CPAP is the abbreviation for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines. These machines have helped millions to treat their sleep apnea successfully. These small machines are designed to deliver pressurized air to the patient. And this is done through a tube and a face mask.
However the machine needs proper maintenance. Regular cleaning and maintaining is the key to its well being and durability. Maintenance is easy and requires only a few minutes. This article is dedicated towards teaching you the best ways to maintain the device and to repair it. But first it is important to know the benefits this machine delivers to better understand the process of cleaning and repairing.
The CPAP machines can prevent and even reverse serious outcomes of obstructive sleep apnea. Besides this, CPAP can also deliver benefits against these following diseases.
- Heart Diseases
Sleep apnea can foster some heart related diseases. If left unattended, these problems can be severe and lead to death. Some of the heart diseases linked directly to Sleep Apnea are Congestive Heart Failure, Irregular Heartbeat and Coronary Artery Failure.
Sleep apnea is also related to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Both of these are factors in type 2 Diabetes. Therefore using CPAP can also improve insulin sensitivity and deplete the risks of type 2 Diabetes.
People with sleep apnea are more prone to stroke than people without this ailment. A stroke is a sudden loss in brain’s functions. Using this machine can help reduce the risks of stroke.
Beside these diseases, usage of CPAP machines also delivers some other health related benefits. It can improve daytime Alertness, Concentration, Snoring and Emotional Stability. People with untreated sleep apnea have to pay higher medical bills. Therefore this device can also reduce medical expenses by a substantial amount.
Now that you are well aware of the benefits, let’s take a look into the best ways of cleaning and maintaining the machine.
Best Way to Clean CPAP Machine
Since the machine has many components, you need to clean and maintain each part with extreme care. You might have to differentiate all the components and clean them individually.
Almost all the CPAP machines now come with a default heated humidification system. It helps to prevent morning dry mouth and keeps your nasal turbinate from drying out. However, the humidification chamber needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. This ensures bacteria buildup.
- First remove the humidification chamber carefully so that water does not seep through your CPAP machine.
- Then open the chamber and wash it gently with warm soap water.
- Rinse well with distilled water and let it dry on a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Remember to keep it away from direct sunlight.
- Once it’s dry, fill it with distilled water.
- Try to soak the humidifier chamber in a solution of 1 part of vinegar to 3 parts of water once a week. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and then rinse it with distilled water.
The mask cushions are made of silicon. Although it provides superior comfort, silicon does not have a very long lifespan. So, it is necessary to clean the mask to make it work more efficiently.
- Wash the mask daily with warm water.
- Use mild and non-fragrant soap. You can also use specific detergents and wipes.
- Rinse with water and let it dry on a clean cloth or paper towel, away from direct sunlight.
- Facial moisturizers and oils can break down silicon easily. So avoid applying moisturizers and oils before putting the mask on.
- You can also dip the mask in the same vinegar solution once in a week.
- The headgear and chinstraps also needs a wash in warm soap water every day.
- The tubing should also be cleaned on a weekly basis is warm soapy water.
The filters are positioned near the back of the machine. The device draws air from the room through these filters to provide you the compressed pressurized air. The filters therefore need to be cleaned properly from time to time. Generally, there are two types of filters – a disposable white filter and a non-deposable grey filter.
- The grey filters require cleaning at least on a weekly basis. If you smoke in the room or have pets and dust, then you should wash them more frequently.
- Wash the grey filters with distilled water and allow it to dry.
- The grey filters needs to be replaced when it starts to show worn out.
- Replace the disposable white filters monthly. Do it frequently if there are pets and dust in the room.
Added Maintenance Tips
With these added tips, you will be able to maintain your machine properly and appropriately. Doing so, you can assure a much better CPAP therapy.
- Never ever use bleach to clean the accessories.
- Keep the machine and its accessories out of direct sunlight to avoid damage.
- Try to clean your CPAP kit in the early morning. This will provide ample amount for the equipments to dry properly.
- While cleaning the machine, always remember to remove the power cords.
- Place the machine away from certain objects like curtains to avoid any problems with air intake.
- Use only distilled or sterile water to clean the machine and its accessories.
- Keep track of replacements of certain components.
The CPAP machine can show signs of damage at any point of time. If it’s still under warranty period, you must take it the service centre for repairs. If the warranty period is over, you can adjust and repair the machine at home. Here are some repairing tips for some of the common problems.
- If water is building up in the hose or mask (known as CPAP Condensation), you can simply alter the humidifier settings. You can also lower the machine below your head level or use a heated nose. If all fails, you can use a cover over your nose to keep it warm or increase the room’s temperature.
- Sore nose is another common problem. You can avoid these by replacing the mask with a full or hybrid mask or nasal pillows. You can also adjust or change the headgear. Or, you can simply place a soft material like cotton balls where the mask seats.
- In case of mask leaks, examine the air hose and the cord leading to the machine. Check for signs of leak and act accordingly. If you can’t find the spot of problem, call a licensed repair company to do the repairs.
Although the basic repairs can be done at home, consulting a licensed repair company is always recommended.