If you are one of the approximate 18 million adults in the U.s. who have sleep apnea, you can use a nighttime CPAP machine to relieve your sleep apnea problems. This system can be a massive benefit to your health because it lets you get the restful sleep you want at night despite your health problem.
However, it is essential to consider the health risks involved with the use of a CPAP system that is not routinely sanitized and the health risks of not observing the CPAP treatment directions specifically. Keep reading to know about the health risks of using contaminated CPAP equipment, as well as how to keep all of your CPAP equipment clean to prevent these dangers.
Dirty CPAP Equipment Can Comprise Your Health
Your CPAP system consists of several parts: the primary CPAP machine, the humidifier, the water chamber humidifier, the tubing, and the mask. All CPAP machine parts that come in contact with water vapor—produced either by your humidifier or by your breathing—may become a breeding ground for germs, molds, and yeast when not routinely disinfected. Many of these pathogens flourish in humid, moist conditions, such as within your CPAP equipment.
When the CPAP equipment gets infected with these bacteria, you can breathe them when you are using your equipment, leading to certain health issues.
When breathing moist air polluted with mold, microbes, and fungus through your CPAP machine, the following health problems can arise:
- Lung infection
- Sinus infection
If you have asthma, inhaling these bacteria will even cause signs of asthma and even attacks.
Besides, oils and bacteria existing on your skin may accumulate on your CPAP mask and cause irritation or skin infection.
How To Avoid These Health Hazards
Fortunately, these health risks can be minimized by observing proper CPAP hygiene procedures.
Never Use Tap Water in Your Humidifier Water Chamber
Although you may acknowledge that you can only use bottled water in your water chamber, you may run out of time and opt to use water from the tap in a pinch. However, all such water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium, and flooding your water chamber with tap water will cause mineral scales to build up. Then, by using your CPAP machine humidifier, mold will develop on this mineral scale and invade your air supply.
Choose Heated CPAP Tubing
You should know that using the heated CPAP tubing is necessary to prevent the air that your humidifier warms from cooling off until you inhale. However, you will not know that the hot tubbing stops condensation from forming in your breathing tube. If the breathing tube has less condensation, it discourages the growth of mold and bacteria.
Replace CPAP Filter Regularly
It is indispensable to change your CPAP filter on the routine prescribed by the manufacturer, or much more often if you have allergies. Replace plastic filters at least once per month, replacing reusable filters every six months, and washing them once a month.
This filter extracts allergens from the air in the room where you sleep before you inhale. If not periodically replaced, this filter does not eliminate these allergens as efficiently as possible, but instead, it even gets infected with microbes over time.
Masks and Cushions should be cleaned often
To prevent skin discomfort and possible contamination or infection, wash the CPAP mask with warm water and mild soap or approved mask cleaners at least each day to keep it clean and sanitary. However, the CPAP masks and cushions are not supposed to be used permanently without substitution, even though you scrub them well.
Your CPAP cushion should be changed at least once per 3 months, and your entire mask should be replaced every six months unless otherwise specified by your product manufacturer.
Never leave any water in the water chamber
You can be tempted to leave water in your moisturizing water chamber between CPAP uses to save bottled water. Nevertheless, it is crucial to drain all the water out of this chamber every day, disinfect it with water and soap, and then dry it thoroughly to prevent it from being a breeding place for microbes.
Disinfect your CPAP devices every week
You ought to disinfect any of your CPAP supplies, including your CPAP tubing, moisturizer water chamber, and masks, at least once a week to eliminate any toxins that end up growing. Also, objects that you scrub every day with water and soap need to be disinfected weekly, as soap and water can not eliminate all pathogens.
To clean these products, soak them in a solution of three parts of purified water with one part of white vinegar for around 20 minutes. Then, rinse thoroughly with distilled water (never tap or filtered water) and allow it to dry and cool thoroughly before reassembling your CPAP device.
Optionally, it would be best if you disinfected your CPAP devices with one of the latest automated CPAP disinfectants on the market to make this operation more straightforward and more effortless.
Sanitize Your CPAP Today
When you are using a CPAP machine to manage your sleep apnea, make sure to note the health risks of a dirty CPAP, sanitize and replace the CPAP devices daily to protect your health.
If you get stuck while doing so or if you have questions on how to wash and sanitize your CPAP machine, contact Best Cpap Cleaner for a prompt reply to your concerns. Call our Coral Springs, Florida offices at (855) 275-8951 for more information or visit our website at [email protected].