Getting quality CPAP treatment depends on more than just the CPAP machine itself. After all, you will need to regularly replace your mask, tubing, and other components to properly maintain your CPAP device. Knowing which parts you need to replace — and when — will help you enjoy consistent, quality treatment.
There are also several accessories, that, while not necessarily mandatory for using your CPAP machine, can greatly streamline your usage situation. The right accessories will make it that much easier to use and care for your device, which will help you remain compliant with your treatment plan.
You may not necessarily need all of the CPAP accessories that are available. But by knowing what’s out there and getting the right products for your lifestyle, you will be able to adapt to using a CPAP machine that much faster.
CPAP cleaning is one of the most important elements of using a CPAP device. As you breathe through the mask during the night, condensation buildup may occur — particularly if you are using a humidifier. Over time, this can cause an unpleasant odor in the mask and tubing as bacteria builds up in this area. This bacterial presence can increase your risk of developing respiratory illnesses and congestion.
Because of this, most CPAP manufacturers recommend that users clean the mask and tubing on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the process of hand washing the mask and tubing can be rather time consuming. Equipment may need to soak for up to half an hour before being air dried. In your busy daily routine, you simply may not have time for this extra chore.
This is where automated CPAP cleaning devices can make a big difference. Products like the SoClean 2 Automated CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer or the VirtuCLEAN CPAP Mask Automatic Cleaner use activated oxygen to thoroughly clean the mask, tubing, and water chamber. These cleaning devices easily connect to the CPAP machine, and run a half hour cleaning cycle after being turned on. These devices also shut off automatically so you don’t have to check on them after the cleaning cycle is complete.
By killing over 99 percent of germs and bacteria found within the CPAP environment, these cleaning devices will help you breathe easy and stay healthy. By making it easier to stay compliant with sanitation guidelines, you won’t have any reason to put off your CPAP cleaning.
Alternative Cleaning Products
While CPAP cleaning devices are extremely effective, they can also be a little pricier than some people would like to pay. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options available to help make cleaning a little easier.
For example, CPAP wipes offer a quick and easy way to pre-treat your CPAP mask. These alcohol and latex-free wipes remove facial oils, dirt, and other organic residue, leaving behind a fresh scent. Unscented wipes are also available. These wipes are specially formulated to not irritate the skin.
CPAP tubing can be somewhat tricky to clean, creating opportunities for bacteria or moisture to accumulate in the crevices in the middle portion of the tube. Thankfully, there are several accessories specifically designed to address CPAP tubing. One example is the 3B Medical Lumin LM 4000 Bullet CPAP Hose Cleaner. This battery-powered device attaches to the CPAP tubing, where it then uses a germicidal UVC light to destroy pathogens and prevent biofilm buildup. This chemical-free cleaning accessory provides a complete clean in as little as 60 seconds.
If you prefer a more low-tech way of cleaning your CPAP tubing, you could use a CPAP Tube Cleaning Brush. Extending up to six feet in length, these brushes ensure that every nook and cranny within the tube gets a thorough scrub. This way, no debris will get left behind during the cleaning. The better job you can do while cleaning, the more pleasant it will be to use your CPAP machine!
There are some situations that may require the use of an adapter to get full use out of your CPAP equipment. For example, some CPAP devices require a special adapter to connect to the SoClean cleaning device. If you purchase a travel CPAP in addition to your standard at-home CPAP machine, you may also need to purchase a tube adapter. Some CPAP devices are only compatible with a select number of masks.
Before buying a CPAP machine or an accessory, double check its compatibility. You don’t want to buy a travel CPAP device only to find out later that you need an adapter to use your preferred mask with it. Doing your research in advance will ensure that you order any needed adapters from the get-go.
When taking your CPAP on the go, DC or AC adapters may be needed to access the local power supply. Double check what the electrical situation will be like at your destination so you can determine if an adapter will be necessary.
While you could simply stuff your CPAP device into your suitcase the next time you go on a trip, a travel case will go a long way in helping you protect your equipment and keep everything organized. CPAP devices are approved for air travel by the FAA, but you may need to go through additional procedures during the security check. Keeping everything together in a travel case will streamline the boarding process.
Some CPAP devices actually come with a travel case, but if yours did not, most manufacturers also produce affordable travel cases that you can use to get everything organized for your next trip. Many of these travel cases are specifically designed for individual machines, such as the Philips Respironics DreamStation CPAP Travel Case or the Breas Premium Soft Travel Bag for Z2 Series CPAP Machines.
By purchasing a travel bag that is specifically catered to your device, you can have confidence that your equipment will be protected during the flight, regardless of whether you checked your bag or brought your CPAP machine onboard as a carry-on.
Another important consideration for using your CPAP machine — especially while traveling — is ensuring that you have clean, pure water to use for the humidifier water chamber. Using a humidifier is highly recommended for most CPAP users, as it can help prevent sore throat, dry mouth, and congestion while using a CPAP device.
