CPAP maintenance is an essential component of CPAP therapy. Part of that involves replacing your CPAP equipment regularly. This is important for two key reasons: 1) hygiene and 2) keeping your CPAP supplies functioning optimally so that you get the most out of CPAP therapy.
How often you should replace your CPAP equipment can vary depending on a number of factors. We always recommend following the advice of your doctor, insurance company and the manufacturer of your CPAP machine. However, we can give you some general guidelines to point you in the right direction.
CPAP Mask and Cushions: Every 3 Months / Once or Twice Per Month
The CPAP mask itself—that is, the harder plastic portion—can be replaced about once every three months. The cushion (or nasal pillows) should be replaced once or twice per month.
That may seem too often, but keep in mind that the cushion is the part of the CPAP device that makes direct contact with your face every night. Over time, oils and dirt from your skin can cause the cushion to soften so that it no longer holds a tight seal with your face. This creates air leaks, which hinder the effectiveness of CPAP therapy. It’s also important to change your cushion frequently for hygienic purposes.
CPAP Tube: Every 3 Months
Like your CPAP mask, your CPAP tube should be replaced about once every three months. With frequent use, a CPAP tube is likely to develop tears or cracks that then result in air leaks. If air is escaping, you will be unable to receive the proper treatment. The CPAP tube also harbors bacteria, especially if there’s condensation inside.
CPAP Humidifier Water Chamber: Every 6 Months
Your CPAP humidifier water chamber can typically last about six months before needing to be replaced, but keep an eye out for signs of discoloration or cracking. If your water chamber appears cracked, those cracks can trap bacteria.
CPAP Headgear and Chin Straps: Every 6 Months
While the headgear and chinstraps may not seem as vital as some of the other parts of your CPAP equipment, you should still replace them about once every six months for maximum comfort and efficacy. Your headgear and chinstraps can lose their elasticity over time, leading to general discomfort.
The good news is that your actual CPAP machine has a life span of about five years. Therefore, as long as you take good care of it, you should be able to get plenty of use out of it before needing a replacement.
Of course, replacing your CPAP equipment regularly is just one part of CPAP maintenance. Between replacements, it’s important to get into the habit of frequent CPAP cleaning. This will help you get the most out of your CPAP equipment and limit exposure to pathogens. The SoClean CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer is the easiest and most effective way to clean CPAP supplies—including your mask, tube and humidifier water chamber. Click here to learn more about the SoClean and try it risk-free.