When you have sleep apnea, it can be hard to get a good night’s sleep. Luckily, your CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine can get you quality rest. But when you start using your CPAP machine, it’s essential to know that there are parts of your machine that you must replace regularly. One of these parts is your CPAP mask.
Night after night, wearing your CPAP mask can gradually damage it. And if you fail to replace your mask, it can interfere with your CPAP therapy. We’ll discuss why replacing your mask is important and how to know when you should replace it.
Why Does My CPAP Mask Need Replaced?
When you use your CPAP machine, your mask fits over your mouth and nose to deliver pressurized air to your airway. CPAP masks are typically made of softer plastics such as silicone or plastic to provide a seal but remain comfortable while you sleep.
Over time, the oils and dead skin cells can break down these materials and cause your CPAP mask to develop tiny tears in which allergens, viruses, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens can collect in.
As the seal breaks down, you may notice that your mask doesn’t fit properly. You may have to continuously tighten your headgear to keep it in place. Doing this can cause the mask to tighten too much and can leave pressure marks.
It can also stretch or break the headgear causing your mask to leak. And when your mask leaks, you aren’t getting the oxygen you need.
The Lifespan of CPAP Supplies
Multiple pieces make up your CPAP mask, each with a different lifespan. Here are the various supplies that you may need to replace (depending on the type of mask you use).
- Nasal Cushions — If you use a nasal mask, you should replace the nasal cushions or nasal pillows every 14 days.
- Full Face Mask Cushions — These cushions create the seal around your mouth and nose and should be replaced monthly.
- CPAP Mask Frame — The mask frame connects the cushions to the headgear and mask and should be replaced every three months.
- CPAP Mask Tubing — The CPAP hose delivers air from the CPAP machine to the mask and needs to be replaced every three months.
- CPAP Headgear — The headgear goes over your head and connects to the mask to keep it from falling off while you sleep. They can stretch and wear out over time and should be replaced when you see signs of this.
- CPAP Mask — Your mask holds the cushion and should be replaced every three months.
Keep in mind when it’s time to replace your mask that newer, more innovative masks come out all the time. So before ordering the same old mask you’ve always used, check out other masks to see if there is something available that may be more comfortable for you.
Signs That You Need to Change Your CPAP Mask
Here are some other signs that it may be time to replace your CPAP mask, even if you aren’t at the recommended replacement time yet.
- The seal is discolored
- The seal is uncomfortable or rough against your skin
- Your mask leaks
- Your headgear is loose, frayed, or stretched
- Your mask no longer fits
- The frame is bent
- Your mask begins making strange noises
Keeping Your CPAP Mask Clean
Regular cleaning (once a week) can help extend the lifespan of your CPAP mask. To clean your CPAP mask, simply disassemble it and swirl it around in warm soapy water (use a gentle, unscented cleanser) for approximately five minutes. Then, wash each part of the mask, and let them dry completely before putting your CPAP mask back together.
Turn to DreamZz Sleep Center For All Your PAP Machine Needs
Not only will replacing your mask minimize the buildup of germs and bacteria, but a new mask can also provide more comfort. Whether you’re new to sleep therapy or have been using your CPAP machine for years, DreamZz Sleep Center can help you choose the best mask.
DreamZz Sleep Center is your one-stop solution for all your sleep medicine needs. From masks and headgear, to hoses, filters, and water chambers, we can provide you with medical equipment from reputable brands such as Fisher & Paykel, Philips Respironics, and Resmed.
Depending on when you last received supplies for your PAP machine, you may be eligible for new supplies through your insurance company. Simply submit your order online, and we will contact you in 1-2 business days after receiving your order to verify your insurance information and let you know what supplies you are eligible for.