If you have sleep apnea, you probably know how useful CPAP machines are. These things can literally mean the difference between life and death. One of the most important components of these machines is the sleep apnea mask. However many people wonder how often a new sleep apnea mask needs to be purchased?
How is this determined exactly? Let’s talk about maintaining, cleaning, and replacing your CPAP machine masks right now.
Reasons To Get A New Sleep Apnea Mask
A CPAP mask will not last forever. The silicone or other material becomes thinner, brittle and simply suffers from wear and tear. The results can vary, but often include cracking, bending, breaking and becoming misshapen over time.
The ultimate result is that the mask will no longer provide you with a tight seal and a proper fit, thus rendering the sleep apnea mask more or less ineffective. You might think that simply tightening the mask will help you out. But more often than not a super tight mask will only cause further damage, be uncomfortable and won’t provide a proper seal anyway.
The bottom line here is that there are many reasons why your sleep apnea masks need regular maintenance and replacement. Yes, cleaning and replacing masks is a must due to smells and bacteria build up. But the main reason for it is to ensure that your mask is in working order. The SoClean 2 CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer is great for this.
Inspecting Your CPAP Mask
When it comes to sleep apnea masks, you should perform regular checks on them in order to ensure that they are in top condition. You may also need to perform some regular maintenance too. The best time to perform an inspection on your CPAP machine mask is in the morning, preferably when you clean it.
The first thing you should do is clean your mask with some warm water and soap. Let the mask dry in a dry place with no direct sunlight. Make sure to keep your mask in a safe place and away from kids and pets. You don’t want it to get damaged or go missing. At this point, ensure that all of the components are in good condition and in working order. You definitely do not want your dog chewing on your sleep apnea mask, nor do you want your kids using it for fun.
There are a few different things that you definitely need to keep an eye out for when performing your CPAP machine mask inspection. Here are the most important things to check when doing your inspection.
- Are there any leaks that you can feel?
- Is it comfortable to wear still?
- Is the seal still good or has it deteriorated?
- Can you see anything torn, cracked or otherwise broken?
- Does it still fit properly?
- Is there any kind of hole in it which could let air out?
- Is the shape still in prime condition or is the mask misshapen?
- How old is the mask? Older than 6 months?
When I Need A New Sleep Apnea Mask
Of course, CPAP machine masks don’t just consist of “the mask”. Sleep apnea masks come with several different components and they need to be cleaned, maintained or even replace on a regular basis. Let’s go over the main components of CPAP machines and how often they all need to be replaced. Keep in mind that insurance will only pay so much. So try to pay attention to your insurance plan so you know when to replace these things at a minimal cost.
1. The Mask
Depending on its condition, I would recommend replacing your sleep apnea mask every 3 to 6 months. The cushions for the mask should be replaced at least once per month, if not twice.
2. CPAP Chin Support
There is no set time on how often you should replace the headgear or chinstrap. If you notice that it is no longer providing you with a tight fit, you know it is time to replace it.
3. The Filters
When it comes to white paper filters, they need to be replaced as soon as they turn grey and discolored. If you are using a fixed filter, you need to replace it every 6 months at the most. Or simply as soon as it wears out.
4. Tubing And Hoses
CPAP tubing or any hose related accessory needs to be replaced if it there are any cracks or holes in them.
5. The CPAP Machine
CPAP machines have an approximate lifespan of 3 years, but if you notice it wearing down sooner, you will need to replace it.
The bottom line here is that you need to replace these sleep apnea mask components on a regular basis. This is especially true if you notice severe wear and tear. Keeping out of date and non-functioning sleep apnea equipment is going to do you no favors. So you should follow this schedule pretty closely.
CPAP & Insurance Companies
CPAP machines and sleep apnea have become widely accepted and accommodated for when it comes to insurance companies. This also includes your sleep apnea masks. When it comes to insurance companies, most decent plans will allow for the replacement of the entire mask up to 2 times per year. And in addition, the cushions being allowed to be replaced up to 4 times per year. If you are worried about costs, talk to your insurance provider as soon as possible.
Getting A New Sleep Apnea Mask Conclusion
Remember, your mask is designed to help you breathe right at night. A worn down, misshapen, torn and cracked mask will definitely not do you any favors at all. Simply put, sleep apnea masks break and wear down like everything else out there. Breathing right and staying alive while you sleep is why your CPAP machine masks require regular replacement. Sure, machines like the Z1 Travel Auto CPAP by HDM are awesome but even their masks wear down too. Ensure you get yourself a new sleep apnea mask when you recognise the signs discussed above.