Rainout, rainout, go away!
November 4, 2015 3:03 PM   Subscribe

CPAP users: How do you prevent rainout (condensation forming in your hose and landing on your face) in your CPAP, besides using a heated hose? My "hose cozy" is just not cutting it. Is there anything I can do before I see my doctor about a new prescription for a CPAP with a heated hose?

I use a CPAP machine with a heated humidifier. Now that the weather is cooler, I'm getting an ungodly amount of "rainout" going down the hose and into my nose in the middle of the night. I don't have a heated hose - it won't work with my current machine.

- I wear a Res Med Mirage FX For Her nasal mask.

- I use cotton knit mask liners, which help a lot with leaks, absorbing sweat and skin oils, and making the mask more comfortable, but they don't work to absorb the condensation causing the rainout, because it's coming from the hose instead of the mask or my face.

- I keep my room cool at night, otherwise I can't sleep.

- I have my humidity set at level 3 out of 5 - below that is uncomfortable for me.

- I already use a quilted hose cover, which is supposed to eliminate rainout. Unfortunately, now that my room is nice and cool at night, it doesn't.

I am going to try layering another hose cover over my current one and hope that the extra insulation will eliminate the rainout. But is there anything else I haven't tried that might help? I see my pulmonologist in a few weeks, and will talk to him about getting a new machine with a heated hose - which I will need a prescription for. But until then, or if he won't write me a prescription, I am looking for ways to reduce the rainout in my current machine.
posted by Rosie M. Banks to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The only effective solution I've found (lacking a heated air hose) has been to increase the thermostat setting for our house to 68°F. It's the low room air temperature that causes the condensation that makes the rainout so bad.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 3:15 PM on November 4, 2015

Have you checked the cpap.com forum? Those users are a wealth of knowledge. (Also, heated hose is the way to go, but you know that already.)
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:21 PM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, another thing that helps, though to a lesser extent, is to keep the BPAP machine lower than my head, so that much less of the length of the hose is above my face. If the machine is on the bedside table which is as high as my face, things are much worse. I have a little table for it whose surface is nine inches off the ground, which fits under my bedside table.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 3:21 PM on November 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Keeping it elevated is what my doctor advised, too. You can fake it by looping the hose over something, or hanging it off a hook in the wall, if you can't elevate the machine enough.
posted by SMPA at 4:11 PM on November 4, 2015

Best answer: Before I got a CPAP with a heated hose, I solved this problem by tucking the hose inside the covers with me. My CPAP is always at the same level as the bed and right next to my head, so I just run the hose from the mask down my body and under the covers until it naturally loops back around and the other end comes poking out of the covers right by my head and into my CPAP.

Having the hose under the covers and next to my body kept everything warm enough to prevent any moisture from forming in the hose, and this was when I was living in a place where the nighttime temperature would drop into the 50s inside the apartment.
posted by ralan at 5:10 PM on November 4, 2015

Best answer: Routing the hose under the pillow helped, when the hose cover didn't quite cut it.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 5:34 PM on November 4, 2015

Best answer: Make sure the CPAP is below the level of the bed that way condensation will roll back to the humidifier chamber and not to your nose. Also seconding keeping the tube under your pillow.
posted by teamnap at 6:46 PM on November 4, 2015

What worked for me was buying an electric blanket and wrapping it around the hose. You might need to get some velcro to keep the blanket from unwrapping.
posted by cruelfood at 7:43 PM on November 4, 2015

Wrapping an electric blanket around anything is asking for trouble; I'd be careful about that.
posted by Camofrog at 7:50 PM on November 4, 2015

Best answer: Heated hose and don't look back.

Otherwise, keeping the hose under the blankets and making sure the water is filled enough but not too much.
posted by wintersweet at 8:43 PM on November 4, 2015

Uh, wow. I didn't realize this actually happens; when my most recent replacement machine initially came with a heated hose I thought it was a gimmick so that the manufacturers had an excuse to charge extra for the hose, and had to fight with my supplier to get them to just send me a normal generic hose.

I wish I could tell you why I've never experienced this problem no matter the temperature in my bedroom, anywhere I've lived, nor ever in hotels while traveling. I do remember that my prescribed pressure setting ended up only a few ticks shy of the legal maximum in the U.S., way back when I first got the CPAP machine, so maybe a higher pressure setting has something to do with it? I also use a full face mask.

One thing I'd mention is that with my current machine, the ResMed S9 + H5i humidifier, for some reason the heated hose it came with is a much smaller diameter than a non-heated hose. That constricted the airflow and made me feel like I was suffocating. So, just check out whether that might be a problem for you if you get a new machine.
posted by XMLicious at 10:30 PM on November 4, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks for the helpful suggestions!

Last night, I tried lowering the hose as much as I could with my current nightstand, and putting the hose under the covers. Unfortunately, I toss and turn too much to keep the hose under my covers; but the hose did spend some time covered, and, between that and lowering the hose, I got less rainout.

It looks like I'm going to have to spring for the heated hose and new machine (which will involve returning the old one to Apria, which has the worst, most terribad customer service I've ever encountered), but, until then, I have some maneuvers which result in less rainout. Yay!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:34 AM on November 5, 2015

I toss and turn a good bit also (my wife sometimes calls me "Taz", referring to how I sometimes spin around in my sleep like the Tasmanian Devil in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons...) and I've just developed the habit of unconsciously / subconsciously reaching out and tucking the hose back under the covers. I'll often wake up with the imprint from the hose along my chest and stomach, so at some point I must be rolling over on it to keep it in place.

Even with the heated hose on my new CPAP, I still tuck it under the covers. After 12 years of using a CPAP, it's just become a habit.
posted by ralan at 8:53 AM on November 5, 2015

I bought a bunch of wool socks from a second hand shop. Cut off toes. Double the. And thread the hose in. I think I have a total of six socks.
posted by Ftsqg at 10:54 AM on November 20, 2015

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