9 Facts About CPAP Therapy, CPAP Machines & CPAP Cleaners

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a widely used non-surgical treatment option for sleep apnea. This therapy requires patients to use a CPAP machine during sleep. The CPAP machine is composed of three major parts: the compressor/motor, the hose, and the mask. The motor delivers the continuous stream of pressurized air through the hose up to the mask to prevent your airway from collapsing and narrowing during sleep.

The CPAP machine helps clear your airways and removes blockages to help your lungs receive a good amount of oxygen. If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea and are advised to undergo CPAP therapy, here are some facts that can help you understand this nonsurgical treatment, as well as the use of CPAP machines and CPAP cleaners.

Fact #1: CPAP therapy started in 1980 as a treatment for a dog’s breathing problems.

CPAP therapy has been an effective treatment since the 1980s. This treatment option started when an Australian physician named Dr. Colin Sullivan tried to treat the breathing problems of his dog using a vacuum cleaner. Later on, he thought that breathing issues in humans could also be treated using the same therapy, so he proposed the same experimental therapy on humans. He created a machine using a motor of a vacuum cleaner, attached a mask and a hose, and tried his innovation on humans.

Fact #2: CPAP machines must be cleaned regularly. 

A dirty CPAP machine can lead to breathing problems, cough, colds, and nose bleeding so be sure to clean your equipment as required. The outer casing does not need special maintenance, but if necessary, frequently wipe it clean with a cloth. Remember not to submerge your equipment in water and avoid spilling any liquid on it. You may hand clean the filters weekly, while your mask, mask frame, and headgear require cleaning using a top-grade CPAP cleaner before each use. 

Fact #3: The mask of a CPAP machine comes in three types.

CleanFlash CPAP BiPAP Cleaner Sanitizer - Types of CPAP Masks

There are different kinds of masks, including nasal pillow mask, nasal mask, and full mask. These masks are made to match different breathing habits, different levels of comfort, and different kinds of sleep disorders.

Nasal Pillow Mask 

This type of mask rests directly below the nostrils directing air to flow through the nasal passages. It’s the smallest and most lightweight among all the masks and does not cover the whole face. This kind of mask is best for people requiring low to moderate air pressure setting and those with claustrophobia. 

Nasal Mask  

This type of mask covers the face from the nose bridge to the top of the upper lip, sealing the nose but not the mouth. It provides a more comfortable airflow that spreads out over a larger area. Nasal masks are not advisable for mouth breathers and those having trouble breathing through the nose due to allergies, sinus blockage, or any other medical conditions.

Full Mask

As its name suggests, this type of mask covers both the nose and the mouth, sealing both airways. It’s good for people with allergies and/or medical issues, as well as those who experience a hard time breathing through their nose during sleep. It may be a bit bulky. but those who need higher pressure may find this mask to be the most comfortable.

      Fact #4: CPAP machines are mainly used to treat OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), but they can also be used for other conditions.

      Based on research, using a CPAP machine for long hours (about 7 hours) can also help lessen daytime sleepiness and depression. And since having sleep apnea increases your risk for serious conditions such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and stroke, using a CPAP machine may also lower your risk. For instance, people who do not undergo CPAP therapy are 38% at higher risk of heart failure than those who undergo CPAP therapy.  Also, sleep is a huge factor in strengthening your immune system, so it’s safe to say that using a CPAP machine may also help improve your overall health. 

      Fact #5: CPAP machines are sensitive to water. 

      It’s essential to keep your CPAP machine dry at all times. Moist can lead to the formation of mold, bacteria, and viruses, especially when left for long hours. This is also why it’s not advisable to use soap and water when cleaning your CPAP machine, as there’s a huge chance that you won’t be able to dry all parts of the equipment properly. Instead, we recommend that you buy a CPAP machine cleaner that uses both UV light and ozone for more efficient, safer cleaning.

