Sunday, December 27, 2009

CPAP and infections

If you have read any of my blog you probably know that I failed two times trying to use the cpap machine. The mask was uncomfortable and the air blowing in my mouth was something that I never got used to. Fortunately there are many who have been able to make the cpap work for them. But one problem that a regular cpap user would have to deal with is keeping the cpap mask and hose clean, and it would have to be clean enough to avoid infections.

The most obvious answer to fighting off germs and diseases on the cpap mask is to clean the mask and hose on a regular basis. But is that enough to kill all germs? It would as long as you clean it a regular basis and clean it thoroughly because there are millions of airborne viruses and bacteria just waiting to land into your cpap mask.

What kind of illnesses can you get with a dirty cpap mask?

Probably the most common illness is the sinus infection along with ear infections and maybe even bronchitis. I never had any of those problems but then again I didn’t use the cpap that long. If you look on the web one common solution is dental devices, (ironically you will find a lot of information on all the possible problems of the cpap mask on sites dedicated to selling dental devices). Unfortunately dental devices don’t work that well with severe obstructive sleep apnea.

Some doctors recommend that you don’t use your cpap when you are sick with a cold or sinus infection. That seems counterproductive because you really seem to need the rest the most when you are sick. But I guess that forced air would dry out your mouth, unless you have a water humidifier.

Feel free to comment and please subscribe to my RSS Feed



  1. The information on sleep apnea cures should be known to everyone. The problem with Sleep apnea is that most of them are unaware of the condition. It can be only recognized by the close watch of the bed partner or the family member sleeping near you. So if you possess tired or sleepy and having snoring inform your partner or your family member to perform a close watch on your sleep and take proper treatment as prescribed by the doctor

  2. I've been a cpap user, actually apap which is much better, for about 4 years now and I wish I had it when I was a child as I probably wouldn't have fallen asleep in class so frequently or had been so lethargic and apathetic.
    You're right about having to keep the equipment clean but cleaning is simple and takes maybe 15 minutes a week. A quick search can provide numerous cleaning techniques, none much better than pre-washing the equipment, humidifier, hose and mask with a non-lotion based soap and then disinfecting the equipment with a 5 minute soaking in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Let the parts air dry and then wash your hands before re-assembly.
    The side effects of not cleaning the equipment vary in the individual with common complaints of minor sinus issues, headaches, sore throat, fatigue, light headedness, basically all the things you'd expect from a non-working cpap machine and the return of apnea.

  3. The Cpap Machines are used when a person has a respiratory failure. It requires intensive care for the hospitals to use this machine for their patients. Sleep apnea is the main disease which is cured through this machine. This disease affects both adults and children.