Arguably, the CPAP machine and its accessories serve as the lifeline of sleep apnea sufferers for a better quality of life. Through these devices, you can sleep better because of the continuous flow of air fed into your respiratory system. In this way, too, your bedmate and housemates can sleep better because of your lessened snoring episodes.
In order to take better advantage of the system, you have to regularly clean the CPAP accessories for obvious reasons. For one thing, you can extend the life of the parts of the CPAP system. For another thing, you are assured that the air being fed though your nose is, well, clean.
Each of the CPAP accessories requires a different kind of liquid depending on the type of materials used. It is best to use specific liquid cleaners so as to ensure that the accessory is indeed taken cared of.
Masks, nasal pillows and tubing are best cleaned with baby shampoo. Daily or weekly cleaning is recommended so as to ensure that build-up of dirt, dust and grime is avoided. Just be sure to dilute the shampoo with equal parts water before using them on the CPAP machine accessories.
Once every three months, however, you should use white vinegar to clean the nasal pillow, mask and tubing. It helps in disinfecting and cleaning the parts from the inside out.
Humidifiers are best cleaned using distilled water. This goes for both cool and heated humidifiers as distilled water helps in the prevention of mineral build-up. Just be sure to mix in mild pure soap detergent with the distilled water, soak the water chamber in the solution for 10 minutes, rinse well and then air dry after every use.
All of these CPAP accessories will need protection from sudden surges in electricity, which can be achieved with the use of a surge protector. You can either ask your manufacturer for the appropriate unit or you can just purchase it from your favorite home supply store.
It must be emphasized that CPAP accessories will not as long as the CPAP machine itself. As such, you must have them replaced regularly according to a schedule set by the manufacturer or as the need arises.
* Masks are to be replaced every 3 months
* Nasal pillows are best replaced every month although some can last for as long as 3 months
* New headgears should be bought every 6 months
* Tubing should ideally be replaced every month depending on the type of material used
* Disposable filters should be changed every 6 months, too
It must be noted that the schedule for changing your CPAP accessories will vary depending on how well you take care of them, how often you use them and, more important, your insurance provider’s schedule of replacements.
In conclusion, proper care of CPAP accessories is very important for many reasons. As such, you must ask your medical provider about the ways of doing so in the same way that you should ask how to take care of your body through lifestyle changes.