Though your CPAP machine can make a big difference for your sleep quality, there is no denying that improper care can also create its own set of health complications.
While using a CPAP machine relieves symptoms of sleep apnea, the nature of the device leaves it prone to bacteria buildup, which can put you at risk of other illnesses. Each time you put on your CPAP mask, dead skin cells, oil, and sweat get stuck to the materials. Moisture that runs through the tubing (both from your own breath and from the use of a humidifier) also creates an ideal breeding ground for harmful germs and bacteria.
Effectively cleaning a CPAP machine should be a top priority for anyone undergoing sleep apnea treatment, but there is no denying that this cleaning is not always easy or convenient. Because of this, the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion is one accessory you can’t do without.
What Happens When You Don’t Clean?
If you think that skipping the cleaning of your CPAP device is no big deal, think again. Studies have found that CPAP system components can quickly become a veritable germ factory. A joint study between Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that 48 percent of CPAP masks had over 2000 bacterial colonies after a 48 hour period when they weren’t cleaned. An additional 21 percent of the tested CPAP masks had between 100 and 500 colonies.
The same study further noted that even with regular cleaning, the silicone surfaces for masks six to 12 months old became resistant to disinfection — lending further evidence to the need to replace CPAP masks every six months.
The presence of bacteria on its own can cause other complications, particularly if you use the mask while you are sick and don’t clean it. Bacteria can multiply and thrive in the humid, damp conditions found within your tubing, mask, and water chamber.
In fact, CPAP use has been associated with an increased risk of pneumonia and other respiratory infections, in part due to improper cleaning habits of device users. The risk becomes even greater when sleep apnea patients use standard tap water instead of distilled water and fail to replace used water each night.
Without taking a few basic steps for CPAP device cleaning, you could even put yourself at risk for having mold or mildew buildup inside your unit. A green slime inside your CPAP tubing doesn’t just look gross. Mold and mildew growth have been linked with a wide range of serious health consequences, including bronchitis, pneumonitis, and recurring headaches. Even in early stages of exposure, you could experience a sore throat, persistent colds, and lung irritation that seem like they never go away.
On a more immediate level, a CPAP machine that isn’t cleaned properly will start to smell bad as bacteria makes itself at home. Unpleasant odors will make treatment far less comfortable, which could tempt you to skip your therapy altogether, negating the beneficial health outcomes of CPAP treatment.
Standard Cleaning Inconveniences
As important as it is to regularly sanitize your CPAP device, many patients fail to keep up with this basic maintenance — particularly if they don’t have a device such as the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion.
The problem? Sanitizing a CPAP device tends to be more time-intensive than most people have room for in their busy schedules.
As we’ve previously written, properly caring for your CPAP device requires that you clean it on a daily basis and replace components like masks and filters every few months in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.
Cleaning of the mask and tubing must be done carefully, using only warm water mixed with either distilled vinegar or dish soap. Other cleaning products (particularly those that contain alcohol or bleach), or even using hot water, could cause the tubing to deteriorate.
For effective cleaning, the mask and tubing must be fully disconnected from the CPAP device and soaked for half an hour. You may also need to scrub the parts with a fine brush to remove any buildup. Finally, the parts need to be allowed to air dry in a way that keeps water from getting trapped inside.
The water chamber tub should also be cleaned in a similar manner each day, ensuring that you will have fresh, clean water for the humidifier at night.
While the process of cleaning these CPAP components isn’t necessarily complex, it is still much more time-consuming than most people can handle. With work and commuting, errands around the house, and countless other activities, it can be all too easy to forget about necessary cleaning, greatly increasing the risk of harmful bacterial buildup within your CPAP system. Leaving CPAP components to air-dry in the bathroom could ultimately expose them to even more germs.
Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion to the Rescue!
The Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion offers a more streamlined approach to cleaning your CPAP mask, tubing, and water chamber tubs. This innovative system makes it easy to sanitize your device with minimal effort.
The Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion works using two primary components: a small, handheld device and a special filter bag. These two parts are connected using a small port on the Sleep8 and a valve on the filter bag, ensuring a snug, airtight fit. If a secure connection has not been achieved, the device won’t turn on, altering you if you need to make any adjustments.
This doesn’t just ensure more effective cleaning. It also preserves your safety. The Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion uses activated oxygen, or ozone, to clean your CPAP equipment. The ozone is produced by the device and pumped into the filter bag, ensuring a highly effective cleaning. While ozone is a powerful sanitizing agent, it can also cause severe harm when inhaled. Even a small amount of ozone can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing fits. Ozone exposure can worsen asthma and other respiratory infections.
Because of this, the Sleep8’s safety shutoff is a crucial feature that will prevent unhealthy ozone exposure. The bag itself uses an activated carbon filter that renders the ozone safe so you can have peace of mind as you clean your equipment.
The components that need to be sanitized — CPAP tubing, the mask, and the water chamber — are placed inside the bag, which is zipped shut prior to activating the sanitizing process. Make sure that the water chamber is dry before you place it in the filter bag, as letting water into the bag could disrupt sanitation. The tubing should be plugged into the bag’s internal port prior to starting the sanitation cycle. This is a universal port, which can fit any size or style of CPAP tubing.
