If you use a CPAP machine, you might at some point encounter mold. Keeping up a strict regimen of cleaning your CPAP machine is the only way to ensure that mold does not develop in your device. But you should be aware of CPAP mold symptoms even if you are faithfully cleaning your machine.
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What is mold?
Molds are naturally occurring microscopic organisms, belonging to the fungi kingdom. They can be found in places that have oxygen and moisture. Outdoor molds perform the function of breaking down dead organic matter in nature. Therefore, apart from thriving in shady, wet areas and soil, they can be commonly found in places with dead, decaying matter or where other vegetation is decomposing.
Indoor molds can grow on almost any surface if oxygen, water, and organic materials are present. Once they land on a surface, they begin digesting whatever they are growing on for survival. There are many different kinds of molds, and they all require moisture and oxygen to survive. When molds are disturbed, they release tiny cells called spores into the air.
What happens when there is mold inside your CPAP machine?
Your CPAP machine uses a humidifier to add moisture to the dry air via a water tank. This is great news for your moisture-loving airways, but it also creates an ideal breeding ground for mold to develop inside your CPAP machine. The air moving in and out of the CPAP machine can spread the mold to all the components of the machine. Even without a humidifier, mold can still thrive inside your device due to the moist air coming out of your lungs each night.
This mold can cause your CPAP machine to give off a foul odor. More importantly, this mold can reach your lungs by releasing spores. These spores are reproductive cells that get wafted into the air when disturbed. Breathing in moldy CPAP machine air is highly dangerous, health-wise. If you are already allergic to mold or sensitive to air-borne particles, this build-up can result in many allergy-related CPAP mold symptoms. Even if you are not allergic, inhaling mold spores can lead to serious health consequences.
What are the CPAP mold symptoms that you should never ignore?
One way to stay on top of your CPAP machine’s cleanliness is to be able to recognize the signs of mold accumulation in your device. There are some clear CPAP mold symptoms that, if you ignore them, can cause you a lot of trouble later on. One way to completely avoid these symptoms is to clean your CPAP daily with CPAP cleaners. But, if CPAP mold symptoms do develop, the sooner you notice them the sooner you can get them under control. If the symptoms are ignored, they can escalate into full-blown health disorders.
Fortunately, you can monitor CPAP mold symptoms. While regular and thorough cleaning is the way to avoid mold altogether, there are two ways in which you can be aware if it does develop in your CPAP machine. First, you can watch out for the signs of mold that appear in your CPAP device. Second, you should be on the alert for mold symptoms impacting your health.
What are the signs of mold in your CPAP machine?
Here are some red flags related to your CPAP machine itself. The presence of these signs could mean mold. If the CPAP machine is continuously used regardless, it could lead to debilitating CPAP mold symptoms and prolonged health issues in the future.
A musty odor will be one of the first signs of mold in your CPAP that will give you a hint that mildew, mold, or microbes might be developing inside your machine. You should always trust your sense of smell. If you notice any out of the ordinary odors in your CPAP machine, you should not ignore them. If you clean your CPAP machine right away, you should be able to stop the mold in its tracks and save yourself from any physical CPAP mold symptoms.
If there is dust, there could be mold. Mold requires organic matter to survive. Dust particles, dead skin, dirt, or the general collection of debris in your CPAP machine increases the chances of a mold colony developing in corners. Be sure to check for and clean up any grime that may lead to mold. A regular check-up of your CPAP machine and a thorough cleaning using one of the new and fully automatic CPAP cleaners available at CleanCPAP can clean your entire CPAP kit at once, including eliminating mold.
Discoloration or general dulling of color over time is another sign of mold. It is a marker that hazardous mold is developing inside your device. If you see swathes of green, blue, black, or red build-up, it is a clear sign of mold and should be dealt with immediately.
While not technically a CPAP mold symptom, dirty humidifiers are a sure bet for developing mold. If the humidifier is not cleaned for a long time, mold can quickly develop and thrive in the moisture and oxygen rich environment. Checking the humidifier between cleaning sessions can help you keep track of any mold development. A faster and more effective way of ensuring that your humidifier is perfectly sanitized is by using one of the state-of-the-art CPAP cleaners available at CleanCPAP. Regularly using CPAP cleaners will help avoid CPAP mold symptoms.
What are the health-related signs of CPAP mold symptoms?
There are a number of health-related CPAP mold symptoms. They are often the same symptoms you would see with a cold, including nasal and sinus congestion, sore throat, sneezing, red and watery eyes, and a runny nose. Eye irritation, blurred vision, and skin rashes are also common indicators of mold exposure from your CPAP machine. If you develop a chronic cough, experience dizziness, headaches, or asthma attacks, you may be feeling CPAP mold symptoms. Left unchecked, mold can also lead to pneumonia.
Recent studies have suggested that there might be a potential link between early mold exposure and the development of asthma. If you are extremely sensitive, these symptoms may rapidly grow into a chronic respiratory disease. This may cause you to have difficulty breathing.
People who are immunocompromised are at a higher risk of lung infection. Breathing through a moldy CPAP machine can escalate any pre-existing respiratory illnesses or other allergies. Another commonly known reaction to using an unclean CPAP machine is skin irritation. A dirty CPAP mask can lead to soreness, acne, and peeling skin in the area where it touches your face.
The Final CPAP Mold Symptom: A Blown Budget
Apart from causing your body harm, mold can also damage your CPAP machine. Over time, it can degrade the fragile components or render the device inappropriate for use, meaning you will have an added expense to purchase a new unit. This, along with the added medical bills for getting treatment for your CPAP mold symptoms, could cause a significant dent in your finances. If you want to ensure that this does not happen to you, you should check out these easy-to-use and cost-effective CPAP cleaners offered by Clean CPAP.