Top Tips for Maintenance
To ensure the optimum performance of your CPAP unit, we recommend:
- Clean the cushion with warm soapy water, rinse with clear water and allow to dry.
- Change the water in the humidifier chamber (is using it)
- Clean mask frame
- Wash headgear
- Wash air tubing
- Wash humidifier tub
- Inspect and if necessary, wash the CPAP filter
- Ensure equipment is dust-free
- Replace the mask cushion and / or headgear, if required
- Replace mask and filters
CPAP therapy is a preventative treatment not a cure. Therefore, it is recommended that you use your CPAP device on a nightly basis.
Your dry mouth may be caused by the air pressure from your CPAP. You may require a heated humidifier. This device will deliver moist air and reduce sensitivity caused by the air pressure from your CPAP.
Again, this may be due to the positive air pressure from your CPAP. It is recommended that you use a heated humidifier. Some people with humidification may still experience a blocked nose or sensitivity. It is advised to speak to your Physician as you may require a Chin Strap or a Full Face Mask if your mouth is opening while you sleep.
There are several reasons why this may be happening:
- You may require humidification due to dryness of the nose.
- You may require a Chin Strap or a Full Face mask as your mouth may be opening during treatment. Consult your Physician / Sleep Clinic.
- You may require a pressure adjustment due to weight loss or weight gain and will need to talk to your Physician / Sleep Clinic.
- You may have excessive leak due to poor mask fitting. Adjust the headgear to ensure mask is secure.
It is advisable always to take your CPAP with you. Here’s what you need to do to take it with you on an airplane:
- Notify your airline beforehand as you may be able to use your device on long haul flights, depending on the airline regulations.
- Most CPAP’s are designed to be used worldwide. Contact Medicare for more information.
- You may be able to use a suitable inverter to operate your device from a battery supply in a car, truck, boat or caravan. Contact Medicare for more information.
- Contact Medicare for a travel letter if required one month prior to travel.
It is not uncommon to experience the following:
- Sinus irritation
- Trapped air
You should consult your Physician / Sleep Clinic if any of the above persist.
If the water coming out of your tap contains too much calcium or magnesium, you’ll find white deposits, known as limescale on the base of your humidifier tub. Instructions for Removal (at least once a week) You will need:
- Distilled Vinegar
- Old Toothbrush
- Combine 1 part vinegar to 9 parts water (increase the amount of vinegar if necessary).
- Soak the base for 10 to 15 minutes in the vinegar mixture. Use the toothbrush to clean the corners. Rinse with plain Water.
We strongly recommend cleaning mask cushion and forehead pad(s)1 on daily basis, using lukewarm soapy water. Then, allow them to air dry. You should avoid exposing mask components to a direct sunlight or by putting them on top of a radiator.
When it comes to mask headgear and respiratory tubing, those components should be cleaned the same way as silicone parts found on your mask, at least once a week.
All other components like mask frame, elbow assembly, headgear clips can also be cleaned by hand using the same solution: warm soapy water, with the additional use of a soft bristle brush for cleaning vent holes found on the mask frame or/and elbow assembly.
It is not recommended to use any kind of aroma-based, alcohol-based solutions as vapours from these solutions can be inhaled by the patient, which may lead to an unwanted health risk. Those solutions can also damage your mask too.
- Not all masks come with a padded forehead support.
- Exhalation ports found on the rotating elbow assembly and sometimes on the mask frame too, should always be dust-free. In the event of damage, avoid using fix tape as you may accidentally block those ports which will inevitably lead to rebreathing your own carbon dioxide.
On average, mask or main mask components like headgear and cushion should be replaced once a year due to normal wear and tear.
In the case of headgear, the best way to determine whether it needs to be replaced or not is to simply monitor the adjustment left on upper and lower straps. As soon as we start reaching far end of our headgear with Velcro straps or when the Velcro straps themselves are no longer adhesive, then it’s a good time to replace it. In the case of cushion, any visible deformation, tear or loss of elasticity require immediate attention.
Neglecting this recommendation will lead to issues with the CPAP machine due to activation of a feature called “automatic leak compensation” which can cause sudden pressure increases throughout the night.
Spare parts for masks are also available for purchase separately in case of an accidental damage.
Most branded respiratory masks are made from latex-free components.
In the unlikely event of developing skin condition, we have a few solutions which will help the patient to minimize side effects of wearing a mask.
This may involve use of washable mask liners made from antibacterial fabric or switching to a fabric type of mask. For more information on available solutions please contact our main office on: 01 2014900.
Water chamber that comes with every humidifier (integrated or detachable), should be cleaned and replenished every day. This will reduce possibility of lime scale formation, which may cause issue with reduced effectiveness of the humidification process. Using fresh water every day will also prevent unwanted bacteria growth inside of the water chamber.
This unexpected an undesirable side-effect of condensation building up inside of the respiratory mask and tubing can be prevented by following simple steps outlined below:
- Make sure you’re not exceeding max. level of water allowed inside of the water chamber, and remember about positioning your CPAP device at the same or even lower point than your bed.
- Position your machine away from any opened windows, and operating radiator(s).
- They can influence operation of your humidifier by incorrectly monitoring/adjusting power delivered to the main heating plate.
- Make sure that there’s enough of free space around your CPAP device for proper air circulation. Avoid covering up or hiding your machine inside of a cupboard or bedside locker as it may lead to premature failure of the unit due to possible overheating,
- Depending on the type of your CPAP device, use the adjustment dial/button to reduce your current humidifier setting. Please refer to the user manual or contact Medicare Health & Living Ltd. (PH: 01 2014900) for further assistance.
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