CPAP and Cleaning

If you have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), you are not alone. Today, there are projected to be over 50 million people with OSA.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a severe or total blockage of the upper airway. The blockage is usually caused by either your tongue sliding back in your throat or a collapse of the walls of your upper airway. A decrease of 30% or more of your airway is termed a hypopnea and the total blockage of air movement for 10 seconds or longer is defined as apnea. It is not unusual to hear of patients having apneas that last for several minutes.

Excessive daytime sleepiness, feeling tired throughout the day, loud snoring following by periods of quiet, sudden awakenings feeling out of breath, and not remembering dreams are the most common symptoms of OSA.

Some generalizations regarding OSA:

  • Most patients diagnosed with OSA are obese.
  • People with a thick neck and small jaw are predisposed to OSA.
  • OSA affects more men than women; however, the number of women being diagnosed with OSA is climbing.
  • Untreated OSA causes high blood pressure, which can lead to right-sided heart failure and stroke. OSA can cause depression, mood swings, reduced sex drive and impotence.

The most common treatment for OSA is a positive airway device such as a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airways Pressure), Auto-CPAP or Bi-PAP. These devices blow air in through the nose, mouth or both, to physically hold the tongue forward or keep the airway open using air pressure thus preventing the airway from closing. The result is that apneas and hypopneas are eliminated or greatly reduced. It is important to maintain your cpap and supplies to reduce the chance of infections and to extend the life of your mask, tubing, etc.


It is recommended that you wash your mask interface and your humidifier chamber each morning in a clean sink or basin using warm water and a mild soap detergent. After washing of these items, rinse them thoroughly with warm water. Removing all soap residue will decrease the possibility of any skin irritation.


Hand wash your headgear with warm water and a mild dish detergent. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and hang to air dry. DO NOT place the headgear in the dryer. The Velcro will not last if using the dryer. Wash your hose with warm water and a mild dish detergent as well. Rinse thoroughly and hang over your shower curtain to air dry.

Make a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts tap water. Fill your humidifier container with this solution and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Pour out the vinegar solution and rinse the humidifier with warm water.

Clean the spongy air filter by removing the filter and running it under warm water while squeezing vigorously the filter. Using a lint-free, cloth, set the filter on a paper towel until it is dry. Never place a wet filter in your machine. If you have a white fiber type filter and it is becoming grey in color, you need to call your supplier for a replacement filter.

Properly maintaining your machine and supplies will assure optimal performance as well as reduce your chances of infection.

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