Your CPAP machine just like your vehicle needs regular maintenance and cleaning. What to look for when it comes to the tubing on your CPAP machine during regular cleaning and maintenance.
How often should I clean my CPAP tubing?
How often you clean your tubing will depend on if you use a humidifier or not. Also if your tubing has condensation in it.
Most CPAPs come with humidifiers or a space in which a humidifier can be placed; this is to keep the user from experiencing dry mouth and nasal airways.
Without a humidifier
If you do not use your humidifier you should be able to clean and inspect your tubing for damages once a month unless you have allergy problems or a cold.
Anytime you are sick with anything that can spread germs from breathing, coughing, sneezing, you should clean your tubing daily and allow for it to dry before bedtime.
With a humidifier
If you use a humidifier you should clean your tubing once a week or more frequently depending on the amount of condensation in your tubing.
If you are experiencing a high amount of condensation in your tubing with a heated humidifier try turning down the heat on the humidifier. This stops the condensation by reducing the heat of the air blowing through a cold tube. If you need it warm then you can wrap your tubing in the bedding to keep it warm.
What to look for when cleaning your CPAP tubing
When you clean your tubing you want to inspect it just like the hoses on your vehicle for the following things:
- Condensation after turning down your humidifier heater or heating your tubing.
If you find any of these things it is time to replace your tubing. The normal time frame is every 6 months on a regular basis.
The reason for changing it every 6 months is so that there is less chance for bacteria to grow in the tubing which can cause lung infections and even pneumonia.
Bacteria growth is the reason it is so important to clean your tubing and take care of any condensation problem with your tubing immediately; as condensation can cause bacteria to grow.
Does CPAPs cause more lung infections and pneumonia?
Truthfully it is not the machine but that the user does not clean their tubing often enough or change the tubing every 6 months. Tubing is not that expensive but most people will try to save a few bucks by not changing it out when they should. You have to remember that condensation can cause bacteria to grow so even if the tubing is not stretched or cracked it is time to change it out for new tubing.
When it comes to saving a few dollars ask yourself this; is a lung infection or pneumonia worth saving a few dollars? Then think about the cost of the medication for the infection or pneumonia on top of the copay to see the doctor, now how much more did you just spend trying to save a few dollars?