How to clean and maintain CPAP equipment?

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How to clean and maintain CPAP equipment?

For those who have Obstructive sleep apnea, taking care of your CPAP machine should be a priority in your life and that means regular cleaning and maintenance of the same. Proper upkeep of your machine will make sure it will function properly for a maximum period of time. Also, keeping everything clean can prevent the possible growth of bacteria in the parts of CPAP.

Since each piece of CPAP equipment has a different requirement, a different expected lifespan and time for replacement, some general maintenance tips can allow your machine; go a long way in preventing the necessary repairs.

Fortunately, these tips for the maintenance of CPAP are pretty easy and take less time. With a little adjustment to your regular morning routine, your device and its accessories will work 100% efficiently to get you as much of the desirable sleep.

Here we come up with an easy guide on proper cleaning and maintenance of CPAP machine meant for an effective treatment of sleep apnea.

CPAP Filters

A CPAP machine takes air from the outside environment (i.e. your room), filters it and pressurizes it to deliver as a therapy that prevents your airway from collapsing due to obstructive sleep apnea during sleep. Quite obviously, these devices could also suck up debris such as dust, smoke, pet dander and other potential allergens from the environment. CPAP filters are designed to clear these elements from the air before directing it to your lungs.

Nearly, all CPAP machines have disposable white paper filters where as some may have additional non-disposable filters too.

Below are the tips to clean your CPAP filters.

Disposable filters

You can think about replacing the disposable white paper filters in a month or more frequently if it appears visibly dirty.

Non Disposable/Washable filters

The grey non-disposable filters should be cleaned on a weekly basis. As they are washable, you may clean it more regularly, especially if you have pets or more dirt in your house.

To clean the grey filters, rinse it in a warm tap water, squeeze it to make sure there is no dust. Allow it to dry before placing it back into the machine. As it is a re-usable filter, you can replace it after 6 months or when it starts looking worn out.

CPAP Masks

CPAP masks are generally made up of silicone, a gentle and non irritating material. While silicone is a comfortable material, it does not have a very long life span. Therefore proper care is required for cleaning CPAP masks.

You may not realize, but as you wear your CPAP machine over night for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep apnea, your skin releases facial oils that can reduce the quality and performance of your mask. Hence, it is essential to remove any facial oils on daily basis thoroughly after using a CPAP mask.

In order to follow the right cleaning procedure you will need to remove the seal, cushion and head gear from the mask frame first.  After disassembling, wash it with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Allow it to dry away from direct sunlight.

Also, you will need to disinfect the mask on a weekly basis by soaking it in a vinegar and water solution (take 2 parts of vinegar and 3 parts of water. You may disinfect your mask daily, if you have cold or upper respiratory infection.

CPAP Humidifier

A heated humidification system in CPAP machine moistens the air we receive during the therapy to prevent dry mouth and nasal irritation and inflammation. Some humidifiers are integrated with CPAP machine, while others stand alone. Regardless of the type, each has one main component i.e. humidifier chamber that needs to be maintained and cleaned daily to prevent any bacteria buildup and calcification.

To clean a CPAP humidifier, empty any unused water in the humidifier chamber on daily basis. Wash it in mild soapy water and rinse well. Dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel out of direct sunlight. Before use, re-fill it with distilled or de-mineralized water. This stops minerals from damaging any component of the machine.

Once in a week, the humidifier chamber should be soaked in a solution of water and white vinegar for 30 minutes to get rid of deposits that remain, but are not harmful. Also it is recommended to replace the humidifier chamber every 6 months or as needed.

Other general tips

    If you are sick, it is smart to wash your mask, humidifier, filter and tubing daily, until your virus symptoms are gone completely.

    The entire CPAP machine needs to be cleaned; surface dust can easily be removed with a slightly damp cloth.

    Even though, the maintenance procedure is same (as we have discussed) for any CPAP machine, it is important to review your manufacturer’s instruction or ask your equipment provider about how it should be maintained. Some parts can be rinsed while others can be replaced; also their timings vary depending upon the environment you are using the machine in.

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