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It may seem wasteful to replace your CPAP supplies when the machine looks perfectly fine, but new equipment helps keep the machine clean and functioning. How frequently should you replace your CPAP supplies? Though this may be determined in part by your insurance company, some common guidelines can be followed.
Your machine provider may keep you on schedule for the replacement of your supplies, which is very convenient. It is recommended that you replace the parts as regular as insurance is willing to pay for these replacements. Nevertheless, in your effort to become a well-informed patient, it is also significant to understand your equipment’s anticipated lifespan and how often to swap it out.
CPAP Replacement Supplies Schedule
If you use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel to treat your sleep apnea, you may require to replace:
- The mask
- Tubing (heated or standard)
- Filters (disposable or recyclable)
- Humidifier water chamber
- CPAP device
Let the following information based on the Medicare replacement schedule be your guide.
Change your mask every 3 months.
The mask is the harder plastic part of your interface. Replace the softer plastic cushion insert or pillows that virtually touch your skin more often.
Mask Cushion and Pillows
Change the mask cushion or nasal pillows as frequently as 2 times per month.
This is the portion of the mask that actually touches your face. If it is a piece you can separate from the rest of the mask’s harder plastic framework, likelihoods are you will replace it independently. If you have a full-face mask, plan to change this cushion once per month.
Generally, replace headgear every 6 months.
Neoprene is the stretchy material that assists in accommodating your head’s shape to ensure an optimal mask. As it repeatedly stretches, it may begin to give too much and not keep a proper seal. Additionally, oils from your skin or hair may also accumulate. If the headgear appears discolored or no longer holds a seal, it is time to change it.
Change your chinstrap every 6 months.
Much like the headgear that maintains the CPAP mask in place, a chinstrap may progressively weaken and become overly stretched. The Velcro may also become less effective with time.
Change CPAP tubing, whether it is heated or standard, every 3 months.
Tubing gets dirty over time, with condensation increasing the danger of contaminants that could enter your lungs. Small holes that form as the plastic of the tubing breaks down reduce the treatment’s efficiency.
Your CPAP device may have two kinds of filters, both of which need regular replacement. Keeping these relatively cheap components as clean as possible will ensure the purity of the air you breathe and your device’s long-term functionality.
The older Respironics device has a gray foam filter; you should rinse often and replace every 6 months. Beneath it, there is a white paper filter you replace after 2 weeks. The newer DreamStation has two integrated filters that can be replaced with this same rate.
The ResMed AirSense machines have a white-colored filter you change every 2 weeks.
Humidifier Water Chamber
Change the water tank that functions as the humidifier every 6 months.
If your CPAP has an integrated or attached heated humidifier, clean and rarely replace the water chamber, not using distilled water may result in more problems with keeping the water reservoir clean.
Your CPAP or Bilevel Device
Typically, insurance will pay to replace the whole PAP device every 5 years. If you change insurance or pay out of pocket, you can replace the unit sooner. If there are problems within the first 2 to 3 years, it may be changed or repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty. A malfunction that arises between the third and fifth year of use may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by your supplier.
There may be some variability in how regular you are eligible for supply replacement, so speak with your durable medical equipment provider, board-certified sleep medicine doctor, or insurance company to clarify your CPAP change supply schedule as required.