Proper maintenance of your sleep apnea machine is an important part of your health plan. This ensures that the machine is functioning properly. You should always refer to your doctor or supplier about how to clean your mask and hose correctly. However, maintaining a sleep apnea machine is relatively simple.
Why You Should Keep Your Machine Clean
A CPAP machine is the best non-surgical way to deal with sleep apnea. However, if not properly maintained, a number of problems can develop. These include irritated lungs and nose, congestion, and respiratory tract infections. If you are experiencing these symptoms, your machine might be to blame.
Many of these issues are caused by a buildup of bacteria and viruses in an excessively moist environment. The components of a sleep apnea machine can collect germs and viruses from their environment. The humidifiers that many machines possess can contribute to this damp environment.
Signs of a Dirty Sleep Apnea Machine
The best way to avoid many of these issues is through prevention. If you are experiencing sinus infections or flu like symptoms your CPAP device may need to be cleaned. Oils and dirt can also accumulate on the mask, potentially causing skin irritation.
Finally, if your sleep apnea machine is producing a strong odor, this could also mean it needs to be cleaned. This odor will smell like mildew and is a sign of pathogens.
How to Clean your CPAP Machine
You should always double check with your doctor or supplier about proper care for your sleep apnea machine. However, there are general ways you can keep it clean. Wash the mask with mild soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and allow to air dry. If you have a cold or any other upper respiratory problem, you should disinfect your machine daily. Never clean your mask with alcohol or put it in the dishwasher.
Take a similar approach with your headgear. Wash with mild soap and water. Do not put it in the dryer. Instead, air dry your headgear. Clean the tubing with a solution of 2 parts vinegar and 3 water. For example, if you used 1 cup of vinegar, use 1 and a half cups of water. Discard this solution after each use.
Ask the Experts
If you are worried you might have sleep apnea or are experiencing issues with your current CPAP machine, contact the experts at Jacksonville Sleep Center. The Dream Team at Jacksonville Sleep Center has the expertise to help you out. Contact us today or visit our office and we will help you out!