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PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 11, 2019 11:57AM
Because I didn’t. And had a bacteria bloom in it. And breathed a ton of it in. Which then gave me an acute bronchitis attack. Requiring antibiotics and steroids and being down four days so far. Lucky I caught it in time before pneumonia set in.

The damn humidifier is awfully hard to take apart and clean. Ugh.
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: June 11, 2019 12:08PM
Does your machine have a removable reservoir? I can take mine out of the machine and the reservoir can be taken apart to clean.

I worry about contamination all the time since I'm not too fastidious about cleaning mine. After 5+ years I haven't had any negative reactions. I do get a new reservoir (plus mask, filters, hoses, etcetera) every three months. That seems to keep the nasties away.



"After a time, you may find, that having is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."

- Mr. Spock



“There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.”

- Walter Reuther
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Carm
Date: June 11, 2019 12:13PM
Mine got calcium deposits before it got any mold/algae/fungus/bacteria bloom. I stopped using the humidifier during the winter because it would collect water in the tube. Have stopped using it since.
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 11, 2019 12:16PM
Ive never used the water part, what does it do?



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: June 11, 2019 12:19PM
Quote
jdc
Ive never used the water part, what does it do?

I believe it's to help keep your sinuses from drying out.

Carm, did you use distilled water? I was told to never use tap water.



"After a time, you may find, that having is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."

- Mr. Spock



“There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.”

- Walter Reuther
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 11, 2019 12:38PM
.....so should periodically get cPAP.....smear......to test for bacteria, etc.....???



____________________________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Carm
Date: June 11, 2019 12:59PM
Quote
Rick-o
Quote
jdc
Ive never used the water part, what does it do?

I believe it's to help keep your sinuses from drying out.

Carm, did you use distilled water? I was told to never use tap water.

Yes, it keeps the forced air from drying out throat/nasal passages.

No, just tap at home and bottled when out of town. We have hard water. No issues in the past 8 years using it.
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: June 11, 2019 01:36PM
Keys to happy CPAP use:

1. Use a machine with humidification and heated tubing
2. Use only distilled water
3. In the morning when you awake remove the nose/face mask and clean thoroughly and dry with a kleenex or similar-NOT the hand towel hanging in the bathroom
4. Remove the reservoir and shake out as much water as you can-DO NOT touch the inside of the reservoir or attempt to wipe it dry. If you suspect the inside has been contaminated, clean it with a sterile alcohol pad.
5. Reconnect nose/face mask to tubing, reinstall empty reservoir and then run CPAP for at least 15 minutes, I prefer 30-60 minutes. The warmed air blowing through the system will completely dry out the reservoir AND the attached tubing and nose/face mask, eliminating a moist environment in which bacteria can grow.
6. Replace the reservoir and tubing with new ones as your insurance allows.

Do this and you won't have any problems with infections.



Once we place nonhuman animals outside our sphere of moral consideration
and treat them as things we use to satisfy our own desires,
the outcome is predictable.

- Peter Singer
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: June 11, 2019 02:25PM
On my old machine, I had to use the humidifier or wake feeling like the Sahara Desert was in my nose and throat. I made sure to get a humidifier with my new one, along with a heated tube, but have found I don't need either at all. Can't figure out why the difference.

I will say the Dreamware CPAP Mask is the most comfortable thing ever. I can hardly tell I'm wearing it. I strongly recommend it to any CPAP user



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 11, 2019 02:36PM
Quote
Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Keys to happy CPAP use:

Do this and you won't have any problems with infections.

Well, I dont do any of that. Have had a couple of masks, rinse them off every few weeks. Prob a new hose a couple of years ago? Heated? didnt know there was such a thing. Dont use the water part, so not an issue I guess.

I never dry out, and never an infection that I know of. heck, cant even remember the last time I had anything more than the sniffles or a cough for a day or 2. 8 years? more?



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Winston
Date: June 11, 2019 08:48PM
Quote
Carm
Mine got calcium deposits before it got any mold/algae/fungus/bacteria bloom. I stopped using the humidifier during the winter because it would collect water in the tube. Have stopped using it since.

Carm -

Water condensing in the tube is called "rainout'. Many newer machines have a heated hose as an option which prevents rainout (under most circumstances).

There is also a third-party heated hose with its own power supply. I got one of these for my old machine, but then upgraded before I used the separate heated hose. The one I got was the Hybernite, but I think there are now others on the market.
Hybernite Heated Hose

Also, white vinegar will dissolve the calcium deposits in a CPAP humidifier tank. If you use distilled water you will not get deposits. I use tap water. At home I get very few deposits, but some places they start with one use.


