Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP therapy is one of the most common methods of treatment for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP machines help open up the blocked airways by delivering a constant stream of pressurized air all night, enabling the patient to sleep soundly without any interruptions.
So, if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are undergoing sleep therapy, you are already on your way to managing the symptoms associated with this condition. But, people often tend to miss the next important step - cleaning the different components of the CPAP machine, especially the mask.
But, unless you clean and maintain your CPAP mask properly, you won't be able to get the full benefit of your treatment. So, if you are new to CPAP therapy and are unsure of the right way to clean its mask and tubing, we are here to help. Read on to know why is it important to clean your CPAP mask, and the right way to do it.
Why Is It Necessary To Clean Your CPAP Mask?
The first question that's likely to come to your mind is - why do I need to clean my CPAP mask regularly? Well, your mask is the medium through which the pressurized air reaches your mouth and nostrils. So, unless you maintain it in a hygienic manner, not only will the lifespan of the mask decrease considerably, but you will also be at a higher risk of contracting infections.
This is because unless you clean your CPAP mask and tubing, oil, residue, or minerals can slowly start building up inside, which may hinder its ability to work efficiently. In addition, the growth of bacteria and mold is also common in poorly maintained masks. And as you wear it every day during therapy, it can increase the chances of an allergic reaction too.
But, when you carry out proper maintenance of your CPAP device and its components including the mask and tubing, you can keep it free of bad odors, germs, allergens, mineral deposits, and so on. It is also more likely to work efficiently for a longer duration, so you won't need to constantly replace your mask to ensure the proper continuation of your therapy.
How To Clean Your CPAP Mask
Now that you are aware of why it is necessary to keep your CPAP mask clean and well-maineined, it's time to move on to how exactly you can achieve that. Of course, cleaning your mask or other CPAP components might not seem like a big deal. But in case you do it wrong, you may end up damaging them. But not to worry, as here we have provided an easy guide to help you clean your CPAP mask quickly and efficiently.
But before you start, you will need a few supplies for the task. These include a small sponge or a piece of cloth, mild soap, some warm water, and a towel for drying the components after cleaning.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning Your CPAP Mask
The first step is to unplug your CPAP device and remove the parts you intend to clean. Not all masks are built the same way, so it's best to refer to the instructions provided by the mask’s manufacturer for disassembling the different parts for cleaning. Usually, you will have three different parts after doing so- the headgear, the frame, and the cushion.
Next, fill a small tub with warm water and add a few drops of mild soap to make a solution. Avoid using harsh detergents or stronger cleaning solutions - these can potentially damage your mask. Soak the components of the mask in the solution and gently rub to remove any accumulated oil, residue, or mineral deposits. Make sure to rinse well thereafter to get rid of all soap residue.