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Have you recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and started using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine? Congrats! You’re on your way to better sleep and days full of energy, without the fatigue you’ve been fighting the past few months or years. You can say goodbye to your symptoms of exhaustion, irritability, moodiness, and depression that have been affecting your personal and professional life, and your partner will be overjoyed that your snoring has stopped and that you no longer wake up in the middle of the night struggling with shortness of breath. When it comes to getting the most out of your CPAP machine, here are a few maintenance tips to make sure your machine keeps running smoothly for many years.
Why Cleaning your CPAP Machine is Important
If you want to get the most out of your CPAP machine, the most important thing is to keep it squeaky clean. When CPAP machines get dirty, you’ll risk bacteria exposure, or being exposed to mold or allergens that could have found their way into your device. You’re breathing into the machine all night every night, and this creates a humid environment in the machine that could allow bacterial growth. The air is filtered before you breathe it in, but you should do your part to keep you CPAP as clean as possible and prevent illness or infection.
If you clean your device regularly it will only take you a few minutes. We recommend that you clean your CPAP machine at least once per week so that your risk of infection or exposure to pathogens will be extremely low. If you do become sick, even with a common cold, it’s recommended that you clean your CPAP machine every day to give yourself the fastest recovery possible.
How to Clean Your CPAP
During your weekly CPAP cleaning, you’ll need to perform a quick cleaning of the mask, headgear, tubing, and water chamber. Use a soft cloth soaked in warm water and mild dish soap. Start by unplugging and disassembling your CPAP machine. Wash the mask, headgear, and tubing in a sink with warm water and soap, and leave it to soak for a few minutes to disinfect all surfaces. Gently clean the outer surfaces of your CPAP machine to remove dust or any other particles from the machine. It’s best to clean your machine in the morning so that all components of the machine can airdry before you put it back together again. If the parts haven’t dried fully, use a soft towel to wipe away any access moisture. Finally, clean the humidifier’s water chamber by rinsing it out with hot water and soap, and allowing it to air dry before refilling it with water.
Once your CPAP machine is clean and dry, reassemble all the parts, plug it in and turn it on. Listen for any air leaks or other sounds that weren’t there before, and check to make sure that you’ve assembled everything correctly.
Using Cleaners on Your CPAP Machine
You may be wondering if you need to use a special CPAP cleaner or sanitizer as part of your machine care. While some cleaners can be very effective, using gentle soap and warm water will provide a thorough cleaning. Avoid using any scented soaps or harsh cleaning solutions, and never clean any parts of your machine in the dishwasher as this will damage your CPAP machine.
Many CPAP machines have filters that ensure you’re breathing clean air. These filters need to be changed from time to time to make sure you’re not breathing in any harmful dust particles or bacteria. Check with the manufacturer for details on how often the filter needs to be changed for optimal performance. Many filters should be replaced about once per month.
Sound Sleep Medical
Keeping your machine clean is very important. Remember that you’re breathing in anything that could be growing inside your machine, and that regular cleaning will protect your health. If you feel that some of your sleep apnea symptoms have returned or are getting worse, come see us at Sound Sleep Medical. We’ll check your machine to make sure it’s functioning properly, and give you more tips on how to get a great night’s sleep.