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CPAP Compliance: Let's keep it clean...

Woman sleeping on her side with CPAP machine in the foreground, sleep apnea treatment.

Millions of Americans use a CPAP machine to successfully manage their sleep apnea. The single most important factor to CPAP success is compliance. Sleep apnea sufferers need to use their CPAP every night to improve their quality of sleep. They won’t sleep well if their CPAP mask is on the nightstand instead of on their face.A clean CPAP machine helps ensure that it will be used. A recent survey indicated that over 62 percent of CPAP users see regular cleaning of their CPAP as "a necessary evil." About 35 percent of CPAP users clean their mask "once every few weeks."According to the pilot study “CPAP Masks are Sources of Microbial Contamination” by Alex Horowitz, Sandra Horowitz MD FRCP(C), and Chinhak Chun MD from the SleepHealth Centers, Division of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston:
  • Samples were taken from the inner surface of the mask, the base of hose, and humidifier with > 2,000 bacteria counts evident on 48 percent of the units after just 48petri dish with mold growth hours.
  • There was no significant correlation of colony counts with reported frequency of cleanings.
  • There was a correlation with mask age; older masks grew copious amounts of bacteria and fungi.
Their conclusion was that bacteria on CPAP equipment could be managed with regular soap and water cleaning. However increased levels of bacteria were still found on masks that had been used for six months regardless of cleaning frequency implying that bacteria build-up on the masks is unavoidable.With daily use, the SoClean is designed to prevent bacteria from ever accumulating on the CPAP mask regardless of the number of uses over time. The silicone and plastic parts of a CPAP naturally break down over time. This is not accelerated by the use of SoClean. With proper use the user’s CPAP mask, hose, and reservoir are as clean after six months as the first day they used it.So let's keep it clean folks.