For those living with sleep apnea, the decision to get a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device is a valuable investment in your health.
A CPAP machine works by sending a constant flow of airway pressure to your throat to ensure that your airway stays open during sleep, effectively treating the spontaneous pauses in breathing.
Although these machines can improve your quality of sleep and overall health, it is important to keep in mind that failure to properly maintain them can increase your chances of developing other types of illnesses.
Your CPAP machine consists of a cushioned mask, tubing or hoses, humidifier chamber and filter. You directly breath in air that’s circulated through it, so failing to clean each of these components regularly will not only decrease how well it functions, but can also lead to health complications, such as:
- Bacteria exposure
- Mold exposure
- Allergy symptoms
- Possible increased risk for sinus infections or pneumonia
Cleaning your CPAP machine is fairly easy and inexpensive. The following are some tips to help you properly maintain it.
- Before cleaning any parts of your CPAP device, be sure to unplug it.
- Clean the mask and cushion – the parts that touch your face – daily with warm water and mild dishwashing detergent. The mask should then be left to air dry before reusing.
- Replace the water in your heated humidifier chamber daily. Do not allow this water to sit for extended periods of time, as bacteria love a warm, wet place to grow.
- Only use distilled water in your humidifier to avoid hard mineral deposits.
- Take apart the machine and thoroughly clean all components, including hoses, filters, and the chamber at least once per week.
- Read the manufacturer’s recommendations for filter replacement
Following these guidelines will not only extend the life of your device and improve its effectiveness, but more importantly help keep you healthy.
If you think you have sleep apnea and would like to make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Sleep Center, please call 718-206-5916.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.