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2019 08:50PM by Winston.
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Winston
Date: June 11, 2019 09:05PM
Quote
Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Keys to happy CPAP use:

1. Use a machine with humidification and heated tubing
2. Use only distilled water
3. In the morning when you awake remove the nose/face mask and clean thoroughly and dry with a kleenex or similar-NOT the hand towel hanging in the bathroom
4. Remove the reservoir and shake out as much water as you can-DO NOT touch the inside of the reservoir or attempt to wipe it dry. If you suspect the inside has been contaminated, clean it with a sterile alcohol pad.
5. Reconnect nose/face mask to tubing, reinstall empty reservoir and then run CPAP for at least 15 minutes, I prefer 30-60 minutes. The warmed air blowing through the system will completely dry out the reservoir AND the attached tubing and nose/face mask, eliminating a moist environment in which bacteria can grow.
6. Replace the reservoir and tubing with new ones as your insurance allows.

Do this and you won't have any problems with infections.


This strikes me as overkill. I use tap water and wash the CPAP tank with tap water in the bathroom sink. I don't normally use soap, as soap usually contains things (fragrances, etc.) I don't want to breathe. If it gets deposits I let the tank sit with white vinegar to remove them.

Decontaminating things with an alcohol pad doesn't make sense as we are surrounded by bacteria. Unless you are doing this in a clean room and then put it in sterile packaging, as soon as the alcohol dries you've got bacteria landing on the surface again. If you run the CPAP while you are not using it, you are just running environmental bacteria through it (but also drying it out if you don't have humidification on, which is a good thing).

Just make sure to wash out the humidfier tank regularly, just as you'd do with a water glass you use and set aside to use again for a day or so. If you keep it clean, there won't be anything for bacteria to grow on.


I've noticed that some CPAP machines with humidifers (ResMed S9 and A10) run a what the machine calls "cool down" after use. It's actually not cool down, but the fan running at a low level with humidifier heat off to remove condensation from the water tank and the tubing. Having briefly used a Fisher & Paykel CPAP with an internal tank that didn't have this, and was full of condensation when you opened it, this is a hugely important feature.


The most important thing I've done is to use what are billed as "HEPA" (they are not HEPA) filters - fine particle filters. The CPAP machines I've used have a foam filter which catches lint, but not pollen, animal dander, or house dust. Without a fine particle filter I could not use a CPAP machine as I'd start sneezing immediately.

While these filters don't stop bacteria, they do keep the inside of the CPAP machine very clean (I know, I've taken them apart), which minimized media for bacteria growth.


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Carm
Date: June 12, 2019 12:45AM
Winston,
I know about the heated hose, I just didn't bother upgrading (its not cold here most of the time). Mine has the option for the upgraded hose. I use vinegar to clean it out the tank and I also clean everything else at the bathroom sink. No more water, no more issues with water in the hose during the winter and no more tank cleaning.

For myself, using tap water made me clean the tank more often because of the hard water stains.
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 12, 2019 01:52AM
Hearing all this, I will just leave the tank off forever.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Winston
Date: June 12, 2019 06:54AM
Quote
jdc
Hearing all this, I will just leave the tank off forever.


Would not work for me. In addition to needing the small particle filters, if I don't use the humidifier I find the CPAP very uncomfortable to use. But good for you if you can get by without it!


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: PSA:Sterilize your CPAP Humidifier frequently
Posted by: Winston
Date: June 12, 2019 07:12AM
Quote
cbelt3
Because I didn’t. And had a bacteria bloom in it. And breathed a ton of it in. Which then gave me an acute bronchitis attack. Requiring antibiotics and steroids and being down four days so far. Lucky I caught it in time before pneumonia set in.

The damn humidifier is awfully hard to take apart and clean. Ugh.

Just to be clear, I don't want to minimize the hassles cbelt3 has had. Does not sound like fun at all.

I've had four kinds of CPAP humidifier tank:
- Respironics flat unheated tank - basically a maze you fill with water. Pain to use and would be a pain to clean if I'd used it much.
- Fischer & Paykel "disposable" tank that doesn't open, with only two small holes for the tubing. This was not easy to clean.
- Fischer & Paykel "permanent" tank like the one above, but with a screw off bottom, making cleaning easy.
- Resmed two part rectangular tank for an S9 - this one is really easy to take apart and clean
- Resmed clamshell tank for an A10 - this one is easy to open, but has lots of nooks and crannies.


cbelt3 - Getting sick from it might justify getting a different humidification system. This is a later version of the F&P humidifier I have:
[www.thecpapshop.com]


and this is the tank for it that can be opened for cleaning.
[www.cpap.com]

The F&P humidifier is clunky, but works really well. Mine had a folding tray attached to it that provided a surface for the CPAP machine to sit on. Don't know if the tray is still available.


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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