CPAP, also called continuous positive airway pressure, is a treatment commonly used to treat respiratory conditions such as sleep apnea. CPAP applies a mild level of air pressure into the patient’s airways through a nasal or facial mask. Humidified air travels through filters into tubes that connect to the masks which are secured to the patient’s face. Positive air pressure from CPAP equipment helps to maintain positive pressure in the patient’s lungs which keeps them breathing easily throughout the night. CPAP equipment can minimize the effects of sleep apnea including restless sleep, daytime fatigue or loud snoring. CPAP equipment must be replaced and maintained frequently so that they continue to operate efficiently and effectively treat sleep apnea.
CPAP water and humidifying chambers must be replaced once every six months. These water chambers usually are filled with regular tap water. Tap water is composed of water as well as many types of minerals dissolved within the water. These minerals can deposit on the CPAP equipment causing it to cloud, crack and pit. The micro cracks and pits can accumulate many pathogens such as bacteria and debris that can cause recurrent respiratory infections and allergies. The stabilizing supplies used to apply facial and nasal masks to a patient’s face also should be replaced. The straps and headgear often wear out and loose elasticity due to wear and tear. Loosening of the stabilizing components CPAP equipment can lead to poor fit and under-treatment. Under-treatment of sleep apnea are detrimental to a patient’s health provide a predisposition to other respiratory, metabolic and physical ailments.
CPAP equipment such as nasal cushions and masks also should be replaced regularly to avoid misfit and the resulting under-treatment. A misfit of this type of equipment can make the therapy uncomfortable for the patient. Regular replacement of CPAP equipment can alleviate nasal irritation and secondary skin irritation that may develop from CPAP devices that utilize nasal components. CPAP tubing should be replaced because it can develop microscopic holes and tears that can lead to air leakage. Again, this will diminish the effects of treatment and lead to an increased risk for sleep apnea side effects such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attack.
The CPAP equipment that is the most vital to replace is the device filter. These should be replaced once every three months. Device filters act to protect patients from contaminants in the air that can trigger allergic or infectious responses in patients such as airborne pet dander, allergens and bacterial pathogens. If CPAP equipment is not replaced, these dangerous substances can build up within the CPAP device increasing the chance of clogging the filter. Once the filter is clogged it becomes ineffective at stopping harmful substances from entering the CPAP equipment. The dangerous respiratory stimulants can then be directly introduced into the patient’s airways leading to allergies, infections and other respiratory complications.
CPAP equipment should be replaced in order to achieve successful treatment of sleep apnea and other respiratory disorders. The chances of contracting secondary respiratory illness such as allergies or bacterial respiratory infections can be decreased by regularly replacing the components of the CPAP device. This will ensure that air leaks are eliminated and treatment is given in the full dosage. CPAP device replacement will reduce the chance of serious consequences and allow the patient to derive the most benefit from CPAP treatment.
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