When using medical equipment like Positive Airway Pressure machines or dental devices to treat your Sleep Apnea disorder, it is imperative to keep the equipment clean. Sleep Apnea equipment that is not properly sanitized can cause irritation, the spread of bacteria, and the ingestion of dirty air. If you are using a facial mask and are experiencing skin irritation on your face around the mask, you may not be cleaning the mask properly. If you use Positive Airway Pressure therapy and frequently experience infection in the sinuses or respiratory tract, you may be ingesting dirty air at night because of improper cleaning methods.
Using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or any other PAP, machine requires a great deal of responsibility from the user. The user must be responsible enough to properly maintain the machine by cleaning it regularly and having it checked for error by a medical professional. Here are some tips and instructions for properly cleaning you Sleep Apnea machine.
Safety first! Unplug your machine from the electrical outlet in which it is plugged to prevent the risk of electrocution.
Dust the machine. Use a damp cloth to gently dust the outside of the machine.
Check the filters. These filters stop dust from entering your PAP machine and can quickly become full of dust and allergens. Most filters should be thrown out after a month of use, roughly thirty nights. In some machines, there are two different filters; one is disposable and the other is not. The non-disposable filter is most commonly made of foam. The disposable filter should be replaced quite frequently; if you notice a visible color change in the filter, it’s time to throw it away. Disposable filters usually last between thirty and sixty nights of use.
Clean the filters. Filters should be cleaned thoroughly once at week, two at the most, to ensure the production of clean air. Rinse the filter with cold water to remove dust and other particles. You can squeeze foam filters to help assist the removal of unwanted particles. Use a clean, soft towel to remove any excess moisture from the filter; simply blot it dry before replacing it into the machine.
Clean the tubing. PAP tubing should be thoroughly cleaned every single day. While using the machine at night, moisture and unfiltered particles can become stuck in the tubing where they accumulate. Inhaling these particle accumulations can cause airway obstruction during sleep increasing the risk of Sleep Apnea events. The tubing should be rinsed with warm water and a little bit of mild soap. Let the tubing air dry.
The interface of the machine that attaches the tubing to the mouth or nose of the user needs to be cleaned every day. Like the tubing, your Sleep Apnea mask or nasal pillow needs to be washed daily with warm soapy water. Rinse the interface thoroughly to prevent the spreading of bacteria. Let the interface air dry.