The problem is that tap water is generally not suitable for use with a humidifier water chamber. In the United States, most tap water is “hard,” with high levels of calcium and iron. These minerals leave behind deposits and scale buildup, which can damage the CPAP equipment over time. It can also lead to mold growth. If harmful bacteria is present (as is often the case when visiting countries outside the United States), you face a greater risk of getting sick from exposure to harmful microbes.
This is why CPAP manufacturers recommend the use of distilled water for humidifier water chambers. This water goes through a process in which the water is boiled until it turns into steam. The steam is captured and cooled so it reforms into water. Any contaminants that were present in the original water get left behind after the water turns to steam. Distilled water bottles are especially convenient when traveling, so you don’t have to worry about finding clean water once you reach your destination.
While powering your CPAP device shouldn’t be too much of a challenge when staying in your own home or a hotel room, it’s a different story when you’re going off the grid. While travel CPAP devices can provide cord-free therapy, additional battery packs will ensure that you have a power supply for your machine to last several nights.
You don’t necessarily have to have a travel CPAP device when you go camping or hiking. The Freedom CPAP Battery provides a 12-volt current to most CPAP devices. A single charge can provide one to two nights of power, and the Freedom Battery can actually recharge via solar exposure. It can even be used to power a smartphone or tablet in addition to your CPAP device. Special Freedom Dual Battery Kits are available for devices like the ResMed Air 10 & S9.
Travel CPAP devices can also get an extra boost of power with special modules. Examples of this include the Breas PowerShell with Extended Life Battery Module, which gives users of Z1 and Z2 Travel CPAP devices additional power.
In addition to providing off-the-grid support, such battery backups can also prove useful while at home. If a major storm is coming and you’re worried about losing power during the night, these devices can ensure that you’ll still be able to enjoy uninterrupted treatment.
Even with consistent cleaning and care, the separate components that connect to your CPAP device will eventually need to be replaced. Following the replacement guidelines given by your device’s manufacturer will ensure that you continue to get top-quality performance.
For example, CPAP tubing should typically be replaced after three months of use. This is because normal wear and tear will cause small holes and cracks to form in the tubing over time. While the damage could be too small to notice with the naked eye, it will result in leaks that prevent you from getting the appropriate level of air pressure. When replacing tubing, double check if your device uses proprietary tubing. You may also want to consider switching from standard tubing to heated, lightweight, or extra-flexible tubing to better fit your preferences.
Masks and headgear will also need to be replaced regularly. The soft silicone mask cushions that come in contact with your skin break down relatively fast due to their exposure to the oils in your skin. As a result, full face mask cushions should be replaced once per month, while nasal pillow cushions and nasal mask cushions should be replaced after two weeks. Otherwise, you are more likely to experience mask leaks as the cushions break down.
The headgear, frame system, and hard plastic masks will also need to be replaced, though not as frequently. Most masks will need to be replaced after three months. Headgear and framing systems should be replaced after about six months to address loss of elasticity and other issues. Keep in mind that if you have been experiencing air leaks or skin irritation, this could mean that it’s time to replace your mask, even if it is earlier than expected.
The CPAP device’s disposable filters will also need to be replaced quite often. Most CPAP machines include disposable filters that need to be replaced one to two times each month, as well as washable filters. The washable filters can be rinsed out and placed back in the CPAP machine, but will usually need to be replaced after six months. Replacing filters as recommended will improve air quality by trapping dust and other airborne contaminants.
Finally, you will need to replace your machine’s humidifier water chamber after approximately six months. Even with the use of distilled water, humidifier water chambers are likely to experience material deterioration over time. The resulting pitting or hairline cracks in the material make it easier for bacteria to get trapped in the water chamber. The good news is that you don’t have to replace the entire humidifier unit — only the plastic water chamber itself.
Get Your CPAP Accessories Today!
The right CPAP accessories can make your transition into sleep apnea therapy much more manageable. Of course, when you add these purchases to the cost of the machine itself, the financial aspect of beginning CPAP therapy can seem somewhat intimidating, especially if you don’t have insurance coverage for this type of medical equipment.
The good news is that with No Insurance Medical Supplies, cost doesn’t have to be an issue. We offer a wide range of CPAP machines and accessories from top brands like Philips Respironics and ResMed at discounted prices to make it easier to purchase your equipment. We also offer replacement part bundles to streamline the process of buying replacement parts.
That’s not the only way we help you save. We offer free shipping on all orders over $89, as well as available financing on larger purchases through CareCredit and TimePayment. Qualified buyers can enjoy up to six months of interest-free payments, allowing you to break your CPAP purchase into something more affordable.
Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that can dramatically affect your quality of life. At the same time, adapting to using a CPAP machine can be a major adjustment. By working with No Insurance Medical Supplies, you will be able to enjoy an easier transition with affordable parts and accessories, friendly and knowledgable service, and fast delivery.
Place your order today so you can start enjoying the quality sleep you deserve!