective ways to prevent rainout from happening in the first place.
1. Adjust the temperature of your bedroom. Your first step to prevent rainout is adjusting the temperature of the room you sleep in. If you live in a region that gets particularly cold in the autumn and winter months, you might want to turn the thermostat up a few notches so that the room temperature isn’t refrigerator cold. If you don’t have central heating, you may benefit from getting a floor heater. If you want to jazz it up, they even make something called a ventless fireplace, but the jury is still out on whether those are safe. Another option is to turn the temperature down on your humidifier if your unit has the capability for climate control. Sometimes the temperature on the humidifier can be too high and can cause excess condensation to build up inside the hose.
2. Insulate the CPAP hose. By insulating the hose you can effectively make it impervious to ambient temperatures. A few DIY methods of insulation include wrapping a towel around the CPAP hose or finding a way to hide the hose under your covers while you sleep. However, there is a much more effective and affordable way to insulate the CPAP hose and that is with a hose cover. In fact, using a tube cover can make your CPAP hose look more fashionable and less clinical. One of the best CPAP hose covers is the Tube/Wrap Cover from ResMed, which fits a typical six-foot long hose and fits on just like a sock. If you like sleeping in a colder room – some doctors recommend sleeping in a cooler room – getting a CPAP hose cover could be perfect for you.
3. Use a heated hose. There is also a good chance that you could benefit from a heated hose. If your physician requires you to have a higher temperature setting on your heated humidifier, purchasing a heated hose may be an excellent way to prevent rainout. When it comes to heated CPAP hoses, luckily you have a lot of different options. One option is the Hybernite Rainout Control System, which is a stand-alone tube that is designed to work with most humidifiers. One of the main benefits of this heated tube is that it is versatile and simple to use – and it uses an independent power supply, which means that you need an outlet to plug it in. Your other option is to purchase a CPAP machine that comes with a heated hose, like the AirSense 10 Auto, DreamStation Auto, or the Icon Auto with Climate Control. In fact, the Icon Auto with Climate control comes with the advanced ThermoSmart Heated Hose, which uses unique algorithms that measure the temperature inside the hose to provide the optimal insulation and protection from rainout.
When it comes down to it, a little rainout shouldn’t stop you from adhering to CPAP treatment. If you live in a frozen tundra, or if you simply like to keep the windows open at night to let a cool breeze in, rainout may continue to be a problem if you don’t find a solution. There are a number of easy and affordable solutions to preventing condensation from building up on the inside of your CPAP hose. You can either insulate the hose or if you are in the market for a new CPAP machine, you could purchase a unit with humidifier and that is compatible with a heated hose. No matter what, though, eliminating rainout is the best way to allow your CPAP machine to work its magic and get a great night’s sleep – sans water splashing you in the face.