How to Take Care of Your CPAP Equipment
CPAP therapy is the best treatment for people with obstructive sleep apnoea. In Australia alone, there are millions of people suffering from a form of sleep apnoea. With this large number, one can just imagine the demand for CPAP machine.
CPAP machine provides the required continuous positive airway pressure therapy to help a patient diagnosed with OSA to keep his airway open. There are other machines that give extra pulsating pressure when one breathes, as a means for assisting breathing. Whatever the type of CPAP machine one uses, there are some things one can do to keep the machine in good working condition.
How to Take Care of CPAP Parts: Masks, straps and tubing
It is best to clean masks, straps and tubing on a weekly basis. This practice helps keep the machine hygienic as well as extend its life. Before cleaning the parts, they should be separated. The tubing should be disconnected from the humidifier and the machine itself. Using mild soapy water to wash the CPAP machine is best. Do not use warm or hot water, and harsh detergent. After washing, the machine should be rinsed and dried. To dry the tubing, hang it over a rail exposed to air. Do not dry directly under the sun as this practice will damage the elastic straps and plastic parts.
Taking Care of Humidifiers
Humidifiers are often options for CPAP devices. A humidifier helps condition and moistens the air from the machine. There are people who do not require a humidifier but those who prefer to be more comfortable during CPAP therapy choose to have one. It is necessary to change the water in the humidifier daily. Before using it at night, it should be refilled with fresh distilled or de-mineralized water. This is necessary to prevent the formation of minerals on the humidifier chamber’s inner wall. Any hardened minerals on the walls of the humidifier could eat away its metal parts.
The chamber must also be washed thoroughly with warm soapy water then rinse well. This process is best done weekly. Each month soaking the chamber in diluted white vinegar (1:10) will help rid of any mineral deposits. The water chamber must be filled with clean, fresh water daily.
The inlet filter of a CPAP machine needs to be regularly checked too. If dust collects, wiping it with damp cloth is a good enough option. However, some filters require washing to keep clean. It is best to change the filter every six months but if it is too dusty, then changing it more often is the option.
CPAP Machine Maintenance
CPAP machine’s pumps are quite sturdy. To maintain its pumps, it is best to follow the recommendation of the manufacturer. In general, a standard CPAP machine can last for years without any hiccup more so if it is well-maintained. Most manufacturers require a routine check of the pumps after 5 years. However, if the machine emits any unusual noise, turn it off and report if to the supplier at the soonest time possible.