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 48 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.