It's the start of February and for many it's a good time to refocus on health and wellness and with that may come new eating habits, new exercise programs, and if you have sleep apnea - a new mask. OK, getting a new mask for your CPAP machine may seem like an unusual health and wellness goal, but it is very important for your sleep health. Here's how to know when to replace your CPAP mask:
Think of it the same way you think of replacing a tooth brush. Overtime, that - once new - device will get old, dirty, and will begin to breakdown. Just like any other daily use item, you can extend the life of your CPAP mask with regular care and maintenance including: daily cleaning with soap and water and proper storage in a dry space out of direct sunlight and away from pets. No matter how well you maintain your mask, you will need to replace it once or twice a year.
Using a CPAP machine is a recommended method of treating sleep apnea. The machine sends a gentle pressure of air through a tube into a mask, and keeps your airways open while you sleep. For optimal results, you need to use your CPAP machine every time you sleep. However, with daily use, your mask may not work as well as it did initially. For example, natural oils can degrade the material, or general use can stretch the mask so that it doesn't sit as snugly as it should. Watch for cracks in the material that seals the mask to your skin, and pay attention to changes in how you feel. If you are seeing visible signs of wear or you are not feeling the same benefits of CPAP, it is time to replace your mask.
To have a life well lived, a huge focus needs to be on your sleep. Your health is determined by a number of factors, some of which you cannot change, and some of which you can - like sleep. The quality of the sleep you get affects not just your mood, but the possibility of stroke, heart attack, among other health issues. When you have untreated sleep apnea, those risks increase.
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