Most people know to replace their toothbrush every three months to ensure optimal dental health, or to have their car’s oil checked every quarter. Proper maintenance is critical when it comes to maintaining the health of most devices; CPAP mask systems are no exception to this rule.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is touted by many medical professionals as the “gold standard” of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the technique utilizes a breathing machine that fits over the nose and mouth, with a tube that blows air into the mask. There are short-term benefits (better sleep quality, reduction or elimination of snoring, and less daytime sleepiness) and long-term benefits (controlling high blood pressure, lowering risk of stroke, and cognitive improvements).
One of the main caveats of this therapy is remembering to replace CPAP parts. In order to be most effective, the cushion, air filter, frame system, tubing, and CPAP machine all have a certain life expectancy that one must be aware of.
Because CPAP machines are in direct contact with the face, they attract oil and moisture – making them breeding grounds for bacteria. Frequently replacing mask parts is an effective way to ensure there are no leaks caused by seal deterioration. Just as you replace the air filters in your home, the CPAP’s filter also works best when it is replaced habitually so it can continue to eradicate dust and allergens from the air.
Auto-Shipping the Way to Go
With so many industries now hopping on the auto-ship bandwagon, customers have been able to purchase everything from vitamins to groceries, and the process is a whole lot easier.
Today, many home medical equipment suppliers have started offering automated services for CPAP accessories. A recent study found that most CPAP patients sleep more soundly after replacing their supplies. Another study both hypothesized and concluded that using a mask resupply program is linked with increases in both how often people used their masks and a decrease in the CPAP therapy drop-out rate.
Most sleep medicine doctors will educate their patients about the benefits of signing up for auto-ship services such as these. It’s important to have your physician’s office check with your insurance provider to verify what is covered under your plan.
The reality is that when people have clean, new equipment on hand, they’re far more likely to stick with their CPAP therapy. This can be crucial given that it takes time to see the big results. The National Sleep Foundation maintains that the most essential recommendation for any patient starting CPAP therapy is to not give up, and that persistence can truly pay off.
Your doctor and CPAP provider will be great resources for finding your perfect fit and helping you adhere to healthy sleep routines. See how sleep medicine and a mask resupply program can put you on the path to healthier living. A diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and the American Board of Medical Specialties in sleep medicine, Dr. Jeannine Gingras has imparted the highest quality sleep medicine care since 1999 when she founded her practice, Gingras Sleep Medicine. For more information, call (704) 944-0562.