2 Tips To Help Your CPAP Machine Work Safely & Effectively

If you just began using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine on a nightly basis to manage your sleep apnea, then you should learn how to keep your machine working safely and properly. When a CPAP machine and its components are neglected, harmful bacteria can build up inside of the machine. In addition, if you use a machine with damaged or worn-out parts, the machine may not function properly while you are using it. 

Read on to learn two tips for helping your CPAP machine work safely and effectively. 

1. Clean Your Machine Daily

When a CPAP machine is not cleaned on a regular basis, the machine and its components can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, mold spores, and other pathogens. These pathogens could then potentially enter your lungs when you are using the machine and cause respiratory illness. 

To clean your machine, first fill a sink with warm, soapy water. Choose a clean-rinsing soap, such as dish soap, that does not leave residue behind. Then, remove the air hose, tubing, and face mask from the machine and wash each thoroughly in the soapy water, then rinse and allow to air dry. To clean your machine's humidifier tank, remove it and fill it with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Leave this solution in your tank for about 20 minutes, then rinse the tank with clear water.

This quick, easy process can prevent respiratory illness caused by a dirty CPAP machine and help extend the life of CPAP components. 

2. Replace Parts When Recommended 

Your CPAP machine itself is designed to last at least five years before it needs to be replaced. However, many CPAP parts are not designed to last as long as the machine itself and need regular replacement to keep your entire machine functioning properly. Thankfully, most health insurance policies cover the cost of regular replacement of these parts, so you are unlikely to have to pay for them out of pocket. 

The American Sleep Apnea Association recommends more frequent replacements of CPAP parts between replacing the machine every five years. For example, if your CPAP machine is equipped with a disposable filter, then that filter should be replaced twice a month. Your CPAP mask nose cushions should also be replaced about every two weeks, and the mask face cushion needs monthly replacement because the oils on your skin can degrade the material this face mask component is composed of.

Every three months, your mask and tubing should be replaced, and your CPAP headgear, chin strap, humidifier chamber, and any non-disposable filters your machine uses should be replaced about every six months. 

If you notice any holes, degradation, or damage on a CPAP component, then replace it immediately instead of waiting until its next scheduled replacement time. 

If you use a CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea, then be sure to clean your machine daily and replace components on their recommended schedule to keep your machine working safely and effectively. CPAP parts can be purchased at a medical supplies distributor.