Why You Should Maintain Your CPAP Mask and Supplies
Most people don’t realize the importance of maintaining their CPAP/BIPAP mask, filters, hoses, and humidifier chamber. Not properly maintaining these can have a serious impact on your quality of sleep, comfort, and pose adverse side effects to your Sleep Apnea Therapy. Follow these tips to keep your CPAP clean and healthy.
Most patients do not realize that their skin secretes acid, oils, and bacteria which will build upon the silicone of your mask and cause skin irritation, redness, blisters, and discomfort where the mask comes in contact with the face. Also, the build-up of the acid, oil and bacteria causes the silicone of the mask to be less soft and pliable, causing patient to have to tighten the mask on their face tighter and tighter as months go on in order to have a good seal, causing frustration, leakage issues and discomfort that become disruptive to your quality and duration of sleep. That is why most insurance company’s advocate that the CPAP/BIPAP mask be replaced every 90-days, to reduce the incidence rate of these issues and in severe cases of skin irritation or discomfort, replace the nasal pillows that touch the nose every 2 weeks, 6 replacement pillows for a 3 month supply, or replace the silicone cushions of nasal mask and full face mask every 30-day, 3 for a 90-day period.
Designed to protect the CPAP / BIPAP unit as well as your respiratory system by removing harmful micro contaminates from your CPAP / BIPAP unit as well as your respiratory system. Especially here in the valley, replacing your white micro contaminate filter monthly will reduce the incidence of you inhaling airborne contaminants like Valley Fever, pollen and spores. If you have airborne allergies, the micro contaminate filters should be replaced every 2 weeks to reduce the incidence rate of nasal congestion or phlegm and mucus in the back of the throat in the morning. Not changing your CPAP / BIPAP filters frequently causes the CPAP / BIPAP small motor to work harder all the time and will reduce the life expectancy of your CPAP / BIPAP unit is the air intake filtration system is not kept clean. You can get 6 filters for a 90-day period.
Your CPAP / BIPAP hose is your high-risk item for micro contaminate growth of mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria. The hose is exposed to a wet, damp, moist and warm environment all the time, which will condensate in the center 2 feet of your CPAP / BIPAP hose, where it makes a big U shape where it bows from the CPAP / BIPAP unit to the bed and your mask. The hose has lots of rolls and ridges in it and it is very difficult to keep clean. You will rarely ever wear out your CPAP / BIPAP hose or break it. The reason that most insurance companies will replace the hose every 90-days is to reduce the incidence rate of mild upper respiratory infections, nasal congestion, phlegm and mucus in the back of the throat from inhaling micro contaminate mold, mildew, fungus, and bacteria. Everyone has heard of Legionnaires Disease, which was an infected humidified A/C delivery system to such a degree that it killed people. Our respiratory system is very delicate and sensitive to airborne contaminants and you should take every step to protect yourself by replacing your CPAP / BIPAP hose every 90-days.
This is your water chamber that is designed to hold your distilled water that will be humidified and inhaled by you to provide humidification with your CPAP / BIPAP therapy to stop dehydration of the salvia fluid of your mouth and dehydration of nasal mucus from your nose and or dehydration of the lungs. Most patients do not understand that the fluid and saliva of the mouth and the nasal moisture of the nose are the only organs of the body that are designed to keep the upper respiratory system and your lungs damp and moist in order for the lung to easily expand and contract when you breathe. Not having moisture entering the lung will affect the efficiency of the lungs and affect how much air you are able to inhale and exhale. Not using the humidifier in this very dry climate of the valley will cause you to wake up with a severely dry mouth and throat, to a point that some patient can’t even swallow and are waken up at night due to severe dry mouth and throat. The humidifier is smooth polished plastic which holds up well and only needs to be replaced every 6 months or longer. Some humidifiers are dishwasher safe and can last up to a year if you keep them clean from a build up of microcontaminants on the bottom and sides of the humidifier chamber.