Understand What A CPAP Machine Is
When you get diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor will most likely prescribe you with CPAP therapy. This is the number one treatment for sleep apnea but will take some getting used too. With many diseases, you take a medication, with sleep apnea you have to learn how to use your sleep apnea machine as well as the proper CPAP cleaning protocols .
What Exactly Is A CPAP Device?
CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. These devices continuously blow air into your throat to prevent your airway from collapsing. This works as sleep apnea treatment because with sleep apnea your airway collapses while you sleep, not allowing you to breathe correctly. This device also helps to decrease snoring. Modern machines now come with a filter and water tank, which works like a humidifier. A chin strap keeps a mask in place over your airway, and a tube connects the mask to the machine.
Most CPAP machines have a mask that covers your entire mouth and nose, but there are some options that only require a mask for your nose, called a nasal continuous positive airway pressure mask.
Once your doctor diagnoses CPAP, a medical equipment provider will assist you in choosing the best option. Your doctor prescribes the specific settings for your machine. You may undergo multiple overnight sleep studies to determine if any adjustments need to be made.
How Does A CPAP Machine Help?
With regular use, a CPAP machine decreases daytime sleepiness, reduces heart problems, and lowers blood pressure. Many people with untreated sleep apnea don’t ever feel like they get a good night’s sleep because they are waking up multiple times a night, even if they don’t remember doing so. With CPAP therapy, most patients start to sleep better than they have in years and finally feel rested after sleeping.
Are There Side Effects?
The most common complaint with using a CPAP machine is a dry nose and throat, which is why modern machines now come with a humidifier. The humidifier moistens and warms the air, making your air therapy much more comfortable. It can take a little while getting comfortable sleeping with the mask on. However, it is very important to treat your sleep apnea. Untreated, it can have severe and even fatal complications such as stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and increase the risk of car accidents due to excess drowsiness. If you feel like you are having an extra hard time getting comfortable with your mask, talk to your doctor. There are many different varieties and sizes of masks, and you will find one that is comfortable.
What Kind Of Maintenance Does My CPAP Machine Need?
CPAP cleaning is the most important factor in your CPAP therapy. Regular cleaning is required to keep your CPAP equipment clean and safe to use. The standard of CPAP cleaning is to use a mild soap and water.
- Remove the water tank from your machine and wash with warm, soapy water.
- Rinse well and allow to air dry.
- Do not refill with tap water because it contains chemicals and minerals that can damage your machine. Instead, fill with sterile or distilled water.
- Wash your mask daily with soap and water, rinse thoroughly, and air dry.
- Wash the tubing in a sink full of warm, soapy water, rinse and hang dry.
- Wash your chin straps and headgear as needed with warm, soapy water. Never place these in the washer or dryer.
- Once a week soak your humidifier tank and mask in a vinegar solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.
- Follow your CPAP machine user manual for when to change or wash the filters.
While soap and water get the job done, there is a much easier way to clean your CPAP machine and equipment, and that is with a CPAP cleaning device such as VirtuCLEAN.
CPAP cleanerVirtuCLEAN is a CPAP cleaning device that uses ozone to clean and sanitize your CPAP equipment in 30 minutes. All you have to do is plug your CPAP machine into the VirtuCLEAN unit and turn it on. It requires no soap, water, or cleaning solution and kills 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria.
If you recently got diagnosed with sleep apnea, make sure that you follow your doctor’s instructions and adhere to the necessary cleaning and maintenance tasks. Doing so will ensure that your CPAP therapy is successful and safe.