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Can your CPAP make you sick?

October 8, 2019

About the Author

photo of Heidi Godman

Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

Heidi Godman is the executive editor of the Harvard Health Letter. Before coming to the Health Letter, she was an award-winning television news anchor and medical reporter for 25 years. Heidi was named a journalism fellow … See Full Bio
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October 8, 2019

The CPAP I use has a water reservoir and specifically calls for distilled water; the water evaporates each night so the reservoir needs to be refilled every night. I clean my CPAP regularly, by hand, and have never gotten sick from it. If a person buys a cleaning machine for their CPAP, wouldn’t the cleaning machine need cleaned also? Are they going to make a machine to clean a machine? Save money and clean your CPAP by hand.

October 10, 2019

Fully agree. These companies use scare tactics to sell their equipment. Routine maintenance as outlined in the manuals are enough. The reservoir is emptied, rinsed daily (minimally), washed with warm soapy water once per week, more frequently if you can. Mask always need to be washed. The machines do not dissolve skin oils. These need to be washed off daily. Change the cushion at least once per month. I taught and followed up patients at a VA hospital. Of the 4000 plus patients I set up nobody who ever followed instructions ever got sick.

Bernie W. Miller
October 10, 2019

That was an excellent reply Vickie, essentially the cleaning devices are a waste of cash.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

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