Heated Humidification on Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy

Whether you have a CPAP, BiPAP, APAP, AutoBiLevel or ASV device, one thing tends to be common here in Colorado: there is probably humidification attached to the unit.

Why do most companies use heated humidification?

Many of the systems I see, or have seen over the past 14 years have a form of humidification on the unit.  Being a mile high in the Mile High can cause some adverse problems with continuously using your Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) device. No matter if a PAP device is set to four or twenty-four, the body is going to have a response for the addition of continuous airway pressure.  For some this response is just a minor irritation and is hardly noticeable.  For others, the addition of a heated humidifier becomes the favored new friend that, when tweaked correctly, alleviates airway irritation or swelling.  I have never done a PAP setup in Colorado without the use of heated humidification and I believe this is primarily due to an ancillary slew of benefits to the PAP unit, such as the following:


  • Better Mask Fit
  • Increased comfort
  • Increased sleep quality
  • Decrease in congestion
  • Decrease in excess coughing/sneezing/mucus
  • Decrease in likelihood of gaining infection from PAP-related skin irritation

I say these benefits are ancillary to the main one – the fact that the air breathed during PAP use has been humidified.

There are times when additional humidification may be required to increase comfort and compliance with PAP usage, those moments may warrant the addition of heated tubing to the unit.  I’m not holding my breath for it, but wouldn’t it be awesome to have a mildly heated forehead bump and/or straps?  Imagine strapping on a humidified, heated facial cleansing respiratory device.  Maybe we could bedazzle that portion with some rhinestones that didn’t negatively impact position changes.

For any questions or comments, please feel free to message me below or here