Here are some common questions and their answers...
Why is it important to replace CPAP, BIPAP supplies regularly?
It is very important to maintain and replace your CPAP, BiPAP supplies such as the mask, cushion, headgear, tubing, filters, and chin strap. Did you know that Medicare and most other insurance providers recommend replacement of CPAP supplies according to a set schedule? BUT, less than half of patients replace their supplies on a regular basis.
Replacing your mask and accessories as appropriate helps ensure you are receiving the best, most comfortable therapy possible.
Here are 5 reasons you should replace your CPAP supplies:
- CPAP Supplies are Disposable
Your CPAP mask, headgear, and tubing aren't meant to last! Most common CPAP masks are made of plastic and silicone and the headgear is made from neoprene. All of these materials begin to break down with frequent use. Replacements are expected.
- Over Time, Cushions Lose Their Seal
If you need to continually tighten and over tighten the headgear to maintain a seal with your mask, it will not fit comfortably and you can actually harm yourself in the process. If red skin sores appear and become more prominent, it is time to replace the mask and headgear.
This becomes more difficult to eliminate as a mask ages. The masks and the tubing need to be cleaned regularly with mild soapy water and left to dry out of direct sunlight, or bacteria will grow. Studies demonstrate that after 1 year of use, no amount of cleaning can eliminate all bacterial growth. The amount of bacteria increases linearly with age. So, the older the mask, the more bacteria in the mask, the tubing, and, potentially, in YOU!
- Dirty Filters Damage CPAP Machines
The filters in a CPAP machine need to be replaced regularly. If dust and other contaminants build up, they cause the CPAP machine to overheat and, in time, damage the motor.
- Sun Damage Takes its Toll
Direct sunlight will damage the material in the mask, tubing, and CPAP machines. All CPAP equipment and supplies should be stored out of direct sunlight. Daily exposure to direct sunlight will speed up the breakdown of the equipment, just like your own skin.
What is CPAP Therapy?
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or CPAP Therapy is designed for patients who have Sleep Apnea. It is the most common and effective form of treatment. It not only provides a good nights sleep for the patient but also for the spouse because sleep is no longer disrupted by constant snoring. Complications from CPAP include poor toleration to high pressures and uncomfortable masks. It is important to work with a company that can help you troubleshoot these problems.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Snoring and sleep apnea are common sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) problems that can affect your sleep, health and quality of life. Approximately one in every five adults has SDB. Up to 80% of these are unaware of their condition and remain undiagnosed and untreated.
Snoring and sleep apnea often occur together. Your airway may:
- Narrow, limiting airflow as you breathe
- Vibrate, commonly heard as snoring
- Collapse, so you stop breathing
This third type of change is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is the most common type of SDB and each incident may last for 10 seconds or longer. Sleep apnea is characterized by episodes of cessation of breathing during night time sleep that can occur as often as several hundred times in a night. Snoring is a warning that the sleeper may be a victim of sleep apnea.
The Difference: CPAP vs BiPAP
CPAP machines offer one constant pressure during inhalation and exhalation. It works well for patients who have low pressures. However, many patients with higher pressures have difficulties tolerating the pressure. Many patients are not educated with the many benefits that BiPAP offer. Unlike CPAP, BiPAP machines have two pressures: inhalation and exhalation. The exhalation is dramatically reduced so the patient can usually tolerate the pressures. Patients who have been diagnosed with Central Sleep Apnea will be eligible for a BiPAP SV or ST, which offers a back-up respiratory rate when they stop breathing. Speak with your doctor concerning what is best for you.
"The iONMySleep partner company was extremely professional. I just love knowing my CPAP supplies will be replaced regularly which will help me avoid bacterial infections and red skin soars. Best of all, my CPAP supplies were absolutely free - thank you !"