What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your CPAP Machine?

What Happens if You Don't Clean Your CPAP Machine
Written by Piotr Sawicki

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your CPAP Machine? CPAP machines are the no. 1 solution for people suffering from sleep apnea. They provide a continuous air pressure through a hose and mask. The mask could either cover only the nose or both the nose and mouth. This air pressure helps to keep the air passageways from collapsing giving the patient a better night’s sleep.

The use of a CPAP is without a doubt the best non surgical way to deal with sleep apnea. It is easy and painless. However, it comes with an array of problems if not approached in the right way. Most of these problems come about as a result of using a dirty CPAP. They include:

  • Irritated lungs
  • Irritated nose
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Congestion
  • Skin irritation
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing

If you are experiencing any one of these symptoms after using the CPAP machine, you need to know the root cause and what you can do to prevent them. Let’s look at them in more detail below.

Dirty Mask

The main reason for getting illness from the use of the CPAP machines is the lack of performing regular cleaning. The machine’s components such as the hose and mask can easily collect germs from the surrounding environment. Germs and other pathogens will also find a to breed through the moisture you breathe out.

To ensure your machine is in the best condition for use, make it a routine to clean it every morning. You can use distilled water and detergent, special CPAP wipes or a SoClean Sanitizer. The SoClean is the most efficient method able to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria.

Non-Fitting Mask

A mask that doesn’t fit right will either be too tight or too lose. If too tight you are likely to get irritated on the skin. If too lose the pressure will escape and you will not be able to experience the full benefits of the CPAP therapy.

A loose fitting mask will also provide an avenue for germs to gain access to the air and find a way into your body.

Too Much Moisture

Most modern CPAP machines come with a humidifier to keep your airways moist and prevent irritation.. However, if there is too much of it, viruses, bacteria and mold will have the perfect environment to thrive. These will then cause illness and lead you to incur extra hospital bills.

The Humidifier

This is an important component of the CPAP Machine. Without it you are very likely to get dry and irritated air passage ways. These can cause them to crack resulting in open wounds through which you can get infected.

If the hose that provides the pressurized air is not properly cleaned and there are bacteria and other pathogens, these will find easy access on the open sores.

There are two ways to deal with this issue. One is to use a CPAP that has a humidifier. This will prevent the air ways from drying. The second is to regularly clean the equipment.

How to tell if the CPAP machine is dirty

Preventive measures are always better than having to take a trip to the hospital over an illness that could easily have been avoided. Is it possible to tell that your CPAP is in need of sanitization? Of course, it is. While its proper behavior to ensure your CPAP is cleaned on a daily basis, here are a few ways to tell when it’s a bit too dirty.

What Happens if You Don't Clean Your CPAP Machine

Photo credit: apneatreatmentcenter.com

  1. Recurring sickness

Once you have been under CPAP therapy for a while and you notice that you are getting recurring attacks of sinus infections, cold or flu, this could be a sign that your CPAP is not very clean.

You can combat this by following a daily cleaning routine.

  1. Skin irritation

Regular use of the CPAP mask without cleaning causes facial oil to accumulate on the contact surface. This could be around the silicon that covers the place of contact with the mask resulting in skin irritations.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, pay close attention to the mask while you are cleaning the CPAP equipment.

  1. Unpleasant odor

A dirty CPAP may produce a strong mildew like scent, an indication that there is an unhealthy presence of germs and other pathogens. The best cleaning equipment is the SoClean Sanitizer. It sends activated oxygen to every corner of the CPAP equipment getting rid of all the microorganisms present.

Conclusion of What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your CPAP Machine

A dirty CPAP machine can offer more bad than good. Remember the main intention was to improve your health and improve your life, not to catch disease. To ensure you receive the best CPAP therapy, make it a routine to thoroughly clean your CPAP machine.

About the author

Piotr Sawicki

Leave a Comment