CPAP Mask Breakdown and How it Happens

If you have sleep apnea, then one of your recommended therapies is to use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine whenever you sleep. But like any piece of equipment, usage and time can cause any part of your CPAP machine, such as the mask, to break down.  Why is this?

First – what is the mask? It is the harder plastic piece that you wear over your nose, face, or both. The mask is typically made of a material called silicone. As it ages, the silicone gradually starts to deteriorate. And at some point, it becomes too soft to maintain the seal needed for optimal sleep.

But age is only one factor in the breakdown of your mask. Your own body too can increase the rate of breakdown. Oils, bacteria, and acid will cause the mask to become less flexible. Over time, you will have to tighten the mask more and more, which can affect the integrity of the mask and contribute to its breakdown. It can also lead to air leakage, resulting in poorer sleeps.

Finally, there is maintenance. The more you clean your mask, the more oils and bacteria you can remove. But if you don’t clean your mask as often as you should, that too will add to the faster breakdown of the silicone.

There are simple solutions to the issue of breakdown. First, clean your mask every day. You can use specialty wipes that remove your oils from the mask. Next, there is you! By removing makeup, oils, or moisturizers before you use your mask, you will help keep it strong. Additionally, inspect your mask regularly for warping, cracks, or tears. Finally, make sure you replace your mask when the time is right. Better sleeps using continuous positive airway pressure make for better days.

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