Develop a CPAP Replacement Schedule
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy can be incredibly beneficial for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). CPAP machines typically use a hose and a mask or nosepiece to help deliver steady oxygen flow, aiding in a more restful night’s sleep. However, just as you wouldn’t use the same toothbrush for years, you want to be aware of how often to change CPAP parts or replace supplies. If you fail to develop an effective CPAP replacement schedule and adequately maintain your CPAP mask and supplies, it can have adverse effects on your sleep quality, comfort and overall health.
Industry experts suggest that CPAP users who frequently replace their parts will often enjoy an increase in the number of hours they sleep per night. They also report sleeping better and having a more positive outlook on life, and they are more likely to stay on track and continue their sleep apnea therapy long-term.
It’s best to check your parts regularly for general wear and tear. However, CPAP equipment that requires replacing may not always appear to be worn out. How often to replace a CPAP mask and supplies depends on several factors: your usage frequency, cleaning routine, and whether or not the part touches your face, but for each component, there is a general replacement timeframe.
Here’s a list from Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc. of the CPAP components that should be replaced and how often you should do this:
- Mask - Replace every 90 days.
- Cushions & Pillows - Replace nasal cushions and pillows every two weeks and full-face cushions once a month.
- Filters - Replace every two weeks.
- Tubing - Replace every three months.
- Headgear & Chinstrap - Replace every six months.
- Humidifier Chamber - Replace every six months.
- CPAP Machine - Replace every three-to-seven years.
Our skin secretes acids, oils, and bacteria that build up on the silicone and other areas of the mask, which can cause skin irritation, blisters, redness, and discomfort as well as the silicone parts to lose softness and flexibility. As this process occurs, CPAP users will often notice they need to constantly tighten the mask on their face to seal the pressurized air pathways, leading to frustration, leakage, and discomfort that’s disruptive to sleep quality.
Failing to replace CPAP mask supplies like the hose and humidifier chamber regularly can result in inhalation of toxic materials. The hose and chamber may develop cracks, pitted areas, or discoloration due to minerals from the water building up inside. As the chamber’s material deteriorates, these cracks can trap bacteria from moisture, resulting in mold or mildew buildup.
Like any other commonly-used household health items, your CPAP device deteriorates over time and eventually will fail to work correctly, developing germs and becoming unsanitary. It’s essential for your long-term sleep quality and comfort to maintain your CPAP mask and supplies. Keeping the device clean and functioning at its very best will help ensure you get some quality rest.