How to make distilled water for CPAP machines

Written by William Fryer - MA Oxon

What is sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea is when you stop and start breathing during the night. As a result, you end up with poor oxygenation and the most common symptom is waking up with a headache.

Other symptoms include:

  • making gasping, snorting or choking noises
  • broken sleep (waking up a lot
  • snoring
  • tiredness
  • lack of concentration
  • mood swings

There is a lot of information available online about Sleep Apnoea, there are also sleep clinics available (via the NHS) where you can go and be clinically assessed for sleep apnoea.

What causes sleep Apnoea?

The most common causes of sleep apnoea include:

  • excess weight/obesity
  • having a large neck - people with thicker necks might have narrower airways.getting older – although children and young adults can also get it
  • family history - having other family members with sleep apnoea
  • smoking
  • drinking alcohol
  • having large tonsils or adenoids
  • sleeping on your back
  • being male - men are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than are women. It is estimated 13% of adult men

Sleep Apnoea Treatment

The most common and effective solution is called CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure). With a CPAP machine, you put a mask on over your face and it blows humidified air onto your face. It is a bit like sticking your head out of a car window while it is driving along.

The air needs to be humidified otherwise you dry out your airways. And the water used in CPAP machines to achieve this is distilled water.

Other, less common treatments for sleep apnoea include a gum shield-like device that holds your airways open while you sleep (mandibular advancement device) and surgery to help your breathing, such as removing large tonsils. It is proven that these treatments don't work as well as a CPAP machine.

Distilled water for CPAP machines

There are two ways to get distilled water for a CPAP machine.

The first way is to simply buy distilled water which comes in big plastic containers. This is the most expensive way to buy distilled water but many people who are trying CPAP for the first time may or may not get on with the machine. So, when you try CPAP for the first time, we would recommend buying a container of distilled water to use with the machine.

Once you are up and running with CPAP you can reduce your costs by investing in a Megahome water distiller. These distillers are the market leader for producing absolutely pure drinking water.

The water produced is pure enough to also be used in scientific machines like autoclaves and CPAP. You will have to buy a machine initially which is about £150 but, after that, the cost of the water is about 15p a litre for the electricity.

Using a water distiller is very simple. You simply fill the distiller up with tap water, put the top on and press the button and it starts an automatic cycle which turns off automatically. You may also find you like drinking distilled water - many do.

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