When you began CPAP therapy, your life changed drastically for the better. You will begin to enjoy excellent-quality sleep for the first time; your snoring and sleep apnea had ceased; and you had a restored energy and alertness that you had never imagined possible. But something about these improvements then changed in less than six months. You’re now not enjoying sleeping as well as you used to. You’re waking up exhausted once more.
Then, you might have begun to have many questions running through your mind as about what is going on and why did the wonderful advantages of your CPAP therapy vanish?
It’s unlikely to be you. It’s possible that it’s your cpap mask. You need to examine your mask carefully. Is your nasal cushion’s colour changing from clear white to a drab yellow? Have you noticed any holes, gaps, or cracks in your mask, or that the fit is no longer as firm as it once was? Or have you noticed a little odour in your equipment?
If any of the following are true, then it is the right time for you to make the right changes to replace your CPAP mask.
What Effects Can a Worn-Out Mask Have on My CPAP Therapy?
When a CPAP mask gets old, the silicone softens and thins. This can cause fractures, holes, or rips in the mask, preventing it from maintaining a tight seal against your face.
Tightening your headgear may help, but it may also cause additional issues like discomfort or some other unforeseen issues. Overtight straps are one of the most common causes of poor sealing and leaks in CPAP therapy. Furthermore, a mask that pushes too firmly is likely to be unpleasant, making falling and staying asleep more difficult. Finally, excessively-cinched headwear will push firmly against your face, and you’ll wake up with deep strap marks all over your skin.
Why Should I Get a New CPAP Mask?
Why you should replace your CPAP mask is about much more than simply sight and scent, although, those are valid reasons as well. Regularly replacing your mask will ensure that you reap the full advantages of CPAP therapy.
CPAPs are used to treat sleep problems such as snoring and sleep apnea, which hinder patients from getting adequate rest. This is accomplished by forcing pressurised air through your mask and into your respiratory system. As a consequence, your airways remain open throughout your sleep cycle, providing you with the pleasure and relaxation of effortless breathing.
Even a minor leak in the CPAP equipment might cause your CPAP to malfunction. The CPAP mask is the most probable area for a leak to develop since a tight seal must be made on a soft, uneven, and constantly moving surface.
The mask components are comprised of malleable, soft, hypoallergenic substance, such as silicone, to establish a tight yet pleasant seal. The disadvantage is that a silicone mask is not nearly as robust as a tougher material and will wear out rapidly.
A CPAP machine and its attachments are similar to any other piece of health and hygiene equipment. Consider an electric toothbrush: the handle and charger are the more costly, long-lasting components, while the toothbrush attachment is inexpensive, sees all of the actual action, and is only supposed to last a few months at most.
The CPAP machine (the box on your bedside table) is analogous to the handle/charger of an electric toothbrush, and the mask is analogous to the toothbrush attachment. Although replacing the mask is not cheap, it is significantly less expensive than purchasing a new system every time the mask wears out.
When should I change my mask?
It is advised that you change the mask cushion – the part of the mask that directly touches your face, once or twice a month, and the complete mask at least once every six months, regardless of the kind of CPAP mask you use.
There are now several CPAP masks designs available, up to seven currently. The three most frequent masks are as follows:
- Full-Face Mask (For the Entire Face)
- Regular Nasal Mask
- Nasal Pillows (lightest, smallest model)
Regardless of mask design, it is recommended that you change your CPAP masks cushions and entire mask on a regular basis.
All CPAP equipment, including tubing, filters, the humidification chamber, and the machine itself, has a suggested replacement schedule, it is advisable that you follow the manufacturer recommendation on the gear replacement. Replacing your CPAP accessories on a regular basis, as indicated by your provider, can assist in guaranteeing the effectiveness of your therapy.
Can’t I just clean the mask?
In any case, you should be cleaning your face mask and filters! Even if you clean it every morning, this equipment is only meant to last a few weeks. Your mask’s material will eventually grow too soft to maintain a tight seal and should be changed.
There are, however, advantages to keeping your mask clean. Regular daily cleaning will make your mask more pleasant to use by eliminating the nocturnal build-up of face oils and sweat. Cleaning can also eliminate odours created by exhalation and any materials (for example, nose mucus) that may be blown into the cushions after a good night’s sleep.
Warm water and a soft soap, such as baby shampoo, should be used to clean masks. Other cleansers, such as alcohol, antibacterial soaps, or cleaning solutions, may not only leave hazardous residues but may also break down the silicone quicker, reducing the life of your mask even further.
How Can I Afford to Replace My CPAP Mask on a Regular Basis?
CPAP therapy has grown so common that insurance companies now cover the replacement of practically all CPAP components and accessories on a regular basis. Most insurance companies, enable you to replace your mask cushions four times a year and the complete mask once every six months. These recommendations are consistent with those of the majority of CPAP manufacturers and retailers.