Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP therapy is the most frequently prescribed medical treatment of Sleep Apnea, a disorder which disrupts normal breathing during sleep. People who use CPAP therapy see results right away and prevent serious long term health issues associated with the disorder. Regardless of facts suggesting that CPAP therapy is an important tool in sleep apnea treatment, about half of patients prescribed CPAP machines quit using them after one to three weeks.
If you are new to using a CPAP system, you may find the care involved with keeping the CPAP machine, sleep apnea mask, humidifier, and tubing clean very intimidating. At Breatheeasycpap.com we hope to relieve you of some of the worry surrounding care of your CPAP equipment. Here are a few things you should know.
Warm, Moist Environments are Bacterial Breeding Grounds
Although you can use a CPAP system without a warm air humidifier, we don’t suggest it. Humidified air prevents dry, sore nostrils, and nose bleeds from the forced air delivered by your CPAP. Although a warm air humidifier is a fabulous tool in promoting comfort for sleep apnea sufferers, mold and bacteria love the warm and moist environment created by the device.
Some studies have found colonized bacteria responsible for Rhinosinsusitis living within CPAP tubing, although clinically this wasn’t shown to affect many users.
Other studies found that the risk of developing pneumonia is higher in sleep apnea patients, even those who don’t use a CPAP machine. But, this same study also found that the risk in older adults is especially elevated when they use CPAP devices.
Whether or not you are more susceptible to disease from the use of a sleep apnea machine, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and keep your CPAP treatment supplies clean.
The first step to cleaning your CPAP supplies is to read your equipment manuals. Your equipment instructions may present you with specialized cleaning suggestions or precautions regarding the device’s care.
After you’ve read the manuals, start each morning by wiping off your mask. You can use a soft cloth with a mild detergent to wipe the inside of you sleep apnea mask or you can clean with specially designed CPAP cleaning wipes sold at many CPAP supply retailers. These wipes are easy to use and great for quick cleanings.
Make sure to check your humidifier and empty any leftover water. Dry the inside of the chamber and wait until the evening to refill it with distilled water.
We suggest cleaning your entire CPAP system at least once a week and daily if you’ve been suffering from the flu, a cold, or any other illness. One option may be to use a device called SoClean 2 CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer sold at BreatheeasyCPAP.com. This machine utilizes activated oxygen to perform a deep cleaning on your CPAP mask and tubing.
If you prefer cleaning by hand, you can fill your sink with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish detergent. Take your CPAP tubing and mask and gently swirl them back and forth in the soapy water. Afterwards, rinse your equipment thoroughly and lightly dry them with a soft towel.
Take Care of Your Quality CPAP Supplies
When you invest in your CPAP system, be sure to purchase a quality machine and a comfortable mask. At BreatheeasyCPAP.com, we are here to help you choose your system as well as provide you with the cleaning supplies you’ll need to make sure your investment in your health lasts.