Fifty to seventy million American adults have a known sleep disorder. 25 million of them suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Out of these, sixty-six percent are daily CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) users who are managing their disorder with CPAP therapy.
As the number of CPAP users is increasing every year, the market is brimming with a variety of accessories for CPAP machines. They include CPAP cleaning supplies, comfort products, and travel accessories. Valued at $5.9 billion in 2019, the global sleep apnea therapy market will continue to expand. Reasons for this growth include increasing awareness about obstructive sleep apnea and early diagnosis. Increasing medical coverage for sleep apnea devices and patients actively using their CPAP therapy also contribute to the ever-growing demand.
While this is great progress, a consumerist approach does not always produce the best results. Facing too many options and information overload makes decision making more difficult. As a sleep apnea patient, you have to be diligent in investigating what medical devices or accessories you are considering buying.
CPAP Device Cleaning Accessories
Doctors and manufacturers alike stress the seriousness of keeping your CPAP machine clean and sanitized. You can only achieve this by cleaning the equipment thoroughly by soaking and rinsing with soaps or mild cleaning agents regularly. The idea of cleaning your CPAP equipment at least once or twice a week might seem tedious and time-consuming but it is crucial. If time is a constraint because you are traveling or have a busy schedule, you may want to consider faster cleaning methods. There are CPAP cleaning devices available to make the task of cleaning your CPAP machine easier, quicker, and more efficient.
Another CPAP accessory that is gaining popularity is CPAP mask cleaning wipes. The idea of easy cleaning is attractive to sleep apnea patients. While it is quite clear that there is no replacement for regular and thorough sanitation of CPAP masks and gear, using CPAP mask cleaning wipes can be helpful.
Advantages of CPAP Mask Cleaning Wipes
There are many advantages to using CPAP mask cleaning wipes that make them a popular choice among sleep apnea patients. Using CPAP mask cleaning wipes daily can help remove organic deposits like dirt, facial oils, and dead skin. These particles accumulate on your mask cushion during everyday use. Removal of this residue helps protect your skin from irritation. It also ensures that the mask is sealed correctly and there is no air leakage. While many things are required to clean your CPAP machine like hot water, a basin, soap, and so on, these wipes are hassle-free, light, and easy to use.
CPAP mask cleaning wipes are also perfect for travel due to their compact size, light weight, and quick cleaning. They work well for all types of CPAP masks and for surface cleaning of tanks and other machine components. Once the cleaning is done, you can easily dispose of the CPAP mask cleaning wipes in a wastebasket.
Are CPAP Mask Cleaning Wipes Enough?
With an average of six to nine hours per night spent sleeping, an average adult sleeps two hundred or more hours in a month. If you are a sleep apnea patient undergoing CPAP therapy, this is the amount of time you will spend using your CPAP machine. A CPAP device pumps humidified air into your lungs through a mask worn over your nose and mouth. With prolonged usage, your machine can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. This can cause foul odors to develop in your mask and can lead to severe allergies, infections, and breathing problems.
While your CPAP machine can benefit from a daily wipe, using CPAP mask cleaning wipes can never be as effective as a regular and thorough cleaning regimen. You can easily miss cleaning the many tiny corners of your device if you are only using wipes. This will never be the case if you are cleaning your CPAP mask and other supplies properly by soaking them in water.
If you choose to use CPAP mask cleaning wipes, be very careful to use the right kind of wipes and follow the guidelines provided by your CPAP machine’s manufacturer. Using wipes that have added scents, alcohol or solvents, or are made with latex can also pose health risks. On the other hand, using baby wipes instead of CPAP mask cleaning wipes will not clean your CPAP machine as effectively. Cleaning your CPAP device with baby wipes for long periods of time can also lead to a buildup of potentially dangerous microbes in your mask.
The market boasts of a variety of organic wipes with aloe vera and other medicinal herbs with mild yet effective cleaning agents. They promise comfort, ease, and hygiene. Still, you should always adhere to your device’s user manual and never stop cleaning your CPAP machine thoroughly. If you still have questions and feel that you need some professional advice, contact your trusted CPAP expert, your machine’s manufacturer, or your doctor.