The sanitation process is designed to be quick and easy, even if you’ve never used such a device before. After you’ve put all your CPAP parts in the large filter bag and connected it to the Sleep8 device, all you have to do is push the start button. You’ll see the Sleep8 device’s screen turn on with a countdown timer indicating how much time is left until the cleaning cycle is complete.
By using ozone, the device is able to clean over 99 percent of germs within the CPAP components. The use of activated oxygen allows the cleansing agent to reach even more of the parts’ surface area than possible with sanitation that relies on ultraviolet light. The device’s fan oscillates and pauses throughout the sanitation process to ensure quiet and efficient delivery of the ozone.
The Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion also provides fast and efficient sanitation. While other cleaning devices can take up to three hours to fully clean your CPAP equipment, the Sleep8 gets the job done in less than an hour. Better still, the Sleep8 is truly a “set it and forget it” device, shutting off automatically once sanitation is complete. Keep in mind, however, that you should wait to open the bag until approximately one hour has passed after the sanitation.
What You Get With the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion
Available through No Insurance Medical Supplies for under $200, the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion is a surprisingly cost-effective alternative to other CPAP sanitation devices. But just because the Sleep8 comes with a lower price tag, doesn’t mean it is missing out on key features. In many ways, it actually offers a far superior product.
Your purchase comes with the Sleep8 Device, a micro USB charger (which serves as the power source), and the special filtered bag. The Sleep8 machine features a user-friendly screen that displays important information such as battery life and how much time is left in the sanitation cycle. The screen can also help you determine whether you have properly connected the device to the filter.
The Sleep8 is incredibly compact, especially in comparison to other CPAP sanitizing devices. Approximately the size of a digital camera, the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion weighs a mere 0.6 pounds and measures 6.25” x 4.5” x 3.25”, making it easy to take with you on the go. Its minuscule size allows it easily fit inside a suitcase, so that spending time away from home doesn’t prevent you from keeping up with your CPAP maintenance needs.
Another convenience of the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion is that you get everything you need right out of the box, no matter what type of CPAP or BiPAP device you use. The device itself is fully compatible with all CPAP machines, without the need for any extra adaptors. It will effectively clean both heated and non-heated tubing. Other sanitation devices, like the SoClean 2, require specific adaptors for certain types of masks and machines.
Because the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion allows you to simply place items in the filter bag to provide ozone-powered cleaning, you can also clean non-CPAP items. Even something like a child’s toy could be sanitized inside the spacious bag for hassle-free, effective germ and bacteria removal.
Caring For Your Sleep8
As a sanitation device, the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion doesn’t require too much maintenance. However, there are a few considerations users should be aware of to get the best results from their system.
As previously noted, you need to keep water out of the filter bag. Double check your water chamber tub before placing it in the filter bag to avoid accidental damage. Even when following the recommended usage guidelines, the Sleep8’s filter bag, like any other filter, will need to be replaced on a regular basis to keep buildup of dust and other contaminants from interfering with performance. The filter bag will likely need to be replaced every three months, depending on how often you use it.
The Sleep8 device itself requires only minimal care. Wiping it down with a damp cloth will keep dust buildup from interfering with its performance. You should never try to clean the Sleep8 device by submersing it in water.
The Sleep8’s battery is another noteworthy advantage when it comes to caring for and using your device. The battery can fully charge in approximately two hours thanks to the included micro USB charger. Because the Sleep8 was designed with both portable and home use in mind, you can run the device both when it is plugged in or operating on battery power — a feature not shared by many other CPAP sanitizers.
Simple care and an array of user-friendly features allow you to use the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion in the way that best fits your lifestyle needs.
The Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion goes a long way in simplifying the process of caring for your CPAP device. However, it doesn’t resolve every issue related to CPAP care and maintenance. Though the mask’s headgear and chinstraps don’t need to be cleaned each day, they will also need to be cleaned on a consistent basis to counteract sweat and oil absorption.
Depending on the type of CPAP device you use, some of the filters may also need to be cleaned. While the cushion and headgear can be cleaned inside the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion, filters cannot. They should be washed or replaced according to the guidelines listed by your CPAP device’s manufacturer.
As the previously mentioned study from the Harvard Medical School learned, the effectiveness of CPAP sanitation efforts declines over time. Even when using a powerful activated oxygen cleaning system like the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion, you should still follow manufacturer guidelines for replacing your CPAP mask, tubing, and other components. This is your best guarantee for ensuring that bacteria buildup doesn’t cause other respiratory problems.
By following these essential care guidelines in conjunction with your Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion, you will be able to keep your CPAP system in top shape and avoid negative respiratory side effects.
While caring for your CPAP device may still sound a little daunting, the good news is that No Insurance Medical Supplies has you covered for all your CPAP maintenance needs. We offer the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion — as well as many other CPAP machines and accessories — at discounted prices to make it easy for you to afford the tools you need for your therapy. We also offer discounted replacement parts for many of the most popular CPAP brands, ensuring that you can stay up to date with needed replacements and get the best results from your treatment.
After all, the end goal of using a CPAP machine is to improve your health by combating the harmful effects of sleep apnea. The last thing you need is for poor maintenance and cleaning habits to undermine these benefits by contributing to other respiratory health issues. By using the Sleep8 CPAP Sanitizing Companion, you will be better able to keep your system clean and pristine. And when that happens, you will be able to enjoy the quality sleep — and breathing — that you deserve.