      If you’d like to geek out, you might want to know that ozone acts by interacting with oxidized proteins, unsaturated lipids, respiratory enzymes in cell membranes, peptidoglycans in cell walls, enzymes and nucleic acids in the cytoplasm, proteins and peptidoglycans in coats and capsids. UV light cleaners break molecular bonds in the DNA of microorganisms.

      Fact #6: CPAP machines are quiet.

      CleanFlash CPAP BiPAP Cleaner Sanitizer - CPAP Machines are Quiet

      Most CPAP machines come with a decibel (dB) rating specified by the manufacturer. The usual rates are at around 30dB, a sound equivalent to those of raindrops. But it’s good to note that while this is generally quiet, as compared to snoring which has 60-90dB, every person’s perception of sound is subjective and different. This means that the sound of a CPAP machine may not bother you at all, but it may bother your roommate.

      Fact #7: CPAP therapy is also effective in animals.

      Humans are more susceptible to sleep apnea because we sleep on our backs. But the truth is, animals, such as cats, dogs, cows, elephants, bears, hippopotami, orangutans, pigs, manatees, and walruses, can also suffer from sleeping disorders. If you have pets at home and you’ve noticed they’re suffering from sleeping and/or breathing disorders, please speak with a veterinarian as soon as possible to learn your treatment options such as CPAP therapy.

      Fact #8: CPAP therapy may cause side effects if you won’t use and clean your CPAP machine properly.

      Using a CPAP machine is generally safe. However, it may cause discomfort at the beginning, especially if you are suffering from claustrophobia or anxiety. Not using your CPAP machine properly may also cause problems and/or side effects. These include, but are not limited to, excessive dreaming, snoring, dry nose, sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, irritation of the eyes and face, and abdominal bloating.

      You can prevent these from happening by constantly ensuring that the mask properly fits your face. If you are experiencing nasal congestion, you may try to adjust the machine’s level of humidity (if the machine has a humidifier). You may also take an antihistamine or use a nasal steroid spray. Not wearing the mask of your CPAP machine properly may also cause leaks and unwelcome damages.

      On the other hand, not cleaning your CPAP machine regularly may cause germs, mold, bacteria, dust, and other particles to form in the machine. These can enter your body through your nose and mouth, and cause health problems. Be sure to clean your CPAP machine before each use using a high-quality CPAP cleaner.

      Fact #9: CPAP machines make a good investment.

      The prices of CPAP machines range from $500 to $3000, with an average price of around $850. It may seem like an expensive machine, but the reality is CPAP therapy can help you save on thousands of hospital costs and other healthcare services. The average annual cost that you may spend on hospital treatments for sleep apnea may range from $9000-$19000, not to mention the hassle of being confined in a healthcare facility if your condition is severe. That’s why we recommend that you buy and use a CPAP machine as soon as it’s advised by your doctor to prevent further health risks and complications.

      Final Thoughts

      Do you experience pauses in breathing during sleep? If so, then schedule an appointment with your doctor for a proper diagnosis of your condition. If you happen to have a sleeping disorder, such as severe sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend CPAP therapy for treatment.

      On the other hand, if you are using a CPAP machine cleaner, please remember to clean your equipment regularly to prevent future health complications. Also, keep in mind the several factors you have to consider when choosing a CPAP cleaner to get your money’s worth. These factors include the equipment’s efficiency, compatibility with your machine, its weight and portability, battery life, compliance, and value for money.

      Here at CleanFlash®, we offer an easy-to-use, portable CPAP cleaner that uses UV light and ozone as primary cleaning agents to effectively kill bacteria. It is rechargeable, built with a universal hose adapter to fit in any CPAP machine, and comes with a two-year warranty. To learn more about our CPAP cleaner, or to buy our product, please click the button below.

      Thanks for reading!


      University of Michigan - Health
      American Sleep Apnea Association
      American Sleep Association
      Reid Health
      Healthcare Purchasing News

      Consumer Reports

      Snoring ABC

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