Dirty CPAP Supplies Can Make You Sick
With recent ongoing reminders about washing and sanitizing our hands, we should also note the importance of keeping CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) equipment clean. Failure to clean a CPAP machine and its accessories regularly causes the growth of bacteria, fungus, mold, mildew and viruses, which can worsen your symptoms and make you sick. In addition to germy parts, an unpleasant odor may develop, and equipment can break down.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is one of the best treatments for people with obstructive sleep apnea, but bacteria and oils on a dirty mask can cause a skin rash or infection to develop over time. Standing water in the air pump’s reservoir that is not cleaned regularly can also cause illness and increase asthma related symptoms and other airway or lung conditions. If you frequently get sick or your CPAP equipment has a stench, it could be a sign that they are not clean.
Cleaning your CPAP machine
Cleaning your CPAP equipment regularly will help decrease your chances of getting sick from dirty supplies. Before you try any cleaning methods, check your instruction manual first. Avoid electrocution by unplugging your CPAP machine from the power outlet before cleaning it and never submerge the device in water. The traditional method of cleaning your CPAP equipment is to:
- Thoroughly wash the mask, water chamber, and tubing in hot, soapy water daily. Submerge the tubing so that water runs through it. Rinse and let all supplies air-dry properly.
- Wash the headgear and the filter once a week. Soak the water chamber with equal parts water and white vinegar to prevent mold growth.
- If your machine has a disposable filter, change it every month.
Some cleaning and sanitizing products may be used but revert back to instruction manual to find out which products you should use.
Carmichael’s locations carry Contour CPAP Wipes that contain 100% natural ingredients to keep your supplies clean and fresh. Use the wipes daily on your mask, tubing and accessories to remove dirt, facial oils and residue. They are alcohol and latex free and made from 100% pure cotton. A CPAP mask that is not routinely cleaned may not seal properly and may compromise your air therapy.
Cleaning and sanitizing your CPAP equipment will help your parts function properly for a long time. You should replace your mask and tubes at least yearly. Change your CPAP filter more often if it is not a reusable one. Replace your mask, cushion, headgear and other supplies when the seal is no longer good. Regular replacement of all of your disposable supplies helps keep you healthy and the equipment working properly.
Carmichael’s provides a wide variety of CPAP devices, CPAP cleaning and sanitizing machines, masks and services to sleep apnea patients and those with other sleep-related disorders. Contact a Carmichael’s representative to discuss or to request additional information.