The citation below is for an article which showed that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with upper and lower airway inflammation.
Full Name Devouassoux, Gilles. Levy, Patrick. Rossini, Eliane. Pin,
Isabelle. Fior-Gozlan, Michele. Henry, Mireille. Seigneurin,
Daniel. Pepin, Jean-Louis.
Institution Sleep Laboratory, Exploration Fonctionnelle Cardio-
Respiratoire, University Hospital Grenoble, Grenoble
Title Sleep apnea is associated with bronchial inflammation and
continuous positive airway pressure-induced airway
Source Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. 119(3):597-603,
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) cannot be a direct cause of yellow, blood streaked mucous but could indirectly facilitate it by increasing aspiration. Whatever the cause of the inflammation, OSA or aspiration enhanced by esophageal dysmotility, the inflammation in small airways could result in the yellow mucus. CPAP works in part by splinting the airways open that could facilitate clearance of the mucus and blood from inflamed airways, which would otherwise be collapsed when not on CPAP. Such small airway inflammation could also be enhanced in an individual with a history of cigarette smoking.
If this were the mechanism of what you have experienced, it is conceivable that with the optimum use of inhaled steroids and inhaled bronchodilators, airway clearance of the yellow mucus would be improved during the day and not such a problem at night.
You might want to discuss with your sleep doctor if you could experience CPAP benefit at a lower pressure and if it might be possible to prevent the confusion and disorientation, by using low flow oxygen, without positive pressure.
Thank you for responding to my question on Aug. 6th. I am still attempting to get an appt with the sleep specialist. I am concerned because now I am having episodes of confusion and disorientation while on the cpap. When I finally get myself roused enough to realize where I am and go back to bed, I realize my airway is clogged with thick mucous. I no longer wake with coughing reflex to clear my airway. Since I no longer cough when my airway is filling with mucous, is it possible it is causing hypoxia? Thank you for the information on the study. I will be sure to share it with my sleep specialist. God bless.