Manufacturers, suppliers, and sleep physicians all recommend regular cleaning of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) equipment. We recommend daily cleaning of the mask and hose since using a machine that has not been effectively sanitized puts patients at greater risk of infection and disease. The reasons for regular cleaning are simple:
- Oil, sweat and dead skin cells can accumulate in the CPAP mask every time it’s used.
- The water in the machine and the moisture in the mask and hose are potential breeding grounds for bacteria and germs.
A Study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found 2,000+ bacteria counts evident after just 48 hours on 48 percent of samples from CPAP masks they collected. Another study showed that patients who use CPAP are 32 percent more likely to get pneumonia, in part due to poor CPAP maintenance.
Today, with CPAP cleaners available, patients should have no excuse for putting off this important step in their OSA treatment.