CPAP Supplies & Mask Parts: Our Troubleshoot Replacement Guide

February 26, 2020

CPAP Supplies & Mask Parts: Our Troubleshoot Replacement Guide

As part of CPAP therapy, maintaining each individual component of your PAP equipment is vital. Yet often people aren’t clear exactly on when to tell if a mask or machine part has lived its life. In our replacement guide, we troubleshoot all your most asked questions. 

 

Has Your CPAP Mask Seen Better Days? 


You’ve ordered your CPAP mask and machine. They arrive in the manufacturer’s box brand-new, sparkling clean and waiting to be used. As time goes on you might notice a few little changes. Maybe the chin straps that once were snow-white are starting to turn slightly grey or yellow. Or maybe your CPAP machine is taking a little longer to start up. 

Not a problem, right? 

Like all products, CPAP supplies don’t last forever. While the manufacturer’s warranty will give you some idea as to how long the lifespan is for these parts, you shouldn’t depend on this. There are many other signs that will tell you it is time for a replacement. 

If you are reading this and thinking that maybe your PAP equipment has seen better days, read on and learn when it's time to invest in new products. 

 

Replacing CPAP Equipment: When To Know Its Time


The reason that many CPAP manufacturers and suppliers (including us) speak about the importance of cleaning and maintaining your equipment is that its: 

  1. Good for hygiene
  2. Makes sure that each part of your CPAP equipment functions at its best 

Yet, even with committing to a regular cleaning routine a point will come when even this doesn’t help anymore. If you feel that even after putting your CPAP mask and machine through its regular cleaning regime something isn’t quite right, this may be your first clue. 

Of course, wear and tear will always be expected but there are particular warning signs that you need to be looking out for. 

Firstly, let’s look at your CPAP mask. When it comes to CPAP masks, the first sign is if you begin to experience facial redness or discomfort. As most masks are made of soft materials like silicone, over time these materials will begin to break down. When this happens, the mask’s seal can become rough and feel uncomfortable against your skin. 

This could also lead to the seal becoming less durable causing mask leakage. If you notice that your mask is leaking excessively, this is a clear warning sign that your mask and its cushion needs to be replaced. 

For your CPAP machine, the most obvious warning sign is when it is not capable of delivering the same kind of pressure that it’s meant to. These devices do have a degree of built-in obsolescence meaning that it will eventually fail. 

If you notice that your machine is being temperamental in other ways, such as making a funny noise or a flashing light that won’t turn off, it may be time to think of finding a replacement. 

 

The Simple Timeline To Use For Replacing Parts


Rather not rely on looking out for warning signs? We understand. That’s why we put together a simple CPAP equipment replacement timeline that you can keep in mind. 

While it may seem wasteful to replace your machine or other equipment even when it appears to be fine, using new parts will make sure that you are always receiving optimal treatment.  Follow this handy timeline to know when it’s time to purchase a new product:

CPAP Mask

Every 6 Months

Mask Cushion

Every 6 Months 

Headgear & Chinstraps 

Every 6 Months

Mask Frame 

Every 6 Months

Mask Tubing 

Every 6 Months

Water Chamber 

Every 6 Months 

Air Filter

Every 2 to 6 Months

Machine 

Every 3 to 5 Years 


*Note: Lifespan of equipment can vary based on the cleaning cycle. 

The CPAP Mask Parts You Should Always Replace 


You may have already come to this conclusion after seeing the timeline above, but the CPAP mask and its individual parts are the most vital piece of PAP equipment that need to be front of our minds when it comes to replacing. 

OSA patients rely so heavily on CPAP masks to ensure that sleep apnea therapy is successful that it inevitably will require more regular maintenance. Below, we walk you through each CPAP supply part that should be top of your replacement list and why. 

 

Mask Cushions


If you are using a nasal CPAP mask, replacing nasal cushions will be a top priority. These CPAP supplies should be changed every 6 months to ensure optimal functionality. The reason why we recommend changing this part frequently is that these cushions are what helps to create a durable seal around the base of your nostrils.

When nasal cushions begin to disintegrate or get damaged from the build-up of facial oil and makeup, its ability to create a seal is reduced considerably. This makes mask leakage more likely and means you won’t be getting the full benefits of treatment. 

Similar to nasal cushions, full face mask cushions also help to create a seal but this time over both your nose and your mouth. The more that you use this PAP equipment, the dirtier it inevitably gets. 

As we already talked about, these cushions are generally made with soft materials so that they don’t cause any irritation to your skin. However, with enough wear and tear, the cushion’s surface will become less smooth and is more likely to leave red marks or blemishes on the skin. 

That is why you should always look to replace this CPAP part at least every six months. 

 

Frames & Headgear


CPAP frames and headgear are the parts that are necessary for keeping your mask securely in place while you sleep.

The frame is one of the core elements of the CPAP mask. It connects the tubing, holds the cushion and connects to the headgear. You should aim to replace this part once every three months to make sure that you have no problems with therapy. Especially as this is the part of the mask that connects to the tubing and will receive airway pressure to prevent apnea episodes. 

The headgear, however, holds your mask in place with straps that wrap around your head and clips or velcro fasteners to connect with the frame. A CPAP headgear is usually made with a flexible, soft fabric such as silicone or synthetic neoprene. Over time (after six months to be exact), this fabric can begin to stretch, lose its elasticity and the velcro can wear off. When this happens, your mask is more likely to shift around more in your sleep. 

 

CPAP Filters 


Although not a CPAP mask component, you should always remember to replace CPAP air filters. These filters are designed to clear debris such as dust, smoke and even pet dander from the air before passing it through the tubing, to the mask and directly into your lungs. 

The reason it’s recommended that these are replaced every 2 to 6 months is because when these become dirty we are essentially breathing in unclean air. Without cleaning or replacing filters, you could start to experience other respiratory issues when sleeping. 


CPAP Equipment & Accessories: Our Top Recommendations 


CPAP supplies and equipment are successful in treating Sleep Apnea. But only for as long as you commit to looking after your CPAP masks and machines properly - including the replacement of them when necessary. 

Did you check your PAP equipment when you were reading this article? Notice more signs that certain parts may be coming towards the end of their life? If your answer was yes, then you are in the right place. We stock a range of accessories and supplies for all PAP machines so that you can easily keep up with your treatment at all times. 

Looking for a new CPAP filter for a DreamStation Go? Try these reusable pollen filters. Is the headgear for your AirFit F20 full face mask feeling a little loose? Easily replace this CPAP part with a click of the button. 

When your CPAP equipment starts to not work as well as it did the very first time you took it out of the box, consider why this might be the case. Troubleshoot warning signs and keep our replacement timeline guide in mind. Remember, sometimes all it will take to get the most benefit out of your CPAP therapy is to replace a few CPAP supplies on a regular basis. 

Believe us, it’s that easy. Want more information about which CPAP supplies and equipment you need? Contact one of our experts today and we can help you with any questions you have.





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