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Can My Sleep Apnea Machine Make Me Sick?
If you do not clean your CPAP equipment regularly, your sleep apnea machine can make you sick. Your CPAP itself is a sterile device when you first purchase it. On its own, it will not cause illness because there are no germs present when it is new. After you start using the machine, bacteria are introduced from your mouth and the airway into your equipment.
Modern CPAP machines now come with features to help make your sleep apnea device more comfortable to use. Some of these features include heated tubing and humidifiers. They make the air you breath warmer and moist. This decreases dryness in the mouth and nose, which reduces the risk of infection and discomfort. These measures ultimately improve the results of CPAP therapy.
The downside to these features is that unwanted pathogens such as mold, fungus, and yeast enjoy warm, humid environments. Therefore, if your machine is not kept clean and dry when not in use, you are at risk of developing a yeast or fungal colonization. Mold growth in your equipment can be harmful to your health as well. The air pressure of your device blows these organisms directly into your airway. The buildup of these pathogens can lead to irritation of the lungs and airway, causing a cough or even bronchitis, pneumonitis, or pneumonia. Many of these germs cause foul smells, which can make you not want to use your CPAP machine as prescribed. Another issue that bacterial or debris build-up can cause is an improper fitting face mask. If your CPAP doesn’t seal on your face due to oil or other materials, it could cause you not to get the proper ammount of pressure needed for your therapy.
What Can I Do to Lower the Risk of Getting Sick from My CPAP?
To reduce the risk of illness from your CPAP device, there are steps you can take:
- Your device should not be stored with water left in it the hose or face mask. If you stop your treatment for whatever reason, you will need to empty the water from the humidifier reservoir as well. Ensure that your device is completely dry and clean before storing it.
- Clean your CPAP machine daily. A CPAP cleaner such as VirtuCLEAN can make this task much easier than using soap and water. Minimally, you will want to wipe down the face mask and headgear and ensure that the mask and hose are entirely free of water droplets.
- If you have a cold or flu, it is especially important to clean your device after each use.
- Fill your humidifier with distilled water. This is a recommendation by every CPAP manufacturer. Though some people do not think the specific water is necessary, it really is. It reduces the risk of bacteria and the accumulation of minerals.
- Replace your supplies, such as filters, as suggested by your CPAP manufacturer.
- Do not share your CPAP equipment with anyone else. Do not purchase used CPAP equipment.
Research has proven that regular CPAP cleaning reduces the risk of illness and inflammation. Also, cells that are associated with phenomena are not often seen in CPAP users who are compliant with their CPAP cleaning.
What Are the Possibilities of Getting Pneumonia from Using a CPAP Machine?
During the colder months, illnesses such as the common cold, flu, and pneumonia increase. For sleep apnea patients, the risk of getting sick is increased because dirty CPAP equipment is a breeding ground for the germs that cause these illnesses.
A study was done in 2014 to determine the link between CPAP therapy and pneumonia. The results showed that people who use CPAP therapy had an increased risk of getting pneumonia by 32%. One reason for this increased risk factor is because dirty CPAP equipment can hold bacteria and contaminants that cause pneumonia.
The first step in preventing pneumonia and other illnesses is to stick to a daily CPAP cleaning routine. If you or any member of your household is sick, that is a time when you must clean your CPAP every day before you use it.
Do I Need A CPAP Cleaner?
CPAP cleaners are not mandatory; however, they make it much easier to clean your equipment daily. You must keep your CPAP equipment clean. This can be accomplished with soap and water; however, the Best CPAP cleaners do a much better job because they can clean every nook and cranny of your equipment.
Cleaning your equipment by hand is a tedious, time-consuming process. CPAP cleaners were explicitly designed to make cleaning your sleep apnea equipment easier.
All you have to do is plug your machine into the CPAP cleaner and turn it on. The device destroys 99.9% of bacteria, mold, and viruses in your hose, mask, and tank. Your equipment is left clean and sanitized. VirtuCLEAN CPAP cleaner uses no water or solution, so your equipment remains completely dry. VirtuCLEAN sanitizes by using ozone or activated oxygen, which is considered one of the best sanitizing methods.
Visit our website to learn more about the CPAP cleaner VirtuCLEAN.
CPAP Cleaning Options
Here at the Best CPAP Cleaner, we believe that there are three leading brands, CPAP sanitizers. Those three brands are SoClean, VirtuCLEAN, and Lumin. The VirtuCLEAN and the SoClean both use activated oxygen as a germicidal agent, while the Lumin utilizes the bacteria eradicating powers of UV light. All devices have you place the masks of your CPAP gear into their chambers and then clean your device at the touch of a button. Each of these units is top of the line and equally effective. You can read more comparisons on all three cleaners by clicking this link.