CPAP Mask Replacement
CPAP Mask Replacement:
A Quick Guide to Help you get the Most out of Sleep Therapy
CPAP masks needs to be regularly replaced for you to consistently get the most benefits from your CPAP therapy. After you get diagnosed with sleep apnea, get prescribed CPAP therapy and finally learn to sleep with the sensation of forced air and the feel of the mask, you then have to remember regularly replace the mask and the mask parts as they become worn and become less efficient in their functionality. Most patients know they have to clean the mask and tubing associated with CPAP, but some patients don’t realize that after several months of nightly use, your mask begins to lose efficacy.
You know you want to get the most out of your therapy and also ensure healthy, restful sleep – but the mask is simply not made to last a lifetime.
Here are some useful tips on when to replace and why:
CPAP Full Face Mask
On a yearly basis, it’s a good idea to get a brand new CPAP mask. Think of your CPAP like you would any doctor-prescribed medication. You have to refill it on a regular basis. Routine use begins to take its toll on the mask and you’ll need a new one, otherwise it won’t be effective as you need it to be to ensure restful sleep.
When you first get trained to use the CPAP, proper care and cleaning was probably thoroughly explained. However, germs can still buildup with routine cleaning. It’s recommended that you replace tubing every 6 to 9 months to avoid potential problems. Since this aids in keeping good air flowing into your lungs all night – germ buildup could mean that you get sick. If you notice that you getting chest colds often or that your eyes are starting to water regularly, it’s time to change tubing.
Also important to note, if you use your CPAP with a humidifier, you might need to change tubing more often because that wet environment could lead to living bacteria inside the tube.
The headgear for your mask will probably need to be replaced every 6 months. Over time the headgear begins to stretch out and the hook-and-loop closures can begin to fray. If your mask doesn’t fit as it should, it will not be as effective in keeping the mask in place and maintaining the seal.
Many patients have the tendency to tighten the straps as the headgear begins to stretch, which can lead to strap marks, headaches and in extreme cases, can even cause patients’ teeth to shift.
Cushions are very important and should be replaced at least every three months. Since you are wearing this every night, this is considered normal wear and tear for a CPAP mask. If the cushion begins to break down, the mask won’t form a strong seal, making for ineffective sleep therapy. Sometimes, CPAP users tighten the mask to make up for the wearing down of its cushions – but this can lead to a whole host of other problems, like headaches, strap marks, jaw pain and headaches.
As with your headgear, the CPAP chinstrap can stretch and fray. Generally speaking, a chinstrap is worn tighter than headgear – so you might have to change it every 3-6 months. Look at for signs of wear and tear.
As technology makes leaps and bounds, so does the variety and style of CPAP masks available. They are beginning to be less expensive and the CPAP user is availed to more variety than ever before. If the mask that you have been effectively using for months starts to feel less comfortable or begins leaking more often, it is probably a good time to replace your mask or your mask parts.