SPRINGFIELD - For those who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, taking care of your CPAP machine is a very important part of your daily health plan. Proper maintenance will ensure that your CPAP equipment is performing at the level that your body needs.
Just like your home and yard, a little bit of spring cleaning will go a long way in keeping you healthy and your CPAP machine running correctly.
“Your CPAP machine helps you to avoid the dangers associated with sleep apnea and it’s recommended that you have your machine checked once a year to make sure that the pressure is set correctly and everything is working properly,” says Joan Gunpat, Respiratory therapist from Baystate Home Infusion & Respiratory Services.
Below she offers some CPAP cleaning tips on the best ways to keep your machine operating efficiently and free of harmful germs and bacteria.
1. Change your water – It’s recommended to change the water in your machine daily (every 24 hours). During use bacteria can travel back into the water. This can contaminate your lungs and can cause a respiratory infection.
2. Keep your mask clean- After each use wipe down your mask with a wet nap or baby wipe to remove excess skin oils. The oils from your skin can cause the mask to not seal properly. Be sure to wash your mask thoroughly at least once a week with a mild soap (like Dove) and warm water. Steer clear of harsh chemicals; they can damage the mask seal.
3. Replace mask cushion – It’s highly recommended that you replace your mask cushion once a month. Time can cause the seal to breakdown which can weaken the seal and cause the device to not work properly.
4. Change your filter – Be sure to change the filter on a monthly basis. Dust can build up from the environment and can cause the user to get sick with a respiratory infection.
5. Keep hoses clean and dry – Keep your hoses clean and wash them with a mild soap and water if your notice any build-up. If you see any water or condensation in the tube, be sure to hang the hose in the shower until it has dried completely.
6. Be extra conscious when you’re sick - If you have a cold it’s recommended that you clean all parts of the machine daily. If it’s a bad cold, don’t use your machine until you feel better to keep from reinfection.
7. Update supplies - Be sure to get your supplies every 3-6 months or as needed. This will maintain the overall cleanliness of the machine and help avoid illnesses.
For additional information call the Baystate Home Infusion & Respiratory Services Medical Retail Store at 413-967-2855.