Can CPAP Cause Pneumonia?

Can CPAP Cause Pneumonia?

The CPAP Shop teamed up with Dr. Vidya Pai, an experienced sleep medicine specialist, to write this blog post. Our team of authors and medical experts frequently evaluates our blog posts so that readers can learn factual information and make knowledge-based decisions. Our blogs get constantly updated with the most accurate information to provide the most up-to-date facts and research.  

The last thing that anyone with sleep apnea needs is to compound their condition with respiratory distress such as through the development of pneumonia. While studies show evidence that people with sleep apnea are potentially more vulnerable to developing pneumonia, there are ways to decrease that risk for CPAP machine users.

Can CPAP Machines Cause Pneumonia?

Humidifiers and Pneumonia

Although humidifiers cannot cure pneumonia, they can certainly contribute to alleviating the symptoms. Humidifiers add more moisture into the surrounding air, easing congestion and congestion, and clearing nasal passages. With the reduction of symptoms, a person will be able to sleep easier throughout the night for better rest. 

Are Humidifiers Good for Pneumonia?

As mentioned, humidifiers will reduce the symptoms of pneumonia so that a person can breathe easier and also get better rest. Features like cool mist and voice command can be highly beneficial to those with pneumonia to offer both comfort and convenience. 

Can a Humidifier Cause Pneumonia?

 A humidifier cannot directly cause pneumonia, but if not properly cleaned and maintained, the dirty air coming from the humidifier could worsen pneumonia symptoms or result in other lung infections. So, it is vital that a person keeps their humidifier clean for the best results. 

Can I Use a CPAP When I Have Pneumonia?

A CPAP machine can be used for those who are suffering from pneumonia to help keep their airways open to breathe better. 

How to Avoid Pneumonia While Using a CPAP Machine

There are a few ways to avoid pneumonia while using your CPAP machine. It is highly recommended to take the necessary measures to keep your equipment clean and replace accessories as needed.

  • Follow mask replacement protocols to avoid any mask from becoming a source of bacteria.
  • Regularly clean all the parts of your CPAP machine. From hoses to masks to humidifier water chambers, it is best to follow manufacturer schedules for cleaning.  You can also use sanitizers for easier, faster cleaning.
  • CPAP Sanitizers like the SoClean 2 help prevent bacteria, viruses, and mold buildup.
  • Understand the different types of CPAP filters. Changing your filters as the manufacturer recommends can help minimize harmful bacteria in your equipment. 


For millions of people with sleep apnea, using a CPAP machine has provided life-changing results. CPAP treatment promotes positive short- and long-term health outcomes. Inviting other adverse and potentially deadly health effects by not keeping and using CPAP cleaning supplies to optimize the therapy and avoid conditions like pneumonia with a consistent cleaning protocol makes no sense.

If you need help finding CPAP products that are suitable for you, our expert team would be happy to help! Visit The CPAP Shop online or give us a call at 866-414-9700 today!


Su, Vincent Yi-Fong, et al. “Sleep Apnea and Risk of Pneumonia: A Nationwide Population-Based Study.” CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal = Journal de l’Association Medicale Canadienne, 1 Apr. 2014,